Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"

Strength Isn’t Something You Are Taught


Strength is something you earn.

Something you GAIN.

Something you have to go through hardship to achieve.


With strength comes the realization that you are patient and that you are competent.

You truly can put your fears aside and do what you tell yourself you can do…

….which is anything you put your mind to.

My friends, I briefly introduced my newest journey in my previous post, which was that the time had come where new changes were needed. My body has reached a point where I am no longer able to keep it afloat on my own and so I have reached out to my new coach, Mike for help.

This is my new journey and it is something that has to happen as I have no choice but to go up or my health could take a turn for the worst.

Please let me tell you that none of this was intentional. I did not plan to loose weight, in fact, loosing in any way makes me incredibly anxious because obviously, as you can see, it’s too hard for me to put it back on. The issue with recovery is that if you’re not always on your guard, certain fears can cloud your judgement and let things slip away from you.

So what are these changes?

Well I can’t go into full detail because as soon as Mike gets me acclimatized to a bit more food (addition of two more meals to my day) to stretch my stomach a bit and to ensure I don’t mentally get too overwhelmed, he is completely taking over and not wanting me to know much about my macros and such. Basically he will be giving me a meal plan and I just have to weight it out and eat it.

The process is supposed to be mindless for me because when my mind gets involved, things become more difficult.

What I do know (and appreciate!) is that he believes in real food. No dirty bulking here. Clean, real foods just in greater amounts. Of course, if I get to a point where the thought of more food is making me ill (which he said will happen because my metabolism is quite efficient it seems and ‘cleaner foods’ require a lot of volume for a tiny belly to eat), other foods will have to be introduced because I just have to get the calories in.

Aside: He did explain to me how these ‘other foods,’ like going out for burgers and such, are not dirty foods. He’s not sending me to Mc’D’s so they are still quality, whole foods, just those that are more calorically dense. This idea that ‘going out to eat’ and still eating clean, real foods is going to be a major mental hurdle for me as right now I have my one ‘cheat meal’ every week and I still struggle with that.

So yeah, more food is a given.

As far as training, he is dropping me to 4 days a week.

This is a real kicker for me because my training is my passion and even to take my one rest day a week is hard enough for me. It’s my love to be in the gym every morning not because I feel I have to be, but because I truly love to be there.

Of course, I have to be aware of the fact that at least I’m still getting to train and still train hard in those times as a dietician would laugh at the thought. I should be thankful but during the initial stages where I know full on that I will be quite overwhelmed with change, I might be stuck in Negative Nancy Mode focusing on what I’m loosing rather then thinking positive.

Just being real with you all.

I wanted to share this with you all because you are a form of support for me and I want to be real and honest with you. Many of you have opened up with your own stories with me, which I am truly touched by because in some way you feel as though you can talk to me about such an intimate part of your life. Furthermore, I want my experiences to be able to help others as well so I really hope I have the ability to share my everyday thoughts and feelings with you to really bring you with me.

This is going to be a very hard process for me. I’m going to cry. I’m going to get moody. I’m going to have those days where I want to just give in and go back to what I was doing because I’m tired of fighting back.

But really, by giving in to my head, where am I getting myself? Right back in the hole I’m in now.

Lost strength in the gym



Not liking the way I look because I’m too small

Being self conscious of people looking at me because I assume they think I look gross and sick.


I need to be strong and put my big girl panties on and push through. I have to be especially strong because I have to do it kind of on my own now while I’m here living away from home. Of course I have my parents a phone call way, Mike is obviously there and the love and support of those around me (thanks you guys!) but this is a journey that is very heavily dependent on my own will and determination because I am the one who has to physically do it at the time.



Mike is a bodybuilder. He’s not out to make me fat. He is here to get me healthy. He is here to steer me into knowing how much food my body needs to perform in the gym like the athlete I want to be. He will also help me attain that physique that I have been pushing so hard for (yes, you cannot say something is completely void of aesthetic goals).

I say that, now I just need to stop thinking otherwise.

