The Truth Is…

How’s that for a dramatic title!?

I’m not revealing anything new to y’all, but I did want to update you on how my body’s been doing since I decided to cut down the exercise and bump up the eating about three months ago.

First things first: I have not gotten my period back, and in fact, I haven’t really had any signs of it at all (besides a little bit of acne?). Yeah, I’m getting a little pretty darn frustrated, but I’m doing my best to stick with it and be patient.

The truth is… Even though I’ve decreased exercise significantly (mostly yoga, walking, stretching, and some bodyweight strength exercises), I think my body has still been stressed in other ways besides exercise: lack of sleep, lots of traveling, moving back into college, anxious feelings more often than I’d like. I also don’t really feel out of shape, which I guess is good, but it’s also indicative of how hard my heart is still working just doing daily activities.

I’ve gained almost 10 lbs. (mostly fat, some muscle) in the past three months, and I feel more energetic. (I had to go on a shopping spree for a whole new set of jeans!)

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The truth is… I am very comfortable with my body, even as it continues to grow outwards and not upwards. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t looked in the mirror or at photos and thought, “Whoa, hello, childbearing hips.” Or I’ll put my hand on my waist and think, “Hm. Much squishier than before.”

Coming back to college has been mentally and physically tough. I’m still eating a lot, but I’m also walking ten times more than I usually do at home. I’m sure I’ve already lost a little weight just in the past week. Also, I feel like maybe I can go to the gym, just for a light workout. I honestly believe that I look and feel healthy and that I can enjoy working out without worrying about body image.

But the truth is… I put so much stress on my body during my eating disorder, and even during recovery. My endocrine and reproductive system are not happy with me. I might be 99.99999% mentally recovered, but my body obviously isn’t. My body has been damaged, and it needs time and energy to be fixed.

Despite my lack of a period after these three months, there is still so much I have gained (besides physical weight).

The truth is…

  • I know how much rest and fuel it takes to build muscle. I’m working out less than half the amount I used to be working out, but I actually gained muscle the first couple of weeks just from giving my body proper rest and lots of food.
  • I’ve learned the value of warming up and going back to basics. What used to be my warm-up is now my workout for the day, but I’ve found that my body needs to warm up for even that.
  • I’ve gained back some more mobility and flexibility because I don’t write off yoga and stretching as “nothing.”

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  • I am more efficient with my time of day. I used to be so concerned about moving and exercising whenever I could that it would distract from my other daily activities.
  • Most importantly, I’ve gained confidence in myself…

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…If I’m not considered that “fit person”, fine. If I don’t have abs, fine. If I can’t do 20 pushups in a row, fine.

If I put all my self-worth into my fitness, that’s NOT fine. I’m more than my body. It’s about time I started living like I truly, deeply believe that.

I’ll be the first to admit that dance class (and a one-time game of ultimate frisbee with friends last night) may or may not be too hard on me right now. I’ve been letting those things slide because my brain needs the movement as much as my body does after sitting and studying.

I’m going to the gynecologist today because I’m not 100% sure what’s happening in my body right now. Maybe I just need more time. I’m still planning on gaining weight here in college, and once I get into a school rhythm, things may normalize a little more. Or maybe I’ll need to cut out dance class. We’ll see.

I’ll post another update sometime later, but thanks for listening and being so supportive of me on this journey.