Why It Is Hard To Workout For Someone Who Has Suffered From An Eating Disorder

It is crazy to think that 2 years ago I had officially identified myself with having an eating disorder. I was 20 years old, a full time broke college student, and had “no time” in my schedule to eat paired with “no money” in my wallet to spend on food. These were of course excuses. It started out as me being lazy, not wanting to pack my lunch or go out of my way to buy something off the dollar menu with my change lying around in my car, to an obsession with feeling skinny and hungry. I knew if I just pushed past the first part of the day, I would no longer feel the pit in my stomach. I was going days without eating. There were times where I couldn’t remember when the last time was that I had a meal. I was eating a fruit pack a day. That’s it. I made sure to stay hydrated because I didn’t want to pass out but I CHOSE not to eat. It was a mental demon I fought every day for months.

I remember looking at myself. All 108 pounds of me (which for me is really bad). I could see my ribs, size 0 pants were loose, I looked like I had a bobble head, and I just stared. I sent a picture to my then boyfriend, now husband, and I vividly remember asking him, “be honest, am I too skinny?” We had just recently started dating and he had no idea I had this problem. His answer was the thing that I needed. I had always thought “I could afford to lose some weight”, but his exact words were “you could afford to gain some weight.”

I opened up and told him all about my eating disorder and from then on he made it his personal goal to make sure I ate every day. I would eat a kids menu burger and be so full I felt like I was going to throw up. My stomach had shrunk tremendously, but I forced myself to eat 3 times a day. Buddy (my then boyfriend, now husband) would buy me dinner and lunch meals so I had no excuse but to eat. I hated it. I was gaining weight and my pants stopped fitting me, but when I would be angry with my weight gain I would look at old pictures and continue eating. I realized 2 things: 1. I was pretty prideful about how thin I was. And 2. I had the best boyfriend in the universe for walking through this with me and loving every pound gained.

In 6 months I had successfully gained 30 pounds! I was eating 3 full meals a day, and no longer had the desire to be hungry. Success!


Just 4 weeks ago I decided I wanted to live a healthier life style. I started working out everyday and one thought lead to another and there I was thinking, “If I skipped breakfast and lunch and only ate dinner (a small plate) my husband wouldn’t find out and I could lose weight faster.” It wasn’t even my goal to lose weight, but to be healthy. Starvation isn’t healthy! I did it for 3 days and on the third day, which just so happened to be my 3rd day of my brand new job, I was walking out to my car and started passing out. I sat down as fast as I could. Luckily I was walking with my coworkers so they gave me some snacks they had in their purses. I was sooooo embarrassed. I told my husband and he immediately identified it. Can’t get anything past that smart cookie! But he is my biggest blessing with my health. That was 4 weeks ago. The very first relapse and the very last. Sometimes when you start working out again after recovery, you want to revert to your old methods of weight loss. But the biggest concern that I remind myself of is my health, not my weight.


Post eating disorder sufferers struggle with this daily. I know it because I have been there and seen it. It’s not always easy to start working out again but I’ll tell you one thing, it sure does make you face your demons and overcome them. Hitting this head on has been hard but it has given me more healing then I even thought I needed.

How to Know The Company Isn’t Healthy From The Interview

1. The interviewer doesn’t let you talk but schedules you for a second interview.

I really love marketing but since I don’t have any marketing experience besides internet marketing for my blog I was looking for an entry level position. I interviewed at so many “marketing firms” that really turned out to be more like sales and since I definitely did not want to work nights and weekends this was really not my cup of tea. I was had one interview with a marketing company and the interviewer talked the whole time, was basically trying to sell me on the company and hook me in to believing that I will be making a lot of money. It sounded great and all but not once did he ask about me. It was all about him and “how much money he makes”. I don’t care that you make more than six figures, if it costs me my soul there is no way I am signing up for that. If the person interviewing you has to convince you that it’s a great job and chats your ear off while you sit there and then signs you up for a second interview that should be a huge red flag. Don’t you want your employer to want to hire you because they like you? This type of interviewer doesn’t care about you, they are trying to get you because they need the employee numbers up, which leads me into my next type of interviewer.

