Wakes up, steps on scale, stares in mirror, turns to the left, turns to the right, sucks in. “Just… not there yet…”
My neverending morning routine of waking up and just feeling disappointment from the girl in the mirror with a little belly chub and no thigh gap. “How much harder do I have to work? How much less must I eat to FINALLY be thin? UGH."
Over the last 2 years, I have beaten and battered myself up over the way I looked, and the way I didn’t look. I have encountered very dark lows that eventually began to shake me and made me wake up this nightmare. Specifically one incident after a sorority formal, I was sitting on the bathroom floor of my house literally crying to myself about how I looked that night and what I must do to “erase” the “damage” I did to myself while I was having “fun." Keep in mind, these air quotes are literally what I thought to myself at the time instead of taking in the moments of being a college senior at her last formal.
Over the last year and a half, I have developed and ‘almost’ have overcome an eating disorder, multiple actually. Different types. Different times. But all the same effect on my body and mind. You don’t think about things when you are amidst an ED... you don’t care about anything but numbers, pant sizes, hip bones, and your next meal. My relationships suffered, especially my friendships and with my boyfriend. I didn’t go out, ever, and I was so irritable and overall bitchy (excuse me). I was consumed with what I was consuming.
It’s hard for me to type out and say “Yes, I have/had an eating disorder. Yes, I was/am bulimic. Yes, I have/had anorexic eating tendencies” because seeing it in physical texts make it seem like I had something wrong with me. But today, especially in our sad, pressured society, it is normal to be struggling with things like this; which in terms made me so thankful to know there was a community out there that didn’t care about my title, but instead cared about ME.
Recognizing these truths made dealing with the devils so much easier. Thankfully I had one hell of a boyfriend to pick up my broken pieces and glue them together. I began keeping track of streaks where I didn’t harm my body (ED-wise) and slowly 1 day turned into 1 week, and 1 week turned into 3, etc. I began to rise up and face the evils that made me afraid to live.
My recovery journey took off about a year or so ago when I joined Orangetheory and began to focus on “good” numbers rather than looking good. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn. *cue dramatic scary sound*. I thought this was the way to do it, but fast forward 4 months and I was literally an obsessive, addicted crazy person. Orangetheory worked for me in terms of losing some weight and gaining some confidence back, but it became a number game. “How many calories can I burn today? What can I eat today that will be burned off at class? How hard can I push myself to hit red zone?” This threw me into such a numbers kick, it wasn’t even funny.
Even though my body looked “ok”, my mind was so dark. Every single second was focused around food, my next workout and tracking. Not gonna lie though, I still track - this time for the good and not the “bad”, but this is where the title comes into play: My FitnessPal. Could be your best friend or your enemy, just depends on how you let it define you. My tracking streak right now is literally 304 days straight of tracking. About 200 of those days were spent miserable, malnourished, hungry, and irritable, when I look back on what I ate. The last 104 of them were spent of healthy, wholesome foods that fueled my body and made my feel good.
Fast forward a couple of months to now, and I am slowly but surely showing my ED who’s boss. I got out all toxicity in my life. I dropped Orangetheory and began Crossfit - which honestly was the best thing to ever happened to me. I put my body through challenges for the BETTER and not for the worse. I love it. I don’t focus on the numbers burned anymore but instead the feeling earned. The heavier I lift, the stronger I feel, and the clearer my self-image is.
*Added in Aug 21st* I am not one to say that EDs are only temporary. I relapsed today back into my old habits and mindset. I am almost angry at myself. For someone to feel so good last week and now to completely think of herself as anything BUT good, is crazy. But real. I am reading this book called “Light is the New Black” by Rebecca Campbell and I decided to open up to random page today. The first words were “Jump right on in...” I have a goal and place where I want to be, so I cannot let one feeling handicap me. Today is new day and a new week, even though it’s already Wednesday.
One thing that has helped me has been the phrase “listen to your body." We are all so blessed to be able to have a body that can do ANYTHING, why not fuel it and feed it the way it demands? It took me a while but I now believe that food = fuel. In order to feel good, you must fuel good. Listening to my body has been one of the most difficult things I have endured, but the reward is worth it. I am healthy, I am happy, my life is lighter and brighter, and I do not fear food anymore. I know what it takes to make myself feel like myself and I am ready to full on kick this ED in the ass.
Yes, with good days comes bad ones, but the dark days aren’t so black anymore. I know that in 24 hours the day will be over and done with and I can restart on a new day. Go me for starting my Bodymindandsoph instagram because it is such an escape from the “other world”. The community I choose to surround myself in is beautiful and light and nontoxic. It’s like rehab for people who struggle with what I do. Who would have ever thought to say “Hey, thank god for instagram.”
Sophia Capobianco, or Bodymindandsoph, lives life going off of what sparks happiness. A Long Island native, she loves food, good books, anything to do with nursing (her major), and being active. Her passion is food, wellness, and adventure. When finished with college, her dream would be to travel all over Europe tasting the cuisine and visiting as many wineries as she can.