Tuesday, June 18, 2013

sweat pink

About a month ago I filled out an application to be a sweat pink ambassador and received an email yesterday welcoming me to the team!  I'm very excited to be a sweat pink ambassador.  I feel very strongly about promoting fitness and health because it has helped me in so many ways and I know so many others could benefit as well.

I guess I should talk about some things that I have been avoiding on this blog.  Fitness for me was not always about being healthy.  In high school I began dieting and exercising to lose weight.  I was never very comfortable with my body.  I did gymnastics for many years.  Living most years of your life in a leotard serves as a constant reminder of every imperfection.  While I always thought in the back of my mind I wanted to be thinner, I never really took much action until high school.  That's when I started to lose some weight and began to feel more confident.  I learned to get by on small meals and enjoyed the (negative) attention that felt very positive at the time.

Then, I went to college and gained the infamous "freshman 15."  I hated how I looked, but the food and alcohol temptations outweighed the feeling of needing to lose weight.  

The summer before my junior year I started running and again trying to lose weight.  I wasn't happy with how I looked or felt and desperately wanted to change that.  So I started counting calories, restricting what I ate, and began working out again.  I quickly started to see results and was determined not to gain the weight back when I went back to school.  Without going in to too much detail,  I will say the dieting quickly became an obsession, and the happiness that came with the weight loss quickly turned in to depression.

During the winter break of my junior year I decided it would be in my best interest to not return to school.  I fell in to a deep dark hole.  My friends and my mom confronted me because I had lost too much weight and asked me to ask for help from a therapist.   I reluctantly agreed.  To say I was cured from that would be a lie.  I spent the next few years in and out of therapy, not really wanting to be there.

Eventually I stopped going all together.  The dark clouds still hung over my head, but I wanted to find my way on my own.  I didn't want to rely on a little white pill (antidepressant) to make me happy, and I was over telling someone I didn't know  about my feelings.  I thought I could do this on my own.

It took a long time after that to fully escape the demons.  Actually, I'm not sure I'll ever escape them completely, but I am in a much better place.  It's a place of acceptance and understanding of my body and a confidence I never thought I'd find.  I owe a lot of that to running.

This is why I decided to apply to become a sweat pink ambassador.  Through my struggles I now understand how much of a blessing running has been in my life.  Every day I still feel the effects an eating disorder has on my body.  While I can't change my past, I am in control of my future and I would love nothing more than to help woman who are in a similar situation.

Finally, I am running for the right reasons and I wouldn't change that for the world.  This is only a short summary of what I went through.  It was a long, dark, scary road for a while.  It's still hard for me to talk about, but I'd love to share my story in hopes that I could help others find the right path.  I think support and understanding is what I needed without judgement.  I'll offer that to anyone who's willing to listen.    

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