Spotlight: Confessions of a Fitness Model
When does a goal become an obsession? When does healthy eating turn to disordered eating? We idolize those who have the perfect body, but do they truly encompass health? What does it really take to get there? No one is talking about this, but our girl Madelyn is. Read her story... I used to be a fitness competitor. Before that, I was a yo-yo dieter. Whether my "thing" was vegan, vegetarian, paleo, low carb, high carb, fruitarian, Atkins, or the South Beach Diet, I was obsessed with finding a perfect plan that would lead to the perfect body.
I would run hours a day on the treadmill (not an exaggeration) so that I could validate putting food into my body at dinner time. I would count every step, calorie, gram of food, and I would obsessively research contradicting information about exercise and dieting, which led me into a state of constant anxiety about what I was putting into my body.
Is kale poisonous or helpful? Is Greek yogurt bloat-inducing, or slimming? Is cardio bad or good? Is lifting heavy beneficial or detrimental? Yoga or Crossfit? To grain or not to grain?
And all for what?
I was obsessed with fitness because society told me I should be. Eventually, I signed up for my first fitness competition which took me down a very dangerous path. I ended up dropping an unhealthy amount of weight, losing my period, and basically losing my mind. Once the competition rolled around, I was depleted emotionally, physically, socially, and above all, spiritually.
Unfortunately, to the outside world, it looked like "will power." It looked like "health" and "fitness" but my mental health portrayed something completely different.
I ventured on this road for a few years until a day came where I realized something really, really important.
I realized that my body was my idol.
I had found myself so wound up in physical perfection that the pursuit for thinness had completely overtaken my life in every way. I missed out on relationships, parties, laughter, pancakes, lattes, swimming in a swimsuit, confidence, and most importantly, my relationship with God.
There's nothing wrong with treating your body like it's a temple and feeding it nourishing foods. But there is a problem with idolizing your figure and health.
As a Body Image and Disordered Eating Coach, I now spend my time teaching other women how to let go of their fixation on creating the "perfect body" and to instead create a life of their dreams. I have a podcast called Mind Body Musings which focuses on healing your relationship with your body, living intuitively, eating freely, and enjoying the skin you're in. I hope you stop by because I would love to say hello!
Wow, Madelyn! Thank you for sharing. Click to get Madelyn's book, Confessions of a Fitness Model