The SparkPeople Blog

Confession: I Obsessively Dieted Down to an Unhealthy Weight

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/9/2009 10:00 AM   :  227 comments   :  38,153 Views

Beginning in high school, many of my girlfriends began to call themselves "fat." They started to watch what they ate, drank diet soda, and would sometimes skip lunch (or eat very little). Now, not one of these girls was actually fat—or even slightly overweight for that matter. I didn't get it! To me, it was a bunch of drama and I paid little attention to it. I didn't think of myself as fat and I wasn't about to go on a diet. Many days, I would eat TWO school lunches (especially on pizza day!) because I was young, growing, and very active in sports, practicing for 2+ hours after school each day and lifting weights five times a week. I ate what I wanted—no matter what it was. Fast food value meals (I was the "Burger Queen"), french fries, candy, pasta—you name it. A fruit or vegetable scarcely crossed my lips, but I managed to stay fit and healthy (at least on the outside) because of my active lifestyle.

These girls probably had an effect on me whether I realized it or not. If they call their tiny size-4 bodies fat—what did that mean for me at a size 8? I always did feel "bigger" than my friends. I didn't understand why my thighs were larger than theirs were or why I weighed so much more than they did. (It wasn't until many years later that I realized my height—several inches taller than most of them—and muscle mass had so much to do with it.)

After high school, I developed a greater interest in nutrition and fitness. I had never paid attention to my diet before, but as I learned more about the importance of making healthy food choices, I started bypassing the junk food and fast food and chose whole grains, fruits and vegetables instead. High school sports were long over, but I continued with an exercise program five days a week with an hour of cardio (like running) and 30 minutes of weight training. It was a fun hobby—reading about healthy living, learning to eat better, and hitting the gym. Then I began to track my food on an excel spreadsheet, and because of the advice I read in magazines, I aimed for 1,200 calories per day. For the first time in my life, I started to lose weight. But more importantly—people started to notice. My life would never be the same again.

To be clear, I was never overweight to begin with, but my family, friends and acquaintances started to notice how I was slimming down and I received compliments left and right. My clothes were getting looser. It didn't take much effort, and I realized that with a little more attention, I could lose even more weight and finally be "tiny" like all of my high school friends were. I relished the attention and praise, and as a bit of a perfectionist (to put it mildly), I became driven to take it further. I added another day of exercise to my week. I also added an extra hour on all the other days, in addition to a nighttime yoga video before bed. I tried to be on the move constantly, walking for an hour after dinner, exercising in front of the TV, squatting while I brushed my teeth. Every moment was a chance to double-task and burn more calories. And when I found ways to cut calories or go without food, I did. Each time I felt hungry or heard a grumble in my stomach, I felt strong and in-control, thinking about all the fat my body was burning since my stomach was empty. Reading this now, you may realize how it sounds a bit obsessive—even unhealthy. But at the time, I thought I was making good choices and being the best example of health and fitness.

In a matter of months, I had dropped from my healthy size 8 to a size 4—smaller than I had ever been. I traded in my size mediums for smalls and extra smalls and bought a string bikini to wear to the pool. People at the gym began to tell me that I should be a model. I felt healthy, fit and confident—I was on top of the world!

The funny thing is, no one thought this was abnormal. I was not skeletal or anorexic—a body type that most people notice as a red flag that something was wrong. I looked really fit and toned—like many celebrities whose bodies we often envy. I was not starving myself. I just controlled my calories and chose healthy foods. When I visited two doctors before heading off to college, neither one was concerned about my weight loss—or even that my period had stopped for several months—so neither was I. It probably didn’t set off any alarms because I looked healthy and was still within the healthy weight range for my height. But all the warning signs were there.

