Beating Anorexia; Modern Athletic Inspiration
Beating Anorexia; Modern Athletic Inspiration
November 12, 2015
My name is Cam. I am the owner and founder of this website. If not for the story I am about to share with you, I probably wouldn’t have ever started this website, and I most certainly would not be the person I am today athletically and in my personal life. In keeping within the rules of the contest, I will keep this as short and sweet as possible.
At the age of 16 my parents got divorced. My whole life until that point I had always been the ‘fat kid’. I was the kid who played video games and ate microwave pizzas all summer. I was the kid who had to be threatened with grounding just to go for a walk outside with my parents. I was the kid who never took his shirt off in public and was always the girl’s best friend, but never the boyfriend.
I played soccer until I got to high school, when family and friends would tell me I should try football because of my size. I was always a huge fan of the sport, but my temperament wasn’t exactly the overly aggressive type. I figured I would give it a shot. I began my freshman year as a lineman both ways. I lost some baby fat and gained some speed my sophomore year and played linebacker and wide receiver. As a junior I played varsity wide receiver and linebacker, weighing in at a fairly solid 190 pounds at 5’9″. Then everything changed.
Once I found out my parents were getting divorced, I lost it, subconsciously. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was losing my shit. Instead of saying anything, I turned my feelings about the matter inward. I decided to undertake a weightloss journey at age 16. It started slowly and healthily, and by the summer entering my senior year of high school, I had lost 35 pounds, was 155lbs and about 9% body fat. I was getting recruited for wide receiver by several D2 and D3 schools after attending a camp at Yale University. Unfortunately, a month after receiving those letters and attending that camp, I was too sick and thin to play football as a senior.
Somewhere during my weightloss journey, I lost myself. My perception of health and wellness and happiness disappeared. I had become a slave to counting calories, strict exercise routines, rampant supplement abuse, and critically flawed thought patterns. By November of my senior year, I was 130lbs and diagnosed with anorexia. I had several health issues beginning to show and could barely make it through a full school day. Without getting into the how or why, I ended up losing more weight over the course of the following year, with the story peaking with me at a mere 94lbs on my death bed in the ER and ICU of a hospital while in my freshman year of college. I was hours from death and light years from the 190lbs football player I was 18 months earlier.
Then it clicked. If I didn’t change my ways, I would die. I thought of the things I loved most. Ironically, food… My friends and family, and football. Something about the family and brotherhood of being on a team and battling together every day in practice and on the playing field and in the weight room. I wanted that again, I needed it, and it would be the thing that ultimately brought me back from the brink of death.
I gained ten pounds in 4 days in ICU. I left the hospital in November 2006 and swore that I was ready to get better. It wasn’t easy mentally or physically relearning EVERYTHING. But my goal was to play football again. In the spring of 2010 I participated in a walk-on try out and spring practice for a D3 football team as a wide receiver. I was 21 years old, 180 pounds, and stronger physically and mentally than I had ever been in my entire life. I made the team and proceeded to play the 2010-2011 season. I had completed my goal and marked that as my full recovery from the horrible eating disorder Anorexia.
My love for health and fitness stems from my recovery. I had to relearn everything. I had to use the science to convince myself that eating would not make me fat like I was years ago as a kid. I had to use the science to convince myself to stay alive. The things I learned and continue to learn on a daily basis help me stay physically and mentally healthy everyday.
After going through anorexia, and beating it, I know we are truly all capable of doing WHATEVER we put our minds to. And I hope this contest and this story helps you and others share their toughest times and greatest victories so others who may be struggling to succeed or overcome adversity can see that ANYTHING is possible.
Credit: Cam – Modern Athletic Health