I had always been active and a team-player from the time I could walk. I did gymnastics, soccer, basketball and was a volleyball player in high school. I loved sports conditioning and liked staying fit.
When I got into high school and started to fill out, I found it increasingly more difficult to block out the images of beautiful, skinny women in the media. I failed to recognize the difference between being skinny and being fit, and loathed my broad shoulders and muscular legs.
My self-esteem was low. I had more than just "fat days". I had weeks where I felt huge and was physically in pain due to high school injuries and cronic back pain from my over-flexible hips (from gymnastics). Although I knew my mental and physical well-being was determined by exercise, I found it hard to find the time to "get sweaty" or go to the gym alone.
My freshman year of college I, like many others, fell into the routine of bulimia and exercise-bulimia. I finally found friends, "exercise buddies", that would go to the gym with me. I burnt way more calories than I ever fully digested and lost 30 pounds I didn't need to lose. My curves were gone, my throat hurt and my energy level was off.
Finally, after a year of harming myself, I came clean to my doctor and started exercising and eating healthfully again. I became certified in a group fitness regimen that next fall and started writing about the importance of fitness in college and beyond.
Years later, I still find the balance hard at times, but I hope to maintain a fit lifestyle for years to come. I greatly appreciate being part of a community that values their well-being as much as I do.