YYC Motivator Elle McAndrews on Spin & Body Positivity
Our very own Motivator, Elle McAndrews shares her journey to loving her body and how the bike helped her get there.
For years I struggled in an unhealthy relationship with my body. Working out was not a means to be fit or healthy, it was a means of being skinny. My relationship with food turned from a sustenance need to an outright battle. I judged everything I put in my mouth, I felt guilty about indulging. I overate, I restricted. The cycle continued.
THE LAST STRAW
When I moved away to go to school in another province, my issues reared up in a more nasty form. I ran and worked out at the gym obsessively and I continued to restrict my calories, but this time around, I began to purge when I felt I had overindulged.
My unhappiness with my body caused me to squeeze my stomach fat each morning when I would wake up to see how much was still there. I knew I had a problem and I needed to talk to someone. I reached out to a doctor who was able to provide me with some concrete steps I needed to take to form new habits around eating and working out. I began talking about my issues with food and exercise to a few close friends who were supportive.
Once back in my hometown, I started attending spin classes and was immediately hooked. At spin, there was such a huge emphasis on personal agency. Nothing was going to happen unless I made it happen. No one was going to turn that resistance dial to increase the difficulty of the class but me. No one was going to fix my relationship with my body except for me.
Honestly, going to spin made me so hungry that I began to crave healthy foods that gave me energy in order to get through class and long work days. I began to notice my body changing as I attended spin regularly and ate well. My body needed carbs, my body required protein, and I loved going to spin so much that I felt no shame in eating well. Spin classes allowed me to dig deep into my emotional and mental struggles. I now felt stronger and more capable of making other changes in my life.
LOVING LIFE & LOVING MY BODY
At YYC CYCLE, It doesn’t matter what your body looks like. you are there to dig deep and challenge yourself no matter where you are on your journey in life. Almost 5 years later, I am still on the bike, loving every moment of it. I eat whatever I want within reason, and I never feel guilty about it because I know that I do my body a favour physically and mentally by not sending myself on a guilt trip. Spin brings so much more than just fitness to my life, it is an anchor, a springboard, a guide, and an absolute joy to have in my life.