When it's a restudy we actually try to put something cute together....#StillInLeggingsLetsBeReal

When it’s a restudy we actually try to put something cute together….#StillInLeggingsLetsBeReal

This is my starting point. There is no way but up from here. It’s going to be very mentally tough for me but only good things can come from regaining control over my body and my health.

Mike, here are the reins, I will try my hardest to give all of my control up to you.

Normally one might say be gentle, but hell, an ED needs a drill sergeant to break down that concrete wall of fears and control issues to get anything done.

Before I leave you all, I wanted to make one more comment as it was something my Mom brought up earlier…

“I hope you don’t feel as if you failed.”

This was a tough thing to hear because it was simply saying out loud what I was thinking at that moment. Do I think I failed? In a sense I think I did because I told myself I would never let this take me again.

But then I thought about it more and it hasn’t ‘taken me’ this time per say but, instead, I have slipped back due to unintentional losses and then I was just too stubborn and/or scared to ask for help. It’s a set back (yes a HUGE set back) in my recovery, but something I’m still fully aware is happening.


Let me show you the difference.

When my ED started when I was 16 and I entered the hospital I was gone. Like legit gone. I don’t really remember the first few months except for the fact that I just thought I was fat and that I was doing this for my parents because I didn’t see or think anything was wrong with me. My mind had been taken over and Chelsea had been kicked out of the building.

Fast forward to today where I stand taking before shots of myself in a bikini for Mike to use as a representation of my beginning point and I see a frail, scrawny girl and it makes me cringe. My fears have led me to this point but my mind is still fully aware of what is going on. I see myself for what I am now whereas before I didn’t.

I reached out for help this time

I want to look healthier this time because I don’t want to look sick anymore.

This is different and I know that if I put my stubborn, driven mind to this goal, I can reach it no matter how many times I want to cry and fight back through this process.

This is my choice and I’m going to do it. I promise that to myself.


Thank you for being my safe space to share and being there to keep me accountable. I can only hope that this can help others as well.


Kind of a heavy topic for Thinking Out Loud, but hey, we are supposed to set our thoughts free right? Thanks you Amanda for hosting.




40 thoughts on “Strength Isn’t Something You Are Taught

  1. This is so beautiful. I am SO glad you are getting help, differenciating between then and now…and being honest. Thank you!

  2. Chelsea, I think you touch more lives in deeper ways than you ever will know.

  3. you are wonderful. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable but your honesty is absolutely beautiful. I have gone through a very similar situation and you are such an inspiration. Your courage to share about your health and personal struggles is why this is my favorite blog. Thank you! Stay strong beautiful lady! 🙂

  4. When I was recovering from anorexia I began binge eating, much more extreme than what you describe with your habbits (which actually led to bulimia) but I can totally empathise with you how you feel. Gaining weight and feeling healthy can be achieved, and it feels so much better then when you feel sluggish. I can honestly say that from photos you look amazing because I see the happiness in your face, if I thought differently I’d just say nothing! It’s really important not to beat yourself up, it will only leaving you want more comforting food! Finally not counting macros will help. It helped me throughout the various stages of recovery and it keeps me on the straight and narrow in every sense these days! 🙂

  5. Your honesty is so brave-thank you for sharing! I’m sorry that you’re feeling BLAH right now, but it’s great that you recognize what’s going on and are taking positive steps to change it. I’m sure things are definitely on the upswing 🙂

  6. We are all human and all fall into traps like that. Heck, I feel like that’s a battle every weekend for me! Too much alcohol, too much bad food, not enough exercise. So, I start the week off on the right foot only to repeat the process again. My poor body. But the important thing is that you recognize what you are doing and you are making changes to improve your physical and emotional health. That right there is success! So celebrate the first success, that will surely turn into more success and a happier you down the road. 🙂

  7. Your experiences on your ED have been really eye opening and I thank you for being so candid with us. I’m sorry you have been struggling with things, but the good news is that things are back on the regular…and that should really be the most important thing. It would be pretty devastating if you ended up getting osteoperosis because you avoided the issue. I totally understand the body image thing, I’m currently going through that and it is incredibly frustrating and I feel like its unfair. Although I know I’m being silly by thinking this way. I’m hoping you get back to feeling amazing, because regardless of your size or weight you are a beautiful person who is so kind and an incredible person!