I didn't know it then, but I really was hurting my body—and my mind. To reach that ideal size 4, I had to go hungry, eating fewer than 1,200 calories every day, and exercise for more than 2-3 hours a day. To maintain it, I had to keep up with the same routine. It wasn't until I got to college that my new "lifestyle" became impossible to maintain. I couldn't exercise for hours. I couldn't cook or eat the way I wanted. And I couldn't continue going hungry any longer. My body was not comfortable as a size 4. How do I know? Because getting there and staying there was nearly impossible. With the stress of college, I hit my breaking point. Instead of going hungry, which I had done for months, I ate everything in sight—even when I wasn't hungry! I stopped exercising almost completely. I rebelled, and I gained back all of the weight I had lost—and then some. I never had a weight problem in my life, and now here I was, bigger than I had ever been. I needed to shop for bigger and bigger clothes. None of my tiny, new clothes fit—and none of the clothes I wore before fit either. I felt miserable, but it wasn't just because of my increased girth, which made me self-conscious and depressed.

It is one thing to lose weight in a healthful way when you need to for your health or your own comfort level (and I did need to now, for I was overweight for the first time in my life). It's another thing to force your body to become something that it's not, especially when you're already fit and healthy. A "healthy weight" for your height is a range—not a single number—for a reason. You do not have to be at the bottom of the range to be healthy or fit. Sometimes, your "happy weight" (different then "healthy" weight, I define this as natural, comfortable and easy for you to maintain without killing yourself to do so) will be at the top of the range—that's where I am—maybe even slightly above or below it. It's just a chart. It doesn't really know YOU or what is best for you, so take it with a grain of salt. If you feel happy, confident, healthy and fit, then who cares what a scale or a chart has to say?

It took a few years of self-discovery for me to realize what I had done and what was really going on under the surface, the issues I had to deal with to stop obsessing over food or going to extremes with exercise. It took just as long for me to return to my happy weight. And what do you know, I settled back in to the size 8 I wore as a teenager—when I never watched what I ate or counted calories at all. Looking ahead, I see a life that is filled with meaning, memories and the occasional slice of chocolate cake.

Unlike that size 4, this is something I can maintain without depriving myself of any foods or exercising at every spare moment. This is something I can maintain even if I miss a few workouts or overindulge in wedding cake at a reception (as I did last weekend!). I may not match the "ideal" in my mind, but my body knows best, and I'm not willing to fight with it anymore. When I look back on my life, I realize now that being "thin" really didn't change my life or my level of happiness. It got me more attention, sure, but I was still the same person, searching for something that no amount of weight loss could help me find. For me, living the size-4 life wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.

Do you think your life would be better if you were thin? Have you found your own happy weight?

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Comments

  • 227
    My happy weight seems to be about five pounds over the top of my ideal range.

    I did the same thing you did and got down also to a 4 and down the lower part of my ideal range....and I was sick and unhappy and tired. It took a long time for me to not be afraid of food too. I'd rather be a happy 8-10 than an unhappy 4. - 7/11/2014   12:46:59 PM
  • NELODRA
    226
    Well, that used to be me. From anorexic to bulimic. And although even as a bulimic I never became overweight, I damaged my health - even though back then I didn't fully realise how much I was hurting myself.
    It took me ten years to finally beat the eating disorders, and even now (twenty years later) I know that if I get on the scales and see a number that I don't like, I'll be in trouble all over again. So I don't step on those scales.
    I also cannot afford to look at how much calories my food contains. It will only lead me to disaster.
    But I can eat a healthy diet, and I know I'm still at the same healthy weight I was 20 years ago. I still fit in the same clothes.
    So this is my strategy: Eat healthy, avoid the scales and stay fit. - 11/21/2012   12:01:40 PM
  • 225
    This is a great article. I think I am beginning to obsess like you did. Thank you for the gentle reminder. It is easy to deprive yourself to reach a target but that target is usually hard to maintain. - 10/2/2012   2:31:25 PM
  • 224
    I loved reading this blog! Instead of leaving a very long comment about how I relate and how we can help younger girls so they don't have image problems-- I decided to write my comment as a blog

