I’m very excited! I’m currently in the final revision stage of my first book — Nope, You’re Not Crazy: Rising from the Swamp of Disordered Eating. This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done and a bit intimidating too, from trying to choose the right words to express feelings and experiences to wondering about how much to share.
I’ll let you know once it is done; I’m hoping it’ll be published and available in a month or two. [UPDATE: It’s done and available here.]
Today I thought I’d share an excerpt with you. Here we go!
Nope, You’re Not Crazy: Rising from the Swamp of Disordered Eating by Robin Massey
I got into gymnastics because my older sister did it and I wanted to do what she did. I loved it and started seriously when I was seven. By 12, I’d reached the highest level in USA gymnastics: elite. There were high points when it was fun, to be sure. Yet a black cloud loomed on the horizon.
I was starting to dread practices more often than not. I worried about falling off the beam, if I’d be yelled at, if I could learn a new skill quickly enough, if I was enough. I was told I thought too much and needed to shut off my brain. Expressing feelings was not cool, especially if it came in the form of tears, fatigue, or frustration. The validation that began to count was what folks around me thought: judges, coaches, and even parents. I wondered if I was thin enough, smart enough, talented enough, and just plain enough enough.
Fast forward five or so years. I’d been at a few gyms and worked with several coaches. I was quite good and a part of me hoped to make the 2000 Olympic team. However, I had a sticky, pervasive feeling, dare I say even a belief, that I was never going to be quite good enough and maybe even sucked as a human being.
It gnawed on me; I hurt inside. I figured something was wrong with me because I hurt. So much was good in my life: I had food to eat, a roof over my head, friends, a loving family, I was a good student and excelling in my sport (for the most part) – what reason or right did I have to hurt? It seemed unacceptable to me.
I thought the solution was to try harder, train harder, push harder. That had to work, right? You know, just do it? But I couldn’t “just do it” or even “barely do it”. Yup, I was pretty sure I was failing somehow, not even close to enough.
Fast forward another five years and I was at the end of college. I‘d quit gymnastics after sophomore year, 40 plus pounds heavier, suffering in depression, binge eating disorder, and the start of bulimia. But if you’d asked, I’d have assured you I was fine, better than fine, doing great, really. I’m not sure who I thought I was kidding.