It’s not about the number.
We live in a society of comparison. Who has it all together, who looks better, who is the most athletic, most beautiful, the best hair + the perfect outfit. Even when we have it the same, it becomes a game of “Who wore it better?” So, we really never win. It is a vicious cycle of comparison, dissatisfaction, + lack of joy.
I truly believe that comparison robs joy, it sure robbed mine.
When I started college, I really wanted to find my “group” + jump all-in. I knew what I wanted to find, but in my idealistic mindset, it didn’t exist. + then I found CHAARG. When I first heard of CHAARG, I expressed my interest as a beautiful way to meet people, get in shape + surround myself with positivity. What I didn’t share was my underlying desire, that was much stronger + powerful than everything else; I was going to use CHAARG to fuel my eating disorder.
I’ve struggled with body image issues my entire life, but really, who doesn’t at some point find a flaw with their body. Coming into college with a diagnosis of Anorexia + Bulimia, I saw CHAARG as a way to “cover-up” the secret that I was feeding [more like starving] inside of me. I could join this group, workout at every free moment, + surround myself with healthy friends — all while appearing to everyone that I was doing the right things. That didn’t go as planned.
Let me disclose this first — I’ve always loved CHAARG. I mean, how could you not?! What a beautiful organization, empowering girls to have confidence + love living a healthy lifestyle. I just love it in a different way now.
When I began CHAARG, I was using it to fuel negative things, the more I worked out, the better I felt. The less I ate, the stronger I felt. Every time I stepped on the scale to a lower number, I felt empowered to lower it even more. Every time I stuck my finger down my throat, I felt like I was bettering myself. Small was the goal.
For the first month or so, my plan worked. I was getting remarks, side comments saying that I “looked good” or “was so healthy,” ++ those only fueled it even more. Whatever I was doing had to be working — I mean, I was getting positive attention about my body… until I got caught.
Eating disorders are tricky, ++ they take a very short time to get trapped into + what feels like FOREVER to escape.
My [awesome] CHAARG ambassador began to pick up on my flawed eating habits, negative self-talk + excessive exercise. I’m sure it wasn’t that hard — CHAARG picks smart people + eating disorders only hide for so long. We had several long conversations in which we divulged information + talked in great depth about this vicious monster of a disorder. I had someone who cared about me as a person — flawed, broken + starving.
The game-changer occurred when my doctor [along with my nutritionist] deemed me “too unhealthy” to exercise. At all. To say I was crushed was an understatement. They were taking away my most powerful weapon. I was NOT a happy CHAARGie.
At that point I was trapped — Everyone I didn’t want to know my secret knew. There was no way I could use CHAARG to fuel my ED any more. So, my CHAARG mbassador along with 2 exec members who I am blessed to call my friends, did what any healthy-minded member would do. They put me on “probation.” No working out with CHAARG until I had an official note from my doctor saying I could workout. You could have told me the world was over.
But my world was not over, it was actually just beginning.
Instead of kicking this anorexic-mess to the curb, CHAARG took me in. They loved me, checked in on me + helped hold me accountable. It really was the start of my recovery.
So what does this have to do with the Fit Plan?
As I worked on building strength, gaining weight, + re-feeding my body, I was really missing the physical strength + power you only get from a good workout. I worked + worked + worked — finally I was released from my self-induced restriction in time for the Fall Fit Plan!
This plan changed the way I saw working out. I followed it to a T — combining a good, healthy exercise level with healthier eating + positive self-talk.
I was able to use CHAARG to help my eating disorder instead of worsen it. The workouts gave me strength I didn’t think I had, passion I didn’t think was possible, + an absolute love for CHAARG that is unstoppable. I gained weight during the Fit Plan + pictures show it. I love the body I am [literally] gaining.
It’s not about the number. Throw your scale out the window. Stop comparing yourself to others + defining your self-worth by a number. See results in way that matter. How do you feel? What do you love about your body now? What amazing things can it do? What couldn’t you do last week that you can do now? How can you empower yourself for a positive change?
PLEASE don’t walk alone. There are too many people who love you too much to let you struggle alone. Call on your CHAARG community + they will come. Keep CHAARGin’ on.
[Also, special shoutout to Kat, Rachele + Allie for #1 putting me on a restriction my body so desperately needed and #2 not leaving my side while I cried in anger and frustration at you three for doing it. You were all right — I would be thankful later.]