exercise bulimia

Exercise Bulimia – One Woman’s True Story of Good Gone Bad

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In The Beginning

I grew up hearing:

“Cover your butt, it is showing, it is hanging out.”

“You have a bubble butt, look at Kim’s bubble butt.”

So by the time I hit my teens, I had a hang up about my butt. Yes, I do have a bubble butt, you know, that amazing look that women are paying to have implanted into their bodies. Yes, that butt. And mine is all natural!

My mother was the one constantly saying “cover up your butt” when I was younger. Let me just say, in my defense, it wasn’t showing. I wasn’t allowed to wear really short shorts, and they didn’t fit me properly anyway. Yet it was drilled into my head. Hence forming my vision of my body– and not a positive image.

In high school, my peers thought they were funny and nick named me Bubble Butt Boudreau. That echoed down the halls daily!

When Good Went Bad

My early adult years, the 20s, I started teaching aerobics. This all came naturally to me since I grew up dancing since the age of seven. I became the queen of high-impact aerobics, the higher and longer the better.  Unfortunately, something good became a severe addiction. A class here and there became working out a total of four hours a day, not eating until dinner for fear of getting fat and making my butt bigger.

Fast forward to my 40s and living this lifestyle for years. Needless to say, I crashed harder than a jet out of the sky. Adrenaline junky turned adrenal break down. My body crashed in the form of major fatigue, all because I bought into everyone else’s words and took on a dysmorphic body image of myself. I beat myself up with my language, my exercise, the way I didn’t eat, and was diagnosed with Exercise Bulimia and anxiety disorder. It was taking me down fast.

Exercise Bulimia is where someone will indulge in eating Thanksgiving dinner, and then go exercise for hours on end to burn it all off. On the other days, I still exercised anywhere from 3 to 4 hours per day whether I ate a lot or not, all while holding down a full-time corporate career. The other thing I did was buy men’s medium to large sweatshirts to cover up my butt. At that time I was a size small. Crazy huh? I went as far to “balance off” my body and had plastic surgery done on my breasts.

All this exercise I was doing, hours on end, left me flabby. YES, FLABBY! You can only burn so much fat then your body goes after other areas, bone, muscle, adrenal glands and such. I was so focused on burning calories that my muscle mass was minimal.

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How Mind Changed What Matters

I changed my routine up and did 30 minutes of cardio, and increased my weights. I started eating small meals every 3-4 hours and all my meals included protein. No more carb cravings and crashing. Guess what– I became leaner and more toned. I was once told my arms looked like Linda Hamilton’s in The Terminator!

Here is my current workout: walking. Some days it is a good four miles and others it is a few blocks. I do Pilates-based movements with isometrics. I work on brain gym exercises as well. I meditate/pray, write, breathe deep intentional breaths, eat healthily, and really work on my energy. The main workout is my mindset, managing the thoughts to be open and clear to live from my heart. That’s where the energy is, and I feel more grounded when I am in that space. I am more accepting of me.

I have my triggers. I do not exercise like I did in my 40s, nor do I want to. So I now have cellulite, rolls, and such. My cardio vascular isn’t as strong as I would like, and I have gone through a full hysterectomy, so my hormones have changed as well. I have changed in other ways. I have learned to be grateful and accept me for me. I have accepted my resting place of my body for where I am now.

My point of sharing all of this is asking when do we as women stop the hate and torture of our bodies? When do we look into the mirror and say “I love you no matter what, cellulite, rolls, and breasts sagging from that damn gravity!” Everything, the whole friggin’ package. Accept the whole you.  Don’t add that you need to lift this or that, need to ramp up your exercise regime or change up your eating plan.

UNCONDITIONALLY love and accept where you are at right now in your body.

We are so miraculous and we beat ourselves down, which leads to us beating others down.

I hear women say, “Oh I hate this about my body,” or “Oh, I need to do this,” or (here is the stop me in my tracks comment) “I am so fat.” Yet, they are a mere size x-small, or a mere size large. They cannot even accept a compliment from anyone else.  What the what?  It takes me by surprise every time I hear a woman say, “I am fat, I hate my body, I ate too much yesterday.”

NEWS FLASH: If you are exercising to change your hateful view about yourself, you are doing it for all for the wrong reasons. Exercise does not change your nasty mindset about yourself.  I tried for years to do it, and I became sick, yes sick, from exercise. Now in my 50s, I have lasting injuries and pain due to my abuse. Only love and gratitude from your heart can change your mindset.

We as human beings are one hell of a miracle– rolls, cellulite, and all. Gratitude rules and rocks, give it a try. Be with YOU and what works for you, not comparing yourself to others. Accepting and doing what feels great to you.

Release the self hate and judgment. It will bring freedom, joy, ease, and choice. Most importantly, confidence.

These days, I chase after comfort. My wardrobe is comfort, if I am uncomfortable, it goes out the door. My current quest is a comfortable pair of jeans. My motto? If it isn’t comfortable on my body, I am not wearing it.

kim smithKim Boudreau Smith is the CEO of Kim B. Smith Inc. and known for being a two-time international best-selling author/compiler as well as the founder and former CEO of Bold Radio Station. She is certified in coaching through the International Coaching Academy. Kim continues her personal and spiritual development through the practices of yoga and meditation.

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6 comments on “Exercise Bulimia – One Woman’s True Story of Good Gone Bad

  1. I applaud your courage to share your story, Kim. So many women chase the dream of what they think they should be — a size 2; 50 pounds lighter; a replica of their favorite actress. It’s pressure that’s not deserved. Good for you for snapping out of the harm you were doing to yourself with all of that exercise! Cardio is great, but for women over 40, strength training is where it’s at!

  2. Wow, I didn’t know there was a name for what I used to do. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I too now stick with the gentler more loving techniques and my body and mind have never been better.

  3. Thanks for sharing Kim. Just like you I also grew up being reminded that my body was far from perfect. I remember doing many of those aerobic classes with you everyday of the week, striving for perfection. I too my friend have come to be grateful for how my body has held up and treated me very well. I have flab, curves, and some days I am not as strong as I used to be. But through mindfulness, meditation, yoga and healthy eating I have more love for myself. I try to teach all women to be excepting of who they are, we are unique and we should be proud of who we are. When I take my walk tomorrow my friend I will think of you. ☮️

    1. With age comes wisdom, and that’s why SheSpark celebrates “positively ageless style.” By sharing our stories, we can lift each other up and feel and look our best as a result!

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