My decision to STOP putting myself in boxes and switch over to “lifestyle”.

Hey guys, its been a while (9ish months) since I have made a post. I have COMPLETELY redone my page so if you are wondering who the heck I am my prior name was “bulimiatobodybuilding”. While this blog is about my switch over from fitness to lifestyle I want to note that I also changed the blog name because not only was it specific to fitness but also extremely specific to eating disorders. I am more than those two things, I have more to talk about, other interests, other content I want to share.

Recently, I made the announcement on Instagram that I am switching over to a lifestyle brand. While this may not seem like a huge announcement to some, those who are also content creators and spend a lot of their time and energy creating things to put on social media will understand that this was a big decision. I honestly was losing my passion, not for fitness, but for being a sole fitness account for a while. I didn’t really care about my content, I wouldn’t always plan ahead, sometimes I would write something right before I posted it. Granted it was all thought out and legit information I just didn’t have that passion to go ahead and throw my heart into all of it like a lot of fitness accounts do. So in the fashion of completely restarting my brand I want to explain to why I made this decision.

So lets start with some basic and small annoyances I was noticing in being a fitness account and following all other fitness accounts.

I couldn’t help but not roll my eyes at some of these fitness accounts 

Some of my BEST friends I have made on social media are pure fitness accounts and they are quite frankly some of the most beautiful souls I have EVER met. I would 100 percent not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the community I built when I was a fitness account. That being said this is NOT the case for every fitness account. I love accounts that help others, give others information, give others tips on how to lead a great lifestyle, you get the point but this concept flies over A LOT of people’s heads.

Ton’s and ton’s of fitness accounts, WHO ARE TRYING TO SELL SOMETHING TOO, are filled with unhelpful, overedited, and sometimes offensive photos with captions like “gainz”. Okay, I am all for body positivity but what purpose does this serve? Who are you helping? How does this explain your product? This was becoming more of the norm than the helpful content I was seeing. The only helpful content I saw is what my friends posted and that is content I was either tagged in our sought out.

Seeing this photo after photo, post after post, literally got excruciatingly annoying. I was LITERALLY rolling my eyes. Stop claiming you want to help others but providing little value. I have so much respect for those attempting to inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle but what most accounts are doing is scaring others off. Unless you have educated yourself, teach people simple things like better foods to eat, how to start exercising a little more, etc. things that can help all. HOWEVER, THIS LEADS ME TO MY NEXT POINT.

Basically everyone considers themselves an expert but are actually risking harming others

Again, I know a lot of awesome people who are SUPER knowledgeable in the fitness industry (including my boyfriend who has 5+ years of bodybuilding, competing, and PT combined under his belt yet is still humble as ever). Hell, even I have a Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification and continue to study nutrition BUT some people lose a few pounds, put on some muscle, etc and they become a “coach”. One, if you are the described person and are doing it for money, you kind of suck. Second, I get if you are doing it for free and you are trying to help others but you have to understand what worked for you IS NOT what will work for everyone else. My fear is a young girl with an eating disorder, or even just has body image issues, finds you and you think you can help her by giving her a meal plan that teaches her eating SUPER LITTLE is healthy. I won’t get into all that though.

Bodies are a complex thing and everyone is going to be different. You do not have the right, as someone who has no certifications and has only been working out for months – a year (that is being overly generous), to be selling people programs. You also do not have the knowledge to give anything but basic advice. I do believe that you DO NOT need a certification to help others but you do have to read TONS of articles, books, etc educational documentation that helps you to understand how diverse the human body is. You also need to take the TIME (years) to explore different types of training and how things work for different people. This is absolutely necessary if you choose not to certify yourself. You can’t just figure out someones macros or write them a meal plan just because you lead a healthy lifestyle.  **Hint, if you don’t know the handwritten formula for determining someones macros you SHOULD NOT be giving people macros**

At the end of the day so many people labeling themselves as experts is EXTREMELY dangerous. There are highly desperate people out there who will hire you and you will give them a plan that, one promotes, unhealthy habits, and two that will harm them. Stop trying to make a quick buck and have another human being’s well-being at heart. That is a concept one should not have to teach.

BUT IT IS MORE THAN THAT. I did this for me not because I was annoyed with others. 

