It’s strange to think about my biggest struggle with living a healthy lifestyle, because I suppose, I’ve never ever had a healthy lifestyle. I suppose when I was a baby or a toddler then maybe I was healthy but since I’ve been eating solid food I’ve had serious issues with food that I’m only just coming to terms with. In short, I can’t eat lots of different types of foods including all meat, all fish, all fruit, all veg and many other things. Clearly, this is seriously restrictive. Surprisingly though, it didn’t appear to have a major impact on my health. It was my social life that it really interfered with, in particular, eating out or at friends houses. I simply couldn’t eat normally, and often, after trying to force myself to eat something I didn’t like, I would vomit. So it was a choice of being rude, being seen as fussy or vomiting at the table. None of them were particularly appealing options. Many people, including my parents, labelled me as fussy. It was more than that. This wasn’t a choice. It wasn’t me just disliking certain foods. I seriously had a problem in which I couldn’t eat certain foods, and if I tried I would most of the time vomit. Around age 15 I became aware of how appalling my diet was. Luckily, I had had no real problems because of it, although I was often ‘up’ and ‘down’ due to sugar rushes from the junk food I ate instead of healthy foods. Although I became more aware of the problems I suffered, I couldn’t see a way to change. It is only over the last year I have really been trying to change my diet. I now suffer with binging, purging, starving and restricting but one day I hope to be healthy. I am slowly incorporating new foods into my diet and over the past year I have introduced quorn, spinach, eggs, soup, and brown/granary bread into my diet. These are the main milestones I have reached and they have helped me be able to eat with friends, at their houses, at my house and at restaurants. It seems silly, only having four new foods, but these foods have changed my life and shown me that I can slowly introduce new foods into my diet. It might be very small steps but it is a step nonetheless and I’m proud of myself for attempting to change. I am lucky to have certain supportive friends and many inspirations, in real life and online, who help me realise how beneficial a healthy diet may be. I sometimes feel so lucky. I have problems with diet but I could be in a much worse condition. After eating such an unbalanced and unvaried diet for so long, many other people would have suffered serious health issues. I, luckily, have not. I feel so lucky because of that, and I feel I owe it to myself, to continue improving my health and looking after my body, even if it does sometimes feel like one step forward, two steps back, as long as I am moving, I am getting somewhere!!
I’ve spent the last few days contemplating whether to enter myself for this or not but today I realised that intuitive eating might be the end of my struggle and that I should give this a shot.
I’m Alia, a recovering bulimic who has turned 19 years old two months ago. I had promised myself I would turn 19 completely recovered. Instead I spent the day sleeping and eating and purging. I failed myself. I struggled with eating disorders for more than two years now. Recovering from bulimia is the more difficult thing I’ve have to do. Its the ghost that has been drawn up from my childhood and all the sad stories that followed me while I was growing up.
I’m in college now and I’ve suffered enough, through and through. I couldn’t remember even being in most of my classes last semester because I used to sleep through them all, mostly out of exhaustion and not having any energy. I started trying to recovering a few months ago. Its been an ordeal.
I live in India, were most of the food is fried and soaking in oil or sugar. My mind turned every food into the start of a binge. I try now to eat healthier. I start my day with unsweetened cereal and milk and because of lack of options at college, two cups of white rice and curry or vegetables and a snack later (which sometimes ends up in a binge) but these days, I’m fighting off the panic attacks that come from just eat a bar of chocolate, telling myself Its just a chocolate. Its alright. Dinner is something light usually but on a bad day, it results in binge purging. The eating disorder has ruined my life but I’m taking it back day by day…and I’d love this book because I realise it might give me the tools to fight this demon in my head. Thanks for having this competition. You’re such an inspiration
When I was 8, I was fat. Well, that’s putting it lightly; I was obese.
Now, I didn’t see anything wrong with myself at that time. To be honest, I thought I looked fine. But then there was the teasing, the not fitting in. I can’t remember much of this time period as I’m now 20, but I do remember the feeling of being left out and different.
My parents put me on a diet and I gradually lost weight until, at 10 years old, I was an acceptable weight. Not stick thin, but not overweight either. I ate crap all the time, not really caring.
