Here Goes……..

This is a post that I have been debating about writing. It has been on my mind for a while, but I have finally decided that I should. I think all of my ‘blog friends’ are so amazing & they have so much wonderful advice, so I’m hoping maybe someone else can relate to what I’m going thru.

First, let me give you a little background about myself. This is the part that I have been debating..and I hope that you don’t think of me differently now. But I was in treatment for anorexia for about 4 and ½ years. It all started when I got to high school. I came from a VERY small Christian elementary & middle school- & when I entered a HUGE public high school things changed. I noticed more & more how much people cared about their looks, especially girls. I then became obsessed with the idea that being thin was the ONLY way to be. I would come home after school & run around my neighborhood, & then come back inside & do some other workouts. I then started weighing myself DAILY. I would get SO happy whenever I lost weight- and so mad at myself when I didn’t. Then I tried out for the girls track team & made it. It was my freshman year- & the coach appointed me captain!! I was THRILLED! He said I was the first freshman captain that he ever had…& that he noticed my drive & ambition from the get-go, which is why he decided to go ahead & make me captain. Well, from that point it was all RUN RUN RUN all of the time. I would get home from practice around 7pm at night, heat up a bag of veggies & then go to bed. I was not eating much, just veggies & maybe a sandwich for lunch & a bit of cereal or a banana for breakfast. Of course my parents noticed right away- the fact that I was losing weight & that I was not eating much.  I just told them that “I was too tired to eat anything more & that I was totally fine.” They had NO idea that I was weighing myself daily- I would hide it.

Well, things slowly came crashing down in my world. My parents got beyond concerned & EXTREMELY worried about me. They consulted my doctor & told her what was going on- she recommended that I go in to visit a psychologist that she knew that specialized in eating disorders. I had NO idea what to think. At first, I rejected the idea completely, but then after talking to my parents more & more & seeing HOW worried they were, I went in to visit her. They told me I would just have to go once & if I did not like her then I could leave & never come back. Well, come to find out I LOVED her. She was SO easy to open up to, and on top of that SHE was a marathon runner & knew ALL about running. PERFECT in my book 😀

So I started treatments with her- twice a week for about 2 years. THANKFULLY I had very understanding teachers at school that would allow me to miss their class (1st period) so that I could go to my meetings. This was a VERY long process- as you can tell- 4 and ½ years…but my psychologist SAVED my life. During my treatments, I got down REALLY low- about 70 lbs.- and on someone my height (5’ 2 & ½”) it was just gross.And I lost my period for about 4 years.  Of course I didn’t see it- all I saw was how ‘fat’ I was…meanwhile you could see EVERY bone in my body. It look me a LONG time to realize how sick I really was. I think the one thing that really motivated me to gain weight was that she took my running away. I was devastated. But she said that it would be my reward…if I wanted to run, then I HAD to eat..and I had to gain weight. Running was my life & I didn’t want to lose it. (Mind you, pretty much I told my high school boyfriend that when we started dating: running is everything to me,  sorry if you feel neglected sometimes…but it’s my priority.<– HAHA! Great girlfriend, right?! J ) But she knew what would get me to gain weight- restricting my running. Finally after I graduated high school, I stopped going to my weekly meetings- it would have been kind of hard considering she is in Jacksonville..and I now live in Orlando. I was finally in a comfortable place with my weight & my mind…goodness it took four years, I better be in a good place 😀 (JK!!!)

Once I got to college my life changed…a lot- as to be expected. I was fully engaged with school- at least 4 classes a semester & exercise was not my #1 objective all of the time. It was actually kind of weird because some weeks I might even skip working out. Which for me was crazy, because I went from working out (running hard core) everyday of my life in high school to not really even caring much about working out or running. It’s almost like I was burnt out.

I also went thru some more crazy things in the beginning/ middle of college. I broke up with my boyfriend of about 5 years- we dated thru high school & moved down to Orlando together to go to UCF. Things just weren’t working out- he was still acting immature & I was ready for more of a ‘settled-down’ kind of life. Once I got into the groove of college I went back to working out on a regular basis & ENJOYED it. There was no stress- it was ok if I skipped a day, & actually allowed myself ‘rest’ days.

