Hi my name is Megan Anderson. I am a young determined woman on the journey to discovering who she is and helping others do that same. Let me tell you a bit about myself. I grew up in a small town in Wyoming. In high school I started to realize I had body image issues.
- When I felt “fat”, I stopped eating.
- When someone made fun of my body, I would go days without eating.
- When I broke my leg, I would go days without eating.
- When I was depressed, I would go days without eating.
- When I did indulge in large amounts of food, I would go days without eating to make up for it.
I remember going to dance class and having conversations with a fellow dancer about how we skipped meals. I remember going from dance class to the gym because I had to workout. Once I started college similar traits seemed to follow me. I would skip meals. I would go from ballet class to the gym to get my cardio in. Spending 3-4 hours a day between the two.
In college I learned about my passion for the human body. I then became a certified personal trainer through NASM and got a position at a local gym. I soon realized I had never fought my own struggle. So, I decided to compete in a bodybuilding show in the bikini division. It was the typical “bro” diet. High amounts of protein and low carbohydrates. I had a “cheat meal” every now and then. My body fat was melting away. But my hormone levels were all over the place. My body lacked energy. I hated going to the gym because I was always so tired. Worst of all my insecurities were only being fed. It went from one drastic habit to another. Yes, the cheat meal kept me focused for the week but I would binge so hard. I would justify an entire pizza or pint of ice cream. I would not just binge on it but I would proceed by feeling guilty and that I had to make up for it the rest of the week. I would talk down to myself. Never once in this process did I stop to love myself.
From that show on I knew this could not be a maintainable lifestyle. My mentor and coach at the time started to introduce me to his role models in the fitness industry. Between earning my BA in Health Science at Boise State University and prepping for more bodybuilding shows I was reading articles. Lots of them. Peer reviewed journals. My mentor and I would spend the weekends locked in the library researching, learning, creating, and becoming the lifestyle. It was the first time I remember being inspired by someone. It was the first time I got a glimpse of my life passion.
My following show preps were still mentally and physically challenging but now they were maintainable. With the use of flexible dieting I had the knowledge. The knowledge of what food is, what it breaks down into, and how our bodies utilize nutrients. I no longer looked at food as “good” or “bad”. I could now look at food for what it was macro and micronutrient wise. My insecurities I realized would never be fixed by simply not eating. I continued to place well in shows but something still was not right.
I realized I had changed my eating behaviors to healthier routes by learning about food. But, this knowledge still did not change the fact that I never took time to deal with my body image issues. My beauty was dependent on what the judges had to say about me. I left my confidence in the hands of everyone else’s but my own.
I was getting myself into unhealthy relationships. I was talking negative to myself about myself. I was feeding this identity of who I thought I was. My insecurities started to manifest themselves into other relationships and created my current reality. The cycle fed itself.
Until one day I was laying on the bed contemplating about taking a razor blade to my wrist simply to feel something other than self hate and worthlessness. Taking a long look at the silver lining, I set the blade down on the night stand and started to cry and laugh. I was doing all of this to get attention from the people I left my confidence with. It was at the moment I realized how much I had lost sight of my happiness. It was also the moment I truly awakened.
I was searching for solutions to my insecurities through others. When in reality the only person capable of making a lasting change was myself. I had to experience these lows in order to look at myself in an open and honest light. I had to reach rock bottom in order to discover and embrace my passion in life… I believe whole lasting health begins with self-love.
"As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself the foods I enjoy naturally became the foods my body craves. As I began to love myself I learned confidence comes through my actions. I learned that my actions stem from my beliefs. I learned to look at myself and accept myself and my current situation. I learned to let go of my unhealthy identity, and embrace the act of forgiveness. Most of all I learned that true happiness and health starts with self-love.