Then I turned 14, and I realized I was going to high school. I don’t know if it was peer pressure, the terror of going to a new school and meeting new people, or just that I had a sudden interest in celebrity gossip magazines (I know). But somehow I became obsessed with losing weight.
I stupidly decided to barely eat and exercise all the time. I didn’t see anything wrong with it; after all, I got quick results. I still remember doing workout after punishing workout, eating maybe a few crackers, and then running to the mirror to observe my ever-shrinking belly. Then I barely ate any food throughout the day (I’m guessing the minimum recommended calories, considering I kept this torturous routine up for 6 months). Then, I just cracked.
I don’t know if it was my great-grandmother dying, just the sheer stress of freshman year in high school, or just me being tired of it all. I stopped the routine, gained the weight back, and from then on had a constant struggle with my weight.
I don’t know if that counts as anorexic; I was never diagnosed. But it certainly wasn’t healthy. I never told anyone sure, even though my cousin noticed that I hadn’t been eating very much and expressed her concern. After I gave up that routine, I think I somehow felt ashamed, that I had failed. And it seemed dumb to whine to everyone about my weight, like it was some stupid embarrassing teenage issue. Truth is, and I realize this now as I’m older and wiser, is that I had a problem.
Throughout the rest of high school, I alternated between dieting and binging, never satisfied with my weight. The summer before college, when I turned 18, was when I began a healthy weight loss routine, consisting of healthy foods and daily exercise. I was proud of myself; I noticed the difference.
But then college started. I went through some traumatic experiences which threw me off track of my diet, gained maybe 15 pounds (ooh, the dreaded freshman 15), and came back home the next summer feeling disgusted. Tried losing weight again, maybe half-heartedly, and ended up gaining yet again due to even more bad experiences.
Now, I am at the highest weight I’ve been ever since I was a kid. At 5’6, I weight 146 pounds, which is not overweight, but my body is flabby, my diet unhealthy. I keep binging and then starving myself, and I have a huge problem with emotional eating.
That is changing now. I started a weight loss blog last night, deciding enough was enough, and that I needed to stop putting off getting healthy - that is my goal, rather than simply losing pounds.
Yes, I want to lose weight, but I also want to feel good, to complete a marathon, to climb a mountain, to do so many active things I’ve dreamed of doing but so far have lacked the motivation to do so.
Having just turned 20, I’ve decided that this is my year to stop putting off getting healthy and actually make changes in my life. I owe myself this, and I will achieve my goals.
I’ve been a binge eater for as long as I can remember. If I was bored I ate. If I was upset, happy, tired, hungry, full, lonely, etc. I ate, until I was so full I felt like I was about to burst. It was like I could never get enough food to fill me up.
When I was 16 I started purging. This is something I wish I could take back every single day. Because that is my biggest struggle, to fight the temptation, the absolute need to stuff myself full of food and purge until I’m empty again, and then repeat.
I know it sounds kind of cliche, but I really do just take it one day, one meal at a time. I don’t obsess over food; I enjoy it. I’ve cut out almost all junk food, and I’m so much happier and love eating healthy food that I don’t have to feel guilty about. Of course, I still slip and eat too much, but I’ve resisted purging, and I’m proud of where I am.
I’m just going to continue taking my relationship with food one day at a time, and enjoy being free from binge/ purge obsession:)
my struggle with weight loss has been a huge roller coaster. I remember crying my freshman year of high school because my bestfriend always got all the hot guys, while i was just the fat one. Or when i got the news that if i don’t lose weight, i will have diabetes in 5 years. that was the scariest thing in the world. My whole family is thin, and i am just the fat one. It was a hard thing to accept, very hard trust me. But one day i woke up, and looked in the mirror and told myself “YOU CAN DO THIS” . I talked to my mom, my doctor, and my best friend, and told them my plans : I was going to do weight watchers, work out a lot, and be healthy. Thats exactly what i have done. And I couldn’t tell you how happy i am that i am finally getting the body and health that i have always wanted. It feels great. That morning, when i gave myself a reality check is my most appreciated step ever. I am proud of myself. I have lost over 20lbs in 1 1/2 months. Your blog was also much inspiration for me, i would go look at your healthy recipies, and such. Since i have been losing weight, all the guys that never gave me the time of day before, are (surprise surprise) talking to me! I think its funny though, because if you couldn’t love me when i was fat, you can’t love me now. The only thing that changed was my outer appearance, my heart was always the same. thank you molly for your inspiration, and thanks for the chance to be in this contest :)
When I tried to think of my biggest struggle, the first thing that came to my mind was peanut butter. Maybe it was because that’s what I was craving at the time, but then the more I thought about it, I found that my weight loss struggle can truly be summed up by peanut butter.
