Deanna Harder is a personal trainer and a former bodybuilder who battled with eating disorders and overexercising for over 20 years.
Today, Deanna shares her experience as a former bodybuilder who has now found much healthier relationship with food, has stopped overexercising, but is, however, struggling with health issues caused by strict workout regimen and diet in the past.
We talk about the types of people who get into bodybuilding, the dark sides of this sport, its affects on our health — physical, mental and social, and a better approach to training and eating that gets you great results in a much healthier way.
Deanna still has hypothalamic amenorrhea. She has taken steps toward recovery, but she is still healing. If you're in the same boat with her, this interview is going to be interesting for you.
Note: I don't agree a 100% with the way Deanna has chosen to deal with her hypothalamic amenorrhea, as she is still exercising several times a week. We talk about it in the interview as well, and respect each other's opinions.
Watch the interview here:
Here are the timestamps for this video:
1:57 Deanna introduces herself
3:15 How Deanna's eating disorder started
3:50 The pressure to look “fit” as a group fitness trainer
04:25 How and why Deanna got into bodybuilding
06:05 Personality types that are perfect for bodybuilding
06:30 From eating 500 calories a day to bulimia and purging
08:00 Hiding eating disorders from the family
9:20 Getting help for her eating disorder, but starting “exercise bulimia”
10:15 How over exercising and under eating affected Deanna's physical, mental and social health
12:15 Positive compliments as the reason to keep working hard and dieting down
13:30 Working out even in extreme conditions
15:15 How Deanna was able to compete in bodybuilding for 10 years
17:50 Deanna's body finally stopped responding to dieting and exercising and she couldn't see any results anymore
19:20 Why Deanna switched from bodybuilding to getting strong
20:15 Results of starting powerlifting, adding more food, cutting workouts to 4x/ week
22:20 How Deanna eats and trains now
26:25 Why getting the period back is important even if you don't want kids
28:50 Deanna's tips on how to handle weight gain
31:15 Why we should not compare ourself to the previous versions of ourselves or to
32:20 Why you may have to gain more weight than you thought, to get your period
34:35 An exciting project Deanna is working on right now
37:35 A diet/fitness myth Deanna wish died for good
38:50 Deanna's perfect day
39:40 Something that Deanna is really into right now
Thank you Deanna for your time and sharing your story with us!
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