Tabitha Shuman committed to overcoming her eating disorder and set a goal to compete. Here’s how she cut fat the healthy way and prepared to rock her show with her newfound confidence.
Why I decided to overcome my eating disorder
When I first decided I wanted to compete, my reasoning was pretty out of the norm: I suffer from anorexia. The battle with my reflection in the mirror is – and has been – a constant struggle. It wasn’t until I was unable to function day by day that I decided enough was enough and decided to get help. My metabolism was demolished and once I started eating again, I gained more than 30lb all at once, which felt impossible to get off.
I was lifting, doing extreme amounts of cardio and eating what I thought were healthy meals, but nothing seemed to work. I saw strong, beautiful women like Andreia Brazier, Marissa Rivero, Amy Updike and Crystal Green and was envious. I looked up to these women and wished I could be like them one day. I knew I also wanted to be a representation of how strong women are beautiful and set a goal to compete.
How I overcame my eating disorder
When I decided I was ready to overcome my eating disorder and choose health, I gained back a substantial amount of weight in a short amount of time and was very unhappy. I knew I needed to find that happy balance and felt hopeless trying to lose weight the healthy way.
I looked into personal trainers and noticed Shane Heugly coached many of the competitors I followed and looked up to. I contacted him in June 2013 and never looked back. He gave me a personalized program and my body responded well as I prepared to step on stage.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me
I always used bodybuilding.com as an outlet to gain knowledge on fitness and diet tips – especially when I was first starting off. The website has tons of great information and you can buy supplements and connect with other people through BodySpace.
Advice for others with an eating disorder
• In the gym, don’t be intimidated to ask people for help – most are willing and eager to help others with tips or training.
• Don’t be too fixated on the scale. Muscle is more dense than fat. Instead, take weekly progress pictures so you can compare throughout the weeks.
• To anyone who is struggling or has struggled with an eating disorder: never give up. You’re here not to decide if you are going to matter, but how you will matter. Once you realize how much control you have over your life, you then have the ability to create your own personal heaven on earth.
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