In this episode, I want to talk a little bit more of the physical changes that have happened in my body since things all fell apart. I'm not going to lie, some of this is dark and may be a little triggering for you (particularly those of us with history of eating disorders), so feel free to skip through.
Let's flash back to January. This was right before everything went to shit and I was completing a January Whole30. You can jump back to older posts which included some delish recipes. It was LIFE CHANGING. I had decided I was no longer happy with my body and that my health needed an overhaul. I had been struggling to balance my hormones, lose weight and feel good for a long time at this point, and Melissa Hartwig and the Whole30, seemed like a perfect fit. I also enjoyed the fact that there was so much science and research to back it up. This nutritionist was happy with her choice.
Now I mention this, because it was around this time that I started to get my groove back. I lost 12 pounds, and I felt amazing. I was feeling more confident and it showed. It also resulted in me standing up for myself for the first time in a long time, and being a little sassier than he was used to. If I'm being honest, I don't think he liked it. It's interesting to be because both times my serious relationships have ended coincided with me deciding to get back to taking care of me, and putting myself first. You see, I have this funny habit of becoming the mama bear, taking care of everyone else and putting myself last. Well guess what, thats not sexy or good in a relationship. If you don't feel hot AF and good in your body, your partner isn't going to feel that about you either (most of the time). And you can feel hot, sexy and radiant at ANY FUCKING SIZE - it just takes some serious self care and putting yourself first. Which I was not doing.
Anyways, whole30 changed my life and my body started to change. And this is when the weight loss started. But when everything started crumbling in my marriage, I was sent into a downward spiral of deep depression, anxiety and serious stress. I was trying to cover all our bills while having no energy to get out of bed, no financial help and wondering when the hell he was coming back. I thought if I held it all together and paid for everything, he would come back to me and we'd be good. Boy was I wrong. So with all this stress, I stopped eating. We're talking less than 500 calories a day for TWO MONTHS. I'd eat Kelly's Bake cupcakes and brownies, the occasional piece of fruit - that I forced myself to eat. But food just wasn't appetizing. Or maybe it was that I was so stressed out I couldn't keep food down. I was physically ill from being so sad and stressed out. And the weight started flying off.
The people around me didn't know what was going on at this point, so rumours started flying about an eating disorder. Guys are work were concerned and asking me what I had for dinner the night before, my answer often being nothing. Here's the thing, I wasn't doing it to lose weight - I couldn't do it. Food just felt torturous, and menial. Eating was the last thing on my mind. Not to mention, the smell and taste of it sent me heaving. But I also wasn't at the point in my healing and processing journey to tell people about the separation. I felt totally alone and like an absolute failure. It had been less than a year since we had gotten married. How was I supposed to tell people that he had moved out, I didn't know where he was and wasn't entirely sure how we had gotten to this point? So I dodged questions and said they we're being ridiculous.
Until finally the emotional dam broke, and out came the truth. I didn't really start eating again for another few weeks, and even now I have to count calories to make sure I'm eating ENOUGH. And that's okay. It's been this interesting journey of my body going back to its natural state, and I have these moments where I look in the mirror and I don't recognize myself. But then I look closer and I see her: that beautiful girl who was always there hidden beneath the layers of protection.
My body, my health, my period, my mental health - they have all changed in profound ways. I've lost almost 40 pounds, started working out again, my period comes every 28 days like clock work and I only have 1-2 days of migraines, heavy bleeding, back pain and cramps (instead of debilitating pain constantly), I'm off the anxiety and anti-depressant medications I went on when all of this happened, and well I'm in love with my body and what she can do again. I feel sexy and strong, beautiful and smart, kind and funny, and I have this new sense of joy for life - and a lot less fear, because I've been through hell and back. I made it and I can handle whatever life has to throw at me.
This year has been both the best (for personal growth) and worst year of my life. And I'm grateful for it all. Because without the heartbreak and the pain, I wouldn't be who I am today.