Everything was like this until about a few months ago. I started obsessing about working out, eating only healthy food, beating myself up if I ate too much of something, or God forbid I ate a piece of cake or something like that. Now I cannot even remember the last time I took a day off from exercising. I workout everyday..and a lot of twice a days as well.

I KNOW this behavior is not normal, but I am SO critical of myself. I tell myself that even though it’s not normal for most people, it IS normal for me..and it’s totally ok. I can’t even imagine giving my self a rest day, I think I would go insane. (well, ok, not literally, but I would have a REALLY hard time allowing myself this) I am really religious about what I eat- it’s pretty much the same every day- except for dinner-that is usually new every night since I love cooking.

This weekend I had an eye-opening experience. As you know, I went home to Jacksonville with Craig to visit my family & friends. Of course I had to find ways to incorporate my exercise. I could NOT skip that. Friday night we got in around 8pm & then stayed up talking to my parents until around midnight. I had plans on Saturday morning to go & visit the family I used to baby sit for…& I was going to go over there around 9:30/ 10am. Well, OF COURSE I did not allow myself to skip a workout…so I set my alarm for 6:30am. I KNEW I needed the extra rest…but I forced myself up anyways to go for a run. I even told myself this whole past week that I would for ONCE give myself a day off. Did I follow thru? NO..not @ all. I got up, did my 4 mile run..and was so sleepy all day. I did enjoy myself, but I was really tired. My body could of used the extra sleep instead of forcing myself to get up. Then that afternoon when Craig & I were heading home from the beach we stopped at the grocery store to get some stuff for my mom. I grabbed a SF Red Bull because I was so tired. He looked at me and said “H, why are you drinking a Red Bull at 2 in the afternoon. That’s kind of odd.” Let me tell you, I did NOT like that comment one bit. I got mad & just told him, “Craig, it’s TOTALLY normal to drink a Red bull. WHO CARES if I’m drinking it.” And then we didn’t talk much on the rest of the ride home. But, he’s right, for ME, it’s NOT normal . I actually try to avoid Red Bulls..I know how many chemicals that are in them…but I was mad at him for pointing it out.

Saturday night was fun, we spent time with my family & caught up on life. And I got to talk with my sister about the new baby coming in December 😀

Then it ALL happened on Sunday.  I was driving back from Jacksonville with Craig& I didn’t have time to eat breakfast because we had to get on the road early- so I threw some Cheerios in a bag..and headed out the door. Well, I started to get my Cheerios while I was driving..and they are NOT easy to eat while driving- sticky fingers bug me! But, anyways, He said jokingly- “Holly, you are scarfing those down.” Well, I got HIGHLY offended & really upset..because immediately I thought he was calling me like a pig or something. So for the rest of the drive I didn’t say a word to him. Well, he going out of town until Tuesday night (the reason we had to leave early was b/c he had to catch a flight) & so our little amount of time we had left before he was leaving was spent in silence We finally talked like 10 minutes before he left, but I just told him that I felt insulted & that it really bothered me what he had said. He just told me that I was COMPLETELY blowing it up & he did not mean it in that way at all…and I should know that.

When he left I just kind of sat on the couch & started to cry. I kept thinking about how IN FACT I did blow it out of proportion. Most people would have just laughed & gone along with it…but NO I have to blow it up & think he’s calling me fat. He didn’t mean that…and I know he didn’t. But my mind got the best of me.

After sitting there for a few minutes, I starting Googling ‘over exercising’ and symptoms of/ side effects, etc. I came across some great information that I’ll share with you in a minute. But while I was doing that, I was catching up on some blog reading & I was reading Julie’s blog & Jess’ blog. Julie talked about feeling guilty about not exercising- and how to avoid it. She also brought up a GREAT point that REALLY impacted me- it takes 3500 calories to gain ONE pound. There is no way that by not working out & burning those 400-600 calories am I going to GAIN a pound..or in my mind, 15 pounds. Never thought of it that way. But it up my eyes. And THEN on Jess’ blog she talked about being harsher on your family & friends. That was like WHOA because it had JUST happened to me. I left her a long comment, some of which I included in the story above about the car ride. I am a lot harder on them..and I take it a lot more to heart. Those posts were EXACTLY what I needed to hear.

