The End of an Era

As some of you may or may not know, between junior year in high school and sophomore year in college I struggled with an eating disorder.

What started as an attempt to be a better soccer player and fitter/healthier athlete, ended in a full blown eating disorder. There were different stages as I worked my way through the struggle. At the beginning it was the restrictive calorie intake eating and the “I won’t eat fat” stage. That led to the overexercising and binging and purging stage (whatever I could do to rid calories). Once I realized that I had to stop purging and overexercising myself, my body was so beat up and had no idea what hunger truly felt like. I was out of touch with myself. Which then led to the just binging stage.

By the end I was so emotionally, mentally, and physically tired of fighting myself, and food.

After lots of counseling, yoga, and awareness I was eventually able to regain a normal sense of hunger and eating habits (over the course of about 2 years!).

And although I would say I’m fully recovered, that’s not to say there aren’t days I don’t struggle with food, body image, or the like.

During my eating disorder I had a general dissatisfaction with my body in general, but my thighs had always been the focus of my dissent. Once strong and extremely muscular (thanks to a whole lot of soccer!), they are not what they once were. A little softer around the edges, with a few more dimples.

Since having an eating disorder I’ve never much cared for the looks of them (regardless of how many miles they’ve let me run or stairs they’ve let me climb), to the point where I wouldn’t wear shorts. Now I’m not talking workout or soccer shorts, because I wouldn’t be able to get away with that (especially during coaching season!). No, I’m talking cute shorts you go out it. You go to lunch in. You shop in. You walk around town in. Those kind of shorts.

I never wore them, nor did I ever buy them. Up to this summer I hadn’t bought a new pair of shorts since early college, or maybe even high school. With the exception of maybe one pair.

This summer I decided it was time to stop that nonsense. At 28 years old I realized that my thighs are likely never going to be any more muscular or smaller than they are now. I’ve been at a pretty consistent 126 lbs. weight for the past few years. And although yes I could tone up a bit, that’s not my life goal. If I don’t, I don’t. I enjoy working out, practicing yoga, and taking long walks, and as long as I feel good (which I do!) that’s all that really matters.

Why shouldn’t I be able to wear and enjoy shorts like other people do? The answer is I should. I need to be. It’s like telling yourself you’ll be happy if you just lose X amount of weight. Well that’s not true. I weighed almost 25 lbs. less than I do now when I was at the early stages of my eating disorder. And I can promise you those were some of the most miserable years of my life body image wise.

So I bought my first pair of adult shorts at Ann Taylor Loft before we left for vacation. I wore them out to a nice dinner with the fiance, in which he exclaimed “You look nice. You never wear shorts!”. Yes. I never wore shorts. And although it was strange and a bit uncomfortable, I slowly got used to the idea.

And then in D.C. while walking around Georgetown, we stopped in Banana Republic to use the restroom. They just happened to also be having a 40% off sale, and boom – I bought 3 more pairs of shorts.

(A note on body image: All of the shorts I bought are a size 2. Just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter what size you are, body dissatisfaction happens at any size.)

My discomfort with wearing shorts has turned into a sheer sense of liberation. Not only from the hot stickiness of capris and long pants during the summer, but also from the last remaining remnants of a decade struggling with body image.

It feels nothing short of amazing.

For those of you waiting to wear something until your (insert body part here) gets smaller or you just lose blank amount of weight, screw it. Stop waiting for the future to enjoy the body you’re in. You will feel a sense of freedom that only comes with accepting, and begining to love, all of you.

End of an Era I www.eatcleanwithkate.com Shorts. Glorious shorts.

So go out and buy that bikini swimsuit, tank top, or pair of shorts. Remember that you are your own worst critic, and it really doesn’t matter what other people think (not to mention we are way too busy criticizing our own self to bother too much with criticizing others!).

I promise you won’t regret it. :)

Until next time…

Kate

(and p.s. – feel free to leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you!)

 

Linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday today.

Comments

  1. I can very much relate to this. I feel like I’m in a pretty good place with my body right now, but holy.snap was it ever a journey to get here. I never believed people when they said it could take 5+ years to recover from an eating disorder, but yup… I’d say it was about that long, with constant gradual improvements along the way. Great job on overcoming those stupid voices :)

    • Nicholsonk says:

      Hey Amanda! Thanks for stopping by! I love your blog and can totally relate to your story as well. Congrats to you as well. We both know it’s a long (and sometimes never ending!) road, but I’m glad we both have made it to the other side! :) Have a great 4th!

Trackbacks

  1. […] up with Amanda forĀ Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Although I just joined in for the first time (My End of an Era post is here), this is becoming my new favorite post to write. Being busy blogging about food and all, sometimes […]

Leave a Reply