Today’s No Fat Talk Tuesday post comes to us from Chelsy. She is a longtime Espresso and Cream reader (and recently won the Chobani giveaway), and blogs about food and life over at Mangia. Chelsy brings a unique perspective to the series, having majored in Kinesiology. And in May she will officially be a certified ACE personal trainer. It’s amazing to read her story of how she came to be such a healthy, beautiful and confident woman. Thanks for sharing, Chelsy! – Madison
Ciao lovely readers of Espresso and Cream! I have been following Espresso and Cream since the beginning of time, and when Madison started her No Fat Talk Tuesday pledge I was super excited! I thought that this was the ultimate test for me, to see if I had the strength and courage to tell my story. Before today, not even my best friend or closest relative knew of my story.
I guess they are going to know now. I started to develop issues with my body image around the 7th grade. I attended a private, catholic school, where I was required to wear uniforms and forbidden to even think about wearing a drop of makeup. However, that didn’t stop my friends and I from sneaking our hot pink lip-stick and bombshell red blush. Now, I wasn’t the skinniest girl in the group, but I wasn’t overweight either. I also was really active in school, on drill team, then basketball, and head cheerleader in Jr. High. However, I always felt the need to compare myself to other girls, who were skinnier and had “boyfriends”, and there I was no boyfriend, and 145 pounds! I felt like no one was ever going to love me, beside my parents who told me they loved me every single day. At such a young age, I thought “they have to say that,” and I just wanted to yell at them and say, “then why don’t I have a boyfriend like the other girls.”
Fast forward to the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I was really active all summer, swimming, riding my back, and even running with my younger sister who was an elite athlete. I remember that one day my younger cousin, Tyler, came over and he had lost 15 pounds! He looked great and when I asked him what he was doing, he told me it was this little diet known as the Atkins diet. I was sold. So, I started doing the Atkins diet with him and lost about 20 pounds. When I went back to school after summer every one was baffled about how great I looked and the compliments just kept rolling.
The problem was, after being off carbs for so long, you feel like carbs are off limits for the rest of your life. This was a problem. At the time I was still playing basketball and was a cheerleader, so I needed healthy carbs to keep my energy up. I started skipping lunch, and the next thing I knew I was eating “low-carb” toast with 1/2 cup of peanut butter and “low-carb” ice cream for dinner every night. Then, I started counting calories, and scheduling my meals, avoiding family events, and always making excuses when people would ask me out to lunch by saying things like “oh I already ate,” or “I’m still stuffed from breakfast.” It was as thought I had this little person in the back of my head telling me that if I ate lunch, I was going to gain a pound or two. My eating habits continued like this throughout high school and into my first year of college. By now I had lost at least 10 more pounds and was hovering somewhere between 110-112 pounds. 
 Now, on a girl who is 5’7 you can imagine how thin I looked. My freshmen year of college I started to take a p.e. class, and although I ran every single day, I found it difficult to lift weights, or perform a 1 mile run test for time. I still kept avoiding lunch. What’s worse is that I think my teachers knew that I had an eating disorder, yet none of them approached me. Thank god for my parents and my sister because they approached me and tried to intervene twice. I made excuses for myself every time, saying things like “it’s my body,” and “I look fine.”
Third time was the charm, I was about 100 pounds, and I finally agreed to admit myself to an eating disorder clinic. I went twice and then things took a turn for the worse in my family. I would share this event but it’s too personal. After all was said and done, I took it upon myself to get my act together. I started seeing a nutritionist once per week and stopped exercising every single day. I also started allowing myself to have a dessert every day. I was determined to get healthy all by myself. I did it. It took two years and I did it! I gained close to 30 pounds and my weight fluctuates somewhere between 128 and 130. 
Not only do I look healthy, but I feel healthy, I eat three square meals, a couple of snacks when I am hungry, and because I am a food blogger, I have dessert more than 3 times a week. You know what? I am the happiest that I have ever been in my entire life. I look back on my struggle with anorexia and disordered eating and I think to myself…”I could have died.” Without the love and support of my family, I don’t think I would be alive today. Here is a tid-bit, I majored in Kinesiology and I will be a certified ACE personal trainer at the beginning of May…whoo-hoo! I hope that you will share my story with others and really take it upon your-self to help others who are going through the same thing. It can make a difference in the end. Believe me.
 I’m looking for more women who are willing to share their No Fat Talk story with others! If you’re interested in doing a guest post on No Fat Talk Tuesday, email me (madisonjanemayberry@gmail.com) for more information!
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  • http://www.theflippingcouple.com/ Cindy @ The Flipping Couple

    Wow, Chelsy. What a beautiful story with a wonderful ending! Thanks for having the courage to share it.

  • Chelsy Ethridge

    Thank you Madison for featuring my story! It took a lot of courage and faith, but I decided that my stor would be best told for the sake of others who are going through or have been through the same situation! xo!

  • Shellytgregory

    Great job, Chelsy! I am sure this was difficult, but freeing at the same time! xo

  • http://livefaithfully.blogspot.com/ Urban Wife

    Chelsy, what an amazing journey! Thanks for having the courage to share it with us. :)

  • http://sharingclosetspace.wordpress.com/ Katie

    Thanks for sharing, Chelsy!

    And, Madison, I’ve so been enjoying No Fat Talk Tuesday, that I’m posting about it on my blog so my readers can get a taste of your blog. Thanks for the inspiration!