After getting home from work today, I was in need of a little snackie. :-P Jay and I have a softball game tonight, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be enjoying another grilled chicken sandwich after the game; but that wouldn’t be until about 8:00 and I was hungry! I noticed a lonely pear sitting in the fruit basket and figured I should show him some love.
I chopped him up (nicely, I promise) and mixed it into some 1% cottage cheese (maybe about 3/4 cup? – I didn’t measure…) a few golden raisins, and a heavy-handed sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.
I don’t even remember the last time I ate a pear, but this guy was soooo sweet and juicy! I think I need to pick up a few more of these at the store this weekend because it was definitely an excellent combo. I also ended up snacking on another small piece of corn bread, which happened a little too quickly for the camera…but you already know what it looks like. ;)
So in case you’ve been eagerly waiting in suspense (haha), here’s the answer to Part 2 of this afternoon’s question. If you missed part 1, click here. And you might wanna grab a cup of tea or a snack…it’s a long one!
Q: When did you become interested in fitness and wellness? Was there a turning point for you?
A: Continued…I had about 4 weeks until my trip to NYC, which I saw as an opportunity to “get thin”. Now at this point in my life, not only did I put the stress of the contest on me, but I was also feeling the stress of losing Jay. During this time, Jay and I decided to take a break; to grow up, and sort out our issues. It really took a toll on me, and in turn, I focused all of my attention on food and losing weight.
I can tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever been hungrier than I was at this time in my life. I ate minuscule meals (if you could call them that); I avoided fat at all costs– heck I avoided food when I could; I hated even the slightest feeling of fullness in my stomach; I was constantly counting calories in my head; I ate sugar-free jell-o like it was going out of style; and I worked out harder than I ever had. I can actually remember one of my lowest moments: my mom was preparing dinner, and I saw her adding a little extra butter to a dish. I completely freaked because it was going to “ruin all of my hard work”.
Obviously, I was in a horrible place, and even after the contest was over, my misconstrued way of thinking continued. I was miserable and depressed, but I was still getting thinner so I kept at it. I would run into people I hadn’t seen in a while, maybe since high school, and they’d say “Oh Courtney, you lost weight? You look great!”. During high school & the beginning of college, I was pretty average. Certainly not overweight, but could afford to eat a few less cosmic brownies. Well all of those comments kept me going. Even the ones about my “so skinny arms” got me excited. I thrived off of things like this.
My mom urged me, gently, to go speak to someone on more than one occasion, but I refused. I didn’t want to go telling some doctor I had a problem. I thought, sure I don’t want to eat fattening foods, but that doesn’t make me one of “those people”.
Luckily, a very close friend of mine could totally relate to what I was going through. She had battled through some very similar issues in the past, and I knew I could always count on her. We would talk a lot, about food, about feelings, about life. The best part of it all was that she did not once judge me, and that’s exactly what I needed; just somebody to listen, and somebody who understood. Had I gone to see a doctor, who knows whether or not I would have been diagnosed with anything? But I’m glad I wasn’t, because I don’t want to ever have any kind of “label” floating over my head. Yes, I had a problem, and I’ll leave it at that. Thankfully, I had my own doctor in the form of my close friend.
While I slowly started to improve, it wasn’t until Jay and I got back together in May of 2008 that things really started to look up for me. I was happy again, I felt complete, and I had more to focus on than just food and how to avoid it. This is when I started reading food blogs, such as Tina’s & Kath’s. At first, I looked at these meals and would think, “Geez, there’s no way I could eat all that without getting fat!”. But slowly, as my mental and physical health started to improve, I realized that I was really just begging to be able to enjoy food again the way that these girls were, and the way that I used to.
I’d say it still took a good solid year until I felt totally comfortable with food that wasn’t “fat free” or “low-fat”. But the more I read these blogs, and the happier I became with life, the easier it was for me to see the light. It was amazing when I realized how much more energy I had when I actually ate some healthy fats and carbs! And my moodiness? So much better! (although Jay may beg to differ on that one sometimes ;) ) Fitness also became an enjoyable hobby for me, rather than a dreaded requirement. My workouts these days are MUCH more intense than they were then, and that’s because I have the stamina to do them. I love the way a hot, sweaty workout makes me feel. I love being sore the next day from a killer BodyPump session. And the best part, I don’t love it because it could potentially make me “loose weight”…I do love it because it makes me feel, well…flippin’ fantastic! :)
Looking back, it’s crazy for me to see just how low things got, because I always had felt such joy with food and exercise. Thankfully, all of that love is back, probably 100 times more than ever before. I realized that I have so much more to focus on in life than being the “skinny girl”. I have a loving husband, a phenomenal mother and father, a pretty kick-ass brother (most of the time!) and the best group of friends you will ever find, guaranteed.
To be honest, I’m pretty nervous about all of this being posted, because I’ve never opened up about this to anyone except my one close friend, Jay, and my mom. My friends didn’t know, although they may have had an idea. And my co-workers & acquaintances certainly didn’t know. Most people are probably going to read this and think, “Geez, I never realized that you were so screwed up, Courtney?” Well, I was; plain and simple. I battled some hurdles, but I overcame them; and to me, that’s more courageous than someone finding out about those battles in the first place.
So there you have it…that’s me, “healthy girl” in a nutshell. ;)
*Lindsey, thank you so much for asking this question…if it wasn’t for you asking, I don’t know if I ever would have opened up…and it feels fantastic!* :)