When I was in college (and a year after I graduated,) I think I was a pretty fit and healthy person. I would exercise 3-5 times a week, eat healthy, and had, what I felt, my ideal body. I was lean, I could do marathons, and I could do pull-ups with the boys. I hit my ideal weight, my ideal body fat percentage, and was proud that I could easily do yoga sessions in the morning, followed by a boxing class at night. In a sense, being healthy and fit made me happy, made me feel fulfilled.

But then I had a bit of a crisis when I realized my current career path wasn't what I had in mind. It was one of those moments wherein I had to decide if this was something I would want to do for the rest of my life. After much reflecting, I switched gears and somewhat impulsively decided to try a career in PR and events. I admit that it was here that I learned a lot about business and marketing which I use at my current job/business. But at the same time, it was here when I truly struggled when it comes to being healthy and having a positive body image.

In PR and events, stress levels were always high. It is common to come in the office at 6 am and leave at 2 am the next day (and be back 4 hours later). You never know what time you will have lunch (or if you will even have time to eat lunch). It was such a crazy environment that for months, I would not have dinners with my family and friends, and would not have time for even a quick run. I think what was the most painful thing for me was seeing all the hard work I have invested in to be a healthy person just slowly disappear. The rare moments I could go to the gym, I would have to use lighter weights. From running a half marathon, I could barely do a 5k run. Some of my favorite clothes wouldn't even fit me as well and I would be ashamed when I would need breaks between sets. I guess I was just too hard on myself (or too proud-lol).

Some people would say that these problems are pretty shallow- and I guess to an extent, they are pretty shallow. But psychologically, I was getting depressed every single day because I could see and feel how I was losing something that I worked so hard to gain- and I had no control or way to stop it. It's like a project you put so much effort to create-a painting, sculpture, etc. And then something happens and no matter how hard you try to prevent it or remedy whatever damage it sustained, you just can't fix it.

What also made it also difficult was that I didn't want to leave that job just yet. I was learning a lot and meeting all kinds of interesting people. Don't get me wrong- I enjoyed the job and the culture of the company. But I was so invested in my physical health that it felt like I could only have one or the other. It also didn't help that there were times that I felt that I had no control in my job as well. There was even a time I was the only one left to handle 10 accounts which had events/projects at the same time and I felt like no matter how hard I worked, I would just drown and fail all the projects anyway.

So with all of that happening, I would try to find ways to regain control, even for just a little while. Maybe if I do something drastic but within my control, I can keep both the career and my ideal "healthy" body. There were days or weeks that I would lie and say I already had dinner at work but in fact, I have not eaten anything that day. Then there are days I would do the exact opposite and sneak downstairs at 3 am just to eat an entire bag of bread or a pack of cookies within a few minutes- but I would do it secretly because I would feel ashamed at getting caught eating at such an odd hour. I guess I can say I was depressed and, looking back, I had an eating disorder. I tried telling my parents about it but they just thought I was being dramatic- but I knew something was wrong. It was until I got hospitalized and had a "Lupos scare" that I decided it was time to prioritize health over career. I am still young, and I can create or redo my career. My health however, I can't. Which is why I decided to quit my job (among other things) and focus on myself.

Now, I'm pretty happy with the work I'm doing. As for my body, it has not gone back to the way it was (though I still won't lose hope) but I have learned to love it the way it is. I still can't do marathons and my weights are still pretty light, but I'm taking care of my body and not rushing myself to get back to what I used to be able to do. I'm taking my time now and enjoying the process of becoming healthy again- which has made such a big difference in my life.