I was inspired by this article on CNN to write about my experience going from ‘fit to fat’. When I was younger, I was never incredibly fit, but I always put fitness and diet as a priority because I was scared of being overweight (because my mom is overweight). I became a trainer when I was 20 and became VERY ‘fit’. I say ‘fit’ in parenthesis, because I think we have the whole idea of what ‘fitness’ looks like wrong.
Just because you are ‘fit’ doesn’t mean you are healthy. Health requires you to be physically, mentally and spiritually THERE. Not only that, but many ‘fit’ people whose bodies are 0% body fat have a very unbalanced life. They also probably don’t get enough REAL food like fruit and complex carbohydrates in their diet. It really isn’t natural for our bodies to be skin,bones and muscles. It’s natural for it to be voluptuous, curvaceous and proportioned.
SO that’s something to think about. How do you REALISTICALLY see your body becoming as it becomes more fit? In the past, I thought having a six pack and veins showing in my arms was fit. But, now I know it’s not attractive. My husband finds that unattractive, and I appreciate that.
But going back to that article….
When I was 20 I became very fit. I competed in fitness! That’s how fit I was. I decided to turn my ‘passion’ into a career and made it my mission to help people become healthier. I prayed to God, to give me the STRENGTH to follow my passion and be of service to this world at that capacity. LITTLE did I know what he had in store for me.
I went from 115 pounds to 150 pounds. Crazy – I know. It didn’t happen over night. 115 pounds was when I competed and was dehydrated…so my natural weight was actually around 120. I became 130 within a year. Succeeding years after that I would gain 5-10 pounds each. I stopped weighing myself for a long time. I stepped on the scale once at my mom’s house and I was around 152? It was crazy – I jumped off!
My weight gain had a lot to do with many things: eating late at night, bingeing, but most of all – the combination of bingeing and purging. Yes, I was Bulimic. I was Bulimic for several years. That means having ‘episodes’ 2-3 times a day 4-5 times a week. It was a horrible habit. All I can say about that experience (and what made me do it) was because that’s what it was….a HABIT. I felt like I had no control over my mind and I had such self -defeating thoughts. I felt a variety of emotions, sadness, guilt, emptiness….
I’ve always been straight forward about how much of that time period represented a manifestation of what I was feeling inside – coming out. (literally) I felt alone and empty – and I prayed, and prayed, and prayed… I prayed while in church, while driving in the car and while kneeling next to the toilet bowl.
I did confide to my friends. I told my family (although, it seemed like they pretended to not hear what I confided) and in this moment, I knew I was alone in this journey to recovery. After years of waking up trying to be ‘perfect’ – I decided to wake up and just focus on ‘progress’. By allowing myself to be imperfect, I became more forgiving of my inability to stay on a diet. So funny (today of course) to see how hard it was to stay on a diet when I was a diet machine in the passed.
It took many years to lose the weight I had gained in that experience. I was strained emotionally, spiritually and physically. I am not in incredible ‘hard’ shape right now (especially after having a baby five months ago) but I love my shape….the curve of my waist and hips, the tiny scars from stretchmarks and the shape of my hard earned muscle. It’s all beautiful.
Fitness Trainer, Drew Manning, gained and loss 70 pounds to understand what it felt like to be one of his clients. I commend him on that. It’s definitely a different place to be when you are on the other side. “The biggest thing [I learned] is that it’s not just about the physical. It’s not just about the meal plan and the workouts and those things. The key is the mental and the emotional issues. I realized those issues are real.” – Drew
As I reflect nearly ten years after I had my first Bulimic episode I can say that YES, God did give me strength. I know what it means to be mentally defeated. I know how it feels to be over 30 pounds overweight. I know how it feels to have no one at all.
But I’ve been there.
And I got out. And that’s why I write – because I want to show others how they can get out too.
Maybe you are right there with me. Overweight. Weak. Unhappy. Depressed.
Maybe your pain is for a greater purpose?
Maybe God gave you this mountain because he knows you can climb it.
You can’t lead people out of a place if you haven’t been there yourself.
So be the inspiration for others….and get out of whatever place you’re in.