And then here are some of the articles I found.

Are you exercise obsessed?
Here’s the ‘test’ that they give you to determine if you are: (along with my answers)
Take this Test…

Check all that apply. If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be exercise obsessed.

  1. Are you consumed with your weight or becoming fat, no matter how thin you are? YES.
  2. Is working out your number one priority? YES.
  3. Do you feel compelled to put everything else aside to exercise? YES.
  4. Does working out justify your eating? YES.
  5. Do you avoid food when you haven’t done your workout? To a point. I eat things with less calories. But then again, I haven’t skipped a workout in forever.
  6. Do you panic when you cannot work out? YES!!!!!
  7. Do you feel guilty when you eat? Sometimes.
  8. Do you exercise even when you aren’t feeling well, have an injury or are exhausted? Yes.
  9. Do you take painkillers before a workout? No.
  10. Do you criticize your body? ALL the FREAKIN’ TIME!
  11. Do your friends and/or family comment on how much you exercise?  YES.
  12. Do you need to push yourself 100 per cent for every workout in order to feel like it was worthwhile? YES
  13. Do you constantly compare yourself to others in the gym or magazines? Definitely.

Sounds like I have a problem, huh? But I am DETERMINED to work on it. I know it’s an issue. The reason that I explained my problem with anorexia is to show you that I do have an OCD kind of personality. I get stuck on one thing & it’s all that I can focus on. Exercise, exercise, exercise non- stop. That’s how my mind works. But I’m going to do my best to stop this. It is NOT normal, it’s NOT healthy..and it can lead to so many other bad things.

For me, I know that it is going to be step-by-step. I’m not going to ‘be all better’ over night. It’s going to be a process..and maybe a long process. But I am surrounded by the MOST amazing people in my life & I’m BEYOND thankful that they are there for me even in times of problems & issues with myself. I seriously cannot thank them enough.

I know that I will still do double workouts…and that I will still push myself. But I am going to try to do a better job of LISTENING to my body. If I need more sleep in the morning…then I will get it. I’ll just do my workout in the afternoon with Craig. There is NO need to do double workouts. If I WANT to- and I don’t FORCE myself into it..then I think I should. But NO MORE FORCING my body to do these crazy things. It’s not enjoyable anymore..and you are SUPPOSED to ENJOY working out…not dread it.

I swear I am going to make working on these issues my priority. I do NOT want anything to happen to my relationship with Craig..ever. With me getting upset though @ stupid stuff, I know it bothers him. He always tells me that he is here for me though. I just hate acting like that. He is the best thing to EVER happen to me & I don’t want to mess that up. I also don’t wan to harm my relationships with my friends & family. Exercise should NEVER get in the way of relationships. It is meant to be enjoyable & fun.

THANK YOU for reading this…I know it is a LOT. If you have experienced this..or have any advice- please let me know. I know I have the BEST blog friends & I am SO thankful for each of you.

XOXO

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36 Comments

  1. peanutbutterfingers

     /  June 21, 2010

    you know what’s wonderful? that you recognize that this is an issue for you and that you WANT to change and improve your outlook in a healthy way. you’re not living in denial and the fact that you know you need to work on improving your attitude toward exercise and cut that poor body of yours a break every now & then is definitely a step in the right direction. my heart goes out to you. you seem to really apply yourself to your goals and dreams, so i’m sure this will be no different. good luck! lots of hugs your way.

    Reply
    • Thanks Julie so much for your sweet words. I really admire you so much & love reading your blog- you seem to have achieved the perfect amount of balance in your life. & thank you for always being SO uplifting!!! Your words always make me smile.

      Reply
      • peanutbutterfingers

         /  June 21, 2010

        you’re very, very welcome. keep your head up! 🙂 you’ll get there!

  2. Thanks for telling your story.

    I’m glad you are realizing that you are falling into some bad patterns again–esp before it gets out of hand.

    I always start to realize when things get out of hand with either eating or exercising when it affects my mood and when it starts affecting those around me (like fights etc). That’s when I know I need to step back and take a look at what I’m doing.

