A Little Something Personal
In lieu of starting off the summer strong, healthy, and happy, I thought there was a few things that I should share as my first year of college has come to a close.
Come fall, I was ready to be on a competitive running team and was committed to anything and everything that was entailed in being a D1 athlete. I soon found, however, that running at this level was no longer something that made me happy — rather, it quickly became something negative in my life. I started questioning whether or not I had really been considering what I wanted to do rather than what I was doing simply out of obligation. Most of you noticed my lack of running all together — and yes, you caught me — there was a period of time when I felt as if I needed to avoid it. I needed a break from running everyday and being on a strict training routine; I found myself to have fallen out of love with the sport. Not to mention, my contraction of mono made everything even more overwhelming, as I was not able to do much of anything. As a result, I began to feel like things were falling a little out of control: I didn’t feel myself physically, mentally or emotionally, my performance changed, my weight increased, and I was simply unhappy. However, I felt the need to maintain a facade: I could not let the people down that were counting on me most, I did not want to bail on my team mates, and most importantly I was afraid — of what people would think of me if I suddenly quit the team. I was so focused to trying to make it seem like I was happy I completely disregarded my own happiness — or lack thereof. As a result, I resorted back to my prior struggle with an eating disorder and unfortunately succumbed to exhibiting similar behavior. To me, it wasn’t about being “skinny” or trying to lose weight — okay, well, part of it definitely was — but instead, it was a means by which I could demonstrate a sense of control. While in the moment I thought that my relationship with food was the only way in which I could maintain some sort of control over my life, it became clear that none of what I was doing was healthy. With that being said, I decided to take some time off from the team to figure these things out, to try and understand why and how I function the way that I do — and eventually, together with family, I decided that I did not want to continue running competitively.
What follows was expected: my body changed, people began to notice, and people began to comment. I was told that I was “unrecognizable” and would constantly be compared in my present state to pictures of me looking “better” and “skinnier” in the past; it became difficult for me to put on clothes or even to be photographed. My self-confidence level — although it may sound surprising — became more and more depleted and I couldn’t escape it. I couldn’t snap out of it because I didn’t know how; it was only then that I realized what my problem had been all along: I had never been okay with designating a middle ground, with settling for the “normal” or the easy way out; I either took the extreme route in every situation or turned in the completely opposite direction. So, for me personally, the past few months have been dedicated to pushing myself — to finding that place of balance, that point where I can be happy, healthy, and still have a bit of edge — something I could apply to not only eating and exercise but also to other areas of my life.
So although I know I’ve been posting inconsistently and running very little, now you know why: I’ve been having some me time. I will admit that I’ve been meaning to post about this for awhile now but could never really find the right moment to do so. While a lot of what I have said here is personal, I feel strongly about what I have learned here: that there should never be a disconnect between the things that I struggle with personally and with what I write or share about publicly — and I have no doubt that this experience of mine is relatable.
Therefore, to answer all of your questions, yes, my body has changed, I haven’t been on my typical fitness regiment for awhile now, and yes I no longer lose sleep over how fast I can run a mile — but no, none of this means that I have given up on all of this. I’ve needed some time to figure out how to prioritize my own happiness — and I have found this by surrounding myself with some of the best people and putting all of my effort into those things that really matter most. Although I still do not have it completely figured out, I am confident that there is a way to balance everything that is important to me — fitness, relationships, working, etc. — while still being able to maintain not only a sense of self, but a sense of regiment and control over my life (in a healthy way, of course).
I’ve taken a bit of a break — you could say — but now I’m back. I’m dedicating my summer to fitness, clean eating, and feeling good, and I want you all to join along with me. I will be Snapchatting, Instagram-ing and curating content to share with you guys throughout my efforts to not only encourage you all to have a happy and fit summer but to also achieve this for myself.