A year ago I shared this post on the blog about what happened when I stopped working out for a month.
I alluded to it in the post, but chose not to get into too much detail about my history with overexercising and how deep my disordered thought patterns had gone. I think it all still felt a little too fresh and real and per usual, I needed some extra time to process everything before I could share my experiences.
I finally feel like I’m in a good place with my body. A really good place. This doesn’t mean I’m immune to insecurities or feeling like my jeans fit a little too tight some days, but I no longer let that dictate my life. I think how you react to these thoughts, that are normal and human, is truly what’s indicative of recovery.
Because for many years of my life I let these thoughts and subsequent actions dictate my entire life.
But let’s rewind.
I’m 23 and staring at myself in the mirror in a tight-fighting dress and I begin to cry. I told C I wasn’t going out that night because I was “too fat”. I was 114 lbs and at the smallest I had ever been. I had a flat tummy, lean legs and what many girls would have defined as “fit”. I, however, could not see any of this. What I saw in the mirror was someone completely different. I saw someone who was inadequate. Who lacked willpower. Who everyone would be staring at for not have worked out that day.
Yes, I know this sounds crazy. But all I could see in the mirror was the girl who skipped her workout that day because well, life happened. I couldn’t get to the gym and therefore could not wear the tight-fitting dress and subsequently would never be able to attend the party that night. This was how messed up my thought-patterns were. And we haven’t even tackled the headspace of not being able to drink because I hadn’t worked out…
Clearly, I was in a pretty bad place.
But of course, I was the only one who couldn’t see it. No matter what people said to me or probing questions that were thrown my way, I did not see anything wrong with my behavior. I mean I worked out (albeit A LOT), I ate healthy and it maybe isn’t the worst thing in the world that I didn’t want to drink or party.
On the conventional health scale, I was off-the-charts. On the mental health scale, I was a whopping zero.
At that point in my life, there was nothing that anyone could say to me that would make me realize how bad things had gotten. I needed to learn that lesson for myself.
That lesson came a few months later when I did some major damage to my knee while running on a treadmill. I was in denial for a while. The pain was excruciating, but I ignored it. If I couldn’t run, I would jump. If I couldn’t jump, I would lift. I did whatever I could tolerate until a physiotherapist finally told me that if I ever wanted to live pain-free again, I would have to take a break. A long break.
What I see now that I couldn’t then was that she saw me struggling. She saw the issue as far deeper than knee pain. She saw the girl who cried into the mirror and whose life revolved around exercise. Perhaps she had been one of those girls. Perhaps you are one of those girls. If so, I hope this post speaks to you.
Do you have people in your life who you feel like you’ve met, but it turns out that may only exist in your dreams? That’s how I feel about Alexis Joseph from Hummusapien. We’ve FaceTimed a handful of times over the years and every time we do we always have the same reaction, how have we NOT met?! It’s this sense, the sense of having known someone for years that makes our conversation in Episode #11 one of my favorites yet.
Initially I approached Alexis about coming on the show to talk about time-management and pursuing multiple passions (she also co-founded Alchemy Juice Bar), but in true hummus-fashion, Alexis hit me with her brutal honesty. “Girlllllll, I do not have that figured out!”. So I ditched my initial set of questions and just let the conversation flow. What ensued was one of the most honest conversations we’ve had on the show.
Two “influencers”, both kale-loving, smoothie addicts, discussing if maybe, just maybe we’re doing more harm than good with our blogs. It’s an unlikely conversation, and one which I intend to delve deeper into on the blog and the podcast, but I’m glad we tapped the surface.
Filed Under: podcast