    I’m glad you won’t be doing double workouts all the time. I used to do them and I used to think that it was “better” for you to do it twice in a day, but really, I was fooling myself. There’s no need to do twice a day workouts.

    Good luck–hugs!

    Reply
  3. I just want to give you a hug girl. Thank you for your honesty first and foremost. That takes courage. But you will receive what you need – tons of support. I have totally been there on the over exercising (both addiction and overtraining). It’s hard to re-train your brain. I think, for me, it was easy to be addicted and, in turn, overtrain, b/c exercising is something that I can control. Plus, it usually makes you feel good. How can that be bad right??? It took a lot of work and talking myself down, but I’ve finally learned to put it into better perspective. Sometimes less really is more. It should be enjoyable too. Anyway, sounds like you’re on the right track at least. The first step is admitting right? Take care!

    Reply
  4. Hello girl! Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog!!!!

    I really see your a strong girl , to write this and accept you have a problem, is a step taken by a strong girl : ) We all go through rough patches, but its how we get through them or deal with them, is what makes us who we are, and I see you getting through this and coming out stronger!

    Us girls really do have it difficult, we are so critical on ourselves, we need to learn to just love ourselves no matter what shape or size and find our happiness within : )

    Lots of good karma to you! xoxo

    Reply
  5. An Ed “per se” was/is never my core problem…but issues with ED arose and has contributed and lead to my current stance.

    I used to be a varsity runner with my college…tons of speed, strength, potential

    For the last year, it pains just to walk. I am exhausted.

    Granted I have complicating factors (stress being my MAJOR thing) but i can guarantee u i have been reading your blog for a while and thinking u are on dangerous territory.

    I used to train with highly trained and competitive individuals and the amount of activity you do (considering u are not an Olympian 🙂 ) is phenomenable and really unnecessary.

    You have to eat. ANd you must REST.

    take care girl.

    check out http://www.rainforestgurl.blogspot.com
    there are others i can recommend also…others that have way way cut back on exercise ( or some like me who cannot do it at all)

    Reply
  6. I think you’re so brave to talk about this! Recognizing that something isn’t quite right is truly the first step!

    Pug Hugs!!!

    Reply
  7. Ellen

     /  June 21, 2010

    I’m super-critical of myself, so I can relate to you there. I never EVER feel good enough. But, I can’t really relate to the eating issues because I tend to be an emotional eater, which really isn’t healthy either. I really don’t have any advice, but I pray you overcome this. You’ve done it once and you can do it again!

    http://www.firednfabulous.com

    Reply
  8. Wow. So, so proud of your bravery here. Recognizing that this is not healthy behavior is the first step. And, honestly, I completely understand how you’re feeling. I used to do the same thing, Holly. Finally, something just clicked for me when I started the blog. I let go of being so afraid of food and being held hostage my exercise. I’m so much better off. I truly hope that your “click” is as beneficial to you. xoxo

    Reply
    • I think the blog reading is actually helping..because the more I read, the more it makes me realize. Pretty much everyone’s blog that I read takes a day off…or even two. It is HEALTHY & it’s a GOOD thing. And they are happy & seem balanced. I want that. To be happy & not let exercise control my life.
      Thanks for your words.
      xoxo

      Reply
  9. Holly, I read every single word of this and I think it’s amazing that you are realizing all of this. I have gone down the path that at points I have thought that Matthew and I would break up because of my ED issues. That’s why I put on weight in the first place. I knew that weight was NOT more important than he was. He still deals with me now and he loves me enough to do so. I know Craig feels that way for you too so please, try to work hard at keeping your relationship with him close and don’t let food and exercise get in the way. I ALWAYS blow things out of proportion and think that every comment is “about me” or specifically, about me being “fat.” Obviously not true.

    As for exercise, why do you still say you know you will still work out twice a day? You already said you dont need to, that its not normal girl. Why not just work out once? And if you did work out just once, don’t make it LONGER to “make up” for not working out twice. I really don’t want to see you go down towards the path of losing weight again. Are you trying to lose weight now? Does working out twice really make you feel better. Think about it girl.

