I fight this all too familiar feeling fairly often. I struggle with body image, and it’s days like this that I realize that an eating disorder is something that I have to live with. It doesn’t define me or consume me, but I have some serious down days (and weeks) where I struggle. I mainly struggle with how I see myself. Sometimes I am so happy and content with my body and the scale or my clothing size doesn’t bother me, but there are other times where I can be extremely triggered by seeing myself in the mirror or in photographs that makes me want to stop eating, or gorge myself in sweets. It’s hard for some of my friends and family to understand my struggles with food and body image. I hear “you’re gorgeous” and “you look great,” but it’s nothing like that. I’m not programmed like everyone else.
When I was younger, my weight didn’t really phase me. Of course I wanted to be a “skinny” girl, but I never tried to diet or made an effort to be anything but myself and how I was. After losing 80 pounds after college, I have never seen myself the same. I feel like I will never be content with how I look wether I’m 100 pounds of 200 pounds. Even at the same weight I was in high school, I am so unhappy with my body. My body composition is completely different because I spin 5-6 days a week and have more muscle definition and tone, but I’m still so unhappy. It’s sad. Sometimes I wish that I never lost weight to begin with because I wouldn’t have this problem. Now that I’ve seen what I look like super “skinny” (at an unhealthy weight, mind you) I cannot get that image out of my head. I visually myself looking like that again, and can’t get that image out of my head. I find myself looking at photos of me at my lightest and comparing myself to what I look like today. It’s the WORST possible thing I can do, and I cannot stop. It’s triggering, it makes me sad, and it makes me hate my body even more because I’ve gained weight. When I take a step back, the comparison and negative thoughts that I have with myself make me so sad.
Sometimes talking about these things is hard, but I’ve learned through my blog that I’m not going through it alone, so why not write about it, right?
When I’m down, it’s so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I describe my down moments as if I am treading in water. My head isn’t underwater, but my nose is barely peaking out. I’m able to get work done and get through the day, but it’s a struggle. Dealing with this same thing for a couple of years now, I’ve gotten better at coping with it. I no longer isolate myself from friends, or stop doing things that I love because I’m sad, but as I said, it’s a struggle. I guess why I’m talking about this is because writing is my therapy. Sometimes I completely shut down and keep everything inside, but writing is a way to get everything out.
On Saturday night I attended an event hosted by Full Psycle which celebrated the strong fit women of FP. At Full Psycle, we all compete inside “The Asylum” to get stronger, but we’ve all formed quite a comradeship outside of the studio that gives us strength internally. This amazing group of ladies came together to celebrate and support the National Breast Cancer Foundation for a FP Girls Night filled with fitness, laughter, and shopping! Seeing so many strong, gorgeous, amazing women come together to celebrate ourselves was an amazing amazing feeling. Sometimes being a girl is just hard! We spend a lot of time criticizing ourselves and comparing ourselves to others, when we should really be celebrating ourselves! The event was so much fun. I love my Full Psycle family! Full Psycle has literally been my therapy since last July. I cannot go very many days without it, because it makes me happy. The workout and my Full Psycle family of friends and instructors lifts my mood and makes me feel so much better. In many ways, it has changed my life.
I got a shirt that that benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and I am absolutely obsessed with it. It reads “elle est forte” (she is strong). When I got home to try my new shirt on, something hit me and I felt so emotional. I’ve been very down on myself recently, and when I put my new shirt on, it spoke to me. I am strong. I’ve been through a roller coaster of ups and down in my life from my weight loss, eating disorder, and depression, to my accomplishments and success in school and my career, and through it all, I am strong.
I want every woman reading this to know that you are strong. There are so many obstacles that we as women face every day, but we get through it, because we are strong!