Defining Moments

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve kind of been playing around with this post idea in my head since I read Melissa’s blog post Wednesday night. She was talking about the moment so many people talk about when it just “clicked” for them, when they knew that was it, it was a healthy lifestyle or nothing.

Honestly for me, I don’t know what *that* moment was for me, but there is one moment that stuck out in my head as something I have never forgotten, nor will I ever forget.

Sometimes I like to think of that moment as the beginning of the “”end” of my issues, but in reality this moment was actually when I REALIZED I had a problem, and decided I needed to “fix” it.

Did that fix happen overnight?

No. Not even close.

Did my problem magically get better and only slightly problematic after that day?

No. In fact it probably got worse.

Did that day start me down the path to beating my eating issues to the backburner?

(because I truly believe that no matter how *cured* you are, there is ALWAYS the issue in the back of your mind)

Yes. Yes it did.

I have never really told anyone what happened that day and I don’t know why I suddenly feel like writing it. I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I made the switch to a healthy lifestyle and how I overcame my disordered eating, and while I’m far from perfect and far from the best example I feel the urge to let it allllllllll out there.

So here goes nothing, a little bit more info into my past and how I became who I am today…. Because I firmly believe that our past shapes us into the people we are today.

(FYI: Exucse the horrible pictures… my scanner is a piece of work)

I joined my high school rowing team in the ninth grade. Without changing my eating habits (AT ALL) I went from a couch potato/weekend athlete to a varsity rower overnight and all that training helped me drop a lot of weight… fast.

Midway through the tenth grade I was trying to eat healthier to become a better athlete when I chose to quit the rowing club to compete in Dressage for the summer. Unfortunately every regatta was on a show day and I had to choose. I chose horseback riding which was a lifelong passion.

With the new found change in activity levels my weight climbed again… I went from a fit, healthy and very active 140lbs (give or take) back up to about 200-215 by the time of my Christmas dance in 12th grade, despite going back to rowing and beginning to train for the Canadian High School Championships.

Before photo

It was just after this dance that my rowing coach informed me I was entered in the race…. as a lightweight. I had to be 138.6lbs by mid May. I stepped on the scale and was a whooping 213lbs.

Ummm. Okay. How hard could 50-60lbs be to lose…. in less than 5 months?

So with that came under eating/binging cycles, intense rowing training once or twice a day with added weight training and running for a class I had at school. Time on the elliptical at home or heading to the gym.

After cutting weight once I arrived at the regatta, on top of the crazy lifestyle I had been living, I got my lightweight classification stamped on my arm and all was well. I did it, I got to race, and had a fantastic experiance (no, I didn’t win lol)

april 15 001

After that I was able to mildly maintain my weight… honestly a lot of that had to do with the fact prom was coming up and I’d really like to fit into my over-priced, over-poofed dress. Needless to say continuing to under eat and over exercise had my dress practically falling off me, but what 18 year old doesn’t want that?

april 15 004

I stayed with the rowing club and continued to race all summer before leaving for university. The only issue? Cutting back on some practices, eating more food becuase it was summer (hello, bbq) and eating take out frequently at my summer job.

april 15 002

My weight climbed, but a lack of gym membership kept me from a scale. I probably hit 180 again, but who really knows. Knowing that my weight was climbing and out of control, my clothes not fitting anymore panicked me. I started severely restricting food, eating once, maybe twice a day… but this left me starving.

What do you do when you’re starving? You binge. You over compensate, you find yourself at the bottom of a jumbo sour cream and onion ruffles bag with no idea how you got there.

Disaster.

Then the moment came. I went to the kitchen and had some baby carrots and a piece of grilled chicken breast. I’m sure it was one of the best food choices I made in days, but for whatever reason it scared me. I had to stop eating, but I didn’t know how.

So I did what seemed like the next logical thing. I went to the bathroom and tried to throw up…. but I couldn’t.

There I sat, home alone, on the bathroom floor, sobbing because I couldn’t throw up, because I was still the fat girl and knew I had so many issues with food but come on, everyone KNOWS only scary skinny girls have eating disorders.

Sadly, far from the truth.

In September I moved away from home. I had free access to the campus gym and an over abundant meal card to feed myself with.

Surprisingly the bathroom incident scared me straight so to speak… or maybe it was a communal bathroom in the dorms that stopped me from attempting it again, whatever it was I was for all intensive purposes “normal”.