There are days when I could eat an entire jar of it and still feel “hungry” afterwards. Sometimes I would start with a tablespoon, trying to be “normal”. Then another, and then comes the “all or nothing” mindset and within the next five minutes, the jar is gone, and I’ve moved on to something else.
Then there are other days when I hide that same peanut butter in the back of the fridge, trying to push it out of my mind. I would deny myself even the littlest bit for fear of binging. (Which, of course, leads to a bigger binge later on.)
I give too much power to peanut butter. I give too much power to food in general. I should be the one in control, instead of food taking control of me and ruling my thoughts.
I don’t want to count calories forever. I am working on eating when hungry and stopping when full. To do that, it is necessary to relearn what hunger truly feels like, and that is a struggle every day.
But I have committed myself to doing this struggle, and I honestly think I can overcome it. For now, I’m just going to try to enjoy a little peanut butter every now and then (or more, because I can!)
i have never been what you would call ‘big’ or even ‘curvy’. i was always a small kid growing up. due to being teased in gym class i never got into any sports; i was, however, a dancer from ages three to eleven. that ended when the dance teachers were cruel to me about my ADHD and told me i should just level down to be with the rest of my peers. once i quit dance, i ceased any physical activity.
all was well for a few years until age 14, when i entered high school. i weighed around 115 pounds, at 5’4”; respectable for my height, certainly healthy. towards the end of that year, though, i began fixating on my weight. i started a weight loss blog and followed girls with eating disorders, girls with disordered eating, and started becoming more and more obsessed with my weight.
for three years i lingered in this hell. i constantly thought about my weight. i spent hours dreaming about how much better my life would be ‘skinny’. i fasted, then binged. i forced myself to go running even though i hated it. one day, passed out on the side of the road because i hadn’t eaten anything. instead of seeing this as a sign that my body needed fuel, i saw it as a sign of how weak i was. how pathetic i was. i cut the word ‘fat’ into my thighs multiple times, as if to remind myself - like i could forget. i was miserable. i wore sweatpants and sweatshirt and couldn’t bear for anyone to touch me because i could feel my ‘fat’ bulging against every part of my body, overflowing, almost.
i still don’t know how i beat it. my senior year of high school the thoughts started to lessen; i was about to get out of that hellhole. i got into my #1 school, got a boyfriend, and the thoughts kept going away. i started yoga, which truly changed my life. i will never forget the moment when a superthin, flexible teacher told body-obsessed, inflexible me that there was a move i’d be able to do that she could never do. she just wasn’t built for it. i think my jaw dropped. that was just the first lesson in many that yoga has taught me; that every body is different. that we need to appreciate our bodies for all they do.
fast forward to freshman year of college, where things were not going well. i anticipated loving everything about my school; i hated almost everything. i was put back on antidepressants for my depression and anxiety, forgetting that a side effect i used to love was the lack of appetite they gave me. coupled with my anorexic roommate, my disordered thoughts were coming back in full; i didn’t know how to deal with them, so i simply ate whatever i wanted, whenever i wanted, and gained seven pounds. i was still fairly okay with my body - tried not to think about it.
fast forward to this summer, post my freshman year at college - which was miserable. i started fixating on my body again - bikini season tends to inspire that. i was debating going back to my EDNOS blog, but i knew i didn’t want that. any of it. so i started my fitblr, and though it hasn’t been easy, i’m feeling better about myself.
i feel like i differ from some things i see, because for me, it’s struggling to get fit and avoid anything that triggers me. that can be a lot! for example, people tell me that they hate going for a run but they’ll do it anyway. for me, forcing me to do things i don’t want to do - that’s my EDNOS, not getting fit. so i’m making a commitment to finding ways to get fit that i truly love. i’m doing this as a lifestyle, i’m doing this for my health, not as a means to an end. the end is my happiness. the end is being able to look in the mirror and know that i am healthy and fit.
