The following is re-posted from April 6, 2015. The following is what I was honored to have Sagi Kalev write about me when he told my story. I will be forever grateful to him and honored that he cared to hear my story. Sagi Kalev has an enormous heart and cares deeply for everyone who has a story to share with him.
This is one of the only pictures I really have at this time. I was still used to not wanting anyone to take my picture, and my mom took this when she came to visit. I don’t know if you can tell how thin I really was in this picture, but I was completely unhealthy. Anorexia is ugly and hard to talk about, but that doesn’t mean that it should remain quiet. My journey was difficult, but I walked out on the other side healthy and strong. On the inside AND the outside. I am a completely different person. If you think that you may be struggling, please reach out to someone. You may reach out to me if you like- I understand your pain.
This is something I will struggle with for the rest of my life, because there are certain “triggers” that will tempt me to return to those unhealthy practices. I have to extra diligent to make sure that I have healthy food, and remember to eat it. I have to remind myself that I don’t need to workout for hours a day-even if I have the energy to do so. I have to remember to treat myself with love and kindness-because I deserve it.
“It’s an honor for me to post this amazing story with you guys.
Please please Share it with anyone that you can and keep pushing as hard as you can..
Thank you so much Candi Kirkland. You are simply AMAZING,STRONG,BEASTIE WOMEN.” ~ Sagi Kalev
Last week I had the most amazing experience. Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to message with Sagi Kalev and the above was his comment to me when he posted my story on his Facebook page. He is the creator of the workout program Body Beast. To most, that would be an experience on it’s own. To me? Priceless. Up until that point, I hadn’t told anyone my WHOLE story. With all the ugly details.I had been too ashamed. So, when Sagi asked if I minded sharing my story- at that moment- I realized that it was time.
Why then? Because here was my chance to let my hero know what he had done for me. Who gets a chance like that? So, I sucked down my pride and told my story. When I saw he had posted about it- I cried. When I saw Barbie Decker Fitness post about it- I cried. When I got messages saying thank you for sharing- I cried.
I never realized that MY story would touch anyone else. It was just that. MY story. Who am I? Just a wife and mom. Living a completely ordinary life. Thank you Sagi for saving me because even though you didn’t know me or set out to- you did. Thank you for sharing my story. Thank you Barbie Decker for sharing my story on your website. Thank you for all the kind messages and thoughts that I was given. It was such an honor for me to share my story with him, so now it’s time that I share my story with you.
I was overweight about 5 years ago. I was exhausted and had read in a magazine that exercise helps to give you energy. I was desperate to gain energy because I had four kids at home to take care of. I started out just for 15 minutes a day and didn’t change my eating habits (which weren’t good). After some time, I noticed that I was a little smaller and my clothes were looser. That was the moment the light went on for me that diet + exercise = weight loss. So, for the next year I continued on. I had started running, so I ran for 3 miles a day. I did exercise videos daily. I read every “diet” book I could get my hands on. I lost a lot of weight. It was addicting, so I continued on. If I ran 3 1/4 miles yesterday, then I couldn’t run less than that today. I was always pushing myself to go farther. If the diet books said to eat 1200 calories, then I should aim for 1000 because I was really trying to lose weight.
I was so desperate not to become “fat” again, that I felt the only way to overcome that was to keep losing weight. I ran more, and ate even less. I tried to see how little food I could get by on before I “caved” and ate something. I was now running 8 miles a day plus workout videos. Surviving on 800 calories a day or less if I could. Diet coke was my best friend if I was hungry. I started using laxatives to excess because I believed that would help get rid of extra calories that I wasn’t working off in my workouts. My breakfast consisted of black coffee and diet pills. I had become so thin that I no longer menstruated. I was wearing children’s clothing because adult women clothing was too large for me. I barely had the energy to get through my day. I felt if I gave in though, that I would get “fat” again.
I was watching tv one morning and saw the infomercial for Body Beast. I saw the women on that and thought that I wanted to look like them. I ordered it and when it arrived a week later, I couldn’t put the nutrition guide down. When I finished reading it, I cried. I felt like you had given me permission to EAT. I heard you telling me that I didn’t need to beat my body up in order to be healthy. I decided to follow Body Beast and ONLY Body Beast. I had been terrible about saying I would follow a program, but it wasn’t “enough”. So, I would add more running to it because the program as it was didn’t apply to me. It was such a relief to only workout for an hour or less instead of the 3-4 hours (or more) a day I was doing before. It was such a relief to eat food.I had so much more energy and felt happy.
I knew that I had a problem, but I couldn’t stop. I would silently beg someone to mention that they thought I was too thin. To hold out their hand and offer me help. I would open up my mouth to say that I was scared, and that I had a problem…..but the words wouldn’t come out. I would gauge whether it was a good day or a bad day by the number on the scale and whether I could feel my hipbones.
I have since become healthy and very happy. I studied and became a certified personal trainer and Beachbody coach. I am now a sports nutrition specialist. I want to share with other women that we are beautiful – even if we aren’t a size 0. That STRONG is beautiful. Muscles are beautiful. That we take care of others, but we need to take care of ourselves in order to continue doing that. Diet Coke, laxatives, and diet pills aren’t our friends.
The back of the “Book of Beast” was my mantra. I felt like you were speaking directly to me. I found my purpose. I now know that I have the strength, power and ability to tackle everyday life. My transformation DID happen on the inside. I found my spirit, confidence, security, and inner peace. I am PROUD to be a Beast. I believe I am a beautiful Beast.
Being able to tell you, Sagi, personally what you did for me is really beyond words for me. I never thought that would be possible, so I am so touched and honored to have been able to communicate that to you. Thank you for all you do. You write wonderful posts and don’t know whose reading them. There are people that you touch and don’t realize it. I know you didn’t know I existed, but you saved me. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be able to share it with you.