It is a long story, and it took me YEARS to get to this point. I remember being in 8th grade, and for some reason, all of my girlfriends wanted to wear little shirts with overalls to a junior high dance.
Does anyone else remember this look:
Yeah, some girls that I was friends with definitely rocked this look all the time. And I did too. So there's belly visible. And I, like most 13/14 year olds was growing into my body. So that is where it started.
Innocently. I ate no lunch. Ok, so that isn't so innocent. But doing 100s of crunches while watching tv in the evenings, that was innocent. No? Ok, well it took a while for it to grow to be bigger than that.
I went through high school in that fashion. I didn't eat breakfast, I didn't eat lunch, but you bet your *ss I ate dinner + snacks. I didn't drink or any of those things at that time, I didn't really even know any kids who did, which seems shocking now that I hear about how many kids (J included!) did drink in high school.
College was where it took off. I really can't explain it. I don't know how it happened or anything. I worked out, some. Mostly walking and continuing my hundreds of crunches while watching TV. I did the occasional gym workout at my school, but I was mostly miserable. I sometimes went to the cafeteria (I had a meal plan) only once a day, and then, I ate maybe a grilled cheese sandwich. Maybe. Chocolate pudding (if they had it that day) always. And as the year went on and I grew more and more homesick (I was living in Cincinnati and my family lived - lives - in Toledo) and more and more starving. As in, self starved. I was losing weight. I was not sleeping. I was not eating AT ALL. And I did not even realize it.
By the time I went home from school for the summer I weighed around 100 lbs (I was 5'5") and dropping. I did not eat much that summer. I worked in a retail job, and continued not eating. My mom would do things like offer to get me a bagel from my favorite place Barry's, and even that usually did not entice me to more than a few bites. How could I not want to eat this?
I mean, YUM! But alas, a few bites only. It really was not a conscious decision to starve. I was just in an extremely bad mental place at the time. I started seeing a therapist, and even started taking anti-depressants.
When I made the decision not to return to Cincinnati for the beginning of the school year (with hopes of returning for the Spring semester after Christmas) I really hit the bottom. I weighed 93 lbs. I was starving. I was writing - all the time - in my very first blog, which I still am semi-active in. I read others, but I only write here these days.
Eventually the decision was made that I was not returning to Cincinnati for school. I was going to stay with my family, get better, and take classes at BGSU. And here is where it became an "active" habit. I had friends again. I started hanging out again. Dating. Eating. Not eating much, but eating enough that I started to become more "normal". I would eat a slice of pizza for lunch at the student union with my new USAF boyfriend (Steven. He was -is- hot) and I started to workout. My friend Chelsea and I started going to this combo cardio/lifting (maybe an early version of Body Pump?) class at the rec center. Plus, I had classes all day long (earliest at like 9 am, latest, not till 6 pm) and so I would hit the rec to do cardio or a few weights in between classes. I was learning, slowly, and mostly by watching other people.
I moved back to Cincinnati in the summer of 2005 after graduating from BGSU with a degree in accounting. I was going to go to graduate school at the University of Cincinnati. At this time, I weighed about 125 lbs, and was skinny fat. I wasn't "anti-strength training" I wasn't a "cardio queen", I just didn't have gym access. I would walk around the neighborhood I moved into in Cincinnati, I had 5 lb dumbbells and some workout DVDs in my teeny 300 sq ft studio apartment. And I did them, religiously. I just wasn't working hard enough to get results. And I was not eating cleanly in any way, nor was I getting enough protein, ever.
And then Katie joined a downtown gym:
And said she was getting a trainer and we could work out at lunchtime together, etc. I was all in. So we worked out. We had trainers. I learned about strength training and splits and all of the like. I started doing protein shakes twice per day. I started tracking my calories (and even showing my food logs to Seth for help with them!) I was slowly getting into the best (hardest) shape of my life in the summer of 2006.
There were definite lapses in my life between then and now. I definitely fell onto old habits and stopped eating. I definitely got down to 100 lbs more than once again. I definitely have spent 3 hours at the gym on more than one occasion. But I met someone there who helped me to (many years later) get to the point where I wanted to compete. Her name is Stephanie and she is a bodybuilder. And she became my trainer after Seth left the gym. And she had me thinking, way back in 2006 that I wanted to compete, someday.
And here I am, and now I am doing it.