I just posted on Facebook about how I have a hard time accepting praise and feedback.
I hear it, but I find it hard to “enjoy” it. I can’t explain it. It’s in my head, I know, but it’s hard.
But, recently, I have been trying to let go more, and embrace things in my life, both good and bad.
Today I woke up and checked my e-mail, Facebook, and Iphone like I usually do, and I got more responses than normal.
It made me smile.
But what really stood out was this story of struggle and success I received from a client. Words can’t express my feelings after reading this, and after begging and pleading, she allowed me to share it. I wanted to share it with you because I KNOW how much it will empower other women who struggle with this and need help. At Heavyweights, we believe in getting STRONG, both physically & mentally. Without this philosophy, I would have quit on my life and dreams a long time ago.
I want you to read this story; read every word:
“It seems as though almost everyone wants to lose that 5-10 pounds. Some
people however, take those desires to extreme measures. What starts as a
healthy quest essentially ends up as a deadly mission. Some people
associate eating disorders with sedentary clients however, this could
not be further from the truth. Elite athletes sometimes fall victim to
this disease as well, even more so actually. They already have that deep
down drive and focus to achieve greatness, dedication and perseverance.
That drive for perfection is lethal when it comes to weight loss.
A poor self image, a low self esteem, a desire for the perfect body,
these are things most anorexics have in common. I am an athlete. I am a
perfectionist. I am a recovering anorexic.
Years of silent battles with food, and hard steady state cardio finally
came to an end. I found something to drive towards, something healthy to
obsess over, and finally it wasn’t a number on a scale. From counting
calories and counting weight loss to counting rep’s and counting lift
increases is a huge successful milestone.
I am no longer going to hide behind what seemed like such a shameful
secret, because I’m hoping to increase awareness and spread the fact
that recovery is within reach. My own struggles made me who I am today,
they almost hauled me under but I found the drive to fight and overcome
Once you have had an eating disorder recovery is anything but easy. The
path is long, hard and there are many relapses along the way. It always
stays with you somewhere, and you are reminded frequently of what you
struggled through. For me this reminder is becoming less and less
apparent which I am so thankful for.
So my story all started when I was in high school. I was a 15 year old
competitive athlete. I was a perfectionist by every word of the
definition. I always wanted to be the best, I always tried the hardest,
and I never gave up. I can’t exactly pin point where it started but
one day I just decided I wanted to lose a few pounds. With upcoming
recitals and auditions I thought it would be ok to do this. Bear in mind
I was only sitting at 115 pounds at the time, and at 5″2 that was an
ideal weight for me.
Like everything in my life, I took this seriously. I exercised more
than usual, I ate and followed a strict meal plan. In one week I had
already dropped 5 pounds, the feeling was exhilarating, I had done it –
I was successful. It was so easy to drop those 5 pounds, I figured I
would go a little further with it. I keep this up for weeks, and it
seemed as though every week I was a little more “successful”. When I
reached 90 pounds the weight started to become more difficult to lose.
Clearly now I see that this was because I didn’t have any body fat to
spare. At the time I thought I could do better, achieve more, try
harder, so I did. I dropped even more calories, I exercised harder and
longer. After a few weeks I saw scale movement again, and I was proud.
My life seemed to be revolving around being thin. Everything I did was
to get closer to that perfect figure. The 5:00 AM runs before school,
lunchtime exercise practices, after-school sports, I was always moving.
It came to the point where I was noticeably thin. I started to dress in
layers so people wouldn’t notice. At first I liked the comments about
how thin I was becoming until I feared people would try to intervene
with my mission. I continued on my “mission”, layered my clothing,
and became thinner and thinner, and weaker and weaker. I was always
cold, always tired, but somehow keep on track towards my obscene goal.
