Hi friends! I am SO excited to have Jordan on the blog today! Jordan and I met through Instagram and bonded over our stories of weight loss. She is one of my favorite people to follow over on the ‘gram! I started following her because not only is she super inspiring, she is also freaking hilarious. She is such a genuine person and she is so open and honest with her followers about her struggles and triumphs in losing weight. Jordan has lost 130 pounds by changing her lifestyle. The process of that change did not come about easily and Jordan had to work hard to battle through both binge eating and exercise addiction. Today she is sharing with us her obstacles in weight loss and how she is working everyday to overcome them.
A Little Background…
When I was young I used to dream of losing weight. When I look back I realize that it was a pretty sad dream to have as a young girl but the truth is that I grew up being very aware of my size. I remember nearly every encounter I had about my weight. Whether it had been an off-hand insult on the playground as a child or one of many disappointing shopping trips in high school with friends. I always felt like my weight played a bigger part in my life than it should have.
My constant focus on my weight was no one’s fault but my own. Yes, I was teased and bullied a few times as a child because of my weight, but overall, all negative perceptions of my weight were largely self-reflective. I grew up in a great home with very loving and accepting parents. I was surrounded by wonderful friends who never viewed my weight as a problem – and to be honest, I never really viewed it as a problem either. Yes, I was hyper-aware of it, but it never negatively affected my day-to-day life. I never felt like I had to hide or change myself. I was unapologetically confident in my skin.
The Turning Point
I didn’t really acknowledge that my weight had gotten out of control until January of 2016. As I sat on my floor packing for another semester of school, I stumbled upon an article that listed the 10 overlooked signs of diabetes. I was horrified to learn that I experienced 8 of these signs. Having no family history of diabetes and recognizing that all my diabetic symptoms were completely self-inflicted due to years of overeating, I finally decided that I needed to change.
That day was the most important day of my life. It was the day I finally stopped making excuses for my eating and it was the day I recognized that the only person who could change me, was me. Since that day, I have lost 130 pounds and have been given the amazing opportunity to share my story with hundreds of thousands of people through both Instagram and YouTube. It is my goal to share what I have learned with those who wish to replicate my success. It is my passion to help others overcome obesity and gain back their health.
For the purpose of this entry, I want to focus on two of the most defining obstacles I have faced since losing weight: binge eating and exercise addiction. I feel like these topics are often overlooked and ignored in the weight loss space – not because they are uncommon, but because they make people uncomfortable.
Obstacles in Weight Loss: Binge Eating & Exercise Addiction
Binge eating is something I started struggling with after losing around 100 pounds. I had never struggled with it before so when it started getting worse and worse, I didn’t know how to deal with it. Obviously coming from 300 pounds I have never had the best relationship with food. I used to over-consume a lot. I would eat until I physically couldn’t anymore. The three meals I rotated through included cheesy pasta, fried hash browns, and pizza. When I started struggling with binge eating, I knew it was different. Binge eating left me with no self-control. I would eat and eat without being able to stop, and I had a hard time understanding why. It was much different from my prior days of over-consuming. When I would over-consume it was because there was a huge gap in my understanding of nutrition. Yes, I knew it was bad to eat that much, but I didn’t realize how bad. When I started binge-eating, however, I knew how calories worked. I knew how to lose weight. I knew I had to stop eating that way for my health but I couldn’t. This left me feeling defeated and afraid of regaining all the weight I lost.
This is when my story gets more complicated. As a way to ensure I would not gain back all my weight, I started to increase my daily exercise. At the peak of my exercise addiction, I was walking and running around 25,000 steps (or 22km – a half marathon) every single day because my exercise was something I could control, while my eating was not. I found myself in a cycle that many of us are familiar with – I would eat terribly, exercise to fix it, only to eat terribly again. I developed very toxic relationships with food and exercise. It wasn’t until I recognized these habits that I finally realized that I had to do something to change them.
I lived in a constant binge cycle for about a year before I started researching how I could stop it. I started looking into nutrition and I began talking to people who had answers. I realized pretty quickly that I was severely under-eating, and I had been doing so since the beginning of my journey. My first step was to up my calories, which was hard, but it was a necessary move. I started eating about 600-700 more calories a day. Since then, I have had a much easier time avoiding my binge tendencies. I won’t lie and say it is completely fixed – it isn’t. In fact, I think I am far from full recovery. But it is way better. Daily binges have turned into bi-weekly or even monthly binges.
I have been able to reduce my exercise significantly. I aim to walk and run about 15,000 steps a day now, a whole 10,000 less than my old goal. I have also integrated weight training which has helped me escape the mentality that I have to get smaller using cardio and shift it to a much healthier mindset that I want to become stronger with power lifting.
I am happy and proud that I am doing better. No, it is not perfect, but I know that undoing months of severe restriction won’t be easy. The more and more I talk to people with binge eating problems, the more I believe that binge eating is linked to restriction. The majority of people I know who have lost massive amounts of weight struggle with binge eating. It is hard for the body to be deprived of what it thinks it deserves for so long. My 300 pound body did not want to eat 1500 calories. I think my over-restriction paved way for my binge eating. When you deprive yourself so much, your body has no other choice but to think it’s starving. It makes sense that it would fight back.
What my journey has taught me is that I have struggled with unhealthy habits both as an obese person and as a healthy person. I started in a place where I would eat and eat and eat with little to no daily exercise. After I lost weight, I pulled a complete 180 and started eating too little and exercising too much. It has been a long struggle for me when trying to find balance. It is something I work towards everyday.
Since starting my social media accounts and garnering a larger following, something I always want people to know is that they are not alone. If you struggle with binge eating or exercise addiction, there are people out there who understand. I understand. The best you can do is to try to fix it. It won’t be easy and it won’t be done overnight, but you have two choices: live with something that makes you miserable for the rest of your life or recommit everyday to trying to fix it. I know what answer I will always choose.
Never forget that there are services available to help you. There are people who understand. You are not alone and I believe that you can overcome anything if you try. When you fail, get back up. You are not defined by your mistakes, you are defined by your will to fix them.
A huge THANK YOU to Jordan for sharing her story and obstacles in weight loss with us!
To connect with Jordan and hear more of her story, here’s how you can find her: