This post is going to be a lot of words and very few, if any, pictures. Just a warning.
I’ve loved writing ever since I first picked up a pencil, so naturally, with my love of fitness and just life in general, writing a blog seemed like the natural thing to do. I love fitness and healthy living and my dream one day is to have my own personal training studio in NYC, so a healthy living blog seemed fitting.
I tried to start writing back in 2010, this was shortly after the sudden death of my father and I needed an outlet for my thoughts. I wrote my first post but then the negative thoughts started kicking in..
“Who are you to write a healthy living blog?”
“You can’t even take your own advice, why should anyone else?”
“What makes you so interesting? You disgusting narcissist.”
And I stopped, discouraged and unmotivated. I tried again and again, sporadically writing posts and then deleting them. The problem was, I was trying to make it seem like I had a healthy mind, I was trying to keep my illness under wraps in fear that it would keep people from wanting to read my blog and would hurt my in my future desired career in the fitness industry. But… if this blog is going to work, I need to be me.
Hi, my name is Erin and in 2010 I was diagnosed with and hospitalized for anorexia nervosa.
I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food, some of my earliest memories include hiding food so that no one would see that I had eaten anything and having conversations with a friend at the beach voicing my desire to be able to throw up after eating.
Being as young as I was (I remember the thoughts of, “I’m fat,” as early as at the age of 6), I didn’t realize that these thoughts were sick or abnormal. Things hit the fan in 4th grade, my depression really took form at this time in my life and progressively got worse as years went on. I don’t really want to get into the personal details at this point but I’ll just say that it got, and is, really bad.
In 2009 I discovered a youtube channel called Tone It Up and was instantly hooked. I had played sports my entire life but doing those workouts and watching as Karena and Katrina built up a community of wonderful girls devoted to a life of health I realized what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to devote my life to fitness.
I had always hated my body, avoiding photos in fear of being knows as “the fat girl” among my beautiful and thin friends. The summer going into my sophomore year of high school I decided to really change my life and loose weight. I did what dieters are taught to do, I ate 1200 calories a day and worked out daily. I went to swim practice in the morning and then headed to the gym for another hour of cardio. Already being at a healthy weight, the weight came off slowly, about a pound or so a week. I set a goal weight for myself, i wanted to lose 12 pounds. I hit that goal by September, my mom and dad voiced concern that I was getting too thin. I was at the lower end of healthy for my age and height, but looking in the mirror I still saw a grotesquely overweight girl.
I lowered my calories more, now down to 700 a day, I lost more weight and hit the underweight barrier, I told myself I’d stop once i hit the 18.5 BMI. I hit it, still looked too fat, and kept going.
My dad had a stroke in January and was hospitalized, my home life was in shambles, he was out of work and was numb on the entire left side of his body making movement difficult. We were told that with physical therapy he would get better, we were hopeful and remained positive. At least I think I did, I honestly don’t remember most of my sophomore year. It still remains mostly a black slate in my life dotted with memories of hunger, tears, crying parents, and ever decreasing numbers on the scale.
The day after my 16th birthday my mom forced a screaming me to the doctors office where I was weighed and had my pulse taken. I was instantly sent to the ER for an EKG. My last real memory from this day is running out of the doctors office and calling my dad, in tears. He promised me that it would all be ok and that I would be home with him that night. He promised we would be home together.
That never happened.
With a pulse rate of 40 I was emitted to the hospital and but in the eating disorder program. I could spend hours writing about my terrible experience in the hospital but I will spare you those details. If anyone is curious, I would be happy to write a separate post on my experience.
Skipping foward two weeks, I was told that I would be allowed to leave the hospital. That same day I also received a text from my mother that simply read, “Dad has cancer.”
Cancer… one of the scariest words that a person can be told. I remained positive… it was a brain tumor. My cousin had had a brain tumor and they removed it. He was better now. Daddy would be better too.
My cousin drove me to Sloan for what I didn’t know would be the second to last time I would see my father. I help his hand and smiled at him telling him that we would bother get better, together. The priest came in and asked if I wanted to give him the blessing of the sick. I remember frantically asking him, “Why? Why would I do that? That’s for people who are dying! Dad’s not dying!” He stared at me with those eyes of pity that I now know so well.
Less than two weeks later, on April 14, 2010, my dad passed away. The form of brain cancer he had was extremely rare and extremely aggressive, there has never been a survivor. We often joke though that he got out of tax day!
Anyway, my life since then has been a blur. I relapsed into my eating disorder shortly after I was allowed to stop seeing the doctor. I went into my junior year still sick, but I weighed more than I had the year before, leading everyone to believe that I was all better. I was just super-dee-duper.
My saving grace last year was trying out for, and making my school’s cross country team. If I’m honest, I tried out with the sole (is this the proper spelling?) purpose of losing weight. Due to my underweight body, I was quite fast and wound up being in the top 14 of my team. I quickly discovered that running was able to make me feel something I had never felt before, good about myself. Although I tried out for the wrong reasons, I am so thankful that I did because now I have a passion. I love running so much and am so thankful to have a body that can do it.
Over winter break of last year, my metabolism finally gave up after almost 2 years of me torturing it. I suddenly put on weight even though I was still taking in only 1/4 of the calories I was supposed to.
I’m at a point where now, over a year later, I’m still stuck. I’m at the weight where I’m pretty sure is higher than it has ever been before. I’m constantly injured due to my intense exercise and lack of calories to support my lifestyle. I’m stuck here and it’s a terrifying place to be. Unable to lose weight and unable to eat enough to recover myself. It takes a toll on my mind. The worst part of it is the fact that I am at a healthy weight and still sick. i constantly convince myself that I’m just a disgusting glutton that eats too much but today I woke up thinking rationally and I know that this is not the case.
I woke up today feeling motivated to try recovery, I woke up wanting to be the best me I can be. For most of my life I have lived inside of this depressed shell of a person. I want to find myself again and learn what it’s like to really live.
If you stuck around to read this long post, I really do thank you. I hope that you’ll stick around with me and not hate me for trying to portray healthy living. I really do want to live a real healthy lifestyle and follow my dreams of being a personal trainer and lifestyle coach.
I also want to thank Tone It Up just for existing. Karena and Katrina really are my role models, I aspire to be happy and healthy and they give me so much motivation to do so.
I’m hoping I can grow this blog, I know my mind is sick but… Maybe I can be helpful to someone? I really hope so.
Ok. this is too long. Goodbye for now!!!