    http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p
    ublic_journal.asp?id=BOREDIMSO
    - 8/22/2012   7:10:26 PM
  • SEBASTIANALADY
    223
    I love the observation that being thin didn't make change your life or level of happiness.
    I'm trying to think in terms of fitness ability. The ability to do the things I want and need to do. Not in scale numbers or dress size. - 8/22/2012   12:35:47 PM
  • 222
    thank you for sharing ... sometimes its the emotions that control the food, yes we all know healthy eating and working out is a must, but we get lost in the process of achieving 'that' perfect body. Just listen to yourself, not the scale, not how much you should weight every week ... be happy. - 8/22/2012   7:25:15 AM
  • 221
    It takes strength to share this story. Thank you, Coach Nicole. I have struggled on and off with my weight since I was a kid. I always felt like I was the fat kid but looking back, I wasn't really overweight, I just wasn't as skinny as the rest of my classmates. My weight really ballooned when I got to graduate school (longs hours in the classroom and in the lab) so I made the decision to lose weight. I became the skinniest I had ever been. I actually had to purposely stop myself from losing anymore weight because I got to the point where I didn't feel comfortable with how skinny I was anymore. I could have been a couple pounds less and still been considered healthy but I knew just another 5 lbs lost would have been beyond my happy weight. I'm now struggling to go back to my happy weight and it's on the high end of what's considered normal for my height. I've come to be OK with that. I've come to realize it's not just about the pure numbers but also about how I feel. If I feel it's not right, then it's not. - 2/29/2012   1:56:29 PM
  • DEER-HEART
    220
    It's crazy, because this is EXACTLY my story, perhaps a few years behind (I'm 20 and not quite at the happy ending yet). I never watched what I ate and was always a healthy, normal weight, until I started high school and began the comparison game. I followed that with restricting and overexercizing and forced my way down to ~105lbs -- like you, not "anorexic" looking, receiving many compliments, but not a healthy weight for ME. I began university and gained it back and then some, and hit myself with bulimia instead. At this point, I'm trying to simply regain control of my life, feel comfortable with myself and just enjoy being me again... Thank you for the inspiration, Nicole; this really does give me hope that it's not impossible for me to achieve those goals :) - 2/29/2012   6:54:15 AM
  • 219
    Coach Nicole, thank you for the blog. I am stuck at 157. I have tried to lose more but it doesn't seem to want to come off. I have dropped to 148 and then over the holidays I ran it back up again. My favorite form of exercise is running, but during the colder months it just isn't a possibility for me. Inside exercise doesn't seem to cut it for me and weight loss. I wonder though, even if my ideal weight per my height is 137 at the top end, isn't quite what my body needs to be? I don't know. I want to lose more around the middle (who on here doesn't want to lose it there? lol) But, I am beginning to wonder if perhaps just getting down to 148 again maybe just where I need to be instead of striving for the 130something that the chart says.....I appreciate this blog. It does help to remember that charts are generic and do not take into account lean muscle mass and other factors. :) You helped me feel better in my own skin today, and as we all know, that is the hardest part of this process!!! - 2/16/2012   9:41:53 AM
  • 218
    "Sometimes, your "happy weight" (different then "healthy" weight, I define this as natural, comfortable and easy for you to maintain without killing yourself to do so) will be at the top of the range—that's where I am—maybe even slightly above or below it. It's just a chart. It doesn't really know YOU or what is best for you, so take it with a grain of salt. If you feel happy, confident, healthy and fit, then who cares what a scale or a chart has to say?"