every day is a struggle. i still get EDNOS thoughts sometimes, and sometimes it’s so hard not to give into them. but i am trying. i am working out six days a week, continuing and deepening my yoga practice; i am reminding myself that every body is different; i am slowly making myself more resilient. soon, i am going to love my body, every day. i will be able to look in the mirror every single day and even if i’m a little bloated, even if i ‘overate’, know that i look damn good. and know that it’s okay to not have the perfect body i used to idolize.
my plan: everything in moderation. i’m not punishing myself, ever. for eating, for not eating, for not working out, for not looking ‘good enough’. i am doing things i want to do. i will never let fear of being fat or being not good enough control me. i’m not going to do things i don’t want to do. because my life is going to be about what i want - not what i think i have to do to meet some bullshit standards.
i’m sorry this was so long. and it’s not very eloquent. but god, that was cathartic. so thank you.
My worst enemy is my own thoughts. For years I was overweight, even obese, and what kept me there was the life-engulfing, black hole of depression. Every day when I woke up, I’d think about dying. The thought crossed my mind very literally every single waking hour for five years. Not a single day passed. I even tried it once - I almost succeeded. But, my thoughts wouldn’t even give me that. Who am I, to deserve dying? I deserved nothing. Not even solace from myself.
When I ate, I did it without thinking. I did it as punishment, I did it because people questioned when I didn’t. Sometimes, I forgot to eat entirely, for days. A whole week would pass with the only thing I’d eat being the dinner thrust in front of my face that night, full of cheap processed foods. The summers were long and nocturnal. When I slept, I slept for half the day or more. When night time came, I stayed up thinking of the worst ways that I could end my existence, what my last words would be, if anyone but my dog would care.
I finally met a boy, my current boyfriend of two years, who turned my world upside-down, on its head, and spun it around completely. He was depressed also but refused, down-right refused to let me be the same. Suddenly, I found myself blocked off from the dark ink blot in my brain that had caused so many long days. My thoughts quieted, one hour at a time. And my boyfriend grew into a lighthouse, a beacon, and a reason to spread my wings. He was what started my path to a better me, but I sustained it. It started with walking, not even a mile a week, and it’s grown into hours a week of exercise, healthier eating, and caring - actually caring about if I’ll live to tomorrow, next week, to see my children grow up.
It hasn’t been easy. Occasionally, I let myself slip. But with his help and Tumblr’s community (along with a wonderful site called SparkPeople), I’ve gained some knowledge to pull myself back in, to acknowledge the darker parts of my heart and mind and to tell them “No. I won’t be controlled by you anymore. I’m in control now.”
For a while, I’ve been struggling with my weight. Mind you, I’m only 5’5 and started at between 120-125 pounds, but I had the “skinny fat” as people called it. I never really cared about my eating habits until around a year and a half ago. The struggle was trying to change my lifestyle, and how quickly I wanted to adapt to eating clean and exercising every day. I sat in my business class at 7pm in college one day during the fall quarter and looked up thinspiration on my blackberry. I scrolled down the page and became fascinated with how “pretty” thin was. Eventually I came home and bookmarked the page and began checking it frequently. Beyond that, I looked up thinspiration pictures on tumblr and became fixated on a distorted perception of beauty and that only size 00 is acceptable. I made notepad documents on my laptop of eating plans which consisted of 400, 500, 700 calories. In these lists I had calorie count, grams of fat, carbs, sugar, and protein, and what times of the day to eat. I couldn’t last on the list past 3 days. Sooner or later, I threw the entire ‘get skinny’ concept away and finished my first year at college the same weight and size, if not a couple of pounds heavier. Because of my weird class schedule, it wasn’t really possible to workout because I would get ready at 6am and come home at 8pm. Spring quarter ended and come the rest of June and most of July, I still hadn’t done anything about my weight. Today is July 29th. I’ve been eating 100% clean, and I’m almost done with my first week of p90x after continuously starting and quitting it in the past. The other day I got my first “runner’s high” and felt absolutely incredible. Sometimes I sit down and wonder to myself how I became so obsessed with eating and exercising. I’ll give you some insight: Since around 3 or 4 years ago, I started dappling into various drugs and drinking occasionally. Around 2 