Friday, June 22, 2012

my journey toward healthy

i'm borrowing this blog post title from sam, of the peak of tres chic, who inspired me to share my own "journey toward healthy" with you. sam bravely shared her struggle with body image and in the spirit of writing with an honest voice and not always posting about glitter and rainbows, i thought i would share my own little story.

like sam, i didn't realize that my body was undergoing natural changes as a part of reaching puberty, so i freaked out in high school when my body got bigger. and heavier. i responded with extremes like laxatives, dangerous diet pills, and starving myself which had the opposite effect i was hoping for. the inconsistencies in my diet and the substances messed with my metabolism and likely caused me to gain weight. instead of seeking help, i became obsessed with keeping the numbers on the scale down. 

the issue quickly went from one of body image to self image. i was miserable - depressive, angry, and under the CRAZY impression that my self-worth was directly related to my weight. when i got to college, the situation got worse. the freshman fifteen hit me hard (hello, pizza and beer!), which caused a downward spiral into bulimia.

it was through friends who clearly loved me no matter what i weighed and a genuine desire to find happiness, that i decided i wanted to get better. i went to counseling, despite being mortified i "needed help," dealt with emotional issues underlying the eating disorder, and slowly, slowly learned what a healthy relationship to food and exercise meant.

fast-forward to today: yes, i still struggle from time-to-time with body image. yes, i get annoyed i have cellulite no matter how clean i eat. but i have found a happy balance through healthy eating and regular exercise. i really do feel my best when i'm treating my body well, which does in fact include indulging in sweets, drinking a glass of wine at night every night. and working out.

getting the body you want takes HARD work. jillian michaels taught me that. but i've realized that the body i want means making MY body fit, not trying to look like some supermodel. i now view exercise as a way of taking care of myself. i feel healthy and strong and capable when i get through a tough workout.

so, there's my story, but let's be honest - it's probably not all that unique. i honestly don't know a single girl who hasn't struggled with body image. i just hope we can encourage each other to be healthy (not skinny).

all images via