  8. I can only imagine how hard it has been for you. If running makes you feel good, do it. I think it’s great that you’re not reacting by going on a crazy restrictive diet, but you’re deciding to focus more on healthy, whole foods. Bravo Chelsea! Best of luck!

  9. While I do not understand what you are going through and am in a different boat since I dont have an ED, I am in the process of trying to gain a few pounds. With my newly vegetarian and sometimes vegan (3 days a week) diet, I dropped a lot pounds…enough to the point of where I am technically “underweight.” I decided about a week ago that I really need to put on a few pounds to be healthier, look better, and fit into my clothes better. I am doing my best to take in extra calories by choosing healthy foods and healthy fats. But I too, feel tempted at times to stray from this. I am telling myself that I can enjoy extra calories and fats in “bad” ways in moderation, but I mostly plan on sticking to the “good” ways to gain weight. Thank you for sharing your update. It is a good reminder of how we can all get off track a bit at times, but can most certainly bounce back into good eating and exercising habits for the good of our body AND our mind. You’ll be back on track in no time, I am sure! Smile! 🙂

  10. I truly appreciate your honesty in sharing all your thoughts and feelings as you find a balance of all these changes.
    I also stopped having my period for about one year when I was in high school (due to anorexia). I remember when I had started getting my period again, I knew I was “healthy” again, but saw that I had gone from 98 pounds to 130 pounds (healthy weight for someone who’s 5 ft 7in) and I became depressed. My body felt so foreign to me. I was used to being tiny and even though I was looking healthy and my hair was growing in again, I was an emotional mess.
    The one thing I didn’t do was talk about all this with my friends for fear that they wouldn’t understand me. I’m so so glad to see that you have the courage to share these struggles with us and to be so vulnerable and honest. Thank you so much!

  11. I’m sending some good vibes your way, I know it sucks bologna sometimes but keep up your hard work and know we’re all rooting for you 🙂

  12. You are such an inspiration. I look forward to reading your blog everyday!! 🙂 Keep your chin up, you look great!!

  13. I really appreciate your honest posts’ about your struggle with recovery. I can relate to you on SO many levels because there was once a point in my life when I struggled with an eating disorder and now I have gained the appropriate amount of weight. However, because I have gained the weight, I also started having fun and indulging more often than I’d care to admit. I am now in a place where I am trying to really bring my ‘balance’ back and become comfortable with what I eat and when I workout.

  14. I really, sincerely appreciate you sharing this. I admire your honesty and your ability to share. I know you can get back on track and that this will all be worth it in the end (even though sometimes it might not feel that way).

  15. your honesty throughout your while jouney has been inspiring and I admire you for being willing to share with your readers! It’s easy to fall down the sweets trap when you’re having to gain weight – why not eat the yummy stuff!!- and even easier when there is an emotional component as well!! I think that you are doing great and know that you will be back on track in no time! Sending hugs and positive thinking your way 🙂

  16. It would be so easy for you to pretend like you are having the best time gaining weight, blah blah but it takes a lot of courage to share the truth. I am glad your body has responded positively to it. I wish you continued success on your journey to be healthy! xoxo

  17. Having had gone through the whole process of weight gain myself, I know how completely miserable it can make you, and while I don’t think it’s good to dwell on those negative feelings, I’m not a big fan of people who pretend like everything is all sunshine and rainbows. I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve been feeling so BLAH lately, but I definitely think that taking charge of your eating habits will make you feel a bit better. Hang in there, girl… it’s a slow and agonizing process, but you can do it 🙂

  18. I love your honesty – it’s why I love your blog! Even though I’m not experiencing recovery, I so appreciate everything you share because I know you’re helping so many women who ARE experiencing EDs, or who might in the future. I’m sending well wishes your way!

