I spent a lot of time thinking while I was injured and have tossed one thing in particular around in my head a lot but just wasn't sure if I should or could write about it, but I feel like its important.
As many of you already know growing up I dealt with bulimia and anorexia. I was never a fat kid or anything even close so many won't understand why I would choose to do that. Sparring you all the horrible details I'll just say with all the loss and pain I was forced to deal with growing up I believe I needed to find something I could control. I've had a lot of years to look at it and wonder why I'd choose this to control. I'm sure a psychologist would have a field day with this but I think it was probably a way not only to control a situation but also a way to punish myself for something I knew I shouldn't be doing. It's a very weird cycle that I'm sure no one can understand fully unless you have been through it yourself. I was very lucky that I found a man in college that loved me enough to help me quit and be strong for me when I couldn't. I struggled with it for years until I got pregnant with my first son and than I just stopped. I knew I needed to be smart and protect my little man.
Now fast forward to the present. I think the reason I feel the need to talk about this is because not enough people who have dealt with it are willing or maybe not able to. Plus I feel like running has gotten a bad rap in this department. If running is every associated with an eating disorder it is in a bad way. Typically you hear stories of runners who have become anorexic to get smaller which in turn they believe will make them faster. This is a story of running actually saving me from this. As most runners know when you are training you feel very powerful. Running makes you proud of your body, proud of how strong it is, proud of how resilient it is proud that it seems to make you this powerful woman. For me when I am training food is important it gives me the fuel to continue to be powerful. I NEVER think oh man I shouldn't eat that it's so fattening. I usually just let my body tell me what it needs. If I am craving a burger it's because my body needs the fat and protein so I eat a big fat juicy burger. At the same time I don't usually worry about my weight when I am running. There are times I will be a few pounds heavier and times I will be a few pounds lighter. The only time my weight bothers me when I am in training is if I get too light. I know this sounds ridiculous but if I get too light I runout of energy and can't maintain the speed and power. I have a lot of people tell me you are so skinny what do you weigh 90lbs? I know a lot of women don't like to talk about it but I do not weigh 90lbs or anywhere close! When I am in the thick of marathon training I am usually 110 and when mileage is down I am closer to 115. But no matter what my weight is I just make sure I feel powerful and energetic.
Being injured gave me a lot of time to think. There were days close to the end of the injury that I would think oh boy I better start running soon I'm getting a little chunky. Now I don't say this because I want anyone to tell me I'm skinny. Even as I thought the words I knew I was wrong. I am not even close to chunky but I think my head would just go back to the feeling of me not being powerful. Now I don't want to alarm anyone I would NEVER go back there! I just feel like its so important for people to know that running really has helped me. I'm sure there are other women or men out there struggling with an eating disorder and I just wanted them to know that while there is no sure way to cure it finding something that makes you feel powerful and strong will help! It doesn't have to be running it could be whatever you want but just find something that makes you feel like the best form of yourself!
Again I don't think enough people talk about making it on the other side of eating disorders. It's a mental thing and maybe if more people were open about it they could help just one person overcome it.