A Look Back

Yesterday I wasn’t able to get to the gym because I had one too many things gong on. Yes, I know what most of my fellow foodie/lifestyle bloggers say–‘there’s always 20 minutes to squeeze in a workout’. Yeah, okay, I hear you, but there are some days–for me–that don’t permit a workout session. I’ll either be too tired and won’t be fully immersed in the workout–basically praying for it to end, or I’ll become too tired in the long run and will have to take an extra rest day.

Since I didn’t get a workout in yesterday, I packed up my gym bag, brought it to work, and was ready to complete some cardio along with an ab workout once I left the office. Well, around, 3:00 my body just didn’t feel right. I was feeling achy, tired, and just was not feelin’ it. The thought of the gym was literally horrifying and I couldn’t imagine working up a sweat on the treadmill and crunching my way through the tail-end of my workout. Normally speaking, I’m pretty good at fighting through these feelings but this was different. I didn’t want to go. Now, truthfully, I never don’t want to go to the gym. I like the gym–we have a good relationship. But I think I may have over-done it.


Many moons ago (anywhere from 1-4 years ago) I would have pushed myself through a workout–aches, pains, sickness, anything. There was no such thing as not going to the gym–in my world, it didn’t exist. I was almost embarrassed by my dedication. But now I realize it wasn’t dedication–it was addiction. I was literally addicted to the gym. It’s moments like today–my second day not going to the gym–where I realize how far I have come. While I haven’t told you in detail what I’ve gone through in the past (you have a little snippet on my About page) it was a pretty traumatizing time in my life. And not just my life, everyone around me suffered, too.

Between my incredibly small intake of food and my addiction to the gym, I danced down the wrong path. So many measures were taken to get me back to where I am. It took years. YEARS. It was such a brutal, grueling, long road. I lost myself, I lost my friends, I lost my parents’ trust. I received messages and inboxes from people I hardly knew who were afraid for my health. Again, it took YEARS to gain all these peoples trust back. I let everyone in my life down, and was sick with the most terrifying eating disorder.

I clearly remember when one of my very best friends, who I won’t name, came to visit me in California during the midst of this insane madness. This person in particular had known me since I was about 12. We hung out every weekend from middle school to high school and grew incredibly close. She could tell I was struggling, suffering, and just didn’t know what to do with myself anymore. We were shopping in Santa Monica. She took me to the side, put her arm around my shoulders, and calmly said, “It isn’t getting any better, is it?”, and I just started to sob and through the sobs managed to say “no”. I felt so terrible. Terrible doesn’t really even amount to how I was feeling in that moment. During my high school years, I was very social and personable, and all of those people who knew me, didn’t know me anymore.

I’m not sharing this to have someone slap me a high five or see me as some sort of heroine for managing to get past this, I’m sharing this for myself. To realize how far I have come. For someone who used to be consumed by working out and restricting calories each day. Sometimes I find myself so exhausted. Part of it is because I still have the tendencies to over-work myself. I try to squeeze every little thing into every single day. I try to check everything off my ‘to do’ list. That being said, I’ve also regained all of the qualities of myself that I had lost–being spontaneous, being funny, spitting dirty jokes wherever, going out all the time, eating things that just LOOK GOOD (in moderation–come on people).

I’ve also, for the most part, regained all of the friends I felt I had lost–and gained some. I’ve regained my parents’ trust. Gone are the days where all they worry about is if I’m going to finish half of a piece of chicken–instead they worry about me getting back to my apartment at 4:00 am after a long night out with my friends.

I’m so proud of myself. I’m so proud that I’m able to share these things with you. While thinking about the past still gives me knots in my stomach, I’m so glad that I can look away and know that I’ll never be there again. So the next time I’m busy feeling guilty for not going to the gym for two days–I’ll think again.


8 responses to “A Look Back

  1. Steph, I knew there was a reason I kept coming back to your blog. More often than not, I find myself reading blogs and feeling like some- but not all- HLB’s have this mentality that they HAVE to squeeze in a hard-core workout twenty-four seven. Don’t get me wrong, I love working out but give me a break… Every body and mind needs rest and if that means sleeping past a 6 AM workout, I’m going to do that. There are two sides to this situation but it frustrates me that some bloggers go to a “extreme” when blogging about their workouts 6 days a week. Their addiction is obvious, and addiction is far from healthy. Sounds like you have overcome a lot and that is awesome, girl! In my opinion, not a thing is more healthier than a HAPPY human being that truly ENJOYS her life to the fullest.

    • Thank you so much for the support Mindy! I love your blog as well 🙂 unfortunately, there are definitely some healthy living blogs out there that promote over-exercising. Sometimes I have to try to not compare myself to certain bloggers in order to realize that I don’t want to over-do it.

  2. So proud of you Steph!! ❤

  3. It’s good to know when you need a break.
    I’ll admit, I’m an obsessive one but to be honest, my running obsession relieves the stress from work and I find regulates my mood. There is such a thing as a “healthy obsession” and that means being strict and regimented while knowing the limits. A healthy mind and body are fueled by healthy foods.
    You’ve got a great story to tell Steph and the way you’re moving on is very motivating.

    • Thanks, Joanne. I can understand what you mean about ‘healthy obsession’ when it comes to working out. I feel like this is where I am now when it comes to working out. However, it wasn’t always that way for me.

  4. I rarely leave comments on blogs I read but this just resonated really deeply with me. I share a similar history regarding disordered eating/exercise and negative body image in general. Up until a year ago or so i was on a very long and bumpy path, but it’s so important to stop and recognize how far we’ve come and appreciate and be proud of that fact. I too am in my early twenties and just stepping into my “real” life. I’m so happy to be able to do so from a place of mental, emotional, and physical health and strength. Go us! (For real, though:)

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