  19. I know I said on twitter I never comment on blogs but again, wanted to say how much I admire your honesty. Physical changes, however necessary they might be, are still changes which are always an adjustment- coupled with habits that might be making you feel less-than-steller, I’m really glad you felt able to update and share that on some level, there’s been marked progress, on another level…it feels kinda crummy sometimes. People think that having to gain weight is fun because, “Hey- go wild! Eat whatever you want” but it’s never quite that straightforward. I could babble on for ages about this but I’ll spare you and just say again that I’m glad you shared because I think there’s probably more people than you are aware of going through the process of gaining to a healthier weight (for whatever reasons) and facing the same ups and downs that go along with that. Just take it easy on yourself- getting healthier is a process, not an event.

  20. Thanks for sharing your story with us and being so honest. I haven’t gone through this myself but I’m sure you have to kind of take it one day at a time and it sounds like you are heading in the right direction. Best wishes!

  21. Thank you for being so honest and upfront with everything Chelsea! I imagine having to gain weight would be a difficult thing to face, and I could see myself falling into the exact same thing that happened to you! Wishing you the best as you “refocus” your efforts! 🙂

  22. I’m happy to hear an update on this from you. I really commend you for sharing your story. This must be tough to share a personal story to thousands of readers that read your blog on a daily basis. So kudos to you! 🙂

  23. I think true beauty is on the inside and feeling comfortable and beautiful is all that matters. I am all about honoring my body now and now that I am 30 that is SO important more than ever to me. I don’t want to make the same mistakes I did with my body in the past. Oh I wish I knew then what I knew now, lol. Don’t we all!

    Sending love ❤

  24. Just sending love to you and a thank you for being so open and honest about your struggles and your emotions. Weight is something that I think 99% of women struggle with in some way or form. Your battle is unique to you, but everyone can understand that feeling of “I just don’t love what I see right now”. Keep focused on your health and thank you for being a great blogger and fit inspiration!

  25. Thank you for your honestly!! I appreciate it 🙂 And I love your overall outlook on your situation. Yes it totally sucks what you are going through, but you are working hard and that’s all you can do. You have a great mindset and attitude and you will pull through! Like you said, it’s all about the big picture!

    • Thank you!! I want to be honest with you all because that’s the way it can help others. I know there is positive things ahead and I just have to believe in that now when the current feeling is more so scared. Its comforting to know that I have lots of support from you all ☺️

  26. Stay strong! Everything you are doing and realizing now will pay off. I love how honest you are – we are all human and we all make mistakes, the beauty comes from realizing our mistakes and working to better ourselves. And honestly, nothing you are doing (at least in my book) even qualifies as a mistake – life is too short to be anythign but happy, and if that means having a bowl of ice cream every once in a while, then so be it! Keep it up girl, you are an inspiration for your readers!!!

  27. Hey girl, I am so so proud of you. keep your chin up and there’s going to be brighter days ahead. I’m in this journey with you!

  28. I am happy for you for realizing that you need help, girl. I do want to say though, do you think it’s right to be approaching this from a ‘bulking’ body builders mindset? Girl, you are dangerously ill. I am so so so worried about you and I can’t help but say something because it really seems like you need medical intervention. My fear is that you’ll be kept in our disorder but working with a coach, macros, still lifting, and not working with a medical team or seeking real treatment. Believe me, I’ve been there. You feel like you can do things ‘your way’ (and I know even in this situation you feel like you’re giving up a lot of control), but in reality the disorder is still there and still calling the shots. If you’re ready to really get well you need to FULLY give up control. There’s no way to half way do it. Even if you do gain weight…it’s still all focused on only gaining ‘muscle’ or ‘lean mass’ and that’s not a healthy mindset. Right FOOD (any food!) is your medicine. Differentiating between different foods and only sticking with safe ones will not help you in any way. I’m sorry to be so blunt….I just KNOW how this is. Please please please consider getting real help girl! Praying for you and I am ALWAYS here if you need to talk. Please don’t get mad at me for saying this. I know when I am at my worst I need to hear things like this. ❤

