I’ve got a secret. In fact, I’ve got a few, but this one seems the most controversial given the career I’ve created for myself.
It’s confession time.
I’m about to delve into a very personal journey and share photos of my body that genuinely make me cringe, but I want to do this to say ‘Hey, This is the REAL me.’ You deserve to know how I got here, and what I’m all about. Just excuse me whilst I wince my way through the next lot of awkwardness.
I’m The Fit Foodie. I’m supposed to be incredibly fit, and eat all the right things, all of the time.
Here’s the thing though… I did that for a while, and got incredibly sick.
I know you’re probably thinking ‘Sal, what the hell, how is that even possible?’, but in this world of beautiful imagery, impossibly pretty models and photoshop, I fell victim to social media envy. More specifically, envious of girls with perfect six-packs who demonstrated a level dedication to their exercise and diet that to date, I had simply not been able to reach.
In usual #fitspo style, their photos spurred me into believing that I could do it too, that I could absolutely have a washboard stomach. I was motivated by their words and selfies, and embarked on a gruelling program of exercise and dietary restriction.
I thought I was doing all the right things. Working out as often as possible- two hours per day, most days, with at least one hour of that as intense cardio. I was constantly strapped into my heart rate monitor checking to see if I had burnt more than the day before.
Country music singer Kasey Chambers proves eating disorders can strike at any time. Post continues.
Slowly slowly, I began to see some changes in my body. I began to tone up and received compliments from everyone around me. I was now more motivated than ever – so stoked that people cared to tell me how great I was looking. My frame shrunk in about 3 months. I felt light, full of energy and proud. Oh so proud.
Not only was I feeling high from the compliments, but from the endorphins jazzing up my body all the time. I soon started to be more and more conscious of food. My diet was strict, my portions got smaller and smaller, along with my diminishing waistline.
I thought that eating this way would get me to my goal faster. I felt strong and in control. I had power over my body, I could shape it in any way I chose, and I was going to get my abs. They were slowly appearing, and I was just as awesome as all the chicks on Instagram. Right?
Side note: I spent so much time on the cross-trainer that I wore away the fat pad behind my knees, but still, I had abs. That’s all I cared about.
At an unhealthy weight, drained of all energy and struggling to rationalise eating anything more than salad, my periods stopped completely.