20-Somethings - Do you ever feel like you've just destroyed your body?




thewalrus0
11-05-2013, 04:55 PM
I know it's not good to think those things but I look at my skin and I think about my organs and how I've just been so cruel to my body. I'm only 22, but I'd say from age 12 I have been just actively hurting myself, in all sorts of ways. When I was young it was anorexic and bulimic tendencies to lose weight, then after I lost some weight it became about alcohol, cigarettes and drug abuse, and then it again became about food only in my adulthood it was binge eating.

I feel like, in my entire life, I've never once been healthy except for maybe the last 3 months of my life. Even when I lost weight before with calorie counting I would eat as much bad stuff as I could fit into my calories. Now I actually eat real food but sometimes I wonder what the damage is that I've done. :/

I guess it's never too late to turn it around right? I mean, that's what life is all about.


elvislover324
11-05-2013, 05:10 PM
I'm not in my 20s but your post touched my heart so I hope you don't mind that I replied. :)

I have done every horrid thing to my body by gaining so much weight, drinking too much for a period where I was in a tough place in my life, not even considering exercise for years and years.

But you know what? My body forgave me! My body accepted every challenge I gave it! I lost weight, I only drink moderately for social reasons (vs. to forget things, it never worked anyway), I feed my body nutritious healthy food and now my body craves it and almost rejects the junk, my body accepted the walking for exercising and now I can run a 5k in less than 40 minutes! My body embraced my changes and loved everything I have done for it. It makes me want to cry when I think of how far I came in less than a year. And I swear my body thanks me for taking the load off, for improving all of my numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) and for being able to live my life to the fullest fashionably and physically.

It's never too late. Never ever. :)

thewalrus0
11-05-2013, 06:10 PM
Aww. :) Thanks for replying elvis, it made me smile.

I worry a lot and sometimes I just need to hear that it's always a good idea to take care of yourself, regardless of age and regardless of the damage done.

I wouldn't tell an alcoholic that it's too late to get sober and I would not say that to a smoker or a drug addict either. I would definitely never tell another person that it's too late to improve their quality of life, so I don't know why I'd think that for myself.

But that's the human condition, eh? :P

I feel better though and a bit more motivated today, thank you. ^.^


SMSDREAMER2007
11-05-2013, 06:15 PM
Never too late!!
Im 24 with pcos and 20 years of mac n cheese and mcdonalds ruined my body, my skin will never be tight, ill never be able to wear a bikini, but ill be healthy and have a better chance at fullfilling my dream of having a baby.

Never too late!!!

alaskanlaughter
11-05-2013, 06:50 PM
it's never too late! i didn't start to make any serious effort to take care of my body until i was maybe 33-34(?)

also nice to see someone from my neck of the woods :)

Pink Hurricane
11-06-2013, 09:14 AM
It is definitely never too late! I also went through a lot of similar situations as you, from eating disorders to substance abuse and smoking. One day when I was 23, I said enough was enough, and made a complete change! I am now 25, healthier than I have ever been, physically and mentally, and on a journey to lose a little extra weight that I had put on once I married my husband! Of course right now my weight loss efforts are on a pause for good reasons, but my healthy habits are not! :D

It is never too late to be good to yourself. Our bodies are incredible at adaptation and constantly wants to cleanse itself. Once you start treating your body and your soul good, then the rest will follow through.

You CAN do this!

toastedsmoke
11-06-2013, 12:11 PM
I sometimes feel bad that I haven't treated my body with the respect and love it deserves. I mean for me, the pressure I've put on it was carrying my obese self around for most of my life. I see the stretch marks and saggy boobs and wrinkly skin that comes from having been obese for so long and I think I'm only in my 20s, my body should be at it's hottest. In clothes, and in the right underwear and I see the potential hotness I could have been working with, but am not.

That said, I am still constantly amazed at how much my body loves me. I can run and jump and and walk for miles. I can move and see and hear and feel without pain. My health has improved as I've treated my body better. When I work out, I see improvements in stamina and I'm constantly doing better ifI just work at it. So no, whilst I wish I hadn't taken so long to get my weight in check, I don't think that being obese since childhood has destroyed my body. There's still so much potential in this body and still so many things left to do. So don't feel discouraged, try to make better choices for your body, that's the best anyone can do.

fadedbluejeans
11-06-2013, 12:18 PM
I do feel like I've really harmed my body. I wish I had been fully aware of what I was doing in my 20s, as opposed to waking up in my 40s. Good for you taking charge now. The effects of overweight will be there, but minimized because you are still young!

Dani0112
11-07-2013, 11:40 AM
I know how you feel. I just turned 24 and have been overweight/obese for nearly my whole life. I've lost weight before but I've never been anywhere near thin. I too have gone through terrible cycles of damaging my body both intentionally and unintentionally. When I was younger, especially between the ages of 10-13 I had really bad binge episodes. I'd eat so much that my stomach hurt and then I'd still keep on eating. In high school I'd have random days when I was just so sick of myself and my "need" to overeat that I'd punish myself with a day of not eating anything. I have always been a yo-yo dieter but my weight has also always yo-yoed up. For a while I bounced between 190 and 200. Then between 200 and 210. Then 210 and 220. When I went to the doctor about a month ago I weighed 226. Some days I wonder if all the constant weight fluctuations and different diet/exercise regimens have somewhat damaged my metabolism. The fact that i get older every day also doesn't help. :)

That being said, so long as I am still able and relatively healthy, no diabetes, HBP or high cholesterol, I know my body isn't "destroyed". But it is in need of repair. This weight is literally my body's breaking point. I struggle getting up stairs now and doing exercises that I could do a mere 6 pounds ago are now near impossible.

