Sunday, July 15, 2012

Running for me

A friend that I actually met through this blog texted me today saying that she totally relates to my last post. She also runs D1 track and decided recently to quit her team due to the overwhelming pressure of being perfect.
Even though I do not feel as strongly as she does that competitive running is unhealthy (mentally) for me right now, it was still so great to hear that she understood the debate that has been going on in my head for the past two months.

Another friend that just recently left the SEC track scene due to graduation also talked to me today. She said she is more proud of me now than ever before. Something I was totally shocked to hear. I asked her why she feels that way, especially now, when my life may be more chaotic than ever before. Her response was super flattering and amazing.
"Because you keep fighting to be a better, healthier person rather than just live with an eating disorder and hoping to get a fast season out of it. And you are looking at yourself and what you need in a way that few can because it is so painful and takes so much strength."
I don't know about me being someone people should look up to, but she's at least right about my self examination of this past year being one of the most painful and weakening experiences I've gone through.

I guess I never figured it would take so long to get over ED. At the end of last year I thought I had it under control. But in all reality, I was still kinda crazy. I was fine with weighing X amount, running X amount, and doing X every day. Routine, routine, routine. If I gained any more weight than was necessary for my running I would flip a cow. And I did gain. And I did restrict. And binge. And binge. And restrict. And binge, binge, binge.
June, July, August, September, October, November, DECEMBER, January, FEBRUARY, March, April, May. Literally a year of this shit. Excuse my language.

Now I'm at the point where I am not afraid to go out for pizza with my friends on a Friday night. I love going to this great Indian lunch buffet in Memphis.. eating foods with completely unknown ingredients and calories to me.
But the body image thing is the worst. And the fact that my anorexia and binge eating disorder have both hurt my running.
Post-run, pre-shower. New journal. Happy.

I ran tonight for me.
Not to burn calories. Not to look better in a swimsuit. Not to get rid of stress, even. Not even for my teammates and coaches, although I do think of them almost every day.
Just because I love running.
And it was so fun. So very fun. I want more of this. I'm gonna do this for the rest of summer. I'm gonna try to get some good mileage in because I like mileage and I need it if I want to be decent in the fall, but I am going to go into this with a healthy mindset. Hopefully the healthy body will follow.

So much love to all of you out there that read. And to those that comment, I can say that you literally make my heart ache. And it grows with each word of support, encouragement, and love.
I hope you all are having a good night and I'll be writing soon.


  1. I went through much of the same phases before i really felt like i recovered from my eating disorder, at least to an extent that it's manageable. Today, after almost ten years of fighting this disease, I'm here to let you know that body image is the last hump, and it's the hardest. I spent the last two years with a counselor working on it and as hard as it was, I've moved past it as much that it doesn't interfere with my life anymore. You are getting there honey! Keep up the attitude that you want to heal, because it will keep you going through all the times you want to give up. I know how strong you are because i have been reading you trying to recover and know you want to attain it! Be strong! Here for you always!

  2. I think the fact you kept running and recovering was a HUGE testament to your strength and dedication to recovery.
    And, we do, we reach a point where we begin to see the worth, the need...
    You love to run. So run when you feel like it, like you said.
    I know people who danced and then didn't and as they recovered just took some classes because they missed it for what it is.
    You are so amazing and I love you so much <3

  3. And I am not sure where my comment telling you how beautiful you are disappeared <3

    1. You have always been so sweet and supportive of me. You have no idea how much you mean to me, Rachel. And the beautiful comment is so good to hear. I haven't thought that about myself much lately. Love you.

  4. Sweet sweet Haley! I'm still you locked in my reader forever. Now that I read with an ipad, I am much worse at commenting...

    The quote from your friend is exactly what I would say too, if I was as eloquent and wise ;) You are such a fighter. And putting your honest struggles up on the internet makes them that more valid, and that more impossible for you to hide behind a wall and deny that anything is wrong. One day, you will look back on this year as the year you fought like a superhero to conquer your "ed" voice.

    Also....running will always be there for you. I hope you succeed in disconnecting running from unhealthy thoughts, even if that means taking a big chunk of time off. No matter where you are with your body, pregnant/overweight/average/strong, you will be able to run. Slow, fast, competitively, as a hobby. Running is the best.

  5. I can relate to your last post and this post (and every other post...) so much. It is so freeing when you're able to just run for yourself isn't it? A lot of times when I am struggling with a run it's because I'm really just doing it because it's exercise, not because I want to run. Doesn't happen as often as it used to, but it makes me realize how much I really do love running when I'm doing it for the right reasons. I'm glad you got a taste of that!

  6. I am sorry it has been forever since I last commented, but I wanted to let you know how happy I am that you are enjoying running for YOU, with no ED involvement :) SO SO happy! That's a great step :)

  7. This is the first time I've read your blog, but what a lovely thing to do...! Your writing about recovery gives other hope :) go girl :)

    tilly xx

  8. Your words still resonate long after you wrote them. I am just now facing the fact that I have had an eating disorder for at least 15 years (anorexia and binge-restrict -- depending upon the phase of my life). I am finally finding the strength to face it. Your blog is helping me more than you know. Thanks for your bravery.