This is hard for me to write about, but I would be remiss if I did not discuss more of the story behind my inspiration. Saying that the last few years were a mental and emotional battlefield would be an understatement. I have always struggled with anxiety in some form or another, but as I entered young adulthood, it took a new twist. I lost about 20 pounds that I didn’t need to lose, and I didn’t do it healthily. My mind tends to process the world in numbers, hence why I’m a math major, and in this everything became a number. Suddenly, food was an enemy ranked in power by the calories and nutritional information that different items contained. Counting calories and working out became an obsession, and unfortunately my intense willpower didn’t help the situation. I had always thought myself to be a rational person, and the consciousness of my irrational thoughts generated an uncomfortable tension inside me.
I was a contradiction.
My loved ones were feeding me positive ideas and voicing concerns, but my mind only chose to listen to the lies swarming inside of me. All of this came and smacked me in the face one weekend when I went back to my parent’s house. Not only had the scale revealed my staggering low weight, but I was unable to find any clothes that fit me when my parents took me shopping. Who had I become? I thought I was being strong by avoiding most foods, but really my body and my spirit were weakening each day. My energy was gone, and my poor husband had to watch tears fall down my face too many a night. For years I blamed the world for not giving me anything to be passionate about, leaving my obsession to be the only thing I could concentrate on. However, that weekend something clicked.
My journey to health became my passion.
With the help of my loving husband, wonderful parents, and a little push from Ireland (see my Irish Perspective post for more on this) I was finally able to fight for myself and begin defense against unhealthy thought patterns. It hasn’t been easy, but I have definitely seen tremendous progress. For the first time in years, I am proud of myself. I have been channeling my anxious energy into learning about how to properly treat my body. I switched up my workout routine from doing mostly cardio to almost exclusively weight training, and I am actually enjoying the food that I eat. My willpower is still here, but it is keyed in on a new path.
If my story can help at least one person, then I would feel successful. Fitness and nutrition bear great power. They can trick people into losing themselves if misunderstood, or they can liberate both the body and soul and push people to be the best they can possibly be.