GUEST POST: Tinkara Golob is a 21-years old Slovenian blogger, motivator and healthy lifestyle promoter. Her blog is all about healthy lifestyle, self-love, personal development and growth. One of her biggest goals in life is sharing the positivity of life and sprinkling people around with tons of positivity by every blog posted. You can follow her blog or on Instagram as @tinkara.golob.
My name is Tinkara, I’m 21 years old and I come from Slovenia. Today’s post is something I’ve experienced in the past and I would love to share this part of my life with you – not to get your attention, but to remind you that you are a beautiful human being, unique in your own way and that the only thing that actually matters is your opinion of yourself, nothing else.
An Anorexia True Story
Society and social standards can be really cruel sometimes and if you pay more attention to it, it can ruin your life and you in so many ways. And I got caught in by myself as well.
I was always a little ‘chubbier’ as a child, but at least I was a happy one. I was always running around and playing with my friends and I can proudly say that I lived my childhood to the fullest. When I started primary school, I knew that I wasn’t the skinniest, the prettiest or the most popular among the girls in my class, but I wasn’t worried about it. I was always very active; I played football, volleyball, basketball, I even ran, but I was never paying attention to my eating habits, which were pretty bad.
The Anorexia Takes Hold
Not until I started high school, at least, and that’s actually where everything began. I came to a totally new group of people and as shy as I was, I hardly made any friends. I had a few friends that I’ll always be thankful for, because they were the ones that made my high school life suck a little less. People were making fun of my appearance and my face, which was always full of pimples and even though I wasn’t showing it on the outside, they really hurt me. Being bullied in such a harsh way can really affect ones confidence and self-esteem. And I was one of them.
I was always smiling on the outside, when in reality I was dying inside and cried myself to sleep.
The 800 Calorie Diet
But then, in August 2012, I decided that I will end this and I started dieting. I ate 3 meals per day, around 800 kcal a day and I exercised every single day. I used to wake up at 4 am in the morning, before my school started, and I exercised – I either hiked uphill or I did some exercises. I lost about 33 lbs in the first 4 months and then another 22 lbs in the next 6 months.
I came to about 119 lbs in less than a year and even though this weight is normal for my height (5″6), I looked like a walking skeleton. I lost all muscle mass, I was tired all the time, I didn’t have any energy, I had stomach pains, I had painful headaches (especially, because I wasn’t drinking any water, because I didn’t want to ‘gain’ weight) almost every week for about 3 days, I was losing my hair and probably the scariest one – I lost my period. I actually didn’t have my period from August 2012 (when I started dieting) until January 2015 – crazy! I can’t describe to you how happy I was, when I finally got it back. Besides all of these horrible consequences, I was afraid of food and afraid of gaining weight. I used to weigh myself every single morning and if the number wasn’t lower than the day before, I restricted that day even more.
Anorexic Thoughts Take Over
I thought that if I lost weight and became skinnier, I’ll be more popular, finally get a boyfriend and ‘real’ friends. I only did it, because I wanted approval from others and I can say that this is probably the biggest regret I have from my past. I didn’t do it for myself and this is probably number 1 advice that I have for you. If you want to lose weight or do something new or get a job or hike Mount Everest, always do it because YOU want it, not because others want you to do it. If I look back, yes, everybody was clapping at me for my success and I felt good at some point, but when I looked myself in the mirror, I didn’t love myself. I didn’t love my body, my tired face, my eating habits – I generally didn’t love what I saw in the mirror.
And here is advice number 2 for you. Always accept yourself, forgive yourself, love yourself and be yourself. Right people will love you for who you are and not for who you want to be.
Stay true to yourself and believe me, you’ll be the happiest you can ever be. I know that if I would love myself before dieting, I wouldn’t even think about restricting and I probably wouldn’t have fallen into this anorexic thoughts, but I didn’t realize that back then.
In September 2013, more than a year after I started dieting, I fortunately stopped and I started eating normally again. It was difficult, especially because I was gaining my weight back and people were having different comments, such as: ‘Oh, you’ve gained your weight back!’, but I knew that I was doing my body a favour and that’s something that was pushing me through my and others thoughts. Through the years, I’ve learnt that people always have their opinion and there will always be at least one person, who judges you, no matter what. But that’s okay, because you won’t like everybody as well. Don’t think about those comments, because those are the ones that actually define the person that is judging or criticizing you.
Now, over 5 years later, I feel more than grateful for everything that I’ve been through. That experience gave me much more than anybody could imagine. I started working on myself, I started helping others, I started loving myself and I grew so much that I don’t even recognize myself. I found my passion – helping others with healthy and active lifestyle and with accepting and loving themselves. I am the healthiest and happiest person I’ve ever been, full of energy and positivity, I have amazing people around me, the ones that love me, support me and I can’t imagine my life without them. I’ll be forever grateful to my sister, who was, and still is, always there for me, to a few of my true friends, who listened to me, when nobody was there for me and to one family in particular that over a year ago completely changed my life. They encouraged me on my journey towards finding myself, they accepted me as a family member and they helped me, when I was going through difficult times.
My (Healthy) Present
Life is a roller-coaster, full of ups and downs, difficult times and unforgettable adventures. Some people leave it, some people come in, but the real ones stay in it. You fail and you learn, you get up and you move on. You make mistakes, but use them in your favor. Besides everything I’ve already told you and gave you advice on, I’ll also tell you this: YOU are a magnificent masterpiece, full of talents and love and nobody should ever tell you that you are worth less. Nobody and nothing should define you; not your scale, not your numbers, not your grades in school, not the people around you. Always stay true to yourself and always follow
your heart. Do what you want to do and don’t look for approval of others. You are walking in your shoes and only you know what is best for you. You are a writer of your own story and you know when to end a chapter. Remember, that after a chapter ends, a new one starts, so you better write a good one.
*Fliss’ note: If you ever feel, like Tinkara did, bad about your body and/or have an unhealthy relationship with food or an eating disorder, you should seek help. The National Eating Disorders Helpline of America have several ways to contact them. Noone should ever have to go through what Tinkara did, and eating (when done right) should be a pleasure – and healthy.*
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Also published on Medium.