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The Disorder

September 5, 2017

I starved myself ,

For a time.

A hunger too great

To fully recover.

I put my body on display

For glory.

The desire to be seen.

My body broke.

So I stuffed myself,

Full of anger and rebellion.

Unable to satiate the hunger.

To be seen.

A hunger too terrifying

To feel.

So I numbed.

My mind broke,

Entering hell on earth.

I sat there in the fire

Until it burned through

Every cell.

Then, I slowly got up.

Moving gently with my breath.

Linking body to movement to breath.

I would never be the same.

No, now I am greater.

I take up more space on this earth.

Because now I know my hunger.

Now I dance,

Full of freedom.

Now I must tell my truth.

To help end this collective starvation.

 

 

I was a collegiate distance runner with an eating disorder. The story is much like all the other stories. My career ended shortly after a quick rise to the top and followed up with a massive fall to the bottom. Depression and total disrespect for my body took hold of my life for nearly 5 years. It is a fate I wish upon no one, especially a young woman who is pushing herself to be her greatest self. What I wish from that time, is that someone, ANYONE, would have asked me, “Leah, what are you hungry for?” That simple question with true empathy would have begun the path to the freedom I feel now as a woman and mother. It took me a solid 12 years to ask that question of myself. I blamed food, my inability to be in control, my body, but I never held the radical notion I was worth more. No one told me I was either. I was as good as I preformed. The other thing that all women need is a little more sisterhood. Can we stop the shaming? We are all on our journey. Some of us struggle more outwardly and some inwardly, but we are all on the journey. Luckily for collegiate athletes you are on almost the exact same journey as your sister runner, so hold her up. If you see what is going on, DO SOMETHING. Let us end this collective starvation and take up more space.

 

 

 

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