    Perfectly said! I get so caught up in the fact that for over an year, no matter what I've done my weight won't go below the top of my range, in fact it teeters on above top, but I refuse to limit my cals anymore then I have, I know I eat well, with an occasional treat, exercise more then enough, but I want to be able to maintain my lifestyle not kill myself doing it. Yet the head still gets stuck on the "why can't it move just a few more?" Thank you for sharing!! I've been working hard on coming to terms with my body being happy and fit where it is! - 2/16/2012   8:52:24 AM
  • 217
    Thank you. Very honest and informative blog once again. And by the way, you look great as is! - 2/16/2012   8:33:15 AM
  • KCHRISTY6
    216
    Excellent blog! This is a situation I've been struggling with for some time now. It's nice to know that it's not just me and that there is "a corner" waiting just up the road for me. - 2/16/2012   8:31:01 AM
  • 215
    I am within my healthy weight range... My happy weight is something else altogether. But I am trying hard to bridge the gap :-) Thanks for sharing this!!! - 2/16/2012   8:27:28 AM
  • 214
    Coach Nicole, thank you for your honest and heartfelt blogs of late. They have made me like you and your videos on Sparkpeople and DVD's even more. You are guiding me on a personal journey of weightloss and it is nice to have a virtual friend who "gets" it. Thanks! - 2/16/2012   8:24:11 AM
  • 213
    OMG Nicole i just posted a blog just about this!!!
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 2/16/2012   8:00:27 AM
  • 212
    Nicole - I'm struggling with the scale right now. I started my journey in March of 2010 to get to a normal BMI and healthy body weight for me. I had about 80 lbs to lose (according to WW) to do so. My goal was to do it by my birthday in April of 2011. It is now February of 2012 and I'm not there. I have 10 more lbs to lose for a total of 72 lbs. - I began to question what was normal for me and went to my doctor to help me determine where I will be. I understand plateaus, I understand my body adjusting, I understand the effects of stress and changes in habits that will keep the weight coming off. Those I am mentally fine with - my problem is that every time I don't see another pound come off, I freak that I am actually putting the weight I have lost back on. I NEVER want to go back. I would love to hear how people get comfortable with the new weight (or plateaued weight) maintain and keep working out and eating healthy without being paranoid of truly being obese again. I totally get how you can't know how you look and that you are too thin (or for years for me too heavy). What I saw in the mirror when I was fat is not what i see in pictures from that time now. Now I'm paranoid that what I see in the mirror isn't as fantastic as I think it is and that I will get lazy. - 2/16/2012   7:48:58 AM
  • MEGANDME
    211
    I started running with my dad 7 years ago and it was amazing and i lost a heck of a lot of weight, i looked really good, but i never appreciated that, I always felt fat and ugly, now, seven years later i see pictures of back then and i am like WOW...i can do it again, just taking one day at the time.
    - 9/29/2011   11:28:15 AM
  • 210
    I am at 148# which is a BMI of 22. I am looking to take it down to 20, but I am working on building muscle too. I am surprised at how much I can weigh and be healthy weight on the BMI scale ! - 8/24/2011   9:14:15 AM
  • 209
    I stopped by this blog after reading your swimsuit themed one. Just wanted to say thank you for writing it. I went through the exact same cycle of dropping from athletic and slightly larger than my friends, to too small, to far too big during my middle school and boarding school years. Knowing that you got back to where you started is comforting; I feel more certain that I'm going to get back there, too. - 6/17/2011   7:15:35 PM
  • MIEZEKATZE
    208
    Clicked on this entry after reading your swimsuit confessional. This entry really resonated with me, as I recently gained back some of the weight I had lost previously. But not all.

    I woke up this morning, feeling like a fat slob. None of my "skinny" clothes fit me anymore (especially the jeans). But your article reminded me that I am in a happy spot - recently engaged, still working out, eating relatively healthy. I am pretty sure that this is my body's happy weight. - 6/16/2011   12:10:31 PM
  • 207
    Nicole, thank you so much for sharing this story! I have also suffered through years of poor body image, and gone through spurts of too much dieting and exercise, then binge eating. I'm finally coming to terms with my body and my size, but I will never forget that insecurity I felt for so long! - 2/23/2011   2:13:39 PM
  • 206
    Sounds like my story almost! Size 4 was equally unhealthy for me (I got there through borderline anorexia) but I didn't look bad there so no one saw a problem. I'm only 4'11 which probably influenced that more than anything. I skyrocketed up to 160+ lbs (from my previous 109lbs) in college (don't know the size, I stopped wearing jeans at that point!) thanks to massively overeating and went up and down due to that and bulimia for a few years. Now at 27 I've been trying to lose from 165lbs the healthy way, my goal is about 120lbs give or take a few pounds. I weighed 115 for a while a few years ago and don't remember it being hard to maintain, then again I couldn't afford much food or transportation so ate what I could when I could and walked everywhere.

