I Wanted to Stop Thinking About My Weight
By Connie Spyropoulos | Guest Blogger
I’ve always been athletic and have played many sports including dance, tennis, softball, soccer, volleyball, cross-country and track and field. I played volleyball almost year-round for six years, including all throughout high school and I ran track for two high school seasons. During my first year in college, I missed competing more than I thought I would. I had already been prayerfully considering transferring schools, so I looked into running cross-country and track at the school I was looking into. After talking to the coach and meeting a few women on the team, I decided to run cross-country and track the following year at my new school.
Starting the spring semester of my freshman year of college, I started becoming extremely focused on getting into the shape I needed to be in for cross-country in the fall. This was also when I started to become more focused on the numbers on the scale. I was still at a healthy weight in the spring, but as summer rolled around, the numbers dropped fast. It got even worse once I received my summer workouts.
I am a hard-working person and I give 110% effort in everything I do and my training was no exception. No matter how tired I was from my workouts, I refused to skip a day or go easy on the intensity of my run, especially on hard days. As the length of the workouts increased, my caloric intake decreased. I wanted to keep losing weight so I would be faster. I would nibble on fruit, yogurt, a bagel and just eat the smallest amount that I could at every meal. I would go out for dessert with my boyfriend, but that was the only time I would treat myself. Even if I ate more for breakfast or lunch, I would just run more that day or the next day to burn the calories.
My lowest weight was 111 pounds and I am 5’4”. At this point my family was noticing that I was getting very skinny. None of my pants were fitting and it was the first time I was a size zero. I refused to tell my mom how much weight I was losing. Every time she asked, I would just lie and said my weight was fine. I was on the fast track (no pun intended) to developing an eating disorder. I was aware that my eating habits were disordered, but I refused to do anything about it because I was afraid of gaining weight and being a slow runner. One day, my mom made me weigh myself in front of her and she saw the numbers herself. If it wasn’t for her, who knows how low my weight would’ve gotten.
After that my family and boyfriend made sure I didn’t work out harder than I needed to and that I was eating the proper amount that I needed to be eating. Through prayer I realized that by harming my body, by not properly taking care of it, I was hurting God just as much as I was hurting myself. He created me in His image and it is my responsibility to treasure my body and treat it well. That includes working out in moderation and eating enough to give me the nutrients and energy that I need.
Once cross-country season ended (and I ran very well!), I gained a few more pounds because I was running less. I was horrified and thought I was getting fat. In reality, I was fluctuating between 117-120 pounds, so I was nowhere near overweight. Again, through prayer and adoration, along with the help of my family and boyfriend, I was able to view my body in a positive light instead of constantly criticizing it. I stayed at a healthy weight during track season, and this was the first time in about a year that I finally stopped worrying about losing weight. There are so many more important things in life than my weight and it was a huge relief to finally be comfortable with how I look and feel in the amazing body that God has given me.
Today, I am doing a lot better. Knee problems and school have ended my short-lived running career, but I learned a lot about myself from the experience. I have learned to be thankful for my body and what it can do and to take care of it and not harm it. I was created in God’s image, and I am beautiful because of it. We all are.
P.S. You are enough.