While the above things DID bug me (and have been for a while) it was NOT enough to get me out of my comfort zone. I openly expressed my frustration with the above things multiple times on social media it’s not a secret but it also isn’t what pushed me. The following reasons are my main drivers behind switching over to a lifestyle account.

I thought I had to look a certain way to be “taken seriously”. Thus began the comparing myself to others. 

I am not sure exactly when, could have been for a while, but I noticed more in the past few months I was really beating myself up over how I looked. I believed that in order for my knowledge to be heard that I had to have a perfect body to prove it. Now, I am more prone to having bad body image so I won’t blame it all on being a fitness account but when you have a bad habit you are trying to kick you don’t participate in activities that contribute to it. Being a fitness account was just that, I was looking at girl after girl and wondering why my body couldn’t look like that. Sometimes it was simply just because I am not MEANT to look like that. It was not physically possible for me. I can’t look like a 5’2 girl with narrow hips when I am 5’6-5’7 with wide hips. Yet still I would look at that person and beat myself up for not looking like her. “Nobody will ever take you seriously, you can’t even make yourself look good, you have no right to help others” All thoughts that ran through my head and I was sick of it. I was going to the gym and pushing myself so hard to look better and it became true that I was going to the gym to look like someone else. Not going to the gym to create a better me. I still have “goals” now and I still am striving for a better body but just from shifting my social media attention away from fitness I am so much more forgiving of myself. I don’t want to worry about looking like someone else I want to worry about BETTERING ME and shaping ME every single day. This actually pushed me to start unfollowing anyone who gave me bad vibes boy or girl. I felt so much clearer seeing less things that upset me on Instagram. This led me to take a step back and start thinking, which leads me to my next point.

I did not fight an eating disorder and a broken relationship with food to just be a slave to my mind and food in a different way. 

Another reason I had to shift away from fitness is that I was beating myself up for eating certain foods, for enjoying a meal out with company, etc. I was convinced one meal would throw off all of my results. I was convinced a snack that took me 50 calories over my macros was going to break the bank on my results. Years ago I channeled my eating disorder into obsessiveness over fitness and then relapsed because I never really dealt with it. Honestly, I saw that I was channeling again and I took a giant step back. There were so many moments in life I did enjoy, but not to the absolute fullest because I was SO DAMN CONCERNED about what that food was going to do for my results. Most people will say this is a normal part of the lifestyle BUT I am not normal. I am RECOVERED I am a SURVIVOR of an eating disorder, and while I am forever grateful for fitness because it did keep me in recovery, I had YET to enjoy life and not give a fuck about food. Yes, I still track macros, no I don’t eat like shit, no I don’t overeat everyday, in fact I am basically doing the exact same thing I was before. HOWEVER, and this is huge, it’s all MENTALLY different. I am doing it because I want to, not because I have to, and when I do stray from the plan to be in the moment I am doing it free of guilt and full of happiness. I have earned this right, I don’t care what anyone says or thinks, after years of an eating disorder I deserve to be able to go away from the plan for a little and be happy. I was in mental hell for years and I will not let anything take me back there. I also want to be able to SHOW myself eating, drinking, and being fucking-merry because guess what that is what people in recovery DESERVE. That is what EVERYONE deserves. Yet I couldn’t because my audience consisted more of people who were looking to achieve very specific fitness goals versus those who are thriving in every aspect of life. The content I posted was geared towards them and it was true to me at the time but after taking a step back I learned I wanted something different for myself. This again leads me to my next point.

I want to show people with eating disorders/mental health issues that you CAN live life to the fullest.