    This was an AMAZING post btw. I bet it identifies with a lot of people. I know parts of it resonated with me too. Thanks for sharing.

    And again, I’m happy for you that you are realizing these things and you know that change is needed for you. That in itself is a hard first step.

    Reply
    • I agree with everything she said–no reason for you to work out twice a day, esp considering you want to cut back. Your goal is to get to a point where exercise ISN”T your main priority–you want to get where living your life is and exercise is a smaller part of that.

      anyways…love you.

      Reply
      • SO RIGHT! I actually read this right after I finished my walk/ run today this afternoon..and was like…whyyy did I just do that. You’re right- no reason to do 2 a days.
        Thanks again Lisa- LOVE YOU!!

    • Jess- you already know how AWESOME I think you are. And I love how we can relate so much. As always, THANK YOU SO much for being here for me. I’m glad you know exactly how I feel- & I love that I can look to your blog for advice on all of this- since you went thru a similar thing.
      xoxo

      Reply
  10. Holly, you are a strong, courageous young woman for posting all of this out in the open. It’s not easy to open up about past struggles, and it’s certainly not easy to admit that you have things to work on. BUT, as many have already said, you are making the first step, and that’s the most important.

    I’d say that I also would agree with Jess & Lisa – I gotta tell ya girl, reading your 2-a-day workouts tires me out just reading them! I don’t know how you do it?? Now, I am certainly not judging, so hopefully it does not come across that way. I guess I’m just saying, make sure that by having exercise take up such a huge portion of your life, that you’re not missing out on the other things. Life’s too short to not live it to its fullest!

    As a fellow “bloggy friend”, I will be here for support every step of the way! You’re makin’ progress girl!! 😀

    Reply
  11. I’m glad you are recognizing this, but please take some more time to think about this and to really challenge yourself to fight this – you may want to revisit therapy to help.

    People that over exercise and undereat really don’t know the damage they do themselves…For instance, do you want kids in your near future? That is something to really really think about.

    Reply
  12. I’m really proud of you for putting this out there Holly. If you need anything, feel free to send me an e-mail. I’m also glad that you’re raising awareness about this issue.

    Reply
  13. Rosalind

     /  June 26, 2011

    This post was exactly what I needed to hear right now. Basically, I do this but I don’t really have anyone to keep me accountable. Reading through your blog has really inspired me and made me look at my unhealthy habits for what they are. Thank you so much. You do not know how beneficial reading this has been for me.

    Reply
  14. Holly…wow…so very proud of you. I almost broke down in tears reading this blog entry as I have totally been there since age 14 and still fight it on a daily basis. I had a “moment of honesty” with Ash just a few days ago and cried and cried about how absolutely terrified I was of eating. It IS a process…a day to day, one moment at a time, process. Thank you for showing so much courage. It’s fueling my courage, too. 🙂 ❤ You!!

    Reply
    • Thank you Heather Feather!
      Means so much to me to hear you say this.
      I don’t know if I ever told you how bad it got. 😦 I know we had talked about it in the past, but I don’t remember to what level.
      I’m SO glad you were able to open up with Ash about it. It’s so hard sometimes to talk about…since it really is STILL a daily battle..and could be for a lifetime. BUT we are both STRONG women & we CAN overcome it!!
      Love ya!

      Reply
  15. holly,

    thanks for being so open about all of that… i know many people- girls and guys included- struggle to some degree with balancing exercise, body image, healthy eating, indulging… i know i struggle with over-exercising and disordered eating my freshman year of college and am still recovering to some degree. but i’m trying to accept- and i do- how beautifully and uniquely made i am.

    your body is a temple. if you don’t take care of it then you run this risk of unhappiness. nobody is perfect and just remember that you can exercise twice a day, once a day, or even two days a week, and 99% of the time, your body won’t change drastically in the short term.

    again, thanks for sharing and if you are interested in my story feel free to check out my blog at http://www.ohshineon.wordpress.com/
    i modify and create recipes that are pleasing to girls who have struggled with disordered eating and over-exercise and seek to help them recover using the foods that helped in my recovery process.

    xo,

    katie from http://www.ohshineon.wordpress.com/

    Reply
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