I often get the question: ‘What made you tackle your eating disorders? What was that ultimate moment of change?’
And while it’s never a one epiphany-kinda-thing (I had therapy for years before I switched my button), there wàs this one decision that made me respect my body to such a degree, I didn’t want to harm it any longer.
4 years ago I weighed more than 100 kg, felt depressed, tired, sick, unhappy and incredibly insecure about myself. After a difficult break up, my career as a make up artist became my main focus. But even in that department, i was unable to achieve my full potential because my body and mind were burned down. I loved my job, but couldn’t commit. The ghosts in my head were way too overpowering!
After another New Year’s Eve filled with the typical resolutions, It dawned on me that I could wish for whatever I wanted, but as long as I didn’t put in the effort to really change myself, stuff would not move! I was tired of living in this suffocating situation of eating disorders and unworthiness. This could and would no longer be my reality.
So I put my anxiety aside and contacted a personal trainer that appeared very trustworthy. I don’t even know why I went for the sporty option, it just seemed the right thing to do.
This, my lovely followers, was the most important decision I made in the last decennium.
I needed to get back in touch with my body, I needed to feel it, really feel it, how it functions, what ir requires. I needed to provide it with love, respect, conviction, warmth, and good good care. And functional training did this for me. By training my muscles, I trained my mind. By decisively choosing for help and guidance, I changed direction.
By training my muscles, I trained my mind. By decisively choosing for help and guidance, I changed direction.
My trainer at that time, the sweetest Max Icardi, was my key person. He never put me on a scale, never measured my fat percentage, and I loved him for that. We discussed goals and strengthened my body and mind. Max made me want to achieve things, change my life around.
Now, let me get this straight: things didn’t change overnight! Like hell no! As a classic perfectionist, I wanted to become the ideal athlete. We worked towards a mini triathlon, with a schedule that mixed workouts with (many) moments of rest, but I wanted more and forced myself to train almost every day. Once again, I mistreated my body as if it was a machine that could keep on giving. I became obsessed and one month before the triathlon, my body developed cysts. A big, clear sign that I went far. Again!
I took a break from training untill the doctors gave me a hesitant green light to participate in a different mini triathlon. They made me promise that I would take a few days off after the race to recuperate, and so I pinky sweared myself towards THE DAY. I felt more nervous than fit, but really wanted to prove myself and would not back off! Failure was not an option, and so I gave it my everything to finish the triathlon in under 2 hours. By literally 15 sec to spare, I stumbled over that finish line. I was proud of myself, don’t get me wrong, but I expected to be overwhelmed by the joy that I, an overweight and mentally struggling girl, was able to complete such a race! But all I really felt was emptiness. Pure physical and mental emptiness.
And to make matters worse: I took it even a step further by ignoring the advice of my trainer and not take the promised rest. Rather the opposite: I let myself get consumed by work and another huge bike ride. Weakness would not get me down!
One week later my light went out…. Body and mind gave up and I went into the worst anxiety attack I ever had. Impossible to describe the experience of such a major relapse, I just want to express the message and the lesson that I got out of this whole situation:
Exercise is a great way to get back into a close relationship with your body. Use dance, swimming, running, hiking, whatever to provide body and mind from well deserved oxygen. Feel how your system functions, and develop respect for its efforts. But make sure that, when you are an intense and perfectionist kinda person by nature, the balance doesn’t get lost. Exercise is incredibly healthy, but it loses its effect when you take it too far! And that was a major lesson I needed to learn.
Exercise is a great way to get back into a close relationship with your body.
Nowadays, working out remains my go-to method to keep my head straight. I practice yoga, swimming and fitness. At times, I still have the tendency to overdo things, but I recognize the signs of imbalance much quicker, so they don’t get the better of me.
Live and learn, right, live and learn.