How I’m able to have an active lifestyle after eating disorder

I started modeling when I was 12 years old. It started innocently when my mother put me into modeling school. They taught you things like how to properly walk a runway….and how if you are anything above a size 4, you are now considered a “plus size model.” The thought of that was too much for me to bear. At age 12, I decided that I was not good enough. I went on my first diet. Weight watchers.

Over the next few years, I obsessed with my lifestyle and diet choices. Every spare moment I spent in the gym running on the treadmill. I counted every bite and tracked like it was a full time job. I had visions of getting modeling jobs and the only way to do so was to form my body into what deemed to be the image of “perfection.” I landed an incredible spot with a bikini catalog company… the pressure was on to maintain or get to the smallest size I possibly could. My manager told me to aim for 102 lbs (I’m 5’9 to put things into perspective.)

Long story very short, this obsession eventually led to well over a decade of undiagnosed disordered eating. Everything from restricting my diet to as little as 500 calories a day, to purging after a binge to obsessing over everything that I ate. I’ve dealt with it all…..anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, binge eating disorder. I learned to cope and deal with my emotions when thoughts of unworthiness arose.

My recovery did not happen overnight. I left the modeling industry. I knew something needed to change. I got married. I got pregnant. The pregnancy that made me hit rock bottom. My entire life I was always told that I was never good enough and I knew I didn’t want that for my soon to be daughter. Looking back, the obsessions that I had with food and my body served as a source of feeling safe, of feeling in control. Because at home, I didn’t have that. I was afraid to speak my truth, I was afraid to be silenced. I couldn’t let that happen to my child. So I seeked out resources. I studied. I found mentors. Coaches. Friends.

I found deep healing in journaling. In opening up old childhood wounds. Inner child healing is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It quite literally saved me.

But I often get asked how I am able to have an active lifestyle today. Given my past with obsession. You are body positive, but you workout…..a lot? And you eat healthy? Yes, I in fact do.

These days you will often find me eating prepped meals or one of my favorite @LSOrganics meals prepped for me with my macros that I give them that week. You will also find me hitting the gym anywhere from 1-2 times per day 5 days a week. While some may think this is obsession, I can guarantee, it is not. I do anything from hitting pads or sparring with one of my favorite Muay Thai coaches, strength training with my strength coach, hitting a hot flow yoga class or hanging upside down in my aerial yoga trapeze.

I have clients that fear that they will never be able to make fitness a part of their life again. That the mere thought of being restrictive with food or exercise, brings on triggering thoughts. These are all valid thoughts and things I’ve personally dealt with in the past. The reason I’m sharing this, is this is what works for me right now but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Here are some of my top reasons why I am truly able to keep this active lifestyle:

1. I start every day with my sacred morning routine. After getting the kids up and off to school, I do a daily alignment exercise. I journal on these questions and it sets the standard of what kind of day I will have. I meditate every single morning. I drink my coffee (usually in the form of an oat milk latte) and some mornings I down a glass of celery juice. Then it’s off to the gym. Getting my endorphins moving, really helps me be able to focus and align with the person I’m showing up as.

2. I don’t read fitness or nutrition related blogs, social media posts or articles. NEVER. EVER. I really don’t care about the most recent fitspo trends, how many calories or macros society thinks are the “right way” of losing weight or the things I “should be doing” to feel my best.

3. I keep my nutrition VERY simple. I use food prep services or I prep my meals myself on Sunday. I have a handful of things that I rotate between, mainly because I know my body can handle them. Over the past few years, I’ve developed some autoimmune disorder symptoms which also include food intolerances with gluten and dairy, even some protein. So I keep things super simple to save myself from the pains later. I stick to mostly whole foods but that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes hit the middle aisles at the grocery store either. #sorrynotsorry

4. I only stick to fitness regimens that I can get EXCITED about. I don’t make myself do fitness routines that don’t bring me joy. For so many years I’d go to the gym and run on the treadmill because that is what would trim my body. These days fitness is more of an outlet I go to in celebration of my body and the things that it can do. I love to move my body and I love how I feel post workout. I love being serious hitting pads and then turning around and goofing off mid round with my Muay Thai coach, I love letting my belly fly freely in a hot yoga session (something I thought I would NEVER EVER do), I love seeing what my body is capable of when I lift weights heavier than the week prior, and while I hate sprints, I love how I feel after they are done. In every parts of my fitness, I surround myself with good people. Coaches who truly inspire me, who get me, who support me. The community is everything. Since bringing back fitness into my world, there have been so many life lessons and growth that makes me begging for more.

5. I know my body will continue changing. My body is not meant to be at one size forever. I am not meant to be the 00 that I was when I was 12 years old. And I will probably not be my current size when I’m 60. And that’s okay. I have peace knowing that my body will continue to fluctuate until my last breath. Nothing in life is permanent. I could get pregnant again. I could get ill and no longer be able to workout. I could decide one day that I have new priorities and stop moving my body. Life is just one big transition. Moving from one phase to the next. So I’ve let go of attachment to one size and shape-and I suggest you do too.

6. I don’t involve myself in conversations about nutrition or diet. It’s extremely triggering for me so I avoid conversations when it comes to diet culture. Yes, I discuss nutrition with my clients, but outside of that, I really don’t care what Sally down the street is doing to drop the pounds. And I really don’t care to put in my two cents.

7. I love moving my body. Even when I was obsessed with food and diet in my modeling days, it never was about the food or the fitness. It was WHY I was doing it. The behaviors were due to feeling inadequate. Feeling less than. Not enough. Trying to fit myself into the “perfectionist” self ideal box. It was all about the childhood trauma, the depression, the fear. Moving my body was a form of self punishment to push myself into a different body. Knowing this, I am now able to move my body in ways that celebrate it instead.

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