Once you’ve recovered from anorexia, does that mean you’re free from the ‘ED’ tag for the rest of your life? Or will you always be known as the one who used to be really skinny’? Am I allowed to go to the gym whenever I want and eat a low carb meal without being labelled obsessive or even accused or reverting to old ways?
It feels that there’s always going to be someone ready to critise if I do.
Anorexia was a three year shitty blip in my life, it is not my identity nor does it define me now as a ‘post anorexic’. I’m Ella. Just Ella. Before I became ill I played sport 6 out of 7 days a week. I used to do fitness classes one after the other. One could say I was extremely passionate about sport. No one thought otherwise, no one disapprovingly looked over my shoulder.
But because of those three hellish years of an eating disorder, I think there’s always going to be people, onlookers, outsiders, who will now label me as ‘obsessive’ about the gym and healthy eating. If I were to have gone back to playing basketball 4 times a week, I bet nobody would think anything of it. Going to the gym on the other hand, well that must obviously signal infatuation with my body image, which must be somewhat negative, and an obsessive compulsion to burn off my food…
These people couldn’t be more wrong. The gym for me is not a place to punish my body, quite the opposite. I look forward to my gym sessions every time, sometimes I’m even planning in my lecture what exercises I’ll do. Working out isn’t purely for the physical benefits, for me it delivers more mental benefits. One day it can be my destress zone to chill out. The next day it gets me buzzing and hyped. Ok yes, it looks pretty cool if I manage to get good abs or toned biceps in the process, but that’s not purely the motive. The physical challenges I achieve also reflect my mental strength, commitment and will power. It doesn’t just make my body strong, but my mind too, and I can see these postitive effects reflected in all aspects of my life… my studying work ethics, my positive relationship with food. If I were to go a period without working out, apart from the physical health losses, I would certainly become a very negative, lethargic, unenthusiastic, unpassionate person…
Not forgetting that weight lifting was a part of my recovery. It taught me how to respect and appreciate my body, as well as how to fuel it properly. It was my ticket out of misery, showing me that actually, I am a strong person, and I can be whoever I choose to be.
Weight lifting, sports or working out may not be for everyone, and that’s totally OK! But when someone has a true passion, whatever it may be about, whether it’s to your liking or not, I think we should all be a bit more understanding and respectul of others. The fact that this person can show such commitment, dedication and love for something is surely more inspiring? If you’re personally recovering from an ED, you are obviously not at the stage where you too can be lifting heavy weights or be more relaxed with food, but what you can do is use all these qualities of passion to help you! Be committed to recovery, be dedicated to wanted to become healthier, and show it though your consistency!
I have been lucky enough to meet someone who shares all the same passions as I do… yes, this would be my other MissFit Laura. But our passion for fitness or our common past experiences don’t define our friendship, or our personalities. Nor are they obsessive in that it controls our lives. Can you imagine how boring that would be?! Aside from our intense and fun gym sessions, we love going out for cocktails and dancing awfully drunk, drinking coffee whilst talking about exciting future plans, cooking delicious dinners and chilling out with no makeup watching trashy TV… It sometimes weirds me out how similar we are, and I love and repsect this girl because of her passions, her motivation, her determination and her positive outlook on life!
Not to mention her booty. And gorgeous long blonde hair.
Where was I…
We’re both passionate about health and fitness and PROUD! And we’re here to help you feel as awesome about life, food and your body as we do! Let’s do this!