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'I had a really unhealthy relationship with food'

Women's Health Logo By Gabby Male says lifting weights helped her overcome disordered eating. of Women's Health | Slide 1 of 5: Women of all shapes and sizes shouldn't be scared to pick up weights - for so many reasons! The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, so you can burn up to 30 to 50 calories more per pound of muscle you add. And for women scared of getting bulky, you won’t as long as you aren’t eating in a crazy surplus. But most of all, lifting weights makes you stronger mentally and physically and it is also SO empowering. It makes me feel invincible.Follow Gabby’s journey @gmalefit.

'I Had A Really Unhealthy Relationship With Food'

Gabby Male says lifting weights helped her overcome disordered eating.

My whole life I had coaches, parents, and teammates who made me attend soccer practice and stay active. When I finished high school and all that ended, I realized that to keep it up, I’d have to start motivating myself.

Despite being active, I had never really had a positive body image, so heading into my freshman year of college, I thought, “This is my chance. I can work toward my dream body”—which was, of course, to be thin.

I was 146 pounds. So the summer before my freshman year, I started piling on the cardio. Occasionally, I’d do very light weights, but I didn’t want to get bulky.

And I lost weight really fast. In just four months, I had dropped down to 118 pounds. But suddenly, 118 didn’t feel low enough.

Just as quickly as I had shed the pounds, I became full-blown obsessed with counting calories, and losing more and more weight. I was working out twice a day and eating 1,200 calories. No cheat meals. The obsession was slowly taking away both my social life and my mental health.

I had very disordered eating. It was too much. I wanted to be able to eat regularly and not be obsessive over every bite of food I ate. I had reached my desire to be “small” but didn’t feel the satisfaction I expected from reaching my goal. So I set a new one: to be healthy and strong, physical and mentally.

© Gabby Male

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