They say fitness is a journey not a destination, and that has most certainly been true for me. I was the fat kid growing up, getting bullied and made fun of. I turned, or shall I say returned, to food for comfort. At that young of an age I had no idea how to cope with all the emotions running through me: anger, sadness, loneliness, frustration. Somehow I knew that my appearance meant everything to everyone else, and I knew that if I was able to manipulate my body into what others wanted, then I would find acceptance, then I would find friends, then I would find happiness.
I didn’t find those things. Instead I found myself in a 13 year battle with an eating disorder that was trying to claim my life. I found myself starving myself, limiting my calories and even limiting the amount of fluid, fearful of even gaining an ounce. Then I found myself binging and purging almost on a daily basis. I had absolutely lost myself to this disease.
Then I came to a crossroads. I could either continue down this path of destruction, or I could accept responsibility for my life and do something about it. As soon I decided that my life was worth living, and worth living outside the confines of my distorted mind, I began to find a life I never knew was there. I spent so much time blaming other people for my behaviors and how I felt, but when I started to take responsibility for those actions and feelings, I realized that I was able to change them.
I started to take my health seriously; mind, body, and soul. Every day I planned out how I was going to fuel my body, how I was going to move my body, and most importantly how I was going to love my body. And I found an amazing community of women that were all trying to do the same thing. Without these women, I really have no idea if I would be where I’m at today. It has been through their love and support that I have been able to overcome one of the most challenging obstacles I have ever faced.
My fitness journey is still in its beginning stages, but I am very excited about the next stages of this journey. I am excited to continue the journey of challenging myself, of helping others along their own journey, of building a stronger community around, and of finding out more about the person I am becoming!
Written by Shannon Pugh
Follow Shannon on Instagram! @ginger510