By Leah

workEDout is made up of Carly and I. A fitness professional, and an eating disorder survivor. I am the latter, and calling myself a survivor rather than a sufferer still feels surreal. It’s not something I ever imagined myself being. In fact, I thought anorexia and I would be best of friends for the rest of my (likely) limited days.

If I did ever imagine myself in recovery, I thought I’d be running a mile from anything eating disorder related.

“If I recover, I will never utter the word anorexia again”

I wanted shot of it. I wanted out. And if that meant death, then so be it. If that meant life, then god forbid if anyone ever mentioned it again I’d throw my doughnut at them…because recovery meant eating doughnuts all day long right?

Little did I know, that if I was ever lucky enough to experience this illusive thing they named ‘recovery’ I’d wake up every day not just with a incredible functioning body, but also with a burning desire to talk.

workEDout is the product of one of those talks. For me, recovery isn’t just about moving on, getting on with your life and forgetting what happened. It’s about talking, sharing, learning and developing in ways that can support and comfort those who are where I was. 

I got ill aged 19. Anorexia took five whole years away from me. And every single day of that I was bitter, lost and full of regret. I swore I’d never be the same. That I’d never get over what had happened. That I’d never value life or myself ever again.

Grief. Anguish. Sadness. Pain. Anger. 

I believed all of these emotions would define and leave me crippled in a life that anorexia controlled, whether it was directly killing me, or just living quietly beside me.

And yet…as I got better, and defied the silence…I gained back that control.

Yes, anorexia plagued my life for five horrific years, but I wouldn’t change a day of it. What I’ve learnt and what I’ve gained both mentally and physically is worth every single one of those 1,825 +/- days.   

workEDout is more than a passion project for me. It’s proof that from suffering comes solace. From pain comes growth. And from experience comes change.

Regret? Never.

How can I regret what happened when I have a life and a purpose that I never had before?

Recovery is not easy
Recovery is not what you imagine
Recovery is not being in love with your body 100% of the time
Recovery is not being happy every single day
Recovery is not just about food and weight
Recovery is not avoiding what you went through
Recovery is not going back to the person you used to be

Recovery is appreciating your functioning heart
Recovery is learning to love you for you
Recovery is sitting with discomfort
Recovery is strong friendships
Recovery is open conversations
Recovery is spontaneous decisions
Recovery is internal and external growth
Recovery is about gaining life
Recovery is and will continue to be the best choice I have ever made.

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