I At War With Myself:
remember the pivotal moment when my body became an object of constant critical self-evaluation and social comparison. It was fifth grade; I was barely 10 years old. Our entire dance class was lined up, ready to practice our jazz number when it suddenly occurred to me that my legs looked a lot wider than any of the other girls. Next I noticed my hair was frizzier… then, how my teeth were more crooked. We were all wearing the same black bodysuit and matching shorts- our studio’s attempt to make us look more in unison at rehearsals, yet I felt as though I couldn’t have stuck out more.
The not so linear path to overcoming my eating disorder.
BY SARAH JOHNSON Bachelor of Kinesiology Student - University of Alberta Social Director - Kinesiology Games 2018, University of Alberta
PHOTOS BY JEFF KELLY ARCHIVE FOUR FORTY FOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
It didn’t take long after that for me to realize that being slim was unanimous in society for being more desirable. Looking in magazines and on TV while also absorbing every conversation I overhead the women in my life talk about, the logical conclusion for me to, just maybe, become enough, was to have an admirable body. Not only had the media told me that losing weight would make people like me, but that somehow changing my body would also make me happier. From that point on, I began buying into a viscous cycle that has carried me into my young adulthood: loose weight, be happy. I put myself in a constant battle against my body. The thing people don’t talk about with eating disorders is the psychological warfare that goes on. My thoughts were constantly bombarded by internalized messages of needing to lose weight or die trying. Years of damaging my body went on and no one caught on. There were so many red flags, and yet I managed to fly under the radar. If my body was changing, I was running and going to the gym enough that I could simply excuse my loose fitting clothing or pale face on a couple hard workouts. I knew what I was doing to my body was wrong, but I didn’t think it was enough of a problem to seek help. So I battled it alone. It wasn’t until I began volunteering with an organization called the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta that I realized I needed to make long-term changes if I was finally going to kick my eating disorder. The first place I wanted to start was by changing my fitness motivation. That’s when I stumbled upon SVPT Fitness, and where I would say my true recovery began. At SVPT, it was never about what my body looked like - and always about how it felt. I was open with my trainer about my previous unhealthy relationship with exercise and the anxiety I found when I began keeping a consistent exercise routine and had goals
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