Finding Balance: Honest Feels After IYSS

I started writing this to share about my experience at the Ignite Your Soul Summit about a week ago. I thought it would be fun to share my favorite speakers, moments, and things that inspired me. But these feels below also happened. This post poured out of me when I was sitting in an airport terminal. So, I want to share this too and keep it real first.

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The relationship I have with food and my body’s needs is out of whack. I was reminded of this all weekend – which is an interesting reaction to an event that meant to “Ignite Your Soul.”

I can’t believe the amount of time and energy I have spent obsessing over my body in unhealthy ways. Key word: unhealthy. For me, this usually manifests in the minutes I spend gorging myself with snacks when I’m feeling stressed.

It’s all still there – even if I’m a yoga teacher and meditate regularly. Even if I practice “self love” all the time. The fixation on my physical body is powerful. I thought I would have more control over it as I got older. However, the obsession still rears it’s nasty head when I’m stressed about: work, a relationship, money, the future, and especially, how much I hate my body.

I don’t really hate my body. I freaking love my body. Anyone who knows me can attest that I walk with freaking confidence and have a super sweet ass. But this doesn’t mean that at the end of the day, when I’m tired and feeling low. Or in the morning when I wake up unmotivated, I don’t reach for an obscene amount of pretzels stuffed with peanut butter or 3 bowls of ice cream to the point where I feel like I’ll throw up.

That last part is important.

The signs of an eating disorder that I’ve battled my whole life and still do not have control over. The belief that there isn’t enough. There won’t be enough. I’m not enough. My physical fullness isn’t enough. And the way to numb those feelings is through mindless consumption of food to an uncomfortable level and losing the ability to stop. Until the bag is gone. The pint is empty. Sometimes it seems almost soul less.

This issue is what bubbled to the surface as I sat there listening to the Ignite Your Soul Summit speakers talk about fear and the things that stand in your way of your happiness. My issues with food kept popping into my head when each of the speakers shared their stories of past and present.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

quoted one of the speakers.

This means I have unresolved, underlying issues. One being with the way I manage my stress and personal triggers. I most likely need professional help to work through them effectively – but to be honest I’m scared of being weak and vulnerable if I have to deal with them.

The first night, on Saturday, after IYSS day 1, my response was to binge eat. So I did.

Emotionally it felt so right because things were stirred inside me I needed to deal with. And this is how I deal. Physically – it felt like crap. I went to bed disgustingly full and not at all satiated because I followed a full meal of noodles with half a bag of pretzels and crackers. The next day I was bloated and tired and dying to obsessively workout. I literally swallowed these feelings by eating through the whole day, snacking the entire car ride home with my friend even when I wasn’t hungry, and then eating more food at a friends house later that night during Game of Thrones. #longliveserjorah

The next day I worked out for 3 hours. Boot camp, hot yoga, a 4 mile run. I felt like I could accept myself again and the hours in between the binge and the exercise were mentally painful. I hated every inch of myself and cried in the shower thinking about so many things. I would argue that my emotional state was highly impacted by the massive amount of carbs and chemicals that were still sitting in my body – but there is no question that multiple things were at play. I was struggling and it bottled up.

What also sucks is what I lost by being so negatively distracted. I was lethargic and couldn’t read or catch up on e-mails like I wanted to. The next two sleeps were shitty.

I’m lucky because I know how to return to normal. I know what to do to get back to feeling healthy/better/myself: vegetables, smoothies, spending time with people I love, laughing, hot showers, teaching yoga, rock climbing, running outside, getting more sleep, reading for me. I’m privileged because I have all these things at my fingertips and it only takes me a week to bounce back.

I’m still unable to put my finger on my problems and how to deal with them. I don’t have the help and I continue to work through this issue alone and with the go to (see above) methods that put a band-aid on my real issues. It’s debilitating some days and not even a second thought other days.

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I’m not afraid of sharing. Never have been. But I’m afraid of dealing. I choose to avoid and numb. Make a joke. Walk away. Leave the country. Lose a friend. Binge eat. Compulsively exercise.

Writing helps. That’s why this is here. Typing this experience and reflecting on it is something I needed. If you’re still reading. Damn oh damn. Thanks for sticking with my sob story.

There is a part of me that regrets putting this up because people deal with worse issues. I live a cushy AF life and I’m sure a few people sense this and roll their eyes which I totally get. In some context I deserve it.

I also deserve to be seen and heard. So this is my current state of mind in all honesty.

I’m going to do a post about all the inspirational stuff too because I enjoy passing along new information I’ve gathered and staying positive. But for now – I’ll leave this here.

XO

LIZ

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