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  • Writer's pictureTIKIMA THOMPSON

MY JOURNEY AS A FITNESS PROFESSIONAL BATTLING A BINGE EATING DISORDER


In the world of fitness, there's a prevalent trend of professionals projecting a flawless image, as if they never struggle with their fitness journeys. But this curated perfection can be disingenuous and misleading. As someone committed to transparency, I refuse to hide behind rose-colored glasses. In this blog post, I want to share my struggle with binge eating and break the stigma around discussing such challenges. Though some may advise against revealing these struggles, being honest with my audience is essential. So, here goes nothing.


My Name is Tikima, and I Am a Binge Eater

A sense of liberation washes over me as I openly declare my battle with binge eating. It's a part of who I am, and I don't shy away from sharing my experiences if they can help others. Curious about how I became a binge eater? I'm still figuring that out myself, but I have some ideas.

For most of my life, I had a healthy relationship with food. I listened to my body, followed the "everything in moderation" motto, and maintained balance. However, in 2017, I experienced a personal hardship that led me to use food as punishment. Sweets have always become my solace, offering temporary comfort in times of pain. This harmful cycle created a constant battle between self-soothing and feeling terrible about myself.

As the pounds piled on, I started to witness the physical toll my binge eating had taken on my body. My joints cracked, my face became unrecognizable, and my clothes no longer fit. Worst of all, I lost touch with who I was. Depression became the haunting soundtrack of my life, while sugary treats became my drug of choice.


As my weight slowly increased, few people noticed or chose to address it. However, I vividly remember a so-called "friend" publicly mocking my weight over a speakerphone call. Instead of providing a helpful intervention, this incident pushed me further into depression and increased the secrecy surrounding my binging.

My binge-eating episodes predominantly occurred when I was alone in the car. Occasionally, family members would observe my behavior, but they would dismiss it as a cheat day or something similar. Despite the weight gain, I maintained an active lifestyle, engaging in running and strength training. It might have seemed intentional from the outside, but I was battling an eating disorder inside. I consciously refrained from offering dietary advice to my clients, using the excuse that it was outside my scope of practice. I didn't want to contribute to the guilt and shame I associated with food.


When I reached the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired, I knew something had to change. I realized that the root of my pain was guilt, and to heal, I needed to apologize to the person I had hurt and, most importantly, forgive myself. Seeking forgiveness and engaging in therapy allowed me to be open and honest about my struggles with those around me. Surprisingly, this newfound vulnerability enhanced my ability to approach training with grace and empathy.

I wish I could neatly wrap up this chapter of my life and shout, "I'm Delivert!" like in the viral video, but it's not that simple. Every day, I continue to grapple with binge eating. The cravings for my favorite sweets remain strong, but I've learned to navigate the temptation and focus on long-term well-being. This journey is not a sprint; it's a marathon.


Despite the advice from fellow trainers urging me not to share my struggles, I am grateful I chose to be authentically Tikima. By embracing vulnerability and transparency, I can better connect with my audience and offer support and understanding. Your support means the world to me, so please share this post with your friends. Together, let's break down the barriers and foster a community where fitness professionals are seen as the imperfect humans they indeed are.

My commitment to transparency extends beyond the fitness world. I want to be a voice for those who struggle with binge eating and other mental health challenges. Let's erase the stigma associated with these issues and create a culture of acceptance and support. Remember, you are not alone in your journey; we can overcome obstacles together. Thank you for joining me on this honest and vulnerable path to self-improvement.


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