A Bike Ride That Changed My Life
I’ve always been a girl who is into looking “physically fit”. As a child I was chubby and teased badly for my heavyset weight. At age ten, I weighed 112 pounds and was well under 5 feet tall. My doctor said that I had a quite a few pounds to loose. I took that to heart. I’d always felt body conscious and ugly because that’s what everyone used to tell me at school. To make a long story short, school was always a miserable place for me and made me feel terrible and upset. I went to my first therapy session at the age of 8. After all the bullying that was going on and my doctor’s comments about my weight, by the time I was ten years old, I realized I wanted to change; I wanted to become “healthy.”
At 10 years old my perception of the words “healthy” and “happy” was to look like a pretty Barbie doll. Boy was I wrong. I immediately started restricting my food intake and got obsessed with “100 calorie snack packs.” I started throwing my lunch out in school because I was ashamed of my weight and being bullied for being fat. In my head that meal would make me even heavier than I was. I kept the insecurities about my body pretty private for a while. At the age of twelve things really got much worse and I had a major breakdown & downward spiral. My poor mother became the “food police” and had to scream and beg me to eat. I know see that she is the greatest mom in the world.
In April of that year I had my bat mitzvah. Just a few days after my big day I was diagnosed with Anorexia and my life was forever changed. I didn’t really know what anorexia was, I was just an innocent child. I was a victim of horrifying bullying that will scar me for the rest of my life. I was a young innocent child with a plan to lose weight and become beautiful and thin like the popular kids.
Well, I surely did lose a ton of weight, but I didn’t look beautiful I looked sick. People were afraid of me and my middle school called my parents in for a meeting to talk about my appearance. The school didn’t realize that I was already seeking professional medical attention.
I am now 20 years old. I still have an eating disorder. My diagnosis has recently changed from anorexia to purging type anorexia. It sounds like my disorder got worse but it did not. I am in the strongest recovery in my entire life. I have a healthy relationship with myself and my body. I love food, I’m a vegan who tries to get as many meals accomplished in a day as possible. Do I struggle? Yes. I do sometimes but it got better for me. I’m so thankful for my amazing parents and sister sticking by me through all the years a trauma, inpatient treatments, middle of the night ER visits and so much heartbreak.
I’m thankful for my acting school for giving me the opportunity to let me take multiple leave of absences and being so incredibly supportive of me seeking the medical attention I needed. I’m thankful for my dance teachers, Neil, Brian, Scott for dealing with my bad body image breakdowns. I’m thankful for Aimee, my voice teacher, for helping me out and even cheering me up when I’ve had no voice from purging. I’m extremely thankful for my fitness loves, my SoulCycle trainers Isaac & Anthony. The two of you are better than therapy and you make my life happy. I take a bike ride in your class and I laugh, cry, scream, dance, meditate and ride to the beat of the music. Thank you SoulCycle for changing my life and everyone for sticking around for my long ride.
Life is about taking chances. Take baby steps every day to lead a happier, healthier life. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for progress. Don’t aspire to be a perfect person. Aspire to reach your goals in life and work on them every day and you will always fall within the stars. Dream big, laugh a lot and don’t forget to smile. I’m very proud that I’m in strong recovery from my almost fatal eating disorder. Life is to beautiful to worry about counting all the calories you consume. Count your blessings because it’s a great day to take a bike ride and have the energy and strength to ride. Stay strong & burn this.