This blog was started as a story about my journey on the road to recovery from bulimia on to the healthy lifestyle that I have always wanted. I utilize running, exercise and balanced eating to create my healthiest self. Follow along as I complete my Fourth Year of abstinence from purging and train for my second marathon.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Skinny and Happy...
As a recovering bulimic and diligent runner, there is one thing that I love more than ANYTHING in the world(sorry to my boyfriend of 4 and a half years)... and that is FOOD!!!
Whether it is good for me, or bad for me... I just can not seem to get enough! However, to counteract my love for this word... there are two words that I hate more than anything. Those are the words DIET & SCALE
In the beginning of 2005 (age 18) I weighed close to 235lbs. This was just a little too much junk in the trunk for my 5'7' frame. I was dissatisfied with my body, had incredibly low self-esteem, and never really felt comfortable in anything I wore... including my own skin. I was working as a waitress at a Chili's Bar and Grill, and needless to say, I was no stranger to our menu. I mean, what do you expect a girl to do when she has unlimited access to french fries for 5 + hours everyday?! My eating habits were poor, to put it nicely, but my physical routine was ::cough:: Non-Existent. I had purchased a gym membership once, but never really used it for more than access to the hot tub and the sauna. Growing up I was NOT an active child and just thinking about the word exercise made me EXHAUSTED!.
The store that I worked at was conveniently located across the street from a Bally's Total Fitness. One day, I was waiting on one of the "Membership Specialists" and he asked me if I had a gym membership. I laughed out a loud, "No". He offered me a discount on a membership that I really couldn't refuse. And I mean, come on... the Gym was RIGHT across the street from where I worked (did I mention I only lived 3 blocks away?!?!). I signed up, and went in for my first session by the end of the week. Thus began my obsession with the Gym... and we pretty know how that ends (with me running... all the time...). Once I got the hang of the whole "Gym Dedication" thing... it was time to focus on my food intake. I decided to go on my first DREADED "D" word..... DIET. I like to consider this the moment I made the biggest mistake of my life. The problem with a "d-word" is that it isn't something permanent. It is something that is used as a temporary solution to a life long process. And that is exactly what I got! Not to mention a lot of heart ache, and a lot of confusion. How was I suppose to figure out what was good for me and what was not good for me? (I still ask myself this question!!!)
I lost quite a bit of weight over the first year that I was "dieting" and exercising... but I never really learned how to properly fuel my body. This may be because I was not aiming for the right goal.... All I wanted in life was to be thin because to me, this meant that I was attractive. At that time in my life... this was all that mattered. The only thing I was not prepared for... was when I realized that just being "skinny" wasn't enough and was a lot harder to attain than I ever thought it would be. The numbers on the scale dropped...165, 154, 148, 145.... until I finally hit a plateau. I could not lose anymore weight. According to the BMI calculator (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/), I was well within the normal, healthy weight for my height and age. However, according to my brain I was obese, unhealthy and just not good enough. In fact... I had convinced myself that I would NEVER be good enough. I mean, I had already worked so hard... what else was I suppose to do.
I still don't know what caused me to binge and purge that first time... but I always like to think that it was anger at myself. Other people could be skinny and happy. Why couldn't I? What was I doing wrong?!
It wasn't until recently that I found the answer to my question. I was looking for Skinny and Happy in all the wrong places. During my most delusional period of my life these were some things that I either believed were true, or were just dumb things that I did to try to lose weight.
#1. You cant find happy when you are depriving yourself of the things you love the most.
Anyone who knows me, knows that Peanut Butter is one of my ALL TIME favorite foods. I eat it straight out of the Jar with a spoon (no jelly or bread required here). While "dieting".. I refused to let myself have peanut butter because It had too many calories and fat.
#2. An active human being can not survive on 1000 calories a day alone.
That's right... this was my average daily caloric intake for about a year. If I only knew then what I knew know about deprivation and the negative effects it has on your metabolism.
#3. All the Great Guys out there only want to be with thin girls.
If someone is into you because of your pant size... then they're probably not someone you should be romantically involved with. I remind myself every day how grateful I am to have a partner who loves that I am athletic and have curves like a real woman should.
#4. Comfort foods will make me feel better.
... No sweet, salty, fatty or down right delicious food has EVER made me happier than a good run or workout. (and that is a fact!).
#5. The number on the scale means more than the way my clothes fit and the way I feel inside.
To this day... this one still gets to me. I know there are many health benefits to weighting yourself, and for many they find it to be a helpful motivator in their healthy lifestyle change. For me... this just isn't the case. I know that no good can come from me stepping on a scale. I either haven't lost anything, have gained weight, or wish I had lost more... Its a Lose, Lose, Lose situation. Yet, I continuously torture my self and step on it anyways... hoping that JUST ONCE I will be satisfied with what I see. For some reason, I can not wrap my head around the idea that the scale is not a happiness creator... I AM
The only thing I do know, is that for me to be successful with my HEALTHY & ACTIVE LIFESTYLE is that I have to 1. Give up on the Diet Facade and 2. Begin the "Scale Revolution". To me, this means making changes that can last a lifetime (meaning that I eat peanut butter almost daily... and I am completely content with it) and not letting the scale dictate my mood and my success. I eventually hope to stop weighing myself all together in an effort to live off of how I feel in my clothes and on the inside.