28. June 2015 by swissfitchick
When still travelling around in Sydney and Cali, I got a request from a reader to talk about how CrossFit helped me in recovery from my Eating Disorder. The point is, how I could accept the weight gain, how I could ‘give in’ to more food and how I manage to be get in peace with a body that weighs about 13kg more than it used to in my skinny years. Here’s 20 years apart.
I am not only training CrossFit every day, I also work 100% at my gym. A whole different life compared to the one 2 years ago.
It’s hard for me to remember how it all started – the real change. When recovery actually started to evolve and I could feel like I started to break the vicious cycles. I think there were three big factors about why CrossFit was so important for me to be able to let go off the addiction:
3. Strength and Confidence
FOCUS – The Eating disorder started in my brain. My thoughts changed slowly but constantly towards a sick state where the only priority in my life was being skinny and planning my meals. Food, Training, Food, Calories, Body Check in the mirror, Frustration, Scale, Happiness, Restriction, Loneliness. ALL MY THOUGHTS were focused on nothing else but trying to have control. Never let go of it. That was the biggest fear, letting go of control.
Now when you join a CrossFit Class, you have no freaking choice as to focus on what you are doing. Besides that you got to make sure you fucking BREATHE cause the intensity is so high, it’s just such a challenging sport, which demands all of your concentration, willpower and strength. There is no way to think about the meal you had and didn’t want to, guilt, weight or if your belly hangs off your pants or not. You simply have to be RIGHT THERE IN THIS MOMENT and kick your ass. No choice.
Forgetting these ‘priorities’ for an hour – at least ONE HOUR – is a step to be able to let go. It’s when you realize when you finish the class, that HEY, I didn’t think about food. I didn’t think about if my arms look fat. And now I have a deep red face and look like a sweaty, messy idiot, but I don’t give a damn, cause this training was just so freaking epic. Each one. And every single training gave me not only a physical practise, but a mental practise to escape the trap in my brain for a little while.
PASSION – I was convinced. I felt that this was the right thing for me to do, I had no doubt not a single second. That is when passion hits you – you just know it. It stays. It’s not a ‘phase’, it makes you want to go forward, makes you want to do it every day, no enforcement needed. You make it part of your life, cause it defines a big part of yourself. And everything else gets second priority. Even my godamn disease backed up – which stayed first place throughout almost 20 years.
CrossFit got me hooked. It was the first sport in my life which actually made me want to exercise to get better and not to get skinnier. I do my strength training cause I love it, and cause I will participate at the World Championship in Powerlifting in Italy in October. I want to get good results.I have to put on more muscle maybe but first and foremost I got to maintain the mass I already have.
I can practise my skills for hours while forgetting the time and just stubbornly WANT to make a little progress. Double Unders? HOURS. Day by day, a little practise. Handstand Hold, Handstand Walk? If I had more time I would probably work on this bitch for 6 hours in a row. Even though I still suck. And let’s not even talk about the friggin’ Toes to Bar which is embarrassing enough as to how bloody LONG I had to practise to finally make ’em happen.
STRENGTH – and I mean physical AND mental strength – is what I gained the most in the past two years. With strength came body weight and with physical strength and body weight came mental strength. I’d lie if I say I didn’t care at all about my weight gain and how my body looked in the first place. I was panicking when my jeans didn’t fit anymore and when I had to give away blouses cause I literally ripped them. I also ripped one of my favorite leather jackets. But this I will repair, I can’t give it away 🙂
I had to make a decision. Either I stop training so hard and eating less and I will get weaker again and will never be as strong and good as some of my inspiring CrossFit friends at the gym. I knew, if I want to perform and train on a high level, my body will change and I will have to EAT.
So with the change of my body, I changed priorities. Skinny wasn’t a way to live for me anymore. I wanted to LOOK the way I AM and the way I FELT in my mind – strong, resolute, energized, sassy and happy. Some people said when I was skinny that my look doesn’t fit my character. I looked fragile and quiet, but I have a sturdy mind and I am a loud person. I looked weak, but I am stubborn and determined. I looked sad, but I am happy.
I wanted to be able to raise my level of CrossFit to Advanced. I wanted to be able to lift heavier. I wanted to be able to chase my inspirations and their performances. I wanted those traps and abs and that butt – to show how much we all work at the gym, day by day. CrossFit gave me the confidence that when I can survive these crazy WOD’s, when I can lift all this heavy shit and all this several times a week, month after month – then I can as well fight this bitch of an Eating Disorder.
So I kept on training and eating. And I grew. Mentally and physically – and it started to feel like my body adapts to my mind and me is finally ME.
This is all a long, long process. Being at peace with your body after years of bashing it, takes shit tons of time, patience, crazy effort and hard work. I love to work hard and I love to train hard. If I want something, I chase it until I get it. I was rewarded. And I know that anyone can get to this place if you simply don’t stop working hard, practising and believing. You must trust the process. Always, every day and after every relapse. It’s part of the story.
I hope this helped to give an insight on what your surroundings together with your mind can do for your personal developement and your recovery. If you have more questions, please never hesitate to ask. Always.