This Healthy Living Transformation is brought to us by our friend Michelle.

I never had an issue with food when I was growing up. I never counted calories, I worked out because I enjoyed it, and I ate what I wanted when I wanted. During my senior year of high school, I noticed my clothes were getting tighter, so I started eating healthier and working out. It started out healthy, and after a couple weeks I noticed I looked better, felt better, had more energy, and received many compliments. Unfortunately, I began getting obsessed with a certain body image and began working out and restricting my calories. From there, it snow balled, physically and mentally.

I consumed the minimal amount of calories I could, and burned it all off at the gym. I began fearing foods that contained sugar, carbs, and fat. I even cut out healthy fats, including my favorite, peanut butter. I remember sometimes opening a jar of peanut butter and smelling it just so I could remember what it tasted like. I wouldn’t even allow myself one taste of it because of the rules my eating disorder set up for me.

My eating disorder consumed me.

My eating disorder consumed me. I was obsessed with counting calories, and stopped going out with friends because many of the activities they did involved food. People began noticing, including my family, but I kept assuring them I was fine and was just being healthy.

I didn’t see that I was slowly deteriorating and in fact, dying. Anytime someone talked to me about my weight loss, I would get mad and defensive.

Michelle Reuter

One afternoon I came home from school and my mom and sister set up an intervention, and I will never forget it. I was furious at them and continued to justify my weight loss saying I was just “being healthy”. However, that night, I stood in front of my mirror looking at myself and I finally realized how skinny I was. I looked so frail and sick. I broke down crying and did what I promised myself I would never do; I went to my mom and told her I needed help.

Recovery

Recovery was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. But I am so incredibly thankful and lucky to have the support from my family and friends. I began seeing a nutritionist who taught me how to eat again. I was elated when I started to eat peanut butter again and used it in my daily meals and snacks. Slowly but surely I increased my weight and was finally enjoying life again. I not only learned to love myself again, but peanut butter! I finally understood that peanut butter is a healthy fat. In a typical day, I consume about 4-5 tablespoons of Nuts N’ More high protein peanut butter, which not only fuels me with healthy fats, but also protein and carbs. I am so glad I am able to finally enjoy it again. Recovering from my eating disorder made me a much stronger woman. Although not every day is easy, recovery is possible, and I am proof.