As you may now from reading my previous blogs, I also have severe anxiety, and am labeled “high functioning” anxiety by society. Living life to the fullest has a different meaning for everyone but for me its new experiences, exploring, and enjoying everything, including FOOD and DRINK, that life has to offer. One of the hardest things, yet most humbling, for me is watching people with eating disorders go through what they are going through. They don’t seek me out, I don’t try to offer them professional help (because that would be extremely wrong), but I go and search the hashtags and comment to let them know it does get better. I don’t ask them to follow me, I don’t ask them to check my page out, again I just let them know it gets better.  I see their mindset, I see them relapse, I see them think they are not good enough, and while it’s all heart breaking the hardest thing for me is seeing them say “Does it ever get better” or “Is this even worth it”. If I had the power to grab them through the phone, shake them, and show them all the amazing things life has to offer I would. However, the CLOSEST thing I can do to that is thrive in my own life and openly share my journey post eating disorder, as I am completely THRIVING (and guess what since I came to terms with my last point I’m thriving now more than ever). However, and this was the biggest driver for me,  I felt guilty, yes guilty, whenever sharing any of my eating disorder story. I didn’t want anyone with an eating disorder to come to my page because it was literally all fitness and nutrition and that’s the LAST thing they needed to see. I didn’t want to teach these people ,that in order to recover they had to become fully consumed with fitness. I DO want to teach them that once they are recovered and in a less obsessive mindset that fitness is a great outlet, but that is not the only thing I want to show them. I want to show them that every aspect of life is great from going to the store, to sitting on your couch, to being out with your loved ones. I couldn’t take that I felt guilty for sharing this HUGE part of my past. It was absolutely unfair to me and unfair to those I could be showing that life gets better. So again, I switched, I switched to what made me feel happier and healthier. So now, I am literally jumping into opportunities not only for the content but for the experiences that it gives me and the opportunity it gives me to show those suffering or even in recovery that life is AWESOME. And for one las time this brings me to my final point.

It is time to push MYSELF out of MY OWN comfort zone.

I am a creature of habit. My life will consist of eat, sleep, work, gym repeat if I don’t push myself out of my comfort zone. Being a fitness account doesn’t push because all my content can be shot in my normal life! In order to get more content as a lifestyle account I have been pushing myself to say yes to more opportunities. I simply just make more of my time and therefore my life. Nobody is going to like picture after picture of me on my couch, or on my computer, or weighing my food, etc. It gets really damn repetitive and quite frankly I was getting tired of that being my life. I was always wishing for more excitement and being so happy when I got that sliver of it that but never taking the responsibility of that excitement being in my own hands.  I know every part of that could have been done without switching accounts but it was a push that I needed, a bit of accountability that I needed, and it has been extremely rewarding. I am seeking beauty all around me, I am looking at things with new eyes, and I get to bring it all to the wonderful world of social media. whether I go into the city, seek out new places, or find something gorgeous near me its all amazing. Its like documenting my development. I spent a lot of time pent-up, as I am not a very open person (despite sharing a lot on social media), and it feels really good to express my feelings and who I TRULY am through my projects. Through these things not only will I hopefully help others but I also am helping myself by opening up to the world.

So there you have it. That is my full on reasoning why I transitioned not just away from fitness but also from solely blogging about eating disorders as well. While I do want to show those with eating disorders that life after is amazing I also just want to show who I am. I have cleared my Instagram of anyone I don’t align with, and I was perfectly aware that it would make me lose followers, and filled it with OTHER lifestyle bloggers. Girls and guys chasing after their goals, traveling over the world, taking beautiful shots, living their day-to-day lives to the fullest. I LOVE  it, it inspires me and it make me happy. If that is what having a feed full of fitness people does for YOU then that is awesome! However, that is not what it does for me it was harmful not helpful and now I am mentally in a better place from ONE change.

From here on out I will be blogging about my thoughts, what I say in my YouTube videos, maybe some deep meaningful post, or it could be a product review. I am doing me and I am happy to do it. It is mentally freeing. If you are thinking of doing something but you have been sitting on it for a while JUST DO IT. Jump into it, give it your all, and watch your life change. The only person you owe ANYTHING to is yourself. You owe it to yourself to live your best life and be the best version of you so do whatever helps you do that! Once you are the best version of you, you can start serving others. For me, making this change was just the beginning of going for a lot of changes in my life.

My Instagram and YouTube links are at the bottom of this page and in the contact page. I would LOVE for us to connect. Leave me a quick comment or send me a message and we can talk about whatever. 🙂

2 thoughts on “My decision to STOP putting myself in boxes and switch over to “lifestyle”.

  1. Sri says:

    Love this post Alison ❤️ . And totally agree 💯 with you on the reasons , specially that where everyone is turning out to be a personal trainer on media after losing some weight annoys me to the core 🙄. All the best can’t wait to read more from you 🙌🏼❤️

    Like

    • Alison Schulthesz: The Life After says:

      I am glad you can relate to this in some way girl. Thank you for being genuine and I can’t wait to watch you keep killing it!

      Like

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