But like toastedsmoke said, our bodies are much more forgiving than we think. I have seen too many older people make significant changes to their health/weight for me to think I can't have good results in my 20's. You have already lost a lot of weight so clearly you have already "turned it around." All you have to do now is keep going in that direction. Best of luck to you.

IanG
11-07-2013, 12:23 PM
Here's the good bit. Getting healthy is all about destroying that old, fat, unfit body and building it up again!

So you get to destroy it twice! Happy destroying/building with diet and exercise!

I broke me down and built myself up again.

Dollfaise
11-23-2013, 02:59 PM
I wish I had been better to my body but I don't think I stood much of a chance. My parents are very uninformed and I grew up thinking 140 pounds was "normal" for someone my height. No one taught me about nutrition, I ate horrible, terrible food and my mom always made sure we had soda, candy, and chips stocked. By the time I was old enough to understand that I was overweight, I was 18 and 160 pounds. My brother reached 170 pounds, my mom has been obese for as long as I've been alive, and even though my dad is physical, he could probably stand to eat healthier. I'm the only one in my family who takes health seriously and for that, I am proud. I didn't come from the best scenario but I can do better for myself and teach my own kids to do better so they never have to experience what I did.

helwa588
11-28-2013, 10:21 PM
At 25 I do feel like I've been abusing my body. I have knee problems and back problems because of my weight. I wish I had stuck to my exercise routine like I did when I was in my teens. When I was 17 I lost 50lbs due to healthy diet and exercise. Then when I hit my 20's I just got lazy and put all kinds of junk in there.

delmarva
11-28-2013, 11:07 PM
Beware if you're long time bulimic, as I was. In my 40's, I literally created a hiatal hernia (severely weakening the place where the stomach joins the esophagus) from my own self abuse. I stopped cold turkey and never did it again, because if I did, I risked having my stomach's contents escape into the stomach cavity, a life threatening event. Let me tell you, that was the hardest life change I ever went through. PLEASE*PLEASE Try to stop before it gets to that point.

Paisleymama
11-29-2013, 12:32 AM
Absolutely. I feel like I have destroyed myself, my skin (which is the most obvious) gets me down a lot. I've also had two children which has attributed to my negative self image, it took me a very long time after my first to accept the changes.

SparklyBunny
11-29-2013, 04:48 AM
Sometimes I think about all the damage I've done to myself, but since I can't change past actions, I look for the good in it.

The good for me is that when you've been through things that have been hurtful and you've been able to pull through to a point where you're actually able to reflect on it and forgive yourself, then you'll have so much compassion for those who are struggling. And we all do struggle in one way or another. The human experience isn't exactly a picnic! When you have compassion in you, you have the kind of beauty that you can't get the easy way. You're human, not plastic, and that makes you so much more valuable and powerful. It's too bad that most people have no idea how valuable and powerful they actually are.

delmarva
11-29-2013, 11:25 AM
If it is any consolation at all, it can get a lot better. I was bulimic for 25 years. Til it stopped (significant hiatal hernia - described above). Stopped completely, no exceptions. (If you read about burst hernias and fundoplication repair surgeries and complications it will make you sick). That was 8 years ago.

It got me on the path to real wellness.
Yes, I gained weight for the next 5 years. Heck, I had to learn to eat properly and re-wire my brain on how to learn to be full. Then, I started getting an 'APPLE' shape as perimenopause kicked in. Started gaining some metabolic x syndromes (rising triglycerides, fatty liver, etc)

But, with that second scare with the liver, the weight started coming off. Maybe being in true menopause made it easier?? Cutting out sugar didn't seem so hard. The weight slowly dropped. I added a lot of exercise, and my skin (formerly oily and pimply) started to simply glow. I could now model skin care products --- something I never could have EVER BELIEVED!

It can get better. Really. Even your internal organs can heal. My liver problems are reversed. My hernia/GERD is under control through diet alone. Strength training over 10 years actually reversed bone density loss. Acne is gone. Skin is beautiful. Knee pain is greatly reduced.

There is HOPE.

belovedspirit
12-08-2013, 01:57 PM
Sometimes I think about all the damage I've done to myself, but since I can't change past actions, I look for the good in it.

The good for me is that when you've been through things that have been hurtful and you've been able to pull through to a point where you're actually able to reflect on it and forgive yourself, then you'll have so much compassion for those who are struggling. And we all do struggle in one way or another. The human experience isn't exactly a picnic! When you have compassion in you, you have the kind of beauty that you can't get the easy way. You're human, not plastic, and that makes you so much more valuable and powerful. It's too bad that most people have no idea how valuable and powerful they actually are.

Thank you for sharing this. :)

belovedspirit
12-08-2013, 01:58 PM
I know it's not good to think those things but I look at my skin and I think about my organs and how I've just been so cruel to my body. I'm only 22, but I'd say from age 12 I have been just actively hurting myself, in all sorts of ways. When I was young it was anorexic and bulimic tendencies to lose weight, then after I lost some weight it became about alcohol, cigarettes and drug abuse, and then it again became about food only in my adulthood it was binge eating.

I feel like, in my entire life, I've never once been healthy except for maybe the last 3 months of my life. Even when I lost weight before with calorie counting I would eat as much bad stuff as I could fit into my calories. Now I actually eat real food but sometimes I wonder what the damage is that I've done. :/

I guess it's never too late to turn it around right? I mean, that's what life is all about.

I know it's tough... I'm proud of you for trying to find new ways to think about it and for taking care of yourself. That's the best we can do, and you're doing it. :) Way to go!

Radiojane
12-08-2013, 02:37 PM
This is a great thread. I've worried about this for quite awhile. The body does forgive though. I can see it in the improvements I've made already.