In response to our series on climbing and body image (parts one, two, three), guest contributor Madi reached out to tell her story. Today she shares her personal experience with climbing and her eating disorder.
Climbing saved me from my eating disorder. When I was introduced to climbing at the age of 18 things were not going well in my body and mind. Ninety percent of my conscious thought revolved around counting. Counting calories consumed, calories burned, minutes until I would let myself eat again, minutes on the treadmill; keeping track of the lies I had told in order to exude what I thought was an air of normality; re-counting calories consumed because I had probably made a mistake, “I should round up,” I thought.
It had been a year and a half of struggle at that point and I was still in denial. Then climbing appeared. Did you know that climbing is really, really fun? I personally had no idea — wow, my hands shake as I type this — no idea that people even did this. Climbed up rocks. Vertically? The next weekend I bought a harness and the relationship began.