Transformations Series: Jaime Filer
This week, we bring you a very special fitness transformation from Jaime Filer, Online Editor-In-Chief at Muscle Insider and 6 Pack guest blogger extraordinaire. Keep reading as she tells her amazing story of overcoming an eating disorder in her own powerful words â€“ how she finally recognized what was going on in her own head, and took the necessary steps to make a change.
The hardest part about having an eating disorder is learning how NOT to have one.
My story began when I was 11 and started my first diet. The apex was at 15-17 when I got hospitalized 3 times, and it ends whenâ€¦ Well, when I know, you'll know.
Hallucination. Head trip. Phantasm. Delusion. Figment of the imagination. What appears to be real, may be just be illusion. My eating disorder was a voice that lived in my head and consumed my thoughts. What was in the mirror when I looked was not, in fact, what or who was actually there. I had body dysmorphic disorder, which is the belief that one's body is flawed or defective, resulting in an attempt to correct, conceal, fix, or hide it. I used a combination of all four to get my weight down to 96lbs when I was 17 years old. There were days when I saw an overweight teen staring back at me in the mirror, and there were days when I saw a hardcore, regimented, competitive bodybuilder. Neither was very accurate.
In Grade 12, a year after successfully making the national team for basketball (and 2 years after being hospitalized twice for anorexia nervosa), I decided to try my hand at competitive bodybuilding. I dieted down for a show in 2005, and it was only after a head judge told me I looked like I belonged in a hospital instead of on stage, that I decided to get my life on track.
Well, that and the fact that I was so small, my parents were worried that my heart could give out at any moment. I wanted bodybuilding and training to be my life, but instead, I was letting it deprive me of life. I over-trained and underate â€“ for 10 years. That's no way to live. I lost my formative years to the vice grip of anorexia.
In 2006, I came clean with my friends and family about my eating disorder, and at 19 years old, made the decision to get healthy. This time, I used fitness, and what I already knew about bodybuilding nutrition, to GAIN weight/muscle. I went up to 165, then back to 135 for another competition in 2008. Then up to 175, and back down to 147 for a competition in 2012. I haven't competed since. Ask me if I miss it? Not particularly.
My body has seen so many different shapes and sizes, it's hard to keep track of them all! But currently, I'm sitting at a happy weight. More importantly, a healthy weight. MORE importantly than that, I live a healthy lifestyle that includes balance and moderation, without a hint of deprivation, and I still have abs year round. Will I ever be able to REALLY see what's in the mirror? Perhaps not - at least not from the neck down. The mirror and I may have our differences, but the smile I carry from the neck up tells me that's OK.
We thank Jaime for sharing her compelling story, and we're proud that our meal management systems have been able to help her in any way. For more amazing fitness transformations stories, check out our Transformations Series. If you're as inspired by Jaime's dynamic voice as we are, check out more of her work!