    In short I don't really know what my happy weight is, but I hope to find it on this journey. - 8/18/2010   10:37:17 AM
  • 2KRAYZEE
    205
    It is very important to learn how to listen to yourself and to focus on what is healthy for you. I stuggle with wanting to be what everyone else sees as beautiful and healthy, but other people do not live in my skin. It has been hard on myself image. I just need to find what is right for me and be okay with that.
    You have inspired me. Thanks for sharing! - 7/20/2010   4:30:30 PM
  • MURAZAKI
    204
    Healthy weight is something that concerns me. I've been obese since I was twelve and have no idea what is healthy for me. I am currenlty aiming for the highest weight in the 'healthy weight' range for my BMI (because I am rather large framed) but I have no idea where I should stop, so I hope for a doctor to be able to tell me when enough weight loss is enough. - 5/10/2010   10:40:28 AM
  • 203
    I can relate to this powerful blog. I hope this reaches many people, especially those who are close to or at goal weight. My story is similiar and you can read it in my blog "my most recent "aha" moment" on my spark page. Sometimes we don't realize when we have taken it too far!
    Thanks for such an informative and important blog! - 4/29/2010   12:59:36 PM
  • 202
    Thank you for this article -- there is much in this that I can relate to! - 4/28/2010   10:43:10 AM
  • WITH_GRATITUDE
    201
    You, me & Delta Burke (among others) who agree, "I never had a weight issue until I went on my first diet". They never crossed my mind either ... my story goes much like yours.

