NOTE: I really don't want to tell a story about: How pretty I am now I lost weight. It's the opposite. I never loved myself the way I looked. This is a story about how I changed my mind, dealt with my eating disorder and how my body responded to that and became HEALTHY!
It took some years, after my bikini fitness competition, to find a healthy balance for my body and most important, my mind. In 2014/2015 I lost over 15kg and got obsessed with my weight, fitness and food. At first I thought I was being as healthy as I could, but looking back, I see a young woman struggling with her self-acceptance. Always thinking: 'When I lose a bit more, I finally will be happy!' This is my true story, after finally accepting my problems, thoughts and disorder.
I really believed that I didn't deserve a guy that loved me for who I was
After my ex-boyfriend cheated on me and called me fat (in 2013), I started working out four times a week. I thought if I lost weight he would finally think I was pretty and would stop searching for attention from other girls. (Man, I couldn't be more wrong.. but that's an other story) At that time, I really believed that I didn't deserve a guy that loved me for who I was because I was disgusting and fat. So with that in mind, I went to to the gym (doing cardio mostly). After a few months I lost 5kg, but I still didn't like what I saw in the mirror. I had to lose even more. So I used the summer vacation in 2014 to start a diet. I did some research and I learned the meaning of "clean eating". I lost over 6kg in five weeks and became super skinny. Still, I wasn't happy about my shape (and my boyfriend didn't change at all) so I still wanted to change things about my appearance. I felt like a little skinny boy without any female curves.
I started lifting weights, because I found out that that's the way you can shape your body, the way you want it. I started to squat and do anything to create a nice curve booty and some rockin' abbs. I fell in love with weight training. I trained three times a week at that time. Tho, after me and my ex-boyfriend broke up, I found comfort in the gym. It was a nice distraction. I could clear my mind in the gym and could also use all my anger in my training. In a few weeks I went from a three day training, to seven days a week. I also tracked my food and wanted to look the best ever, to (especially) show my ex he made a big mistake hurting me.
Not a lot of people know, that after breaking up with my boyfriend, he stalked me for over a year! I went to the police and I filed a complaint against him. (An other story that I will share in a while). The whole situation got me so stressed out, that I used the gym and my food tracking as an escape. Back then tho, I didn't realize that. So a year went by and I decides to participate in a Bikini fitness competition. With, results! I got third place in my first competition and after that I did a second competition. I didn't place in the second one, so I decided to quit en give my body some well deserved rest.
Body shut down
After those competitions, I gained a lot of weight in a short time. I felt overwhelmed and was very disappointed that I couldn't stop eating and couldn't stay shredded after these competitions. I didn't realize that my body was exhausted, starved and overtrained. It just shut down. It needed to re-feed, recover and rest. But I became stressed out when gaining all the weight. So I didn't want to give my body the rest (it deserved). The only thing I thought was: 'I will NOT become fat again!' (btw.. I wasn't fat in the first place.. I just THOUGHT i was!)
Because of my anxiety I just kept (over)training and dieting. I didn't want to eat over 1400kcal. But every day I failed. this year (2016) was the first I had serious binge eating moments, because my body craved nutrition. Every time I over-ate, I went to the gym for a second training or did a 40 minute run. I started a whole new obsession with training and food. I started to compensate. Every calorie I ate, was noted and every calorie i ate to much, got trained off. I started gain weight, to lose weight, gain weight again and so on for over a year. And I still convinced myself I was being healthy.
I was a brilliant liar. I lied to myself for years, and because I was so good a lying to myself, I fooled everyone around me as well.
Fast forward, 2017: I really believed I had overcome my obsessions with fitness and food. I started working on my personal development. I was very curious about mindfulness and learning about selflove. Maybe I was a pro in lying to myself, but I couldn't deny that I (still) was very insecure about my body. So I started to read about acceptance and selflove and I found out that I hadn't dealt with a number of things from my past.
Around that time I met Kevin. (My current and sweet sweet love). And he was the first guy (i met) that was as interested in personal development as I was. So we connected immediately. We taught each other even more about mindset and we talked and discussed a lot about it. but even, despite that, I still had a lot of demons to deal with. And I never talked about them. I always showed a mask. A happy and friendly mask. Until a few months ago.
In February I had a car accident. (So even now, I'm dealing with a whiplash and the and the many disadvantages that it brings me.) But the first weeks I had to take a lot of rest. No working, no training, no anything.. and suddenly I was sitting at home, alone, with my thoughts. The only thing I could do was reading. (the blue light from my laptop and phone gave me headaches.. so I really couldn't do much)
Around that time, Kevin and I were talking about moving in together but suddenly I didn't what that anymore. My mind was working overtime and I realized I needed to defeat my demons before I was able take a next step in our relationship. These months I wasn't the most fun person to be with. I had a lot of headaches, was grumpy and sad most of the time. And suddenly, one day, I had a major binge. And in the middle of the binge, I realized what I was doing. I shocked myself. For the first time in years, I was aware that I was eating to feel better about myself. I was eating to comfort myself or at leased, I tried.
