You just read in my “Know One Has Heard This Before” post how I severely depleted myself by pursuing this dream of a “healthy body”. If you haven’t read that post yet, go do so now and then come back to finish the story 🙂
So where did it go from there?
I completely burned out and was pretty much forced to take a chill pill.
It wasn’t easy but I knew that the best medicine for me at that time was to slow the f*** down and change my eating habits.
It started with eating more and releasing diet dogma that was keeping me trapped in a very restrictive way of eating. I had to quit Vegansim. After 5 years of eating this way it was a hard decision but there was no other option. There was no magic pill or supplement to save me from the amount of depletion and malnutrition I had accrued. My body was severely low in B12, Vitamin A,D, + K, Calcium, zinc, iron, and much much more.
Towards the end of my vegan journey my body started rejecting all food. The idea of eating MORE broccoli, tempeh or sweet potatoes with almond butter drizzle, was nauseating. My body wanted denser nutrition and was putting up a good fight. So I ‘caved’ and incorporated ALL animal products back into my diet; dairy, seafood, meat, organ meats, eggs…the whole lot.
It actually didn’t start with this idea that I was going to eat ALL these foods as I thought that I could just add back in eggs and maybe dairy and be find but that first bite of egg was life changing and there was no going back from there. I felt as if a huge fog was lifted and my brain turned back on, awakening me back to life.
This was the FIRST meal I had had in YEARS where I had no bloating or indigestion after eating. It was the first meal in YEARS that I felt satisfied. It was the first time in YEARS that I felt grounded and less anxious. It was the mark of a new me.
Before eating that omelette for lunch I thought this would be it…but by dinner time I found myself at Whole Foods in the butcher section frantically asking my sister on the phone how to cook steak. Ya, it happened fast.
Over the months I found a great appreciation for animal foods. Cheese, whole milk, full fat yogurt, eggs, pate, oysters, mussels, steak, bacon, pork chops, all these foods were medicine for my very under-nourished body. And it worked.
Over the weeks I noticed that my hair stopped falling out, I stopped binging on chocolate bars and almond butter at night, my digestive system turned back on, I started sleeping 7+ hours a night (without ever waking up), I stopped peeing a million timers per day, I built muscle tone and gained some very necessary weight.
All was well but I knew something was holding me back from FULLY healing, finding freedom in my body, and getting my period back. That thing was EXERCISE.
I was still exercising and in a way that gave me ‘permission’ to eat all this food. I knew that wasn’t a healthy mentality though as my exercise was merely there to try and manage the weight I was gaining and make sure it “went to all the right places”. (ya, that’s not recovery)
My next step was to COMPLETELY stop the excessive exercise cause I’ll be real with ya, I exercised out of a feeling of obligation, self-hate, punishment and to suppress my weight. Waking up at 5 am to go run in freezing cold weather with an empty stomach for x amounts of time (not matter how sore or tired I was) was NOT coming from a place of love and joy, which is arguably what it should be. If I was real with myself I’d have understood that my relationship with exercise was distressed but I pushed forward doing more and more and more until I felt numb, void of emotion.
So I canceled my gym memberships (yes plural), threw away my running shoes (literally put them in the trash can), and committed myself to no exercise until I had 3 monthly menstrual cycles. I had no idea how long that was going to take but I had no other choice. My every move was dictated by “how much I had exercised that day” and I was over it. I wanted to get out of the box I was living in and open up to freedom.
What happened next?
It took me 5 months from there to get my period back and boy it was the best moment in my life when I saw blood in my panties for the first time in 11 years! But I not only got my period back, I got my LIFE back. I felt free, happy, strong, healthy, grounded, nourished, and rejuvenated. My life had expanded in so many ways. I was able to create deeper friendships with others, eat out at restaurants, spend my mornings journaling instead of running, and grasping onto the little pleasures and joys of life like going out after dinner for an Ice cream cone.
I know it sounds simple and like, “ya, I don’t think doing all that healing, gaining all that weight, and jumping out of my comfort zone is worth it just so I can go out and get an ice cream cone…” but I promise you that it’s way more than eating an ice cream cone. The ice cream cone while it seems like a simple silly thing, in reality it means SOOOOO much more.
It’s YOU finally allowing yourself pleasure in your life (we don’t have to live like monks guys).
It’s YOU not being the picky one who spends 30 minutes convincing everyone else why ya’ll shouldn’t go and get ice cream and should all just go home and do nothing instead.
It’s YOU saying YES to Life and all the experiences it can give you.
It’s YOU nourishing yourself instead of constantly depleting yourself.
It’s YOU being a bad ass and overcoming food fears and dogmatic beliefs.
It’s YOU not being afraid of food, this vital thing we need for life.
It’s YOU feeling free and out of the shackles of the eating disorder prison you are in.
It’s YOU finally being YOU.
“Was is worth it!?’, is something people ask all the time and its so funny cause OF COURSE IT WAS WORTH IT.
Listen, going through recovery is really tough, uncomfortable, and to be quite honest it can at times really really suck. I think recovery is akin to labor. Labor sucks, its tough, and super super uncomfortable (I mean hello, a baby head is coming out of where🤣). But the second the baby comes the mother forgets about it. The pain washes away and becomes a mere blur memory from the past as she is overwhelmed with feelings of joy that her little baby has come to greet her.
So yes recovery wasn’t the funnest, I didn’t necessarily want to go through the whole process but I wanted the ‘baby’ at the end aka recovery. And the second I got to that place of recovery I forgot about all the crying, the anxiety, the fear, doubts, and hardships that I had gone through. Recovery was too amazing that all I focused on was that and this new life that I had to explore.
I am the women I am today because I choose myself time and time again. I chose recovery, because yes it is a choice you get to choose. A choice that at times can seem really really hard to make but you have the power to say no, to throw out the running shoes, delete your fitness pal tracker, ditch the diet, and sit down to real food.
I’m glad that I made this choice to recover and I just want to point out one *little* thing here.
I made the choice for ME and no one else could have made it, no matter how hard they tried.
So now it’s up to YOU to make the choice for yourself.
I hope that all the things I share with you on my website, podcast, Instagram, and youtube gives you that push to say yes for yourself.
Cause darling, being recovered has been one of the most BEAUTIFUL thing I have ever experienced.
To join the Get Your Flow on Course to get your period back, transform your relationship with food, and restore your metabolism click here