9.02.2013

free to eat pt. 2

It's been just about a month since I shared my story about orthorexia (Ibelieve I was suffering from anorexia athletica as well. I had never heard of it until a few days ago). I can honestly say that I am so much stronger, both mentally and physically. I'm so much happier in all aspects of life, without the tug of guilt due to food. I've gained confidence and a new love for my body.

Along with a new love for food, I've realized that labels can be so damaging. I don't believe in labeling foods as "clean" or "dirty" or "bad" or "good." Food is food. It all serves a purpose, whether it is to build muscle or simply because it tastes good as a treat. I realize now that there is a proper balance, just as there is to anything in life.

I feel like the common misconception with IIFYM, is that we sit around eating Pop-tars and Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches all day long. This gives IIFYM such a bad rep, but the people who actually try IIFYM know what it's about: eating towards your goals with nutrient-dense foods and treats when they fit.

Since I've slowly been adding calories into my diet each week, my body has seen some major changes. My muscles have grown, and I've leaned out, lost body fat, and have had so much energy in the gym and throughout the day. My digestion is healthy and functioning. My skin is somehow clearer than it's ever been. I've seen more results in the past six weeks then I have in a whole year of clean eating. It's been an eye-opening experience.

The physical results are obviously wonderful, but the mentality I have now is the real reward. I feel like I have overcome so much. It's scary to think that eating disorders are so much more common, and more than just anorexia and bulimia. There are plenty out there, and I'm sure a lot of women don't even know they are suffering from them. I'm so happy to have been working towards a healthier mind each and every day. I know I haven't cured myself overnight, and that it is a process, but I know I'm getting there.

[anorexia athletica is characterized by excessive and compulsive exercise. An athlete suffering from sports anorexia tends to over exercise to give themselves a sense of having control over their body. Most often, people with the disorder tend to feel they have no control over their lives other than their control of food and exercise. In actuality, they have no control; they cannot stop exercising or regulating food intake without feeling guilty]

My story with it:
I worked out 2-3 times a day. I did endless cardio trying to work off the minimal calories I had eaten. I worked out when I was sick, even with the flu and laryngitis. I was literally running myself into the ground. My arms and my legs were so tiny. I sucked in an excessive amount to look like I had abs. I was proud of what I looked like. I know there were those that were worried about me, and I just shrugged it off. I felt like I was in control when I knew how many calories I was burning off. I just wanted to keep burning them off, but ultimately I just burnt myself out.

I don't know how I broke out of it. I think I was so damn tired of feeling sick and having digestion problems and spending all my time in the gym. I wasn't happy. It was scary to break out of it. I spent hours reading and researching, trying to find a better way. I am still striving for mental health every day and having a better relationship with my body. It's a process, but I'm happy to be part of it.

If you are suffering. Please, get help. Look for support. Know that you can break out of it. You can break out of the vicious cycle. You can find happiness and love for your body. Research and read. Stop looking up to unhealthy fitness accounts. Find role models that make you feel good about yourself, not guilty. Find a love for food again. It will be okay. You are beautiful.




3 comments:

  1. Your story is so inspirational! It's soo easy to fall into the trap of overdoing "clean eating" but you're right it is all about BALANCE. It's okay to have ice cream and pizza. It's okay to eat foods you love not just broccoli and chia seeds. When I finally made this realization it was life changing for me as well.

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  2. Thank you for writing this. I have followed you on Instagram for a few months, and I just read your previous post on orthorexia as well. It couldn't have resonated more with me. I lost about 20 pounds and have managed to keep it off for about a year. I got back down to my lowest weight from last summer just recently (I had gained about 8 pounds from binge eating periodically over 4 months after I lost the will power to maintain my super strict eating habits).

    I am happy with my body as it is now, but i just can't get over this obsession with trying to get down to a weight that is lower than my current one. I only weigh 99 pounds which is not underweight for my height, but I have this obsession with getting down to 93. And when I was at 93 last year, my goal was to get down even lower - to 88. It is my way of constructing a sense of control over my life, and it is nothing but abusive to my mind and body.

    I have been obsessing again and logging every single thing I eat into myfitnesspal over the last 3 weeks, and this post was a real wake up call for me. I'm not sure that IIFYM is right for me, but I think that I need to make it a priority to just focus on listening to my body as opposed to obsessing and stressing over every single thing I eat. I am so afraid that if I don't maintain perfect control, I will end up binge eating again and feeling absolutely horrible about myself. But all in all, I know i have what it takes to push through this self-harm I have made a habit of inflicting. It will take time, but I will find it in myself to overcome the damage I have done.

    I just want you to know that your post is a big reminder to me that I am slipping back into the abusive patterns I created before. Even if you never read this novel of a comment, I think you are amazing for having the balls to admit everything you have been through. That takes a very special person.

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  3. Did your cycles ever include binging? I am definitely a compulsive exerciser... I'm in the first 2 days of a bing cycle because my body simply broke down and I think IIFYM can help me. Your site is very inspirational... we also have similar taste in fashion :)

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