Having an eating disorder is no joke and should never be taken lightly.
As a student of psychology and someone who has been through very toxic patterns with my relationship to food I have learned a great deal about these disorders.
I am no expert but it is something I have invested a lot of time and energy into educating myself on and am truly passionate about expanding in.
In a few of my psychology classes I made my entire focus to be only on reading about the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders because this is something I know to be prevalent in the fitness community.
There are very very specific criteria for a diagnosis for an eating disorder within the DSM-IV.
Maybe you’ve never been diagnosed, you’ve never talked to anyone about your relationship with food, and you’ve never connected the emotions you have about your body or your life to the way you eat. But so much of this is comorbid, treatable, and I believe preventable.
If we can become aware of toxic thought patterns before it becomes a full blown disorder I think this is just as important as bringing awareness to the disorders themselves.
My personal struggle started at a very young age. My first “diet” was a bananas and milk diet. I was always uncomfortable in my body when I became aware that other kids weren’t as big as me.
I felt like the weird one. I was called names like “Bigfoot” and made fun of for my size like one time I tripped and landed on a kid and he called me a “fat fuck” which was rough because all I wanted to do was play basketball with them.
Eventually I kind of grew out of this / into my body but I can remember when I got into fitness it started from a place of wanting to change my body. I was in highschool, around 16 years old.
I went through a breakup, looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw or how I felt in my body, I felt like I had no control, and I also wondered how much better of an athlete I could be if I did more than just go to practice.
So I changed the way I ate and started working out a ton at home. But this is where things weren’t so pretty...
I thought I had to workout after every meal I ate. I was afraid that if I didn’t then I would lose progress, gain fat, and not achieve my goals. I also thought I had to earn everything I ate so whether it was 3x1min jumping jacks after a bite of food or a full blown 50min HIIT workout after a meal, I was committed. This was my way of purging.
I also wasn’t educated or aware of what was actually right for me or my goals. I put my body through so much. And I was never happy with myself.
I also had a diagnosis for depression and anxiety after never-ending suicidal ideations, an attempt, and fear of my own mind that ran through every vein in my body. I felt my nutrition and exercise was the only thing I truly had control over considering I couldn’t even control my own mind.
I had realized that no matter what i did though, i was never content or proud of myself. There was always more to demand of myself.
So new extremes would be reached. I hired a coach, learned what foods were 'bad' and 'good', trained super hard after finally having money to get a gym membership, and on the weekends I was allowed one meal where I basically just binged and binged until I couldn't eat anymore. Then, right back at it during the week.
Eventually I learned this pattern was unhealthy, unsustainable, and causing me a lot of mental and emotional distress while also impacting my day to day life.
This time though and these experiences, taught me so much in my life. Aside from discipline that I’m grateful for it also taught me freedom and self love.
At the time I had fallen in love with fitness it felt like my therapy, may saving grace, and gave me so much! So, I got my personal trainer certification and started studying to receding a degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics.
In 2015 decided to do a bikini competition to see how far I could take my body and see what progress I’ve made and just after treating myself like a guinea pig for so long after falling in love with fitness!
I wanted to experience this.
But my demons weren’t completely gone.
Which became even MORE apparent to me after the show. I had a crazy rebound and the light finally got shone on my darkness with food and my body And it was the pain i needed to discover my true purpose on this earth, to help people BUILD MORE THAN JUST A BODY.
And thus, my self love journey began and slowly developed into so much More.
I could have sworn I invented intuitive eating as I began diving into the opposite of what I’d done for yours but then I found this was something many people have been through and overcome, I started learning and researching and asking the right questions of myself!
I maintained healthy habits but gave myself freedom.
I detached from the fear of foods and opened myself up to new beliefs and ideas. I began to heal, truly heal from the inside out.
Over this two year period I healed my relationship with food, my body, and my life really. I expanded into personal development, mindset work, holistic practices and beliefs, found and lived by MY truth—not others, and even changed my major to psychology because this is the true work I want to do in the world.
I was finally mentally ready to do another bikini competition and what do you know? It didn’t harm me. Nothing surfaced that I hadn’t already worked through.
I was mentally stable and loved myself at a level where the choices I was making were not from a disordered or distressed place. They didn’t negatively impact how I functioned on a daily basis.
I saw my body as a blessing, not a curse, and I now use the lessons, education, research review, personal breakthroughs and experiences, as well as alllllll my darkness to now bring LIGHT into the world for many people who don’t see it yet. I am at peace.
I was able to find peace.
I became consciously aware before it became too big of a problem. I saw my pain and went into it, poked it, made it hurt sooooo bad, that the only option I had was to clean it and sew myself back up—so I did.
Eating disorders have become more prevalent over the years.
Promoting disordered behaviors, the ‘right vs wrong’ mentality, the ‘good bs bad’ labels, the ‘this diet vs that one’ DOES NOT HELP THE CAUSE.
I think it is our responsibility in the fitness and health industry to promote;
Body positivity AND health
Being aware AND treatment
Accepting others AND loving ourselves
The truth that we are ALL DIFFERENT and just because something worked or didn’t work for you or hurt you or triggered you doesn’t mean it does the same for others.
We have a responsibility to promote educating, helpful, and positive messages.
I have made my life's work about helping others to align inner work with physical results. I help people to Build More than Just a Body to establish a fulfilling, freeing, and empowering lifestyle.
I have created three programs that could be perfect for you if you are going through this:
My 4 Week Food Freedom Academy to help anyone breakdown the barriers between themselves and food, improve that relationship, get in touch with their intuitive eater, and find balance. For all the information and to sign up you can click HERE
My 8 Week Post-Show Personal Development Program for Bikini Competitors to help you make peace with food, your body, and your new goals while heading into an improvement season. I go deeper than surface level, looking beyond macros, reverse dieting, or accountability check ins and deliver my signature mindset action method to help you find peace deep within you so you NEVER experience the post-show blues again without knowing exactly what to do!
This is perfect to enroll in while you are in prep to have for right after the show or if you are currently dealing with the post-show blues this will help you overcome them! You can learn more about it and sign up by clicking HERE
My 1:1 Mindset, Self-Love, and Personal Development Mentorship breakthrough coaching packages where we work together privately to overcome your personal limiting beliefs, toxic relationship with yourself, and unhealthy patterns that make you feel less than your absolute most fulfilled and freest. This is personal and customized to each individual. To learn more and inquire about how we could work together and how this works you can apply HERE