quest for health turns into sick descent
The major turning point, when I realized just how much my eating disorder was ruining my life, was when I went to a musical with one of my clients. I love canada goose outlet shop musicals and, of course, my clients I’m a personal trainer but I was so malnourished, I couldn’t concentrate or enjoy the experience.
All I could think about were the plain rice crackers I’d planned cheap canada goose to eat at intermission. I felt no better after my snack and spent the second act in an existential crisis. I lamented how my life had been reduced cheap canada goose to diet and exercise. How had I let this happen?
I was a ghost of my former self. So I panicked, binged and felt so guilty and nauseous, I was unable to go to work the next Canada Goose sale day. It was then that I realized I needed professional help. I went to my doctor and he recommended five weeks of intensive inpatient care.
My descent into sicknessI had been sick for a while a gradual descent. It started when I set the goal of completing Sydney City2Surf. I set this in 2015, when I suffered a depressive episode, was unable to study, and desperately needed a sense of purpose. The weight loss was incidental at first, but then I started to wrongly associate being lean with being in control. Then it became like a game. I would obsessively research nutritional science and use that information to cut calories Canada Goose Online in a way that I thought would still allow me to get the nutrients canada goose black friday sale I needed to run long distances every day.
I was aware of the physical symptoms of anorexia and thought I could prevent them by “cleverly” manipulating the science. However, I was purposefully ignoring the science that contradicted my desire to lose weight. For example, I refused to increase my carbohydrates even canada goose outlet reviews though this was required for long distance canada goose black friday sale runners. Subsequently, I was hypoglycemic, constantly tired goose outlet canada and irritable, and my body began to break down.
I was mostly in denial of these physical symptoms. I convinced myself I wasn’t sleeping because of my insomnia, when canada goose outlet online uk in fact my stomach was crying for food. Similarly, I attributed not being able to concentrate to another canada goose outlet jackets mental illness.
The reality of the damage became unavoidable when I needed to get a blood test before canada goose coats my admission into an inpatient program earlier this year. I figured canada goose jacket outlet everything would be fine as I was at the peak of my athletic performance at the time. How could I possibly be sick?!
You can imagine my shock when canada goose uk outlet I was told that my iron count was so low, I needed an iron infusion before they wouldeven admit me into thehospital. I also had edema of the ankles due to protein deficiency and was dangerously low in potassium and magnesium. It was at that point that I realized that you cannot outsmart anorexia. If your daily caloric intake is lower than your energy expenditure, your body will disintegrate and no amount of research can stop this.
This was a very humbling experience for me and canadian goose jacket forced me to acknowledge my limitations. I began to appreciate the difference between being fit and being healthy, and developed a more holistic attitude toward health.
In recoveryThe inpatient program was excruciating but also the best thing I ever did. It was incredibly difficult to hand over the control of my meal plan to Canada Goose Outlet the professionals. However, it was also incredibly freeing. I’d spent two years obsessing over diet and exercise, and when these things became out of my control, it freed up so much head space. I used this mental energy to reassess my values and design a more meaningful life. This meant placing less emphasis on my exercise regime, which had grown completely excessive.
While the physical symptoms of anorexia are quite visible today, what I believe are poorly understood are the psychological and social consequences. When you’re starved, you’re unable to focus on anything except food and this takes a massive toll on your social life. I started avoiding gatherings and even resented my friends for asking me out for dinner as this conflicted with my rigid eating plan. This was incredibly uncharacteristic of me as I had always canada goose outlet toronto factory been the one to host parties and organize events.
When I finally did meet up with people, I was so canada goose outlet nyc tired and distracted, I wasn’t able to https://www.zoetermeerinbeeld.nl connect with them. This made me feel even more alone and I would compensate by exercising harder the next day. So I got stuck in this vicious cycle of restricting, feeling miserable, relying on the kick of endorphins to feel better and then convincing myself that exercise was the only thing that made me happy.
When you’re malnourished, it imposes a negative filter canada goose factory outlet on your life and you can’t remember any of the things that used to make you happy. You feel hopeless and think what’s the point of gaining weight if you’re incapable of experiencing joy. Better to be Canada Goose Parka skinny and miserable than “fat” and miserable. When you’re sick, you engage in this distorted black and white thinking. It isn’t until you start re feeding that you restore the cognitive function and you can envision a better life for yourself.
A lifetime of learningsAnd this is exactly what happened to me as I started getting the necessary nutrients in the hospital. One of the most noticeable improvements was to my connectedness. I was able to engage with the wonderful people who visited me in the hospital. I was animated, open and laughing for the first time in two years.
What was so helpful was my friends and family keeping me accountable to my recovery when my motivation inevitably waned. When you’re recovering from anorexia, you go through this grieving period where you start to question your value without the disorder. You experience a loss canada goose outlet of identity as, for so long, you’ve anchored your self worth to being fit and skinny.
I expressed this loss to my best friend, saying I was nothing without my fitness as this was my only passion. He retorted, “Um, your passion isn’t controlled eating!” This gave me the perspective I needed to realize I was so much more than my eating disorder.
Recovery is absolutely non linear and you will most certainly have doubts. My best advice to anyone in the same situation is to remind yourself of what truly matters to you. And for me, that was being the best friend, daughter, girlfriend and personal trainer I could be. Then acknowledge that you cannot succeed in these areas while being underweight.
My life is already infinitely better because of it. I’ve been going to parties and connecting with friends in a way I haven’t in years. I truly believe I will be a better personal trainer because of this experience. I have demonstrated an ability to overcome a life threatening, unhealthy relationship with food and look forward to using this wisdom to help others improve their quality of life.
I recently went away with my partner and had a wonderful time going out for meals without feeling guilty or like I needed to compensate with exercise. We saw a musical and I loved every minute of it.