My Confession (When I Hit Rockbottom): Part 2

by Lauren on October 18, 2011

I honestly thought the moment I hit publish last night, I would receive an outpouring of hate emails or pointed fingers.  I was ready for them.  I created the perfect platform for them.  But something happened last night that I never saw coming in my wildest dreams.

I didn’t get a single negative comment on that post.  In fact, I got more supportive words and emails from so many others that could relate and understand exactly what I was saying.  I was moved.  I am moved!

So that makes writing this second part so much easier.

Part 2:(read part 1 here first if you haven’t already) 

When I left off, I revealed that I was beginning to realize that my workout habits were rooted much deeper than just for the love of exercise.  I did struggle with major control issues with food for many years.  Much of this came from trying to control my constant illness but as with any obsession, it just got worse and worse.  Since then, I’ve managed to let go of my tainted relationship with food. I eat what I want, when I want and I don’t think or feel guilt about it. (for the most part) But what I failed to tell you or myself was that a huge reason for my freedom with food came from feeling the need to compensate that by overexercising.

So if I am still prisoner to the miles I run or calories I burn in doing so, than how is this any different?  It’s not!

There are many other reasons why I use exercise as my release.  Stress is one.  Whenever I am stressed or anxious, I find the only thing that brings me clarity is running. I am in control when I run.  Wait a second, this sounds all too familiar!!  When I was going through an ED, I felt the need to control what I ate.  So here I am in that same pattern, just using a different form of unhealthy escape.

I also started to recognize the warning signs that my habits were not healthy ones.

  • Having a set number of miles I HAD to run each week and feeling so guilty if I didn’t hit that = having a set number of calories to eat each day and feeling so guilty if I didn’t stick to them.
  • Not wanting to race or be around anyone else when I run = isolating myself from situations when I knew I couldn’t be in control of my food.
  • Running just to run with no set purpose or goal = having the feeling of no purpose in the way I was treating my body but could not break it.
I’d like to tell you I figured this all out on my own without having to endure a life changing revelation first.  But as with any monumental discovery, you usually have to hit rock bottom before you can work your way back to the top.
What was my rockbottom?  A few months ago, I decided that I was going to go off the pill.  I had been on it for 9 years.  I knew that it might take my body some time to adjust but after talking with my doctor and not getting a period for 5 months, I finally realized that something is wrong.
I know there can still be a million factors playing into my situation and I’m still going through some tests to see if that is the case, but to be honest, in my heart, I know.
We all seem to create that image of health.  For me, I thought that image was running 50 miles a week, working out 2 times a day, and pushing my body so hard every single day.  But I’ve realized that I was so wrong.  I’m not getting my period and that is not healthy.  So for what I want at this point in my life, I am not anywhere near the healthiest I can be and I just needed to convince myself of that in order to change.
To Be Continued….
(I’ll finish this all up tomorrow with part 3 on my next step and how I plan to change) 
But for now, let me just recap a few things from today.
I taught RPM this morning for another instructor and after I got home, I had only one breakfast on my mind.

Breakfast

  • 1/3 C Steel Cut Oats
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2 C Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Chia
  • 2 T pumpkin
  • 2 T cottage cheese
  • A ton of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
A few things that made this particular bowl one of the better bowls I’ve had in awhile, the cottage cheese (I forgot how good it was stirred into pumpkin oats) and the extra spices.  I think I’ve been going too light on them before because I could detect a significant difference today.
Toppings were blackberries, pumpkin butter, sunflower seed butter and granola.
Like I said, this was one of the better bowls of pumpkin oats I’ve made.  It’s the little things.
With being out of the office for most of the day yesterday, I had a ton of things to catch up on.
By the time lunch rolled around, I was ready for a break.

Lunch

Leftover Sushi (Spicy Salmon Roll)

Salad: Romaine, Beets, Avocado, Apple, Dried Cherries, Pumpkin Seeds
I had an appointment after work and didn’t get home until close to 6:00.  After talking to Toly, I finally got around to making dinner.
For weeks now, I’ve had a certain recipe on my mind.  I’ve seen it a few times on Angela’s blog and every single time, I kept telling myself I NEED to make this!
Tonight, it was on.

