Every. Single. Day.
I have lost 58 lbs at the time of this writing [EDIT: 60lbs reached one week later], and I am overjoyed with my accomplishment. I should be, of course!!! I look so far from the person I was a year ago. I hardly recognize myself in the mirror. Hey, I actually LOOK in the mirror now! I even do my hair and buy clothes. This journey has led me to an amazing new career that I can't even call a J.O.B. It's a joy to do what I do! Every day I help women reach their health and fitness goals. I love watching them achieve their milestones and I feel elated with them! I love to celebrate with them, post inspiring quotes and motivational bits to keep them going, to keep them strong.
I need those posts, too.
I'm afraid that I may have given the impression that I don't struggle. That this weight loss was easy for me, and here I am all healthy and thinner 12 months later. A few months ago I talked to a couple friends about a rough day I was having and I was startled at their response. They were surprised! They had no idea that I was struggling!
It's my fault, really. I don't exactly post negative stuff on my Facebook feed. I figure that I don't like reading posts of others that complain about their life all the time, so I don't do that. I mean, there is enough negative, depressing things in the world, so I share sad stuff at a minimum and try to stick to posting positive, happy things. Why am I always positive? Well, always is a bit of a stretch...
The past couple years have been quite a roller coaster. Here are some things I did not post: We were homeless. With three kids. Then we lived like campers for awhile. My husband then got an amazing job and things were awesome...until they ran out of work and he was laid off. During these times the posts you would have seen: me homeschooling my kids, taking nature walks, painting, going to the beach, and hanging out together! I want my children to enjoy life and learn to be grateful no matter the circumstances. In all things we praise God.
I have been encouraged by a couple friends to write this post about how I struggle.
I'm still fighting my demons. You see, I am a recovered** anorexic. And bulimic. I spent TWENTY YEARS with an eating disorder. Do you hear me? I'm only 30. I've wasted so much time starving myself! I have been hospitalized more times than I can count. I spent many months of my late teens in residential rehab treatment facilities trying to break the chains of an eating disorder. I've been as low as 85 lbs at this height. I've also been as high as 230. That was winter 2012-2013.
**Understand that as a recovered anorexic/bulimic I still struggle, I just don't give my power over to it.
When I got the bad news on my 29th birthday, [May 29th, 2013] I changed my life. That news rocked my world and I knew from then on, that I would never again be the same. What no one told me, as I looked through all of those posts of before and afters on Instagram or Facebook or weight loss blogs, is that I would still struggle. That even with the weight loss successes I would have, that I would still beat myself up and have bad days.
Maybe I didn't want to hear it. I might not have listened. Surely life is just better and easier when you're all healthy and fit, right?! I got lost in the magic of before and after pics and forgot about the process. I forgot that this was a journey not a get skinny quick scam. I really thought that once I reached my goal body, once I started losing weight, this would all be so easy peasy! Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE exercising. I LOVE eating healthy meals and creating new recipes. It's so much a part of my life that I don't even notice it... Unless I miss a workout and then I feel like crapola. Even when I reach milestones, I struggle.
For example you may have seen this post I made on August 7th, 2014:
I was over the moon thrilled excited!!! I did a little dance in my room and blessed my scale for giving me the number I wasn't even expecting! Good job! Pat on the back! You freaking DID IT! Like a boss! You rockstar, you!
For about FIVE MINUTES.
Then I started beating myself up. "Why did it take me this long?" "Why haven't I lost more? Other people lost that much in 6 months!" "I'm always going to be fat and ugly." Just when you think those eating disordered thoughts are history, they come back with a vengeance! I know the answers to these questions! I'm losing weight at a pace that allows my body to adjust as I go. I don't know what other people have done or how they've lost more weight in less time, BUT I know that I am eating clean, and working out 6 days a week. I am doing my best and I am doing this the right way. No starving, no purging, no five hours a day working out like I used to. No more punishing my body for indulging in a treat.
NO MORE. My kids need me and they need me healthy. And while I'm at it, happy, too!
The Good News: These thoughts don't wreck me like they used to. Yes, they still happen, but I do NOT change what I'm doing. I still workout, I still eat right and I don't quit. Ever. I figure if I'm consistent the bad stuff in my head will eventually realize I'm not a quitter and shut the hell up. Overall it's gotten quieter this past year. So, you see, I'm much like many of you. I don't have superpowers. I don't fly through this weight loss with infallible strength. We have to stop this war with ourselves. We have to stop punishing our bodies. Enough. You hear me? ENOUGH.
It's a marathon, not a sprint. Cliché? It's true though.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please reach out for help.