    • Whoa, miss. There is a plethora of medically licensed individuals out there who, despite working in a setting with ED individuals, simply can not understand the depth of these disorders, and the complexity each individual case will bring dictates the need for flexibility in “treatment” (such a vague term for this disorder by the way) approaches. Perhaps the treatment centers in her proximity don’t provide her a sense of comfort and trust. Perhaps those she’s reached out to already (because she previously mentioned she has) did not see eye to eye with her on certain personal wishes. And that is ok because, just as Chelsea pointed out that we come in different shapes and sizes, we also all come with different values, principles, and goals. There is no norm for aesthetic/physique or even athletic goals. It is not up to you, nor a therapist, nor a healthcare practitioner to decide what is “normal” and especially when with a multifactorial disorder is in place, one size does not fit all! Just a wake up call to you, the disorder will most likely always be there. It’s in large part genetic so unless you’re somehow able to remove this mutation I don’t know how you expect to make it disappear. Those of us affected by these disorders have to learn to LIVE WITH IT, ideally as free from any mental obstruction as possible. We are not made to live up to the expectations of a majority or minority of people in the world. We are made to live up to our own expectations and dictate our own paths to happiness. This may not be what Chelsea wants 5, 10 years from now or even 1 year from now, but it could help her mindset RIGHT NOW. Obviously, having “fear foods” isn’t great (inconvenient more than anything and often more so for the non-afflicted present) but she stated that she will be not only increasing her intake but also venturing beyond her “safe foods”. Honestly, as an adult, she should be able eat whatever she wants in the end. Right now she may need to gain weight but it is also just so wrong for you to insist that “any food” is what she needs. Once again, her choice comes before anything and considering her GI issues, she may have to choose foods that she digests better and has the least adverse effects from consuming.

      All in all, I have confidence that Chelsea will overcome any struggle stunningly and be on top of seeking any extra medical care as needed because of course any complications should be properly taken care of.

      • E, thank you for your support and I appreciate your opinion. I too believe that people need different things to get them onto their right path. Many would simply be baffled that someone with an ED would be in the gym training and such, but I know from my experience that medical intervention (unless of course my vitals were not good which they have been fine as I have had them checked), is not the right place for me as it doesn’t help with the mindset which is what keeps you on the right track in the long run with your maintenance. As I grow up, I have learned that I need to take control myself and by doing something that is within my goals and passions, it will be something that I can stick to long term. By just putting on weight, taking everything away and leaving my mind to over think everything isn’t going to help me get better, in fact, it could make my journey turn back around. Thank you for speaking up and putting your 2 cents in 🙂

    • I do appreciate the love and the thought Kaila. Thank you for reaching out and I know you are coming from a good place as you have been in similar situations. I have to say that having gone through medical intervention before, they do nothing for one’s mindset, at least, they didn’t for me. In fact it put me in a worse off state psychologically and obviously it finally took it’s toll as I have not been able to maintain what I came out of hospitalization with. I know it may seem off to you that I have chosen this path, but I know in my heart that this is something I can stick to because it’s working towards a solid goal that is within my passions. This is not going to be a walk in the park despite being able to keep in my gym to a degree because it still requires a big loss of control on my end and a steep increase in food over time. Also, I did mention that Mike would be taking me out of my safe foods as well, so it’s not sticking to a prep diet as you might think. I’m not mad at all with what you have to say, please don’t think I am, but different individuals need different things in order to recover and this is my outlet.

    • Are you serious, Kaila? That is the most hypocritical thing I have ever read, knowing that it’s coming from you. You stick to all your “safe” foods, are severely underweight yet still running 10 miles a day and restricting your food, and need to follow your own advice. The fact you are preaching here is ridiculous. Take care of yourself–no, you’re not–and leave everyone else to their own journey. At least she’s trying. You keep pretending.

  29. Kaila – I want to address your comment as I am aware of what you may think when you think about “bodybuilder” I am Mikes wife.. he is a father and a step father and his first goal is HEALTH He knows more about the science of what foods do and how to control the healthiest nutrients going into her body. I know Chelsea is seeking other help in other areas… this is just some way for her to still do what she loves but have an eye on her that she does not see herself:)

  30. Love you… I told you years ago when you last struggled that you were strong and while the journey won’t always be easy you are a winner and will meet your goals. I am saying the same now…the difference you are even stronger today then you were then. I am so proud of you for taking these first steps in your new life journey. Just remember that Auntie is cheering you on along with Uncle Kent and Kodey, Mackinnley and baby Kane… xoxo

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