20 Nov Geek of the Week, Nika
Growing up, I was always the “Big Girl”. I stood much taller than my classmates, oftentimes taller than my teachers, and because of that, I always accepted that I was larger than most. Going into middle school, I was told that being large was not desirable, but rather being small was. I did everything in my power to shrink myself, break myself down, and to learn to disappear. An eating disorder emerged at age 11. To spare you the gory details, it was something that I struggled with for 9 years. It’s what held me back from doing things I wanted to do, what made me doubt everything about myself, and ultimately, destroyed my happiness.
When I began college in Fall 2012, life decided to test me. Circumstantially, everything that could have gone wrong did. I needed an outlet. I needed an escape. At first, that escape became nutrition. I learned more and more about nutrition and it fascinated me, and motivated me to fuel myself properly, and ultimately to treat myself with love, by giving my body the most nutrient dense foods I could find. Soon after, I discovered lifting, and to this day I think it’s what saved me. When my life was chaotic and filled with obstacles, the gym was my one constant. It was the one place I found peace and the rest of the world didn’t matter, it was just me and the weight.
Though the gym was my escape, I still found myself fighting demons, and in 2014, I decided I wanted to take my life back, and I realized that I couldn’t do this alone, so I went to therapy. I wanted to live a life worth living, and not one controlled by numbers. I fought like hell to survive, and I did. Through recovery I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I learned to love every single part of myself, and I mean every part of myself. At first I started to love the good parts about myself, like my hair, my legs, my back, but most importantly my mind. Then I learned to love the not-so-desirable parts of me, like my acne, cellulite, and stretch marks. I love those because they are part of me. They are physical manifestations of my body telling the story of me. Once I learned to love BOTH the good and the bad, I began to love everything. I learned that I am not a body. I am not a number. I am not a size. I am a mind, a composition of failures, which together made a success.