Social media is in many ways a black hole to get lost ruminating on what we do not have, who we are not, what we cannot do, what we are missing out on, etc. It can be toxic, the temptation to show only the highlights. On the flip side, it allows us to express ourselves and inspire. We can create a unique sense of community and help others without ever even seeing their face. We can absolutely use it for good--that is the #IBLVMovement to me. As an athlete for IBLV, I am finally sharing my story.
Most know me as the health nut. The fit chick. The nerd who reads articles on PubMed because I want to. “Crossfit,” cause apparently I look like I do it. The one in the back of the gym in the 5 inch stilettos and sparkly bikini. I am good at helping others navigate their health journey. I am good at calculating their macros and pushing them in the gym. I am good at holding them accountable and teaching them to love themselves.
I am good at being everyone's rock but my own. As I allow myself to become self aware, I see myself in an honest light. I recognize demons I hide deep inside and they are destroying me. I refuse to accept this incongruence between my hidden battles and outward appearance any longer. I know that there are many who share a similar struggle, and I pray this can help someone, some way.
What most do not know about me is that I have struggled with an eating disorder since I was 16--11 years of my life. It tests me every day. It consumes my mind, drains my wallet, strains my relationships, hurts my body. Sometimes I'm ok, but it is always there. I am so. Fcking. Done. Done clutching for control. Done avoiding my frustrations, fears, and restlessness. Done trashing my body, my heart, and my emotions. Done caving to a flash of dopamine in a moment of discomfort only to resent myself after. Done knowing that I am my limiting factor in my growth, physical and emotional. Done hiding, excusing, and fooling myself. Done letting myself down. I’ve come to realize that if I want to make a change, I literally have to rewire my brain.
I have to BELIEVE, I must remain committed to my future self every second of every day. It’s easy to feel isolated in your struggles. It’s easy to succumb to shame and the ego; the combination of which allows us to continue to lie to ourselves, right in the mirror, just one more time. Sometimes taking leaps of faith are what we need to break free. Those jumps where you have no idea if you will crash to your death or rise up burning with new life. Being transparent is probably the most terrifying thing for any of us, whether we consciously recognize it or not. I am sharing this because I know that there are many that struggle with an addiction, and I hope that I can inspire you to break away from whatever it is that holds you back. Every day is a battle. But remaining honest with myself, seeing my "old self" from the vantage point of where I want to be, helps me fight. Speaking out, despite the shame, and seeking the support that you need, will set you free.
I have three words tattooed on my shoulder: “Honor Over Splendor.” What's inside is finally out. What is true is finally spoken. Honor over splendor. Discipline over dopamine. Love over fear. Rise above what has previously defined you.