What does the word mean to you?
This is an interesting topic when it comes to the fitness and health industry. It seems as though at every corner of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, there is some bodybuilder/gymrat/health junkie promoting a new supplement brand, a “skinny tea”, or a clothing line.
People need to make a living, and brand sponsorships are one of the primary means for health and fitness influencers to make an income. And I extend cudos to them for their hard work and dedication to the industry.
But even more so, I find that the real influencers that resonate with me, the ones that I will continue to support by means of YouTube, IG, etc. are the ones that albeit their success with brands, stay truly authentic to who they are.
They share the ups and downs of their fitness journeys, their struggles and triumphs in life, and their personal stories. Because of this, I can see myself through them. I can look up to them and be inspired by their accomplishments.
I want to be viewed in the same way by all of my own readers, watchers and supporters.
So today I am sharing my own story. Long, messy, full of raw growth and enlightenment. It is as much “me” as I can bring to you through a computer screen.
Here it goes.
Throughout my adolescent life, I never really participated in any sports, I didnt have any special talents or hobbies. I was just me, plain and simple. No cool interests to keep me occupied. This fact isn’t really of that much importance aside from the fact that because I never played sports, when I entered highschool I was sort of at a loss for meeting my peers skills in classes like PE. Never being picked for teams, and feeling inferior to the girls who played sports and were naturally athletic and fit looking took a toll on my self confidence. I was never really “overweight” but I wasn’t necessarily the size of most girls my age. And to be honest, I felt like shit because of it, and I eventually got tired of it and wanted a change, but the damage that feeling did to my self confidence stayed with me. I started running in grade 10, and lost some weight (plus puberty was finally tapering off lol). But it wasn’t enough for me. Do to some personal issues going on in my life, where I felt like I had no control, I took control of my eating. Or lack thereof. I fell for every stupid “low carb” “low fat” trend diet out there, which meant all I ate was vegetables and egg whites. Maybe some plain chicken breast. Plus I was working out to such an extent that my caloric intake could not support (although less than how I train now, but my caloric intake and metabolism needs were different 4 years ago) the type of exercise I was doing. I was probably consuming around or less than 800 calories a day.
What still perplexes me to this day, though, is that unlike what you hear about most eating disorders, I wasn’t really concerned with how I looked. I did not weigh myself, I did not stare at myself in the mirror, because my weight loss was so drastic and immediate, I was content with how I looked finally. But I became obsessed with not letting my new physique go, I became even more strict on myself in order to preserve my oh-so desperately desired slim frame. If I felt something were upsetting me, Id become even more strict, and push myself even harder. And although I was lost in this reality for quite some time, it did not last forever, as I slowly began to notice how exhausted and empty I felt spiritually, emotionally and physically. I could see how I had almost appeared to have shrunken into my former self, all that was left was a smaller, fragile shell of who I used to be. Id lost my emotional energy that makes me loud, quirky and funny when I want to be, I had no hobbies as I had no energy to do more than exercise and do schoolwork. At this time, I can clearly remember a PE teacher Id had a few years prior coming up to me and telling me how great I looked, at the time, I was slowly beginning to see that I was harming my body, and what was supposed to be a compliment, hurt me so deeply because it was the product of my own self hatred. At the time my eyes looked empty, I had no energy, had grown tiny hairs on my entire body because I was constantly freezing cold, and was basically a shell of myself. I was consumed with anxiety over my life, I was too stubborn and proud to go seek out help, and I felt so lost, yet so determined to turn my life around, by myself.
Recovery was one of the most difficult things I have had to endure. When your body isn’t used to eating large amounts of food, yet you have to in order to exceed your daily metabolic number of calories burned in order to gain weight, you feel constantly sick to your stomach. I became unable to digest food properly so I would vomit up (involuntarily) what I was eating trying to help myself. I remember having to eat high-calorie meals late at night even when I wasn’t hungry because I knew it was the only way I could gain weight. At around this time, I started reading health articles and blogs and became increasingly interested in health, as a way to heal myself and improve my overall wellbeing after mistreating my body for so long. This is when I started my blog, as I was slowly learning to love myself again, I wanted to share my story, and the knowledge of what I had learned along the way in order to help people possibly experiencing the same things I had.
Along with each post, each video and each picture taken, I slowly began to regain my weight loss and reach a place of health and increased happiness, I also knew that I wanted to provide people with REAL information on health and wellness. I didn’t want to talk about low-carb, low-fat, high-bullshit diets that drive people into the kind of self-sabotage that I did. I wanted to inspire to live a happy, healthy, whole life, with quality nutritional and fitness information. To guide people along their journeys in an authentic, compassionate and holistic style. To let people know that they should love and nourish their bodies; or teach that you don’t need to feel guilty for eating a slice of cake or missing a workout. But at the same time, I wanted to show my readers how delicious a kale salad can taste, and demonstrate my favourite glute workouts. Life is a balance of holding on and of letting go of what no longer serves us in a powerfully positive manner. Through Mindfully Miranda, through my future Personal Training and through my nutritional guidance, I want to inspire this power in each and every one of you that desires it. I stand for you.