What Recovery Taught Me


I struggled off and on for about 6 years with every extreme of eating disorders. Not eating enough, binging and purging, you name it, I did it.

Now, 150lbs, a lot of which is muscle, but also some cellulite, I have started to change my story. I’ve been a personal trainer for a few years now, specializing in people who have a rough relationship with food. It breaks my heart to see how high the number is and what hurts, even more, is that people are ashamed to talk about it. They are misled by friends, family, and the media about what they are dealing with.

I want to share a few things that I have learned, by studying, by training, and my personal experience about health.

  1. The phrases “being healthy” and “being fit” are NOT the same thing. We see and read these in the media as being interchangeable. They’re not. Your health is determined by not only how well your body is functioning, but also your mind. You can be fit without being healthy. It is incredibly common. You can also be healthy and not be considered “fit” to today’s standards.
  2. There is nothing wrong with having fat on your body. Nothing. If you are comfortable and mentally happy at 120lbs then you be 120lbs. If you are comfortable and happy and 170lbs, then be 170lbs. Unless your weight is causing you medical issues (which usually makes people unhappy anyway), don’t think for one second that you can’t be the person you are.
  3. You cannot compare your body to others. Everyone is created different, built different, respond to food and exercise differently. There is not a RIGHT body type. That is not a real thing
  4. Once you have a battle with food, it’s a lifelong war. Does the battle change? Yes. But its still a battle. Often, stress is a trigger. Stress in all forms. For me, I no longer have a daily want or desire to purge, but I do have a battle every day with the things I listed above. I battle with keeping myself mentally healthy because as soon as I am at even 99% with that, there is a change I could slip. Not everyone’s battle is the same. But you must put in work.
  5. I once read a quote from Women’s Health UK that said, “exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not what you ate.” I couldn’t agree more. As a personal trainer, I think we often approach this wrong. A lot of times trainers kick your butt after finding out you had a cheat meal you weren’t supposed to, etc. A lot of times the goal was to lose weight so it kind of makes sense. BUT, what if, we stopped looking at the scale for confirmation. What if we just worked hard because we physically are able? That we can set goals that are based on the satisfaction of the mind and body together.

What it comes down to in the end is balance. Just like most things in life, if you keep it in perspective and don’t go to any extremes, there is a good chance it will benefit you in the end. There is so much about you that is wonderful and beautiful, and I wish that you could see it the way others do. Never forget your worth. No matter if the issue is food, exercise, or anything else in your life. You are more than worth it.

Jessika Wager

Struggling from a young age with mental illness as well as eating disorders, Jessika has made it her mission to talk about these and bring them to light. She is a writer and personal trainer who uses the two, in conjunction, to help create a wonderful relationship between the mind and body. Jessika's goal is to help others by sharing her stories and knowledge.

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