years ago, I started doing heroin and cocaine (not for weight loss, simply because I wanted to do them, and I’m sure things in my past have contributed to this use). It wasn’t an everyday thing but it became frequent enough. Unlike all of my friends who did these drugs, though, I was able to start and stop whenever I wanted. It was merely recreational for me. One time I remember doing adderall for 5 days straight, and barely eating. At the end of the drug binge, I felt horrible and sick and in absolute agony. But I was thinner (not my intention of doing the drugs, but it was a nice outcome). I gained all the weight back within a couple of days. But since I’ve stopped, I haven’t had a sense of wholeness. When I was doing drugs, I felt great about myself. I didn’t really care about appearance or weight. But sober, things change tenfold. Here I am, and it’s only been 5 months or so since I’ve last used anything. But that’s okay because I feel wonderful now. And I’ve been following a handful of healthy eating blogs – including yours – which ultimately changed my view on many things. And now I’m ready to continue doing p90x and yoga and pilates, try to ride a bike and rollerblade as I did when I was a child. I make salmon almost every day for myself and my family and I learn new recipes and eating tips and exercise tips every day. As each of these days pass, I feel myself growing stronger and my mentality changing. I no longer have a negative self image. So far, I no longer crave drugs. That feeling of “want” and “need” has actually converted to exercise and I find myself waking up excited for the day’s food and workout. I eat whatever I want when I’m hungry, but I eat wholesome foods instead of 100 calories worth of chips. In September, I’m going on a two week long trip to Hawaii. And I plan on going to Costco as soon as I arrive to stock up on healthy foods, and there’s a gym in my condo facility that I’ll use each morning. Unlike any normal person would do, I’m going to take p90x and other videos to Hawaii and I’m going to continue to get the body I want and am working so hard for. So regardless if I win this contest or not it feels good to finally share my story with someone. And for the first time in quite a long time I have finally accepted that I am happy and willing to work long and hard until I achieve what I want, and maintain the results for the rest of my life. Whether it’s eating poorly and never exercising or taking drugs and drinking, unless you treat your body good, you will never feel good.
I end this by sincerely saying thank you for running a great motivational blog. I’m sure there are hundreds if not thousands of others who come across it and decide to change their unhealthy ways, just like I did and continue to do.
Eating disorders run in my family. My aunt has struggled since she was a teenager, and my younger sister since she was in elementary school. As a result, a healthy, normal relationship with food has never been a part of my life. We have always had scheduled eating times and specifically portioned amounts, only kept certain foods in the house and had to build our lives around my family members’ disorders.
About five years ago my sister was hospitalized, and when she was released the dietary rigidity of our family increased even more. I began to develop a resentment towards healthy, controlled eating. It seemed like it was destroying my sister, taking all my mother’s time and invading my life. My tastes, health and feelings were frequently compromised for her sake. Although I understood that she was sick and that she needed leeway, I felt neglected. I was suffering, but not in the same way as her so my unhappiness was often pushed to the side. As some bizarre form of rebellion, I rejected my family’s hummus and celery for Nutella, twix, Wonderbread. I wanted anything other than what my sister ate, and I developed a really unhealthy relationship with food as a result.
This all worked out pretty well until I turned eighteen and my metabolism began to slow down. I gained about 10 pounds over the course of a year. My discomfort with my own body made me stop and reevaluate my eating habits. I realized it was not the healthy food that was the enemy, but rather the disease that plagued my family. After this epiphany, I began to reaccept a healthy lifestyle and I felt happier and healthier than ever.
That’s not to say the struggles over, that’s far from true. Watching my sister eating nothing but produce still makes me want to eat nothing but junk sometimes, but now I try to pause to think. I remind myself I don’t want a candy bar or soda so much as I want her disorder to be gone, for her not to be sick anymore and most importantly that eating unhealthily doesn’t solve any of these problems. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I find myself eating peanut butter out of the jar, but everyday it gets a little better. However, I’ve still got a long way to go before I find peace with food and my family.