    ~*~ Take care & be good to yourself ~*~ - 4/28/2010   9:38:20 AM
  • 200
    This is an excellent article and one that I will definitely pass along to my friends and family to read. - 2/19/2010   2:54:44 AM
  • 199
    Good article. With my build, my "happy weight" is 10 pounds higher than what Weight Watchers says it should be. I could struggle to 135...or I might have options. Something to think about. - 1/17/2010   8:02:30 PM
  • 198
    Excellent article! I have been obsessing over my weight for years and always thought that i would be much happier if I were very thin. However, I've come to love myself more and although I would still like to lose some weight, I know that a certain number on the scale cannot determine my level of happiness. - 1/12/2010   2:33:54 PM
  • 197
    You are right on the mark with this one! I think I have a range that my body is happy at and right now I am about 10 pounds above. I'm normally able to keep my weight around 145-155, but lately the number has creeped up due to lack of exercise. My goal is 150, which was my steady weight for a very long time. - 1/10/2010   9:47:32 PM
  • 196
    Nicole, Thanks for sharing your story. I'm at a similar point right now, though the story is different. My journey with SparkPeople has been so successful that I'm now struggling to find my balance and stop losing. If I lose a few more pounds, I'll be underweight. Shifting mindsets is a very hard thing. Last April, my mindset shifted and I finally realized that I could successfully lose weight, thanks to the Spark tools. Now, I'm looking to Spark to find support to stop losing and maintain. WalkingAnnie has a great blog about it today: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p
    ublic_journal_individual.asp?blog_i
    d=2722957
    (She shared a link to this blog in her blog today.) I wrote about it yesterday in a blog, and will probably write something today, too. - 1/10/2010   11:32:39 AM
  • 195
    I can relate to this completely. I have struggled with my weight for so long and I am finally now realizing that I don't need to be perfect to lose weight, trying to be perfect is the thing that held me back all these years. Thank you for sharing this! - 12/31/2009   2:26:07 PM
  • 194
    I want to thank you for writing this blog. For most of my teenage years I had a eating disorder because I obsessed with body image. More young girls today should read what you wrote. Being happy with yourself is way more important than being what "SOCIETY" deems as the perfect size. - 12/22/2009   1:07:18 PM
  • 193
    I did this when I was younger. It wasn't about weight it was about control and required years of therapy and still requires maintance and self-care. - 12/18/2009   1:06:20 AM
  • 192
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I too was very active as a young person (swimmer) and ate whatever I wanted. Later that turned into an active eating disorder and I wound up in treatment a couple of weeks after I graduated from college. This blog has really made me think about how much I have grown - I no longer seek to be super-thin and I actually had to have my doctor tell me that I needed to lose weight before I was ready to embark on weight loss. I was very leery about trying Sparkpeople because I was afraid it would encourage diet obsession and I am so happy that Sparkpeople is not about that at all - part of the reason it works so well for me is that I focus on my quality of life and other life goals as much as my physical health. I really want to be healthy and happy. Obsessing about weight is not happy in my book. - 12/17/2009   7:45:20 AM
  • 191
    I can relate and totally agree with this, but what if your body's "happy weight" really is too high? Despite my healthy eating and exercising habits, I eventually always slip up and return to the weight I've always been at - which puts my BMI in the overweight range! Does this mean that "overweight" is healthy for me? Or does it mean that I should try to fight my body's natural weight for the rest of my life? - 12/13/2009   1:07:23 PM
  • ZOOLOVER
    190
    All little girls should read this blog. My 10 year old grandaughter told me she needed to starting dieting. This from a little girl who is tall and slender. I informed her that she didn't need to lose weight that she was great as she was, and that more importantly she was very healthly, and if she dieted she probably wouldn't stay healthly. Thank you for sharing your story, I will make sure that my grandaughter reads it. - 12/11/2009   3:59:23 PM
  • WHITNEETHEYOGI
    189
    awesome article! i think this is something alot of people can definitely relate to - 12/11/2009   12:32:02 PM
  • 188
    I've managed to lose 23 lbs since my all time high of 139 lbs 3 years ago and my life is definitely better. I am healthier and I eat the right foods and follow the Spark People recommended intake. My clothes fit better and I feel more confident. I haven't completely found my happy weight yet. I'm still on a mission to find that! But on my way there I'll make sure not to deprive myself :)
    This was an excellent article with great advice! I'll keep it in mind as I work towards my happy weight. - 12/2/2009   2:34:38 PM
  • UNCBORN50
    187
    I'm dealing with the same kind of thing. I was on the cross country team in high school, and I dropped to my lowest weight (123 @ 5'7") through running 45 minutes a day and doing workout classes at the gym. One day it all changed and I quit exercising all together and started staying home, watching the OC and eating lots and lots of peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Obviously I gained weight and I started to notice that my belly wasn't so flat anymore, so like one of my friends (who almost died from it), I began to purge all that food. Finally after a few months of this radical behavior, I realized that purging is really really dangerous. I decided that even if I still "needed" to binge, I wouldn't purge. Now the problem is the binges. But I'm trying to make myself see food in a healthier way. I think my binges are a mix of my eating disorder and emotions. Right now though, I'm eating well, and exercising about an hour a day to hopefully lose some of these 25 pounds I put on, the healthy way.
    Great article. Its inspiring to see someone like myself emerge from the "dark" side :) - 12/1/2009   9:55:31 AM
  • JARLY1
    186
    What a wonderful post. bless your heart, we all need to remember what healthy is. We all want to look good too, but if you're healthy, you probably will! - 11/24/2009   4:55:08 PM
  • 185
    Thanks for mentioning that sometimes the stats can say you should be heavier as well as smaller than your ideal. I'm 5'6-1/2" and am most comfortable at 120 lbs. This is just below the low end cut off on most weight charts. I have an extremely small frame with my ring finger a size 3.75. I'm with you. Find a place where you don't have to obsess and forget the charts. - 11/24/2009   2:50:53 PM
  • 184
    nice i really enjoyed this kudo's - 11/23/2009   1:10:23 PM
  • 183
    I'm currently just over my healthy weight I think and can remember the good feelings I had when at my happy weight a couple of years ago, I feel gutted at the amount I've put on at the moment, and for the fact that I've probably yo-yo'd like this from the age of 14, thats 20 years of body obsession!! I have a 12 year old son, but if I ever get blessed with a little girl I will never let her see this side of her Mum - you've got to a stage where you are truly content and I need to get my butt in gear to start feeling that same way - overweight or not we're alive, we're healthy - and that does mean more in the long run than a pair of size 4 jeans!! - 11/12/2009   1:01:37 PM
  • 182
    You know, I weight less than 100 pounds (I'm less than 5', ok? please don't be scared) and exercise a lot to have a flat belly. I think it's a kind of 30's obsession. But I'll begin eating more if my BMI drops below 20. I'm only bothered by body fat percentage. - 11/7/2009   4:43:16 PM
  • 181
    Wow. This is what I am dealing with right now. I weigh 145 and fit into size four and six and am still wondering if I need to lose a few more to get my stomach flat (after two c-sections that will be a miracle). It has taken me a year and a half to lose 60 lbs and sometimes I find myself going to look in the mirror to make sure I am not still fat. My secretary is ten years younger than I am and is very thin. I look at her everyday and tell myself that I am going to look like that. It is unrealistic as I have a bigger boned body than she does and my linebacker shoulders and wide rib cage are not going to let me look like her. I get tired of comparing but when I see it everyday it is hard not to. - 10/26/2009   8:40:50 PM
  • ETHEL_MERMAID
    180
    Thank you, Nicole, for courageously sharing your own struggle with finding that happy, healthy weight. When I saw a few of your workout videos, I thought, "Did she always look this great?" You are fitness and health personified these days, and I'm grateful that you took the time to tell us about your personal odyssey - and success story! - 10/23/2009   8:51:08 AM
  • CIAOBELLA57
    179
    I developed anorexia when I was 11 have been battling it for over 40 years. At 5 feet tall, I dropped to 65 lbs. I now weigh 90, have been working out (spinning and strength training for the last 8 months, and really feel this is the weight where I function best. I know I am not getting enough calories, but I am not losing weight; my blood work is great; and both my GP and oncologist have never said I am too thin.

