A Lot Can Change in Two Years

I began this blog in fear.
I didn’t know who I was or where I was going, but two years ago I needed this blog to make me feel like I was getting something done. It was my last hope for change. I wanted to write out my story for others to see because part of me hoped it would make all the time I had spent with the disorder more “worthwhile,” that all the hours of recording and analyzing food and my life would help others to understand why I had gained so much weight in a short amount of time. I wanted to show everyone I had not merely been lazy and ignorant to calories.
I knew everything about calories.

But I also feared what my friends and family would think — that I was faking it? That I was over-dramatic? That I was just seeking attention? I knew it might be met with skepticism, but something deep down screamed for relief–and the writer inside of me simply persisted.
Ever since my sophomore year of high school, I have been encouraged to write the TRUTH to get the best sort of writing out there. But how could you expect that from a perfectionist, from someone who wanted to control how she was perceived, from someone who couldn’t say “calories” out loud, let alone write it for others to see? I had always been the quiet one, the one who didn’t talk about food or sex or wants and needs–basic human drives. I pretended not to feel, not to care–because avoiding this, I thought, would prove that I was focused and successful.

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And then I realized that to write about the true human experience–how we constantly battle these drives to exert control on how others perceive us–was the best thing I could do.
So it’s been two years since I started the blog on December 17, 2012 after a particularly bad binge and purge session. As I reflect on who I was two years ago, I am extremely proud of the person I have become today. I feel so much more like myself–the real Rachael–since writing out my story, connecting with others, and improving my confidence. I have learned to not shy away, but instead stand up for myself and encourage others to do the same. Thanks to therapy, expanding my food choices, the support of friends and family, and even some medication, I feel like a much more mature, truthful person. I’m still working to stand up for myself and say what I mean, but I am definitely more like myself and willing to love that part of me more than ever.
So, my dear blog — Running in Silence — Happy 2nd Birthday.

About Rachael

Rachael Steil is a graduate from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts. Steil an author, speaker, and a recipient of the Spirit and Outstanding Runner award for the Aquinas College cross country team and has received 6th place All-American accolades in cross country as well as 7th place in the NAIA track nationals.
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3 Responses to A Lot Can Change in Two Years

  1. Tamara Steil says:

    Love this!

  2. Holly says:

    I just found your blog after browsing witsup.com.
    I’m thrilled to be here, reading your words, listening to what they mean to you – and then to me. This is just where I needed to land, and just what I needed to read.
    I’m only a few posts in – but I can’t wait to read more. Bravo for your writing prowess, your candor, and your strength. Have a great holiday season and a badass 2015. You’ve spreading some inspiration out there girl :)

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