Dinner

 
That would be pumpkin mac and cheese with roasted butternut squash, spinach and broccoli.
I used Angel’s recipe for the Pumpkin Cheeze Sauce  and took my own spin on baked macaroni using shell pasta and adding in the vegetables.  I mixed this all together, topped it with some goat cheese and placed it in the oven for 15 min.
It was amazing!  The sauce I could have eaten by itself but I guess adding the pasta and veggies wasn’t such a bad idea.
I also had a bowl of brussels sprouts on the side.
This dinner was amazing!
I’ll be back tomorrow to conclude this series.  Again, thank you all so much for being simply amazing!!!  I can’t express how much I value your understanding and support.  It’s not easy admitting this to myself or telling the world for that matter so the fact that you all are there to back me up is truly appreciated. :)
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{ 33 comments }

CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ October 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I am here for you whenever you need support! You have been a wonderful friend to me, Lauren. I hope you know what a good person you are.

Clare @ Fitting It All In October 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Again, I love you. I know where you’re coming from – we all do – so there is absolutely no judgment. So glad you’re getting to a good place:)

Nelly October 18, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I am happy to say I was at the same point a year ago. I didnt get my period for over 5 years and I got married and still didnt have it for the 1st year of marriage. I ate healthy but overexercised to the extreme. I had to quit running entirely and just kept it to walking, cycling, and cross training. Within 6 months I got my period back and it regulated to 28 days (my goal was to get it back so I could get pregnant) and I am happy to say I am now pregnant! I also made sure to get in at least 2000 calories a day and workout max an hour a day. IT WORKED! There is hope..but its a mental battle! You can do it, esp with Gods strength. Now I can help others going through the same thing!

Lauren October 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Nelly- thank you so much for sharing this with me. It truly gives me a sense of hope. :) And CONGRATULATIONS! :)

Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats October 18, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Thank you so much for sharing these posts, Lauren! I went through the same thing with being so extremely restrictive of my eating because it was one of the only things I felt I had control over in my life. It is so nice to hear stories from other people who have struggled with the same things! Hopefully we can all help each other in whatever way possible! :)

Lauren October 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Absolutely! That is what is so great about having the ability to connect with so many other people who share some of the same things.

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 18, 2011 at 9:12 pm

You are amazing for opening up like this. I am so proud of you for realizing what you need to do to get healthy and better. Not getting a period for me is so frustrating as well – in fact, it’s downright scary. I just don’t get it though. I’m not running anywhere more than 15-20 miles per week and I am definitely eating enough. As women, most of us have hopes and dreams of having a family some day so I can definitely relate to where you’re at!

Lauren October 18, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thanks girl. I didn’t realize how common it was for women. It’s actually really scary to think that it’s almost the “norm” now. It makes you feel like your womanhood is being compromised- so much harder than I ever imagined it would be.

Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Getting support and encouragement is what the healthy blog community SHOULD be, so I’m glad you were able to receive that in your last post. It’s unfortunate that people have to be so rude and snide in their comments. Just being open about this and writing about it is a breath of fresh air I’m sure! You are definitely an inspiration, and I am sure others can see that too!

Jes @ Jess Go Bananas October 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm

You are so courageous to come out and post about your struggles. It is inspiring! :D
I need to get my hand on some brussel sprouts! lol

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes October 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I am loving these posts girl! You seriously rock :)

Lauren October 19, 2011 at 6:48 am

Aw, thanks so much Lauren!

Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health October 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Wow, thank you so much for opening up and sharing your post! You are awesome!

Lauren October 19, 2011 at 6:48 am

<3 thanks Lindsay!

Chelcie @ Chelcie's Food Files October 18, 2011 at 10:53 pm

These posts are really inspirational and honest! It takes a lot of courage to be this open when you don’t have control over who is reading this. I just wanted to tell you that I LOVE your blog, and your honesty is really inspiring:)

Lauren October 19, 2011 at 6:47 am

Thanks girl! :)

April October 18, 2011 at 11:02 pm

It’s so funny, I’ve been reading your blog this week and we’ve been making some of the same things, from the POM tempeh to OhSheGlows squash-mac-and-cheezes! If you like the pumpkin one, try it with roasted butternut squash. Omgoodness it is SO GOOD. My husband had no idea there wasn’t real cheese in it!

Lauren October 19, 2011 at 6:47 am

I was originally going to make the butternut squash but had an entire can of pumpkin that needs to be used. I did add some roasted b-nut squash which was just as good! Hope you’re well April.

holly October 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm

lauren,

thank you for sharing! i think it is so important to tell our stories in order to help others, as there are those out there experiencing the same thing. can’t wait to read the last installment!!