    It is SO difficult to find the weight that is right for you BOTH physically and emotionally.
    The charts say I am underweight (my BMI is 18.0 %) but gaining just 10 pounds is more than I can handle with emotionally. I have more confidence at this weight, and with working out almost daily, I FEEL stronger and happier than I have in decades.

    There is so much emphasis on the scale number and I think few take into consideration
    other, just as imperitive factors; confidence, energy level, just feeling GOOD, especially after tough workouts.

    Wonderful article, and thank you for your honesty.For those of us who still struggle on a daily basis with an ED, you really are a true inspiration!



    I thought I was lucky when I didnt menstruate for over 30 years, until I discovered that the osteoporosis I developed at age 40 was a direct result of what I had thought was a blessing.

    I have a niece who was bulimic, and has yo-yoed between a healthy weight and obesity since she started college (she is now 27). I''ve never broached the subject with her because she I dont think she knows that I know.



    - 10/16/2009   8:26:26 PM
  • 178
    I feel that this is one advantage of never having been "thin" and not having "thin" friends when I was growing up, either. I've learned to appreciate a "healthy" weight - I don't want to be "thin" now, either; just to be healthy. I'll be glad to get back down to a size eight (or even a size 10 or 12, if I feel like that's healthy when I get there). At my height, I don't have to be a size two or a four to be healthy or happy. - 10/16/2009   12:30:07 PM

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