My dark secret was exposed when I fainted from hunger and fatigue one
morning at breakfast. With a trip to the emergency room I was diagnosed
as anorexic and my parents were heartbroken. I sat at 70 pounds on the
scales that day. I was in denial, I thought it was insane for a doctor
to lie to my parents that way. I was then shipped away from home,
school, friends, and everything that I used to care about so much, to a
hospital where I would be put in recovery. The thing was I didn’t want
to “recover” I thought I was fine the way I was. I wanted to be
skinny and in my mind I was angry that everyone wanted to make me
Through months in a hospital, learning to eat that first meal again,
and regaining strength I began to gain weight. However, my body was
scarred in so many ways. I was now dependent on iron pills as I was so
thin I developed anemia, also I had kidney failure – my body wasn’t
large enough to keep my organs functioning properly. I returned home to
my life, well to a life that didn’t seem as important as it once was.
I was still painfully shy and stripped of every bit of confidence I had
before this ordeal. I had many relapses throughout the years. And I
always had that constant voice telling me I wasn’t good enough, I
wasn’t thin enough, I could do better. That voice stayed there and I
struggled with it everyday until a moment of impact in my life. You know
those moments that are filled with so much importance that they change
My moment of impact was during my Ripped in 42 journey. To be honest,
at 119 pounds, I joined ripped to lose weight. I was struggling again
and now that I was older, and should know better than to harm my body I
figured I would try to lose weight a healthy way. Looking back now, at
119 pounds weight loss shouldn’t have been a concern. I was looking to
lose weight, what I did lose was my long lasting demon, that little
voice who told me I wasn’t good enough.
The first weigh-in during ‘ripped’ mortified me. Sitting at 119 pounds, I
was the heaviest I had ever been. The first week was cleanse week and I
worked so hard and followed the meal plan to perfection, I even
exercised extra than the routine required. Stepping on the scale at the
beginning of week 2 I was confident I had made a difference, the scale
read 118.5 – I was shocked, frozen with disappointment. Rob and Gill had
a chat with our ripped group that night, we got told that the scales
were not moving, and they were disappointed. They talked about how you
get out of something what you put into it. The whole time I was
disappointed in myself beyond what any words could describe. It was at
that point, the point in my life when I needed it most that Rob walked
by me and said “I’m not talking about you when I’m referring to
the scales, don’t look so down”. Those words stung me, and as I
absorbed them it made me wonder, it made me question my weight-loss
mission. Rob King was saying this to me, someone who I admired and who
had an enormous background in fitness and the fitness industry. This one
sentence changed my life. Later that evening I got a message from Rob
about how I was making impacts in different ways than on the scale, and
I was getting stronger and gaining muscle. Muscles, this was something I
thought I would never want. I don’t know if he had seen through my cover
up and realized my underlying issues or if it was just a coincidence,
but he said the perfect thing at the perfect time, and he changed me.
As the weeks went on I was getting stronger, I was full of energy due
to all the food I was fueling my body with and I felt amazing. Each
week I started to gain a little bit of confidence. I went from a
painfully shy girl with major emotional issues to a girl who was full of
life and yearning to help others. The iron pills I was once dependent on
were no longer needed, and my kidneys were finally functioning at a
normal level. Weather you are addicted to food, afraid of food, afraid
to exercise, scared to change; fears all have one thing in common – they
can be overcome. And when they are change can occur, and change can be a
beautiful thing. Change saves some of us from a fate we choose for
ourselves. Always remember, we are the holders of our own fate, if you
want something bad enough you can change, you can achieve it.
The scale that once haunted me is now a distant memory. My obsession
with it amounted to weighing myself upwards to 30 times a day, now I
personally can not tell you the last time I stepped on that scale. All I
know is I feel good. “Strong is the new skinny” has a whole new
level of meaning to me. Strong is healthy, strong is beautiful, strong
is confident, strong is my life changer. Don’t let fear hold onto you,
break fear, and you might find the person who you were always supposed
to become. Confidence, happiness, and fulfillment are not that far out of
reach, so rise up, and reach for it. Have the life you dreamed of, be
the person you want – live the beautiful life. “La Bella Vita” =)”