Disordered Eating and Misinformation
Young, out of shape, overweight and unhappy. So what did I do? I downloaded an app… welcome to 21st century fitness! I told the magic app how much I weighed, my height, and my activity level. Presto! 1200 calorie allowance, easy enough. At the mercy of taking my health on all on my own I had spiraled into a long journey of accidently starving myself from 185lbs. to 155 lbs. I don’t remember feeling starved or malnourished by any means, I just remember being so excited! My peers continuously showered me with constant praise. From 2013 to 2015 I participated in numerous sports and had a perfectly structured routine during my remaining years of high school. The only times I would question my perfect calorie counting life was when I would think what’s next? What happens when I graduate and things aren’t this easy and planned out? Not to mention, the strictness of my regime left no room for an actual life. I was in a gym, lifting, swimming,or cheering from sun up to sundown. I was only approached once by an adult about my sudden drop in weight and inability to break from exercise. My weights coach approached me very nicely and just checked in to make sure I was eating and patiently let me know that it was okay to be a human. 3 years ago, I scoffed at her asinine idea to eat what I wanted if I felt like it. No. no way. I was killing it. Magic app and I had it figured out. Did I mention I was only eating 1200 calories?
Then I graduated, my parents moved away, and I started college while working two jobs. Bye, bye to my perfect structured, sporty, high school life. I had just lead myself to being overweight (again), always anxious, sick, and despising my relationship with food. I never saw a life where I didn’t feel out of control.
I would eat “healthy” all day to keep up with the façade, and then binge at night in secret. Of course I never told magic App about the cookies, Ice cream, macaroni etc. Hello my discovery of Disordered Eating. Unfortunately the sneaky disordered eating hides around every corner in the modern fitness and health industry. This is because in some cases, the blind are leading the blind. I had no understanding of what food was, I saw it so black and white when there is an abyss of grey when it comes to nutrition. I put so much unrealistic pressure on myself to “flexible diet” within the terms of the magic app. I would tell myself “I can eat the serving size of these oreos” then proceed to uncontrollably eat the whole bag. Of course, calorie counting was among other techniques I would find on the internet sworn upon by instagram models. I make myself very clear when I say it was never my intentions to harm myself. Disordered eating in short means, eating out of order, lacking control or sustainability.
2016, depressed, overweight (again) clueless, binge eating, ect. What did I do? I joined StoneAgeFuel School Of Fitness. I remembered my happiest moments in my fitness journey were when my hands were gripped around a barbell. I remember pushing myself and the energy of my teammates around me. The community of a sport was what really made me happy. (not six pack abs, crazy!?). I must mention, I didn’t even know what Olympic Weightlifting was, I just signed up for an intro with chandler, because he called me. After my first few weeks in the gym I slowly became a lot less timid and asked if I could participate in CrossFit classes as well. The two new additions to my life seemed to fit perfectly. Everyday I got to hang out with people who had similar interests as me, and be guided by people who had MY best interest in mind, not a robot who spits out numbers to anyone who submits their measurements.
The turning point in my life was when I deleted magic app. And found balance. Once I began to become educated on what food actually is and the effects certain foods have on MY body I was able to adopt my own diet including all the foods that were going to provide me with nourishment and health. Being a part of a community of people on a journey to make fitness a functional part of their life and coaches who helped me in finding my own balance made all this sustainable. After about a year of making CrossFit style workouts and Olympic Weightlifting a large part of my life I have become the healthiest physically and mentally I have been since I finished high school. Unfortunately there isn’t a “Perfect” diet. The science is always changing and evolving around the modern diet. This isn’t to say that a lot of the information that is out there was meant to harm me, or anyone else, but when choosing a way to eat or regime to follow, some skepticism is necessary. I didn’t fail at calorie counting because i wasn’t good enough at it, calorie counting wasn’t good enough for ME. Focusing on my physique and cutting calories simply just didn’t make me happy. From april 2016 to now I have pushed myself to be an athlete, as well as being an active part of the community I have been so blessed to become a part of.