How My Passion For Healthy Living Developed:
I was always active growing up. I played volleyball and basketball throughout high school and loved every bit of it. I loved the excitement of the games, the unity of our team, the intensity of practices, and the idea of being held accountable to a team. I was always active, ate what I wanted, and never batted an eye at what I weighed. I was always conscious of not consuming much soda and hardly ever ate fast food, but other than that, I ate whatever and whenever I felt like it.
When I went off to college, I was immediately anxious about putting on the “freshman fifteen” since I wouldn’t be participating in competitive sports teams like I did in high school. I started working out at the gym like a crazy person, gave myself “restricted” foods, and was constantly consumed about how many calories I was eating every day. My anxiety and homesickness eventually led to depression and disordered eating habits. It’s hard for me to go into too much detail about this issue because in all honesty it is embarrassing to me. I look back on what I did to my body, and I feel ashamed, disgusted, and frustrated with myself. I went through some counseling to help me get through my freshman year of college, and it helped, but not enough.
I got in a pretty serious relationship the summer before my sophomore year of college that helped me snap out of my depression and really enjoy my life. However, I still continued to rollercoaster with my disordered eating. I would eat, restrict, eat, restrict, eat, restrict… It was a constant battle, and it was exhausting! My relationship with food and exercise went back and forth from being my best friend to my worst enemy. As time went on, I was able to admit to myself what I was really doing to my body. I was ready for a change. My boyfriend at the time really enjoyed working out, so I’d go to the gym with him almost every day. This got me very interested in strength training (rather than just cardio to burn calories), and I gradually started to develop a healthier approach to exercising and eating.
Fast forward a year and a half, and that boyfriend and I broke up. My previous disordered eating habits came back to haunt me, but I was extremely aware of it (thank goodness), so I decided to do something about it. Since then, I have developed a healthier way of living that involves exercise that I enjoy, nutritious foods that fuel my body, and the occasional indulgences. It definitely hasn’t been easy, and I still struggle with my self image and my relationship with food at times. I have to thank my husband for the support, love, and encouragement he has shown me through it all. He has seen my worst and my best, he has shown more patience with me through it than I’ll ever understand, and he has supported and encouraged me every step of the way. Even though he might not always understand, he’s always there to hold me accountable, comfort me, and tell me I’m beautiful.
When I was diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea in March of 2012, my perspective of healthy living changed even more. I realized I was pushing my body too hard and I wasn’t giving it the rest and nourishment it needed. It certainly was not easy to shift my lifestyle, but it sure taught me valuable lessons about my body and what it needs. I can now look at my experience and be thankful for it and what I have learned.
Through all of my various experiences and struggles over the past several years, I have thankfully moved past my hardship with disordered eating. There are still days that I struggle with my self image and such, but I am proud of how far I have come. I have my God, husband, family, and friends to thank for their endless support and encouragement.
My road to healthy living hasn’t been an easy one, but I look back and am so thankful for where I am today. Sharing my lessons and experiences with you all gives me more joy than I can express! Thank you for reading!
If you ever need advice, encouragement, or questions answered, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me!