In the past, I struggled quite a bit with disordered eating. When people scratch their heads and wonder how a former collegiate powerlifter, and a fitness “guru” now chooses to eat things like burgers after working out, I try to explain to people that this is just my healthier lifestyle. The gym is a place where I go to do what I love -- and that’s to lift weights. I have emotionally progressed over the ten years. Ten years ago, I was afraid of eating more than 300 calories per day. Now, I am at a place where I feel comfortable eating whatever I want to eat -- whether that's steamed broccoli or mac-and-cheese.
I think it’s very important to have a level of authenticity and transparency. And that's why I don't hide anything from any of you. People in the fitness communities are also flawed, and they don't live lives without fallings. We should let the world know that as fitness people, we are still human beings with desires, failings, weaknesses, and struggling stories that create deeper bonds with those who can connect to our personal stories. People want to hear about how we ate pizza yesterday, or how we tried to bench press for the first time and got pinned by the weight. Or, how we threw up after running half a mile.
Because then, we can say, “that happened to me too!”
When I met my college friend, she was a competitor bodybuilder. As she swayed in glittery heels and flexed her abs, I admired her hard-work, but even more, I admired her transparency. She ate donuts post workouts, and she drank soda by the liters. When depression swallowed her whole, she couldn't bring herself to eat. She lost a lot of her muscle mass, which made her feel like she couldn't take the stage anymore. I shared some of her pain, and it's when I realized that she was -- well, human.
When I go to the gym, my goal is not to become thin or "fit." I go to the gym to feel free and healthy in a way that caloric restriction, weighing food, or counting burned calories can never give me. It's to give myself a healthy mind and spirit.
That is my healthy. What's yours?