I believe Amber has been living inside of me this entire time. And through this mess, I understand a few things.
In 2003, I weighed 396 lbs and looked like crap. Even presenting as my assigned gender, I knew some things were wrong. So, I lost weight. By the end of college in May 2006, I weighed 265 and was starting to feel good.
But as time after college passed and I started getting into fitness even more, fitness inspiration, or “fitspo,” started to become prevalent. Everything screamed “bigger, better, faster, more,” everything screamed “you need to become less.” Beauty magazines said we all needed to lose 20 pounds right now… or were telling us how to have amazing sex with our man that night.
I continued to listen. Even As 2007 became 2008, and I weighed 200 pounds… the voices continued. “Lose those last 10 pounds right now!” I continued to listen.
So down my weight went. All Amber understood was that she needed to be whatever the world thought she needed to be. So the weight fell. At the end of 2008, I weighed 165 pounds.
2009 came, and I signed up for the River Bank 25K. As training increased, my calories went nowhere. After I finished, like a good little girl, I cautiously selected my post run snacks, afraid of picking anything that could make me fat.
A few days later, I was convinced to sign up for the Grand Rapids marathon. Over the course of training, though I had knowledge of how to eat, my brain thought “good girls don’t eat over X calories.” I was cranky, I was tired.
On that October day in 2009, I finished, and I looked like crap. Pale. One person wasn’t sure I knew where I was. In November 2009, I weighed 146 pounds.
Didn’t really come to until 2010. Training for River Bank was a bummer. I hurt. I had no energy. I hit the wall during the race. Sat in the Steak and Shake and thought I had to eat real food again, but wasn’t sure what real food was.
Strong, powerful women interceded on my behalf. I learned to eat. But I wasn’t done. In July of that year, my mom noticed I was tired. Blood work came back and I was severely anemic. I spent the day in the Mercy ER receiving blood transfusions. So I was awake.
I’ll continue later…