Why I Coach
In order to tell you about where I am today, I need to tell you about where I have been. My history with my body and food choices has been one with many ups and downs. So, let’s start…
I don’t really know how or when my disordered eating started. What I do remember is that it’s always kind of been there. Even as a small kid, I would stay up late watching TV in my room while eating cookies (or cookie dough!). This progressed as I grew older and didn’t have a lot of supervision after school since our parents worked in the city. My sisters and I would come home and make noodles. Or another favorite was melting cheese on crackers. You can imagine that we didn’t make the healthiest choices growing up. Despite this, both of my sisters were always quite thin growing up. I wasn’t though. I was the chubby kid for most of my life.
That all changed in University. I dropped a lot of weight. Looking back, I can guess that I was probably depressed. I was eating a cup of soup a day. 50 calories. How in the world did I get through my first year of university?
Again, I don’t remember when and why I stopped starving myself, but I did start eating more normally. Which brought me to exercise. Enter group fitness classes! I would take a cardio kickboxing class at 7 am a few times a week. University also introduced me to weights. I was the girl lifting the 5 pound weights and doing all the cardio. That is also when I started running. I took a learn to run class. Exercise was my new found obsession! Calories in, calories out. I’ll just jack up the amount of calories I burn. Perfect!
Not so perfect. Calories in, calories out isn’t always accurate. I started to exercise. A LOT. I even remember a friend basically intervening with me because they were concerned about my weight. But I was chasing 125 pounds on the scale. What did they know? I was perfectly fine.
Looking back, I wasn’t fine. Although my relationship with food had improved, my relationship with exercise was not good. If I didn’t workout one day, I was going to get fat. Rest day? What is that? More and more exercise. This continued past university.
If running a little was good, then running a lot was better! Right? I ran 5K, then 10K…onto half and full marathons. That was going to get me the body I desired. When that still didn’t work, I started doing ultra-marathons. Nope, still not where I want to be.
Enter bodybuilding! The Figure girls on the cover of the magazines, that is what I wanted to look like. So I started prepping for a show. I ate ONLY from my food list Sunday until Friday. Saturdays was CHEAT DAY!!! Yahoo, anything and EVERYTHING I wanted. And let me tell you, did I eat it!! I also felt like shit. Eating like a 5 year old for an entire day makes no fucking sense. It’s not healthy. I wouldn’t eat too many carrots during the week since they have sugar but I would CRUSH MULTIPLE chocolate bars without even thinking twice.
What I also didn’t mention, when I started prepping, I was teaching about twelve fitness classes a week and also leading a half marathon clinic. You didn’t read that wrong…12 classes, plus doing my own training! Oh, and did I mention I was also working full-time as an elementary school teacher? As I went through my prep, I was given less and less food and my training was going up and up. Sundays consisted of a two hour training run with my clinic, an hour spin class and another hour of cardio. FOUR HOURS of cardio on Sundays. Do more, eat less. Awesome, right? Not so awesome. My breaking point came when I ran the Vancouver Half Marathon with my run club group. Usually after races, you can find “refreshments” to help you recover. There was table that had a box of mini doughnuts dumped into it. Doesn’t sound that appetizing? Well, I couldn’t control myself. I took one and had it hidden under my recovery blanket. That was the moment that I knew something was wrong.
At that time I was about 130 pounds, size 0 clothes were getting baggy on me and I was supposed to lose another 15 pounds to step on stage. At 5’8”, my stage weight was supposed to be 115 pounds. Looking back now, I know that was fucking insane. But I trusted my “coach”. I trusted her when she cut my food. I trusted when she increased my cardio. I didn’t stray one little bit. Well, until the doughnut incident…
After the doughnut incident, I quit prepping. Then I rebounded HARD. My weight skyrocketed. No food in my house was safe. I kept trying to get back on my diet but I just couldn’t stick to it. I would wake up in the morning and think about what I had eaten the day before, feel like crap about myself, then vow never to do it again. Only to wake up the next morning in the exact same situation.
This diet yo-yo went on for years after. Years of determining if I was a good person or not based on my food choices. Which has brought me to where I am today. I have done a lot of damage to my mind and body and I am slowly undoing that damage. But it is SLOW AF. Which also brings us to the whole point of this post, Why do I coach?
I coach to:
- help women know that they are enough just the way they are.
- help women understand that eat less, move more isn’t always the best.
- help women know that carbs/fat (insert whatever food here) aren’t the enemy.
- help women know that they don’t have to live on 1200 cal a day.
- help women navigate the overwhelming information on nutrition and exercise.
- help women know they don’t have to live in a world of restriction.
- help women be healthy and happy.
- help women have balance.