In that moment I woke up. After that I realized I had several binge eating moments, every week, since me and my ex boyfriend broke up. When I trained seven days a week and sometimes even two times a day, I didn't notice. I was shredded, I was lean, in my mind I was healthy. But after my competitions, my body couldn't handle it anymore. The stress, the days 'not eating' the days 'over-eating'. My body shut down and I didn't realize it was because of my disorder.
In April I reached out to an eating disorder coach. When the bubble I lived in (for years) splashed, I didn't want to live this way anymore. I want(ed) to be healthy and happy. No more sabotage or lying to myself and the world anymore.
The first meeting with my coach were very hard on me. I cried every single time. I cried about everything. things that made me happy, things that made me sad, things that made me angry. But for years, I swallowed all my emotions and acted like everything was okay. So every single emotion I hid, came out. After the third session, I had a mental breakdown at home. I binged like never before, felt bad about it, ate even more, went outside to 'walk it all off again' came home, cried, fell asleep, the next day woke up again, watch Netflix, cried, ate, walk it off, sleep etc. One week straight. I thought I would NEVER feel better and I would never recover from my disorder. And then suddenly, the day before my fourth session with my coach. I felt calm. I felt free. I felt relieved. From one tot he other day, I changed.
It was bizar. I went to my coach and she looked at me and the first thing she said was: 'Wow, what happend? You look so peaceful.' So I told her about my hell-week and we came tot he conclusion that after the first three sessions, my mind worked like crazy, to process every single thing we talked about. I'd never felt this peaceful and calm before.
I'm still not there yet
After those sessions I went for a 2,5 month break in France. And I'm still here! The two biggest changes I notices these months are the: No binge eating. the weight loss and the pleasure in training (I hated fitness for a long time, because I forced myself to go to 'not gain weight')
Since I came to France (actually since my fourth coach session), I haven't had a single binge. I eat whatever I want and for the first time a feel when I'm hungry and when I'm full. I haven't felt that in years. I ate when my eating plan or diet told me to eat, and I never felt full. Also, I feel like my body and my hormones found their balance again. I am even regularly menstruating again! (I never did!) and suddenly, without eating less of strict, I lost a lot of weight. Like my body released all the stress and is finally happy again.
It's so weird to see how my body changed because I worked on my mental health instead of focussing on the outside.
Still.. I know I'm not over my disorder yet. I still have times that I'm overthinking or calculating my calories. And I really have to tell myself that it's okay to eat. But it's a process. And even if I'm not there yet, I'm so proud of myself for reaching out for help. I learned so many things about myself in those sessions. I learned my eating disorder developed because it was the only thing that gave me a sense of control. In stressful times it was the only thing I felt like I had control over. Even if the rest of my life was a big chaos of mess.
An other transformation story
I shared my picture from a year ago and now. And even if it's a big body transformation, I wanted to share the mind-transformation behind that picture. Because I didn't lose weight because of a new diet or because I hated my body. Last year, I learned (or at least, I tried) to accept the way I looked. And now, when looking back, I think I'm beautiful in both pictures.
I really don't want to tell a story about: How pretty I am now I lost weight. It's the opposite. I never loved myself the way I looked. And I went from normal, to underweight and shredded, to normal again. And I exhausted my body (and my mind) while striving to become 'perfect'!
If I hadn't started reading about selflove last year, I wouldn't be were I am today. And my body, if a reflection of my healthy mind nowadays. I don't have to become any skinnier than I am today. I also don't mind, gaining some weight. When your mind is healthy, your body will become the way it should be: HEALTHY! Even if it's a lot skinier than I am or bigger than I am. Everyone has a different body type.
When you start to embrace yourself, your past, your mind, your body, your everything, you will become happy (and again: healthy). I think it's hard to explain, because there will always be people that will take my words out of context. Or don't understand what I'm talking about. But I amazed myself while working on my mind and seeing how my body and my health respond to that. It's bizar. And because of the change and the help I have fun while training again. I eat healthy, but I also enjoy chocolat and chips whenever I want. I never had thought I wouldn't feel guilty or anxious when eating in general. let alone if I eat something unhealthy.
So I think.. In a nutshell, that's my transformation story. Mind, body and soul work together.. I can't say that enough. I hope you guys will understand the message I wanted to share.