Hello friends! Ariel is my name, and living healthy is my aim. But for a very long while, I went down a path that wasn’t healthy at all. Before jumping into the wonderful world of blogging, I’d like to share my story with you.
Before high school, I was at my highest weight and noticeably unhealthy. Through four years of varsity tennis, my father’s own weight-loss success (over 100 pounds – go Dad!), and my family’s transition to low-carb eating, I reached my lowest weight and my peak physical condition by my senior year. I did experience bouts of low self-esteem and I struggled with body image, but those years were all-in-all the healthiest I ever had.
I did have one episode, following the end of my first relationship, in which I spent a week exercising excessively and skipping random meals. That is, until I fainted twice in the same day, bumped my head on the way down, and ended up in the emergency room for dehydration and a head wound. As the doctors brushed liquid stitches on my forehead and pumped me full of saline solution, I made a promise that I would never go to such extremes again.
If only! Once college began and the homesickness set in, I sought solace in food. I put on a few pounds – but in my head, it felt more like a ton. I started working out out at the gym excessively (again). Even worse, I began binge-eating. I might go to the gym the next day, and burn myself out as a punishment, but I’d still binge and I’d still feel guilty.
Second semester, I made the choice to lose the weight. But for me, that meant severe calorie restriction, hearkening back to the summers of high school when I would strive to stay trim for tennis. I lost a lot of the weight, but an accomplishment like that doesn’t mean much when you still don’t like yourself.
I ended up going to the other extreme – partying on weekends, eating way too much, crying all the time. I thought I was overweight, I thought no one would like me, and I was just so ashamed. After talking with a close friend, he mentioned that I was probably one of the most-likely candidates for bulimia nervosa. Little did he know, it wasn’t for lack of trying. I had already tried abusing laxatives, and for a few weeks – particularly after a large binge, or if I was upset – I had attempted to force vomiting.
One night, I did it. Coughing, eyes stinging, and throat on fire, the gravity of the situation finally hit me. I was headed down a truly dark, unhealthy path that could wreak more than emotional havoc.
But I knew that person wasn’t me, or who I wanted to be. Since that point in time, I’ve taken steps to regain my life and my control over food. I’ll be honest: even years later, some days are still tough. There are days when I eat way too little (or way too much!). Some workouts I burn more than I mean to, and act like I don’t need to adjust my calorie intake. Sometimes I just get really sad or lonely, and the bingeing comes back. Then the guilt sets in, and I want to undo everything. But we can’t go back, only forward – so why waste time on shame or tears or things of the past?
I want this blog to be a place of support and motivation for everyone. For people like me, who were or are on the precipice of a life-consuming eating disorder, for those that struggle to find their personal balance, and for anyone in between. Every day is a battle, but I promise you aren’t alone.
Join me as we head towards health and happiness, one day at a time!