I ate salads and grilled chicken, I had nacho nights and take out with the girls. Thankfully going to the gym did keep me active that I was able to hold my weight steady and be “normal”.

april 15 005

I was never truly happy with myself, my body needed work, my thighs too big, my face too chubby, but I had friends, I had a social life and I felt like I fit in. I was accepted whether I was fat or skinny and I think that kept me from harming myself anymore.

Looking back that moment on the floor should have snapped me out, it should have had me asking for help, changing my lifestyle, reading books, educating myself, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I pushed my problems aside and moved on, telling myself it was a one time deal and I would be fine. I’d never ever ever binge or try to throw up again. I was “cured”.

After university I moved to Montreal. The pressure to be thing and beautiful like the models in the fashion industry was ever present, even if only in my head. I was going to the gym and eating decently…. but living alone I was able to hide my issues, binge and get rid of the evidence and no one ever had to know. It was my secret shame.

april 15 007

I was active, I was healthy, I maintained my weight and really probably was completely normal to the rest of the world.

Inside however food was a constant battle. It always was no matter how much I insisted (to myself) that it wasn’t.

To this day those issues are still in the back of my mind. It’s a constant and I do catch myself having the negative/scary thoughts, like I said I know and accept that they will always be there. I don’t think I’d be who I am, and be able to live the way I do if I didn’t have those struggles.

It took me a very long time to be able to overcome the disordered eating, I tried different approaches, running, coaches, trainers, dieticians. One way or another they just didn’t work.

… for ME.

I’ve always been a firm believer in doing what you love. If you don’t love it, you won’t do it (… hence why my sink is full of dirty dishes…). For me, I love competing, I love the drive to better myself, to improve every time I step on stage. The meal planning and creative cooking, the changes in my body, seeing food as fuel for my workouts, not an enemy.

feb 2 003

All of that is my “moment”. Stepping on stage, pushing past my breaking point, finishing something I set out to do was my “a-ha” moment if you will.

If that makes ANY sense.

So while sobbing on the bathroom floor feeling like a complete failure is the “expected” moment when my life should have changed… it wasn’t. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Whenever the real moment came, I don’t know, but all I know is I feel comfortable, confident and HAPPY with who I am. Number on the scale or jiggly abs be damned.

edittttt

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Comments
  1. Great post, Becca! We all have our own paths that hopefully bring us to healthier ways. We can’t expect it to happen like everyone else.

    And I agree 100% that the food demons and issues never fully go away.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope I can get to that point pretty soon, too.

    • ihearteggs says:

      I think the more we realize we have trouble with certain areas of food/fitness/etc the more likely we are to catch ourselves and almost “correct” it, even if it’s not all the time.

  3. amazing post. you are an inspiration! thanks for taking the time to write 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing your story! I know it’s not easy. I’ve definitely had my share of issues with food and it never goes away, as you said. But blogging is helping me with acceptance 🙂 Thanks again!

  5. Blogging has helped me as well. You continue to inspire me Becca!

  6. allieksmith says:

    GREAT post!! Oh my! So proud of you for sharing your experiences, and we are all a work in progress. You are very inspiring 🙂

  7. Liz says:

    You are so brave to post this! It’s crazy what sports and weight issues can do to you. I ran track and cross country in high school and I can totally relate with how you feel. I took off my last season and my mind immediately went to “I can eat whatever I want,” but I couldn’t. I found myself with a similar bathroom moment and it really is terrifying. It left me feeling pathetic and weak. Thanks for sharing your story, it’s nice to have someone to relate to 🙂

  8. lifttorun says:

    I adored this post. I definitely had similar bathroom moments like that several times.

  9. SO I went and read all of your guests posts, posts that mattered to you and this. And I am bawling…..because your story is my story. Food and I have had a love hate relationship and I can only hope that I can get to a healthy place with food like you have because i still binge. As much as I dont want to I do especially because food is restricted for me right now. I still hate myself for it and even though I am prepping for the fitness comp…food is still my enemy. I’m worried about post comp. I am so worried about rebounding and I am just so humbled by your story. I REALLY appreciate it. I finally got control after I left home too.

    I dont think you realise you impact. you make this fat girl turned healthy feel like she can do it too : )

    THANK YOU!

  10. Rachel says:

    May I ask…. how much is your competing weight versus your off season weight? Thanks!

  11. […] my post on the defining moments that changed my life around. i went from disordered eating and over exercising to truly loving […]

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