Healing My Mind and Body (Part 1)

On food, compulsive exercise, body image and holistic “fitness”... 

I have felt for a while that I am supposed to share a part of my fitness journey with you. Not to draw attention to myself but to encourage anyone with whom it resonates. I believe that fitness is not simply defined by size, percentage, or a number on a scale. It is not the ability to achieve a specific speed or an amount of reps. You may read this and cognitively agree without reservation. In all honesty, though, it’s a daily fight for me to keep from allowing myself to chase these things as the end goal to my overall fitness. 

Beginning in college and in my early twenties, I began greatly restricting my diet and caloric intake while simultaneously increasing my exercise to an excessive level. While this tendency waxed and waned over the next handful of years, I knew it wasn’t healthy. My relationship with my body, and really myself, needed a reset. It had affected my relationship with food. The restriction (which I have often described as “white-knuckling” my way through the days) resulted in giant swings in the opposite direction, where I would lose control. My body and brain (which needed calories) would literally hijack my behavior and I would binge eat. By God’s grace I never figured out how to induce vomiting. I tried. I could have easily developed bulimia. I remember laying in bed at night counting and re-counting calories consumed. If I had stayed under 1,200 it was a “good” day. 

Its not easy to share some of this. The above is just the beginning but the whole story is too long for just one post. More next week...



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