2. The interviewer talks to every prospective employee and employs them all.

I went into one interview and by the time I had left there were 10 other interviewees that had come in for the same position. Not only did we all get to interview, but we were all offered jobs and that was just in one hour. They had interviews scheduled all day. This means the company has a very high turn over rate which screams UNHEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT. I am sure that there are some people who come out of that job on top but do you really want to work in an unstable company? Not me!

3. The interviewer who doesn’t directly answer your questions.

This interviewer is the worst! After a slew of awful interviews I had been through, I just wanted to work with someone who I felt was honest. This interviewer was asking me if I had anymore questions and every question I asked, he would completely redirect. I just wanted yes or no but he couldn’t deliver that to me. This generally means that there is something they are hiding from you because they know you would not take the job so they are going to wait until you sign on the dotted line before hitting you with the big awful secret. You have to be careful of shady people, because generally shady people work for shady companies.

4. Acts like you’re interviewing for a ceo position when it’s an entry level position.

This was probably the interview that had me laughing as I walked out. I am pretty confident in my abilities. I am a hard worker and if I don’t know how to do something I will teach myself. I went into this one interview with an interviewer for an entry level position and she was asking me things that made me feel like my job was the guy that was in charge of pushing the button for the release of nuclear war fare. This type of company can put a lot of pressure on you and make you feel as though you are never good enough or you don’t work enough making you have to completely give up your personal life and be married to your job. I have a husband thank you very much, I’m not going to leave him for my career.

When you are interviewing be careful of these types of companies. Remember, in most cases you spend more time at your job than you do at home so make sure the company you work for lines up with your values, culture, and schedule.

Turning Your “Work Brain” Off

As someone who enjoys working and being busy, this was hard for me to grasp. When I am in something I am full force, pedal to the metal, submerged. This can be good in moments when I need to be attentive or exude a lot of energy, but also a down fall.


When you are growing up you have shift work jobs where you work 3 times a week, four hours at a time. When you get into corporate America, you work at least 40 hours a week, which breaks down to 8 hours a day of work and one hour a day for lunch. Although you technically work 40 hours you are away from home for at least 45 hours, not including your drive. On a “normal” week I leave my place at 6 am and get home around 5:15 pm. I generally pump myself up for work on my way there and decompress on my way home which means I am spending a little over 11 hours in work mode. IT IS HARD TO TURN OFF. I tend to find myself having a hard time clocking out mentally at 4 pm along with my body.

For the first couple months of my job in corporate, I dwelt on my work constantly. I couldn’t take my mind off of it. I was excited and ambitious but it led me down a rough road. I started getting irritable, I was waking up in the middle of the night with items I needed to add to my checklist, and I was panicking over everything I did.

I did hit my breaking point. I was exhausted, my co-worker had quit, we were hiring someone new, I never rested, I was working 10.5 hour days (not including the hour commute) and I couldn’t take my mind off work. My mental health had taken a serious hit. One day, I was sitting at work and felt my toes and hands starting to hurt. I looked down and there were red spots all over my feet! I went to the doctor, they took my blood pressure (which was through the roof), and found out that because of all the stress I was putting on myself, my immune system was low and I got hand, foot, and mouth disease.


This forced me to rest. I was out of work for four days and spent all day, every day, lying down. Awful, but glorious because I got so much rest! A mental vacation was what I needed. From that breaking point I have trained my brain to turn off of work mode. Mental breaks are not easy and it took practice believe it or not, but sometimes you have to choose not to think about something. here is how I did it:

  1. I started by actively doing something after work that I enjoyed, like blogging! TV and social media doesn’t do it for me, I don’t need something mindless, I need something that I can focus on that brings me joy and sweeps me away.
  2. I stopped talking about work on my free time. I still do this if something is bothering me but I try to make a conscious effort not to talk about it to fill space.
  3. I started planning events to look forward to so when I was stressed I could remember what I had planned that was going to be fun and NOT WORK!
  4. I stopped giving all of myself to everyone. When I did this I let in room to take care of myself, my husband, and my job. It became a lot easier to balance.

It gets better, but it does take time and effort.

Photography by Naomi Ledford:

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