caitlyn elizabeth 21 years old;
lover of yoga, wellness and health
In my childhood, I cared very little about health. To me, a vegetable was a french fry and exercising was best done during gym class under protest. I had no hand-eye coordination and therefore found myself feeling very out of touch with the athletic life. Instead I focused much of my time and energy into film. writing and animals. I would spend hours upon hours watching classic films, researching dolphins (my all-time favorite) and piecing together semi-interesting stories. In my spare time I went outside and pretended to be a lion cub with my best friend. Or, other days, a wolf cub. To me, this was bliss.
As I grew, I developed. My chest became full, as well as the rest of me.
I was full, yes. But I was also happy.
Following this, I spent a lot of time looking at my friends. All thin, all beautiful to me. I watched them engage in romance, while I – a hopeless romantic – found no one. Soon I began to feel unwanted, or undesirable. I saw my body as something to be disgusted about. I took measures into my own hands and began to focus on unhealthy weight-loss practices.
Before I knew it, I had lost all the weight. I was good. Healthy looking even.
Comfortable, happy, seemingly healthy.
I ended up getting into drinking, dating and just a slew of other things that were very unlike me. The stresses of meeting the right guy put pressures on me. I needed to be this, or that… or both, and I felt unable. I felt myself feeling undesirable yet again. At this point I had forgotten what it was to be happy, but I knew exactly how to fake it. I equated happiness with the evidence of a collar bone, or the slight pang of hunger.
During this time, without much preparation I met someone.
Together for two years, I still battle with whether or not I am strong enough to stop. You’d think, having a guy support and love you regardless would make it easier, right? Well, it should and it will. Currently, after five years of lies, and pain, I am ready to stop. This my journey; this is my solace. This blog will be my place to write my thoughts, my growths, my struggles. In order to grow and become the person I wish to be.
It might just be a result of restriction and denial of certain food groups for several years, but my food philosophy is two fold:
(1) eat real food;
(2) eat all food, in balance.
During the first year of my time with ED, I tried out the vegan diet. In these days, I believed that animal meats were high in fats and were therefor the overall cause of my inner turmoil. This lead to my belief that no only was it the meats, but also the dairy products and anything that ever came from an animal. While I still am very passionate about a vegetables powered diet, I am by no means vegan/vegetarian. I truly believe, for me, fish and poultry are very important to my over all diet.
Following my year of veganism, I (somehow) changed my mind. No longer was meat the enemy. Now it was bread. Or pita. Or anything that would make a decent sandwich. So all my meals were basically meat and vegetables. While I am not suggesting that that is a bad idea, it was not balanced. The issue here was, I was looking at “lean out” diets which are suppose to be used for body builders or athletes for a few weeks during times that they want to lean out quickly. No carbs post 3 in the afternoon… HIITs all over. Did I feel good? I did. Did I feel happy? I didn’t.
That came with my overall fear of overdoing it. I thought the only way to get over this was to strategically plan my meals out to ensure that I “got enough” food, when really I meant “did not go over”. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats were all calculated. I was not to go over 196 cards, 143 proteins or 63 fats (that is gram count). If I did surely this would lead to destruction.
Finally, one day, I deleted my meal planner. It was too exhausting. I remember feel embarrassed the whole time I was adhering to the rules of my diet because I did eat fruit after dinner. It was just all too much.
Now, I am not perfect, but I feel passionate about eating different foods in moderation. Depriving of nothing; enjoying everything. While I still want to maintain healthy, I feel the most important part of “health” is “balance” and without that, you are just seeming healthy.
I love exercise. I hate running.
There. I said it.
For years I have been plagued by my over-all disinterest in the sport. Reading fitness enthusiasts talk about this marathon or that marathon, I felt like I was a lesser individual because I did not want to run a marathon, at all. So, what did I do? I forced myself to do HIITs so that I felt like I was still doing something. But I hated it. In fact, I despised it.
About three-four months ago I lead myself through a “exercise rebirth”, if you will. I decided to try out a variety of different forms of exercises in hopes of discovering the ones I actually liked. It worked. I figured it out. Now? Yoga, Barre, Pilates, weight training, Kickboxing/Shadowboxing/walking and dance fill my life. One day I hope to take up swimming again, but now I just do not have the money to access a pool regularly.
For me, fitness it everything. I live, love and breath it. It is almost spiritual in natural. Each movement you make, you feel more alive and more free. It’s empowering. I also advocate a balance in my workouts (no unlike the balance in my diet. Some days, I feel like giving it my all and really letting out tension, so I do some kickboxing or weight train with heavier weights (for me). Other days, I want to feel girly, so I stick to Barre and dance work. Some days I want to get a little bit of everything, so I make combos.
While I love all mentioned forms of exercise, yoga and barre will forever be that which I am most passionate about. Yoga provides a wonderful mind-frame; it relaxed and centers you. And barre, barre lets you get a very good work out in without nearly any weight (usually up to 5lbs). There is also a mentality that often exists in both of these forms of exercise. It is not so much about being ripped, but feeling elegant and beautiful and good.
For me, any exercise that promotes “wellness and health” over “ripped abs and slim waist” is ideal. My favorite work out programs include, ExhaleCore, Ballet Beautiful, Barre3 and Jessicasmithtv. :)
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