Last year, I got an email from Sarah Jenks the Creator of Live More Weigh Less, asking if I wanted to fly out to San Francisco and hang out with her and a bunch of other LMWL Alums sharing our stories about our bodies and our lives as women.
The second I got the email I knew I was going I replied telling her that I would come and then I had a momentary freakout. Crap, knowing Sarah she is going to ask us some really big questions. Am I willing to really put it all out there in front of thousands?
Well, after a few deep breathes and checking in with my heart, I knew that it was time. I could do this, I’ve shared pretty much everything else, why not open about the area that has brought me the most pain and how I got to where I am now. If you were wanting to check out those stories you can do that by clicking here.
And in further detail here it is and why I think Sarah’s work is so important.
I wasn’t a kid that had body issues, I was really thin, with an athletic build and I was a competitive figure skater. Body issues never even crossed my mind. I’m a kinaesthetic and I loved how my body moved and felt as I trained and performed.
And then, as I shared in one of the videos, I had to take a break. My partner quit in the pre-season, it was too late for me to find another, so I had to sit out for an entire year. I was still skating but the intensity and hours wasn’t the same. During this time, I also went through puberty. My boobs came in, I got some hips, and I became a little softer.
And, when it was time to get a new partner about 9 months later to get back in the game, my coaches, the sport, all told me that I needed to get to back the way I was. Now, I could probably write a book about the sport of figure skating and Ice dance in particular on how damaging it can be to young girls but I will spare you all of it for now. But, what occurred was a complete rejection of who I was becoming and it started my longing for a body that existed in my past.
All of a sudden I was exposed to the other side behind the sequins and crazy stage make up. The fat callipers to shame us for not having a BMI below 15 to be considered athletic enough. FYI women and girls need a BMI no lower than 19 in order to have a regular period and optimized fertility for later in life. I was weighed every so often, my coaches checked my food diary, and I was scolded when I would eat something that didn’t resemble a chicken breast and a salad.
I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t make myself not enjoy chocolate, or a piece of cake so I started to hide it. I ate in my car, a pattern that has lasted for the next 20 years.
I stayed in the sport until I was 19, had 2 more partners, moved across the country and at one point I was even ranked 6th in the country, but I was always left with the feeling that I would have done better, been ranked higher, been happier if I could have just gotten back to the way I was.
The 12 year old with no boobs, no hips, no curves what so ever. Which is crazy and I’m saddened knowing that I’m not the only one that has these thoughts. Its taken years, YEARS to not hold that version of myself as my gold standard for my ideal body.
Enter my early 20’s, finished with sport, attending university, having fun, my weight bounced around. My weight bugged me but it didn’t hold me back, I danced, kissed boys, hung out with my girlfriends and had FUN and that was pretty much what I did until half-way through acupuncture school.
During my studies, we learnt a lot about different views of food. Ways in which food could be medicine and why even the best advice doesn’t work for everyone. I enjoyed learning about it and even got the nerve to try my first cleanse. I successfully gave up gluten, sugar, and dairy for almost a month, and my body was in love. I dropped weight so fast, and not just water weight. I looked and felt like a whole new person in a size 2 body.
But, what I wasn’t prepared for was that I mentally and emotionally still felt fat and because the weight had come off so fast, I felt unprepared for what it all meant. More attention, expectations, and because I was on a cleanse while I lost the weight, I didn’t actually know how to eat afterwards.
At the time, I didn’t really know that Gluten was a huge no-no for me, so I was attempting to add it back here and there, and the weight was starting to come back. This drove me crazy, I was starting to second guess every single thing that went into my body and I felt desperate to keep this body that I have been wanting for as long as I could remember.
So I started to make myself throw-up.
For the better part of the next year, I would basically eat like I was on a cleanse all of the time. Severe restrictions (not balanced eating in any shape or form), I misused laxatives and whenever I broke that insanity because I was being ridiculous and ate real food and/or too much in true binge fashion I would make myself throw it up.
Because I was such a crazy person about my food, it was starting to affect all of the other areas of my life. I wasn’t dating, I felt sick a lot of the time, I was passing up opportunities to hang out with friends, I was shutting down and checking out. Which only made the urge to binge and purge more powerful.
Thankfully, I had a few people that bring out my complete and unfiltered honesty and I was able to share what was happening and through their support and counselling I was able to come to a place where throwing up my food was no longer an option.
It was also around this time that I met Sheldon, and shortly after we started dating, I was honest with him about my current struggle. When I told him, he wrapped his arms around me and looked into my eyes and asked me to please stop, for those of you that don’t know Sheldon, he has the biggest, most intensely beautiful eyes (its funny, but men usually comment on them). So when he really looks at someone its like his eyes have a way of seeing into your soul, and his pleas hit me there.
So I made a vow to never again do that to myself or my body again. And technically I have never broken that promise…..
But, binging and purging can look a lot of different ways. I then went back to doing harsh cleanses as my purge and then binging on all the junk food I could get my hands on eating most of it in my car, or being completely lazy and then over-exercising until I was too exhausted to move.
So here is the latest on that. the last true cleanse that I have done was in 2010. The last crazy diet I have done was in 2011 preparing for my wedding. I am currently on a strict regimen to reverse my Hashimoto’s but my mindset is in a totally different place than it was before, and eating as I am feel natural and intuitive, thanks to the work that I did with Sarah and my own Embodied Alchemy Method (this time around is to heal my body not fix it or make her smaller)
The diet I was on to prepare for my wedding was ridiculous, I ate these crazy little packages of food and these disgusting chemical filled bars of crap, and I could barely do it. I found a way to cheat and still lose the weight so I managed to do that until about 6 weeks before my wedding, I had dropped close to 20 lbs and I was happy with how I looked, and all of my pictures but it wasn’t sustainable.
Afterwards, well I still didn’t know how to eat, and remain skinny. I was left scrambling and guessing and for a while I did okay, but the weight started to come back. And this time I just couldn’t make myself diet anymore.
I didn’t want my weight and body issues be my second job for another minute. Luckily, I had a new project in mind. I wanted to get pregnant, and I knew that being successful in that meant that I had to change some things around and started to listen to my body and try to honour what she wanted.
Enter Sarah Jenks and Live More Weigh Less.
I will be sharing what happened, my life during and after the Live More Weigh Less Program and my relationship with my body post Little E next week, so make sure you check back. For now, check out her FREE Training Videos here.
Sarah’s program reopens for enrolment on Wednesday June 15th, and I may receive a commission if you sign up with my affiliate link. So if you do this, I want to pay it forward and support you through the program and beyond with your greater life goals. I have a few options to choose from where you can work with me for Free! Free Acupuncture sessions, or a Free Alchemy Session.
To get the details, you must sign up for my newsletter you can do that here.
Original Blog post from April 2015
Photo Credit @rozedgephotography