How old are you? Are you a student?
I am 26 years old, as of March. I graduated from college in 2007 and finished my master’s degree in June 2011.
What is your degree in? What field do you work in?
My bachelor’s degree is in Economics, and my master’s is an MBA. I work in the finance industry and recently started my dream job at an investment consulting firm.
How tall are you? How much do you weigh?
I am 5’0” and weigh somewhere around 100 lbs. I do not weigh myself often and instead go by how my clothes fit and how I look in the mirror.
How many calories do you eat per day?
I do not count calories. I eat when i’m hungry & stop when i’m full, and focus on getting nutritious and satiating foods.
What is your diet like?
I try to generally eat healthy, but do allow myself a small treat here & there - okay, usually every day. I think that a healthy diet includes small indulgences rather than focusing on eating clean to the point of obsession. I try to focus on limiting my dairy & grains, and make sure I get enough protein on a daily basis.
What do you mean by “enough protein”?
I have seen many different estimates on the internet, but I have seen decent progress by getting around 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
What kind of protein powder do you use?
I have tried Olympian Labs Pea Protein in vanilla and am currently using Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein. The pea protein was delicious and had a better taste & texture, but the Garden of Life has a neutral flavor that can mix well with juice & is lower carb, in case I decide to do a cut soon.
What kind of exercise do you do?
All kinds - group exercise classes like Body Combat, heavy lifting & yoga are some of my favorites. I will be beginning Starting Strength, a weightlifting program, as of April 16th.
Do you do abs exercises?
Nope, not usually! Maybe once a month or so, but generally feel like the big lifts (deadlift, squat, etc) and general movement will require enough use of my core muscles.
How many days a week do you work out?
I try to workout anywhere from 3-5 days a week, depending on how busy I am. I believe that having 1-2 dedicated rest days are important.
How do I get your abs?
There are no shortcuts - eat clean & train hard.
I think I’m ready to really get my health in check but I don’t know how to without going to a place of self loathing and feeling inadequate. How did you start your journey without self judging?
think about your family & friends, the people you love. all of these people are human, and by definition, flawed & prone to making mistakes. does that mean we love them any less? no, of course not. we accept their weaknesses as part of who they are and love them anyway. this is the same compassion that you need to learn to extend to yourself. you are not ‘inadequate’ or deserving of hatred from anyone, let alone yourself - you are perfect just as you are! and you need to give yourself a MAJOR pat on the back for having the desire to get your health back on track. celebrate yourself and your journey!!
for awhile, that voice in your head will still be there telling you that you don’t deserve to be well, etc etc etc…. that voice is bullshit and only there to keep you sick. surround yourself with positive influence to help drown that voice out and one day, you’ll see, you won’t even be able to hear it anymore.
What made you start getting into health/fitness? As in, did you have a “eureka” moment of some sort where it just hit you, or did you just start doing little changes here and there and it added up to where you’re at now?
fitness has always been a part of my life. from a young age, i’ve been involved in some sort of activity, mainly competitive gymnastics & high-school/college cheerleading. after graduating college in 2007, my opportunities for physical activity kind of tapered off though and while i still did some things here & there, it wasn’t on any consistent basis. to be honest, since quitting gymnastics, i’ve always thought of myself as being kind of clumsy & un-fit which kept me from doing a lot of things that i wanted to do. that image of myself is disappearing the more i work out, probably my favorite unexpected side-effect!
i didn’t become concerned with the ‘health’ aspect of food/exercise until 2008 (22 years old) when i started to recover from my ED. it’s hard to just stop being so obsessed with food so i tried to focus my obsession on cooking & nutrition. it allowed me to channel all of that mental energy into something that was actually good for me! i would say it was a gradual change because it took awhile to shift my mindset from negative to positive, but it also helped me work on my relationship with food. now i’m a BAMF in the kitchen.
What were your first few steps in trying to heal from your ED? I happened to have stepped out of my eating disorder, but am still struggling a bit.
Here are some things that were the most helpful for me in recovery.
1. Hitting rock bottom. Okay, in an ideal world no one would have to hit rock bottom, but this is what it took for me. I ended up in the ER after a night of mixing benzo’s & alcohol and was escorted there by the police because my boyfriend was scared that I was going to hurt him or myself. The only thing I remember from most of the night is doing a happy dance because they weighed me and it was a new LW. Sick, huh? That was easily the worst night of my life, but it allowed me to step outside of myself for a second and see how much hurt I was causing other people & myself.
2. Learning how to use my voice to communicate my feelings, rather than my body. I had a lot of trouble telling people when they were upsetting me or hurting my feelings because I either felt like my feelings were being invalidated or being ignored. I had to learn to stand up for myself if I felt like I wasn’t getting what I needed from a certain relationship (parent, lover or friend). This is probably the most difficult part, especially if you have never learned how to do this well, and I would recommend working with a therapist you trust.
3. Realizing that I am responsible for my own emotions. I spent a long time playing the victim and the whole “woe-is-me” card based on some things that happened in my childhood. I had to realize that although the painful memories will never go away, the only thing I can control is how I react to them. I realized that I had spent so long wallowing in my own misery & suffering, but it hadn’t helped at all. I had to shift my perspective and focus on all of the good things that life has to offer. There is so much beauty out there, and I was tired of missing out on it. Not every day is going to be a good day, but you have to keep choosing to see the good that IS there. Somedays, it’s hard… but I promise, if you look closely enough, it is there all the time.
Last updated: April 14th, 2012