It’s been a crazy past few months.
I graduated from college, transitioned from part- to full-time at my job and have picked up teaching more group exercise classes in the process.
I could blame my lack of blogging on the fact that I was busy; the fact that I write for a living and feel burnt out by the time I get home at night; the fact that I’m trying to adjust to an 8-5 schedule while teaching on the weekends.
While all of these reasons are valid and true, there are much deeper things going on that have been stealing my happiness. It’s time to share the deeper reasoning behind my absence, in order to be transparent with you all and start the healing process for myself.
I’ve written about binge eating in the past. I’ve also written about ways to stop overeating. So, when I began overeating again toward the end of the semester, I felt like the biggest hypocrite in the world having a health and fitness blog. I was exercising to the extreme, depriving myself and then binging, and doing all the things on my blog I recommend NOT doing. So, you can see why it’s hard to find something to write about when I feel like I know what I’m talking about, but can’t even apply it in my own life.
I didn’t want to come across as a hypocrite. And honestly, I was embarrassed. As much as I try to be transparent and vulnerable on the blog, I had trouble even admitting I was falling back into the same cycle I was once victim to.
However, this time around I’d say the disorder stemmed not from how I look (as it did before), but more about eating to avoid certain feelings. Stress, loneliness and my life being out of control are a few of the emotions that I didn’t even know I was feeling at the time. Why? I didn’t let myself feel them. I ate or exercised instead. I was treating my problems like a light switch — if I could just eat or exercise, those problems would magicially “turn off” and silence themselves in my head.
But neither eating nor exercise made those problems go away. I was still numb to any emotions, never letting myself cry or feel upset when I needed to the most. It’s a sad thing, honestly, to be surrounded by such a powerful support system and still feel so alone at times for NO reason.
Then the medical problems began. I was lightheaded, spacey and having an “out of body” feeling for months. Because I wasn’t eating enough for as much as I was exercising, my period stopped. (TMI, but this is how serious it got).
I often speak about the ways God is working in my life. I know that I am beautifully and wonderfully created in His image, and it is shameful to me that I treat my body the way I do sometimes. Again, I didn’t want to come across as a hypocrite and someone who talks about why we shouldn’t worry about the way we look, but can’t live it herself.
So, I stopped blogging. I needed to work on myself internally before I came back to share my experiences with you. I didn’t want my posts to display a list of problems and offer no solution.
But if you know me, you know I find a silver lining in everything, so here’s an update (a bulleted version since this post is already so text-heavy):
- I went to the doctor and found out I’m eating HALF as many calories as I should be. Yes, HALF. Honestly, it scares me that I’m going to have to DOUBLE what I eat every day in order to sustain my energy and work my way back to optimal health. The good side? My blood work is awesome, aside from the fact that I have extremely low blood pressure and blood sugar levels. (I did my blood work right after I ate lunch and my blood sugar levels were still below fasting levels).
- I’ve found a beautiful friend and someone I can confide in who has gone through similar situations with an eating disorder. She’s an angel in my life and has provided unyielding support.
Writing this post is raw, vulnerable and emotional. However, the reason I have this blog is in hopes of reaching out to people going through similar hardships in their life. We’re all in this together, and I want to be 100% transparent with you throughout my journey to become the best “me” possible. While I’m scared to hit “publish” after writing this, I wanted you all to know that just because someone may seem healthy on the outside, doesn’t mean they are on the inside. If you notice any of the same attributes in your family or friends, please reach out a helping hand. My relationships with God, my friends and family are what saved me and helped me come to this realization.
It’s funny because I’ve always joked that I was blessed with the ability to look at my life from an outsider’s perspective. I’m able to see there’s something wrong before I actually feel it. For example, I’d tell my mom, “Mom, I have an eating disorder/exercise addiction. I need help,” knowing the validity of that statement in all seriousness but never actually crying or feeling any emotion about it.
Hopefully this blog post is a step in the right direction — toward my healing and the rekindling of my love of sharing my life with you all.
If you’re going through something similar and don’t feel like you have anyone to confide in, PLEASE contact me at healthnutjulie (at) gmail (dot) come. I will gladly be your shoulder to lean on :-).