Why I Stopped Blogging

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hello Friends! It's been a long time since I wrote on this blog. I'm sorry for that, I guess. The reason I stopped writing in the blog was that my life became busy and I had more complicated problems to deal with than which bronzer gave my face a St. Tropez glow in February.

My life is still busy but I could definitely find the time to sit down and write a blog every once in awhile. However, I choose to spend my time more wisely. In the past, this blog felt like my way of connecting with the world. I was experiencing a very lonely time in my life and this was my way of avoiding my problems.

I would write my blog as if my life was perfect. Always buying the latest clothes to stay on trend. Getting free beauty products to share my opinions and reviews. However, the reality was I was falling apart at the seams of my favorite LOFT blazer.

Pretending to Have A Perfect Life....But Inside I Was Broken From the Pressure.
I try to live my life now very open and honest (sometimes too honest...) and I wanted to come back on and write another entry to help you see the real me.

I was very unhappy with my life. I hated my job as an Admissions Director at a local high school but felt like I had no other choice but to keep working the same job. While I was good at my job (winning awards and gaining recognition from colleagues) it didn't matter to me because it wasn't fulfilling to me.

I remember getting new health care coverage and taking an online health quiz. The results came back and noted that I was very stressed and had signs of depression. I remember telling my mom about it but she didn't pay it any attention. My parents often remarking how I can be over-dramatic.

To help relieve stress, I decided to go for runs and walks after work. What started out as a healthy way to unwind from work soon became a deadly obsession. Soon the endorphins I created weren't enough and I had to increase my mileage in order to feel an ounce of happiness. During the mornings before work I would get in about 5 miles on the treadmill and about 7 miles on the weekends.

Running My First 5k at 98lbs.
I had also added on weightlifting every day and was getting a lot of positive attention from the weight I had lost and how "fit" my body looked. Thus was the birth of battle with anorexia. My eating disorder, known as ED from the point on, began creating rules and restrictions for me. If I would break a rule or restriction I would have intense feelings of guilt and regret and would often immediately turn to exercise to balance it out.

I began counting calories of everything I ate, even weighing out my meals. I would always make sure I burned off everything I ate and then some. This made the pounds fall off faster and brought on more compliments and encouragement from co-workers.

At this point, my co-workers were my only social life. Even though I lived with a roommate, I had distanced myself from her and my old friends. They would ask me to do things but I would have to run and exercise which took up the majority of my time. Also, the events would center around food and ED would never allow me to eat out at restaurant where we had no control over the ingredients or portions. Eventually I was alone except for seeing family every Sunday.

I Thought I Was Really Fit and Healthy Here... :(
There were days when my old self would try to come through and be like take the day off. Your body is in so much pain from running every day. But then ED would come through and get me out of bed and pounding pavement.

It wasn't until I moved back into my parents' house that I was able to get the help I so very badly wanted but didn't know how to get. I was 98 pounds when I walked into the Center for Integrated Behavioral Health for my consultation.

At first, sessions with my therapist were unbearable. ED immediately told me don't trust him and run in the other direction. However, old Beth was not giving up and I came to every session and followed every instruction. Of course it wasn't perfect. I relapsed during the year of therapy and gave attitude you wouldn't believe. Through it all, my therapist stuck with me because he believed in me as much as I believed in him.

One Year of Therapy Later...
The hardest part of the journey was allowing exercise and food back into my life. When I first started therapy, I was told to stop exercising or it would kill me. I felt the depression worsen as I was unable to exercise and had to eat. It had been years since I had eaten something without burning it off. I was terrified of gaining weight.

Once I started accepting the fact that I need to gain weight, I earned exercise back slowly. I needed an app to calculate my time and distance without counting calories. That's when I found the app Charity Miles. Charity Miles let's you exercise for a charity of your choice. You get sponsored by a big name company to run or walk to support your charity. At the end of your run/walk you are given your time and distance and how much money you raised for your charity.

For me this app was just the motivation I needed. I used to run because I thought I needed to burn off everything I ate, that was my motivation. Now, my motivation is about helping out my two personal favorite charities, ASPCA and Feeding America. At first I had anxiety that bad habits would pick back up but with the help of Charity Miles and no calorie counting I have stayed strong.
Supporting My Team Whenever, Wherever
 I was even featured as a Charity Miles Champion last year and had an article published about me and why I love/use the app. They recently reached out to me and let me know that my article was one of their top stories in 2015. I decided that I wanted to give back and help an app that helped me in a time of need and write another article to show my love and appreciation.

I believe my story was successful because I am unlike all their other Champions. I am NOT a marathon runner or stellar athlete. And I'm BEYOND okay with that. I no longer push my body to do things it doesn't want to do. My fitness goals of just being happy and healthy are realistic and people can relate.

Friends, I ask you to please download the Charity Miles app. I know you might have your favorite exercise apps already but give this one a chance. I challenge you to download the app and use it once a week during your run, walk, shopping trip or even doing yard work (read more ways to "hack" the app). Don't do it for me, do it for yourself. Help a charity out my doing something so simple as walking or running and you're going to feel so good inside. Soon you'll ditch the other apps and start giving back on all your cardio days.

To conclude, I have changed jobs, made new friends (and won back some old ones) and started doing more of what I love. I still have a few feared foods left to conquer but every day I get a little bit stronger. Overall, I am extremely happy and satisfied where I am in my life. But I'll be even happier if you download Charity Miles!

Happy & Healthy Looks Good On Me!