Last week I celebrated my 27th birthday. Naturally, I started reminiscing about my past, my personal story. About nine years ago, I was in a full blown battle with an eating disorder.
As a child, I was super anxious, had panic attacks, and even OCD. I was so afraid of dying. I didn’t feel safe in the world. At that time, I learned that food could comfort me in ways I didn’t know how to do on my own. I started to feel bad about myself and developed low self-esteem because of the way I was treating myself. I got picked on and felt gross. I didn’t know how to handle my thoughts. I never felt good in my body or about the way I ate.
Senior year in high school, I found my control. I started eating less. Way less. I saw myself getting smaller. I started exercising more and more. I started to gain control over my anxiety and panic. I even got more attention from boys. I felt so high because I finally was good at something, I was thin and nothing else mattered. I became obsessed. In just a couple months, I lost an unhealthy amount of weight. I was eating very little and on a very rigid schedule. I put this first before anything else. I avoided parties, family, or anything that I thought would set me off track. I avoided anything food related. I lost a lot more than weight. I lost friendships, fun, my period, my thick hair, and my connection to my intuition . After 3 years of food restriction and over exercising, my body’s hunger could not contain itself. I needed to be nourished. I needed food.
So I ate. A lot. I was compulsive and nobody knew it. I started binging on anything, especially the foods I had denied myself. I would leave functions to sneak eat in the bathroom, car, or anywhere private. I gained 30+ lbs. back and some extra in 2 months. It was drastic and made a major dent to my ego. I felt hot, uncomfortable, and depressed. I felt as if my worth went out the door. I hated putting clothes on. I hated looking at my closet at the clothes I used to prance around in when I was…thinner. I felt sucked in to this guilt / self-sabotage habit loop. I was mentally and physically at war with myself.
When I hit my rock bottom. I decided to write. It was midnight. I ate so much that day that I actually got sick, my body naturally rejected the food I put in it. I couldn’t sleep because I felt so ill, so uncomfortable, so full, and ready to just give up on myself. Somehow, I went downstairs on my computer and I started typing. I wrote…
“There has to be a way out. There has to be a different way. I don’t wish this pain on anyone in my life. GOD, I swear, I will get better. Help me get better and when I do I will help others. ”
So I got better.
My recovery journey was a slow, steady, yet rewarding one. I took action and got professional help. My boyfriend at the time, Kyle, introduced me to his sports mental management goal system. He used it for golf. I was a horrible golfer. So I used it for my personalized goals.
That was my first introduction to learning about the power of our mind, our thoughts, and that we can change our reality by changing our minds.
All that lead me to where I am today. Helping others find freedom around negative habits and beliefs. I still struggle, I still battle the obsession, the thoughts that tell me I’m gross. However, it doesn’t stop me from living and doing the things I love. I have to redirect myself, every damn day. Truth is, it doesn’t matter how much you weigh or what your dress size is. IT DOES NOT MATTER. What matters is how you treat yourself, how you feel in your body. Instead of working out to lose weight, work out to nourish your muscles. Eat healthy to have energy to do the things you love. I have learned to approach my disordered thinking with more kindness, love, and compassion. At the end of the day, you need to be happy with where you are now. I was not any happier being smaller. I am happier now more than I have ever been. I fill up on experiences with my good friends, with meaningful and uplifting work, and doing the things that nourish my body, mind, and soul.
Whatever path you are on, the first step is to forgive yourself. Forgiveness equals freedom. Use your challenge, your suffering as a pivotal turning point to change. Be grateful for the challenge as it serves a purpose. It is easy to focus on the negative side effects of our challenges. However, without it, how else would we evolve and transform? Use them as learning lessons. Get curious, what is the benefit of this suffering? Believe it or not, this is your bodies way of telling you…my darling, PAY ATTENTION !!!
“In the long run, you’ll be proud of yourself being able to push through the obstacles. The outcome is great and all but the journey is better because that will be your story” Kurt
Just take the first step and the path will show up later. You are worth the fight. Fight for yourself by asking for help. Message me. Message a therapist. Google. One step every day. The biggest thing was I had to accept myself as I was. I learned to stop waiting till I felt better to act. Now is the perfect time to start, now is always the perfect time.
So own your story. OWN the darkness. Shout it out loud. Express your secrets that nobody knows. Why? Because you never know who you might help heal. When we free ourselves from our past, we help others heal and do the same. Make the choice to be free from the darkness inside you. Shine the light of awareness on that dark spot.
All we need is a little inspiration, and I hope this is it.
From my heart to yours,
I believe in you.
Anna Elizabeth Nadolski