I've never shared with anyone what I'm about to unveil. This is me being very real, and very vulnerable. After all, that's one of the reasons I started blogging; you can just write it all down and get your thoughts out there and judgements are made, but not to you physically. I haven't always been a holistic-philosophy-mindset girl, nor did I become one overnight.
I'm sharing my holistic journey in hopes that it might help you to 1) feel less alone in whatever path you're currently on and 2) recognize how important a whole mind-body connected mindset is.
After returning from a semester of traveling abroad in Southeast Thailand, and after that a semester off recovering, working, and planning my next motive, I went through a period of being too concerned with the health of my body (let me be more specific, the shape of my body) that led to an obsession with being 'healthy'.
Living with this mindset, I soon realized that while my body looked healthy (though still not up to my mind's standards) I was living the total opposite of my intention. My intentions upon my return from my Gap Year were to get grounded, get my appetite back for a clean eating habit, get back to a workout routine, go to college, etc.
I was working out multiple times a day, whether it was running in the morning and then hitting the gym in the evening, or two runs in a day, etc. On top of (what I now acknowledge as over-working out) what I thought was smart and what my body needed, I was restricting my diet - limiting carbs, minimal dairy, sweets occasionally, hardly any protein (plant-based vegetarian at the time). . . as you can see, a totally non-sustainable and "gigi friendly" way of life.
Life was evolving per usual, I was going through things emotionally with family, friends, etc. and ultimately I took it upon myself to essentially take out my stress, anger, frustration, confusion, and sadness (the list could go on) towards my physical well-being.
I had crossed the line. I was so focused on healthy eating and healthy exercise, that I was actually putting my health at risk. People with this condition of needing to only eat healthy, clean or pure foods are referred to as orthorexic. Other symptoms might include low self-esteem, poor body image, and compulsive traits alongside over-exercising.
Good news is that those who come to realization of their behavior and who put in the effort to recover, have some of the healthiest relationships with exercise and food. I’m not saying I have 100 percent recovered myself, but I am aware, I have slowed down and truly feel and think more intuitively with my body. I have lowered my running craze drastically and gone from using it as a coping mechanism to rid my stress and anxiety, and instead found a way to feel balanced physically and mentally. People ask if I meditate and lately I’ve been thinking that you know what, while I don’t sit and meditate in a traditional manner, I do meditate when I run, go for walks, practice yoga – it all brings me joy, and in that state I feel light, happy, energized, as if in a meditative-state.