Friday, January 3, 2014

Coming Clean On Body Image Disorders

This is a heavy post for a Friday night, but I'm currently barricading myself in my bathroom while helicopters circle my apartment complex, so I figured, let's blog… (reason why here…scary!)

Tonight I read that Ke$ha (the pop star who sings all my favorite running songs for my over 50 crowd that have no idea who I'm talking about), checked herself into a rehab facility for an eating disorder…

"I'm a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself, but I've found it hard to practice," she told TMZ on Friday. "I'll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder ... to learn to love myself again, exactly as I am." source

And I became really sad. My heart goes out to her and the tens of thousands of women and men in this world suffering from anorexia, bulimia, disordered eating, and any other body image disorders I'm leaving out.

I have suffered from disordered eating for the past two years, and while I've made great strides in getting it under control, I'm not quite there yet. I know what it's like to wake up every morning and not like the person you see in the mirror. For me, on days when I'm "good," I have more pride and love for myself than ever before - it's a high only surpassed by exercise. On days when I'm "bad," I am so disgusted by myself, it's hard to make it through the day. But being "good" means going to bed hungry, waking up hungry, and moving through the day hungry. The "bad" days come when I eat half a box of cereal in one sitting because I've been so restrictive with my diet. So I keep the cereal out of the house, and the candy, and the bread, the milk, the processed foods, and I portion out every ounce of food I eat and keep a daily food journal, making sure to include the one half teaspoon of cinnamon in my morning coffee (8 calories).

For me, it was all about a number on a scale (I actually have two scales to make sure the number is accurate). And although the number was unrealistic for my height and body type, I fought my way there anyway. One of my greatest traits is my self discipline, but this disciple allowed my restrictiveness to win over my binging. Then my body started to shut down. I had to pull out of a half marathon this past spring and a full marathon in the fall. I didn't have the energy for the Half, and was informed that if I trained for the Full, the chances of sustaining a bone fracture were insanely high. It took longer than it should have, but my brain woke up. It's still a struggle. I still have days where I eat 1200 calories, work out hard and feel really good about myself, even though I know I'm not eating enough. I still have days when I eat 2500 calories, don't work out at all and feel really bad about myself, even though I know my body is happy.

I could sit here and go on about how important it is to love ourselves and why we're perfect in every single way, but that's for every person to discover his or her own way. It's because deep down I really do love myself, that I have gained weight over the past four months. And while it's been difficult at times to see the scale move in the opposite direction, I know my body is working again. I have dreams of running lots of races, having children someday and living a long and happy life. That was my motivation. And if you look really hard and reach out for the help you need, you'll find your motivation as well.

If anyone out there is suffering from an eating disorder or just feeling bad about life, reach out to someone. Find your outlet whether it be treatment, therapy or a good friend. And find your motivation. And if you ever want to chat, I'm here!

Love & Light, Friends. Have a great start to your weekend! First long(ish) run of the spring half marathon training cycle tomorrow! 

No comments:

Post a Comment