WHAT HAPPENED TO BRITTANY?
It’s no secret that I’ve treated my body horribly over the years struggling with an eating disorder. I wasn’t born with one. I was born Brittany – a happy, loving girl with a heart of gold. But I lost myself and I lost myself fast. I didn’t know who I was, who I had become, or who I’d ever be. Not only was I lost, but I didn’t even know who I was looking for.
When I was struggling with anorexia, there were many days where I would be able to pull myself out of my delusional mind and reminisce on who I used to be. I used to be strong, a nationally ranked athlete and I also used to take my physical ability for granted. It was days where I lay in a hospital bed, unable to even walk to the windowsill or dress myself that would make me think. What happened to Brittany?
When I was struggling with binge eating disorder, there were many days I’d stare into the mirror for hours… Rolls of fat covered my body, it was hard to breathe, my dad’s clothes fit me tight and it was an effort just to climb the stairs in my house. I stared at a stranger with hair that was only just beginning to grow back over my balding head. What happened to Brittany?
When I was struggling with bulimia, there were many days I wondered if the vicious binge-restrict-over-exercise-take laxatives cycle would ever end. I seemed to me on a roller coaster and I was physically and mentally sick. What happened to Brittany?
It wasn’t until I started searching inward, slowed down, and realized change takes a tremendous amount of patience and discomfort that I started stringing together positive choices. I started thinking more rationally and challenging my old, yet familiar thoughts. I thought about what could happen in 1 year. Do I want to make slow, but sustainable progress? Or do I want to numb the pain away and continue to feed my eating disorder’s drastic measures. It’s a no brainer choice, but I had over a decade of destructive thoughts to challenge.
But I committed to make this change and it was one of the best decisions I could have made. I changed how I viewed exercise and started adding in weights and more variety instead of engaging in obsessively boring cardio. I changed how I ate and viewed food. I have many days where I still overeat, but that’s okay and so does everyone. I’m starting to slowly make my way back to equilibrium after finding comfort living in extremes. I never knew balance. I never knew normal. In fact, I find that it is much easier personally, to live on vast extremes because it is a form of not being present and distracting myself. But that’s not living. That’s not feeling. And that’s a sure road to misery and regret.
So here I am now. I am far from perfect. I still make mistakes. I’m still finding my balance. Yes, I look different. But no, that’s not what my transformation is about. It’s about how my mind is changing and how I feel about and treat my body. It’s about what you can’t see.
I’ve found who I lost so many years ago. I am that happy girl again, still learning to love herself more each day through the ups and the downs. And that is what happened to Brittany.