In fitness there are constant goals to be made, obstacles to defeat, and a feeling of being fully alive. That drive for surpassing my current personal records greatly improved my mental health. In my solitude and pain I found a comfort. A passion that taught me how dedication works. That giving up, whether that is on myself or the world, only continues the victim mentality. Each time I bike another ten miles or lift a heavier weighted barbell off the ground by sheer mental and physical willpower, I feel alive.
When fitness goals are made, the journey is marked with numerous milestones, It seems that most people start with appearance. Then it turns to performance. To be the best athlete possible. This is the mindset I have now, and I am learning that putting my achievements that are non aesthetic as a priority ultimately gives me more satisfaction. It’s just that the side-effect is a better physique.
My love for weightlifting made the biggest difference in my recovery from nine-year anorexia. Muscle growth and strength gains are linked to eating an adequate diet. Which for me, means eating enough. I remember when I would eat three apples a day, approximately 200 calories. Now I eat 2,300 calories and six meals a day. I will admit I don’t always have days of eating enough for muscle growth. There are days where I barely manage 800 calories, being lost in the old thoughts anorexia trapped me in. But when I have a workout where I am so weak and feeling so frail, I remake the connection that food means progress. Food means shattering my limits. It’s a cycle. I eat because I lift and I lift because I eat. And that’s something I never fathomed I would write.
In these past seven months since I chose recovery, my inner and physical strength has changed for the better. There are also the physiology aspect about the link between exercise and mental health, but I won’t get into that. I just wanted to say that exercise turned me from a victim to hopefully someday a survivor.