Beyond fortunate

As far as I was concerned, there really was not a problem.
Initially it was thought that I had a gluten allergy, so I spent the first semester eating solely gluten free foods and there was little to no difference.
It got to the point that most of my time in college, I did three hour workouts each weekday in college just to build some muscle, gain some sorely needed confidence in myself and make sure I would not revert back to my old ways.
By my junior year, I was on top of my weight, had plenty of writing responsibilities and finally was on a solid footing, which some travel that allowed me to clear my mind.
The most important thing of my college experience was certainly not my degree. It was how I physically and mentally hit rock bottom but found my way back to good physical shape and my strongest mental shape.
*UPDATE* It is hard to believe a year has gone by since I wrote this original post.
I put all of this down on an iPhone during a break at my old job and it was amazing how quickly and clearly everything came back to me.
In the last year, I have continued to grow and not be defined by this struggle. Writing this post a year ago was the final step to show I conquered my eating disorder. Anyone that sees me now, knows I am able to eat plenty of food once again.
Words cannot express how thankful I am to everyone for reading and reacting.
So many of you called me brave for coming forward with this, I call it necessary.
It was necessary for me to write this post for myself and for my pain to go away but even more so, it was important for others who I am sure are going through similar challenges.
Please know that you are not alone. You are worth it and that every single moment matters. Life is too short to live with regret. I lived a massively flawed life for years, one which easily could have put me in a grave at anytime. I have no one to blame but myself.
I cannot fix the past, all I can do is move forward and live the best life I can.
At the end of the day, others may have opinions on who I am and what I stand for, but at the end of the day, the only person I have to answer to is myself. Allowing other people or distractions to get to me just brings negativity and that is never good for anyone.
In 11-plus years of journalism, I have written thousands of articles on a variety of different things. With no offense to any of these pieces, this, by far was the most important.
I had to look into the mirror. There was no choice. There was no hiding.
Body shaming is a real thing. It does not have a gender, a race, religion, nor an age. Be happy and comfortable in your own skin.
There have been some individuals who have said this has motivated or helped them and that is the biggest compliment I could ever receive. If one person can be motivated by this and take steps towards a healthier life, then this post was not written in vain.
My great-grandfather Joseph Bowman always said “plan your work and work your plan”.
It is a mantra our family lives by and one I thought I swore by.
For years, I was doing this quote a disservice, now I understand its real meaning.
While I have conquered my eating disorder, the journey is definitely not over. It never is. I have beaten it for now but these ghosts will come back.
The only difference is that this time I am ready for them, and I welcome them.
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