My life in terms of my relationship with food and exercise has been terrible since I can remember. A strong memory I have was being weighed as part of my swimming training and just thinking that I needed to weigh less to be faster – this was when I was 13 so thinking back I was just a child which makes me sad. I would swim for 2 hours a day, sometimes 4 and survive off a pepsi max and my tea (because I knew this was the only part of the day my mum would watch me eat). Since this point I’d been in a horrible cycle of binge restrict binge all the way up to being 2 months into my uni degree and having to drop out because I just couldn’t cope with being in control of all my food choices (not eating so that I could drink on nights out and then going to tesco express and buying the whole chocolate aisle on the weekend). I was so depressed because I just felt so alone and I wanted to help myself but I just didn’t know how. When I left I promised myself I would never binge again – but I didn’t increase my food intake. I lost so much weight up until the point I was hospitalised with anorexia. It was probably the lowest point of my life. Since then I decided to get better. I don’t think I realised how bad it had got. At first very slowly but then during lockdown I had a lot of family problems and realised there was a lot more to life than trying to be the smallest version of yourself. I committed to eating until I got my period back but that brought 30kg of weight gain, acne and just feeling as though I was living in a different body.
During lockdown G’s channel was on my suggested page on youtube and I think I watched every single one with in a week. I know being in a prep is completely different to struggling with anorexia but how she felt at the end of prep I could totally relate with – not sleeping, brain fog, extreme food focus etc. After the prep she would then have to go into an off season which involved gaining a lot of weight, and sometimes being uncomfortable with it. I had been at both extremes, the circumstances were just a lot different. I think being able to relate to someone is so important in a coach and I just felt as though I could see similar behaviours in myself and G. One of them being the fact she is so brutally honest. Trust is so important especially with my background of food / exercise – knowing that someone has your best interest at heart is key.
When I started my mindset was very warped. When I came out of hospital and knew I had to put weight on, I wanted this to be muscle because I was terrified of fat. Looking back now this is so deluded but I think my brain is different to my 2019 brain. It did really help with the weight gain and I just fell in love with getting stronger each week. I had a training partner so the social side of it was really enjoyable too. My training has changed from having terrible technique, no strength and a lack of knowledge to having much better technique, being strong and having more knowledge (although I’m still learning).
I wish someone wrote me a warning letter before I decided to eat normally. I think I just expected that once I mentally decided to get better my body would just be like yeah great. Normal life resumes. This doesn’t happen. Your body wants to reserve fat stores so that it can protect itself if ever I was to starve myself again. Once I started eating a bit more, I got hungrier and this carried on until I was eating 5,000+ a day. I still woke up in the night starving and I genuinely thought this would be my life forever. I genuinely thought about food 97% of the time. I would be in constant floods of tears because I didn’t know what to do. I found it really difficult as no one around me could relate and I was way past a healthy weight for my height and I was still struggling with extreme hunger to the point. It got so bad that I went back to dieting because I thought my weight wouldn’t stop increasing. I genuinely thought I couldn’t control myself around food unless I restricted.
When I started with Georgie I was back in quite a bad binge restrict phase. She put me on 3000 calories which I tracked and consistently ate for 3 months. Unlike the last time increased my calories where I just eat foods that I hadn’t allowed myself for 8 years (donuts mcflurrys etc) – don’t get me wrong i’m glad I got this out my system from a recovery perspective but I definitely did get it out my system – we focused on nutritional quality and more of an 80/20 approach. Being consistent with my high calories helped my extreme hunger so much and to the point that I can eat a meal and feel satisfied now :). I think the way I went about getting my health back from a physiological perspective was more of a 6 month binge than eating a balanced diet. At the time I didn’t care because I just wanted my period back but thinking back I didn’t actually gain a ‘normal’ relationship with food (if this even exists 😂).
I could probably write a book on this but just being able to have my life back. If I restricted I wouldn’t go to social occasions because of the calories in alcohol, meals out etc but then if I was to binge I equally didn’t go out because I felt terrible about myself and didn’t want anyone to see me. I have missed out on a lot of memories because of my relationship with food so being able to make them again is unexplainable ! I can well and truly say that my relationship with food is the most ‘normal’ it has ever been and 19 year old me would be so proud of myself because I genuinely am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been
Pizza toppings would be ham, mushroom and olives.
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