<3
holly

Lauren October 19, 2011 at 6:46 am

<3 you girl!

Allegra October 19, 2011 at 3:39 am

Hi Lauren – I read your blog almost everyday, and absolutely love your breakfast bowls + dinner combinations. We have really similar diets!!!

I’ve been completely blown away by your last 2 posts; it’s great to see you making changes in order to take care of yourself. I completely relate to the way you feel: I no longer restrict nor feel anorexic but still haven’t gotten back to regular periods. Every time I visit my doctor the issue comes up, but b/c I feel healthy & have beaten the controlling aspect of the illness as well as gained weight (over 2 years now), it’s hard to push myself to the next step!

Your posts have been such an inspiration. I think perhaps changing up your exercise to incorporate less strenuous activities that still make you strong (e.g. pilates) is a great way to approach the dilemma! I used to run everyday too but now I’ve switched to just 3 days a week, and honestly my body feels so much better for it. Less run down, less soreness, and far more energized! G’luck :)

Allegra

Lauren October 19, 2011 at 6:46 am

Thanks so much Allegra! It means so much for you to share this and I know you’re right. :) Just working on convincing myself of that.

kathleen @ the daily crumb October 19, 2011 at 7:10 am

you are so strong to be sharing these stories, lauren. i am so happy that you are coming through on the other side. onward and upward :)

Clare October 19, 2011 at 7:12 am

I think this is an issue that so many of us struggle with and I think it’s incredibly commendable that you are putting it out there as it’s something so few people would be willing to talk about. I have overexercised to the point that I got stress fractures and lost my period and had a cold for almost 7 months straight; it has been very hard for me to accept that the level of exercise that is healthiest for me is not compatible with my skinny jeans. What I mean is that I could quite happily and willingly exercise strenuously for an hour and a half EVERY day; I love the endorphins, the energy and the feeling of strength. When I do that however, I start to get the signs that it’s too much.
Now I only exercise hard every other day (even though I want to go out on “rest” days too) and I feel much better for it.
I wish you all the best in finding out where your own healthy place is. Take Care.

EricA October 19, 2011 at 7:28 am

So glad you didnt get negative comments!!! Dinner looks amazing! I made a similar Ellie recipe a while back-totally need to make it again

Erica @ For the Sake of Cake October 19, 2011 at 8:04 am

Thanks for sharing Lauren. I’m sure it’s difficult to open up about a topic as personal as this, but I’m sure many readers are benefitting from it!

Tia October 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

I absolutely believe there is nothing wrong with having running as your stress outlet, I do that ALL the time, but when it becomes the only way you can and your logging your miles as a way to combat it, I need to do 6 to feel better, I agree that probably isn’t healthy.

I don’t want to say that it’s nice to see you have issues, cause of course I wish you all the happiness in the world, but to me, it makes you more human, and easier to connect with. <3 Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Katie October 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

Lauren, thank you so much for these posts. You are so brave to share your story. I think as bloggers we often feel we have to project a certain image of having everything together, never making “bad” food choices or struggling with guilt, and having a 100% healthy relationship with exercise. So thank you again for being so honest. It’s one of the reasons why I love your blog… not just because you’re peppy and up-beat all the time. Big hug to you!

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Not having a cycle is one of the scariest things to show up in health in my opinion too. Glad you are sharing your experience! And I can certainly relate to using workouts and food as a control mechanism…and masking it behind “well I love it!”

janetha October 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Just caught up with your posts, love. Glad you are getting all of this off your chest and also that you are changing your habits. I love you!

Miranda October 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Lauren, finally catching up on posts. I’m proud of you for acknowledging the underlining issue. It’s not easy to be honest with others let alone yourself. I am still recovering from years of an ED and after 6 years of going off the pill, I still haven’t gotten a period. Doctors have a medical term for what’s going on with me. But I still have reduced my exercising, which isn’t easy but with God’s strength and grace, I know this is what I need to do. Eventually the reduced workouts and the fact that I’m not so lean and at a much healthier weight, will produce the outcome we so long desire as well….baby. :) hang in there and my ear is always available.

Sarah October 21, 2011 at 4:42 am

Whats the difference between steel cut oats and regular oats? Are they just more heartier?

Lauren October 21, 2011 at 6:41 am

The biggest difference is in the texture. Steel cut are chewier and slightly nuttier. They are less processed than rolled oats so some see that as a health advantage. I prefer the “chew” over the creaminess of regular oats. It’s all a matter of preference though.

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