“I fell victim to social media envy,” O’Neil explained. “More specifically, envious of girls with perfect six-packs.”
In an effort to try and get her own “perfect six-pack,” O’Neil said she then began a rigorous “program of exercise and dietary restriction,” trying to work out 2 hours a day and always pushing herself to burn more calories “than the day before.”
And while O’Neil found herself writing about all the nutritional benefits of incorporating sweet potatoes and brown rice into your diet, she reached a point where she couldn’t make herself eat them anymore. Instead, O’Neil explained she ate “smaller and smaller” portions of food, which included one “sachet of quick oats with water and a small handful of blueberries with cinnamon” for breakfast and “1 boiled egg and asparagus” for lunch.
But after O’Neil reached her lowest point — “burning 600 calories a day through exercise alone, and eating just 800 calories” — she stopped getting her period and decided it was time to see a doctor.
While the first medical expert concluded O’Neil was anorexic, after getting a second opinion she learned she might have “orthorexia,” which the fitness blogger described as “an unhealthy pre-occupation with eating only ‘pure foods’ — rather than trying to lose weight (as in anorexia) which was never my goal.”
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Although four years have passed since then, O’Neil went on to explain tht she still has “moments when my relationship with food is out of balance.”
While the fitness blogger who works out “5-6 times a week at low-moderate intensity” said she sometimes misses having abs, she understands now that having a trim waistline won’t necessarily make you happy — or healthy.
Writing about the post on social media, O’Neil wrote, “I’m about to delve into a very personal journey and share photos of my body that genuinely make me cringe, but I want to do this to say ‘Hey, This is the REAL me.’ The chick behind the lens that pops into your feed on the reg. You deserve to know how I got here, and what I’m all about. Just excuse me whilst I wince my way through the next lot of awkwardness.”