I found this post on tumbler today and I think you should read it. It’s terrifying how an eating disorder can be viewed as healthy.
BEFORE/AFTER PICTURES: HEALTH EDITION
TW: EATING DISORDER
I’ve been wanting to make this post for quite a while. I’ve seen before/after pictures all my life. In fact, there was a period of time when I searched for them obsessively, trying to convince myself I could be the “after” photo if the “before” person could, too. But before/after photos generally aren’t about health or fitness, but about weight loss. And I’m here to tell you: they aren’t the same thing.
I had problems with food perhaps my whole life. I grew up in a dieting culture, in a dieting household. I went on my first diet in the fourth grade, and was praised for it. I went on my first fast in the seventh grade. I started restricting seriously when I was sixteen. I became obsessed with dieting and exercising at seventeen. I was still not the modelesque girls in the “after” photos. I saw too much “before” still. Health and fitness became an obnoxious facade for the real desire: weight loss.
On my eighteenth birthday I realized I had an eating disorder because I had a panic attack at the thought of having to eat birthday cake. From then forward my health spiraled downward. I was eating as few calories as I could, and burning/purging as many as I could get away with. I would exercise for hours at the gym, and yet I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. My body was so weak, I had difficulty standing for long periods of time without feeling faint.
The abuse I put my body through: the restricting/fasting, the binging/purging (and sometimes one without the other, although mostly purging without binging), the over-exercising, it all resulted in weight-loss while sacrificing health and fitness. And yet people in our society don’t seem to get that they’re not synonymous. I would have family friends approach me to tell me how good I looked, how fit I must be, how healthy I must be. Every compliment I received brought bile to my mouth. Couldn’t they see I was ill? Couldn’t they see how sick I was?
The thing is, many of them could see how sick I was. One of my mom’s friends said to me, “You’ve gotten so skinny! You must not be eating. Are you not eating? Good for you! Keep it up. I need to start doing that. What a great way to get in shape.” I really wish I were kidding. But the fact is, people think losing weight by starving yourself counts as getting into shape. People see “being in shape” as literally looking like you have no body fat, rather than being in the best physical condition your body can be in.
People would tell me I “looked fit.” As if you could “look” fit. As if fitness had a physical shape. You know what? I wasn’t fit. I was ill.
I was so ill, that when I tried to get better, my body rejected it. For a long time. It had gotten used to less than five hundred calories a day. It had gotten used to throwing up any time I felt remotely full. It had gotten used to functioning without any fat or sugar in my diet. When I was hospitalized, it was really difficult for me to keep food down. Everything made me feel sick. I would eat a normal meal, my stomach would swell as if I were pregnant, and I would be in so much pain I’d cry through the therapy sessions. We did yoga in the eating disorder treatment program. I was one of the worst at it. I had no balance, and everything made me out of breath. My muscles would shake even doing downward dog.
And that brings us to the “AFTER” photos. I was diligent about recovery. I stuck to the meal plan my nutritionist gave me. I made sure to exercise regularly, without over doing it. Part of my meal plan involved eating dessert every day. So I ate dessert every day. Part of my recovery was to engage in unconditional self love. So I embraced myself, my body, and my love for myself like it was a religion.
I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’ve gained 75 pounds since I was checked into the eating disorder clinic three years ago, and am 5 sizes larger. But you know what? I am healthy now. I have a balanced diet. I exercise for the sake of health and fitness, not weight loss. I do yoga, and without shaking and panting. I have balance. This is what health looks like for me. This is what fitness looks like for me.
I encourage all of you, find your own health and fitness. Find your own balance. Don’t compare your body to other people’s bodies. Your body is uniquely your own. Therefore, your health and fitness are uniquely your own. Fat does not negate health and fitness. Thinness does not guarantee it.
“Each of us has the power and responsibility to heal ourselves, to be our own medicine man or woman. Awakening our innate powers of being, loving, knowing, seeing, and healing involves ongoing work at all levels and in all dimensions of our self. Exploring the range of rhythms and emotions, achieving insights into our conditioning and ego, moving through the energy levels of spirit – these are all activities to be integrated into our daily lives.”
– Gabrielle Roth from Maps to Ecstasy: A Healing Journey for the Untamed Spirit
There’s nothing more calming than being at one with yourself – and there’s nothing worse than getting thrown into a busy work day with an unclear mind. These 12 poses will help you start your days with a strong mind ready to achieve everything and anything. With these thoughts in your mind;
“I understand, I see, I speak, I love, I do, I feel, I am”
continue with the following 12 poses, linking them together as a series. Repeat 5 rounds before you jump into the shower and feel happy starting your day!
On my evening tryingtoavoidtheworkthatishouldbedoing internet time I found this hair beauty tip.. sounds great!!
“I have a hair mask trick! It’s not an exact science, but here’s my method: I take one super ripe avocado; halve, peel and de-seed it and put it in a bowl. I mash it with my hands but you could probably use a tool of some sort. Then add about ¼ cup of olive oil (really just enough to thin the avocado paste out a bit — it should be like a paste, not soup). Then I mix in 2 eggs. Once thoroughly mixed I apply generously all over my hair — I focus on the roots because that’s where I need it most, but some people might feel like the tips is where they want to concentrate the mixture. Next wrap your hair in plastic wrap and let sit! I usually do about 20 minutes, then get in the shower and stand and let the heat give the mask a final kick. Then I take the plastic wrap off and rinse! I shampoo after because I just had food in my hair, but I’ve heard some people don’t. It’s a personal choice. That once every 6 weeks is how my hair has gone from brown to red to brown to blonde to black and doesn’t look totally fried!”