12 months to Tokyo
Kads maybe you should eat something before this session!?
No no, I’m fine. All I’m doing is drills and strides, I don’t need to eat before that session, its only small.
But you’ve not eaten in over 20 hours now.
I know that’s great right!? I’m going to keep going until 24 and then see how I feel.
Its been 24 hours now kad’s, you’re starving after that session.
Mehh I’ll be fine, i just need to go to sleep then tomorrow will be a doddle.
You’ve got 2 training sessions this am!!
I know but I’m just doing drills and a few 60m runs and then gyms. At this stage in fasting I’m sure I read somewhere that you can get better strength gains as well.
At 48 hours I allowed myself to have a bowl of porridge because I was about to go sit on a judging panel in a room that was probably going to be hot and from experience I know the chance of me feeling way to faint to focus, was pretty high. I then had an egg and plantain sandwich before driving home from Leeds because firstly mum was annoyed to realise I hadn’t eaten in so long and because driving home on limited food while tired was not going to be sensible.
HELLOOO and welcome to my blog. I thought I would start my giving you a short insight into the daily battles I experience in my head.
A short intro about me;
I’m Kadeena Cox, in September 2014 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) following what was thought to be a stroke in May 2014. I went from being a high-level national athlete, training 10x a week to being house bound for 2 months, unable to walk unaided, control my movements, therefore unable to feed/wash/dress myself. I had been put on steroids plus a multitude of other medications and consequently put on roughly 3 stone (19kg or 42lbs) in around 3-4months.
Thankfully due to amazing support from family/friends and everyone that helped me fundraise, I got into Paralympic sport. In October 2015 I become 100m world record holder and world champion, followed by the equivalent in the 500m TT (track cycling) in March 2016. I then became the first athlete in 32 years to gain a Paralympic gold in 2 sports, collecting a total of 4 medals and 2 world records. I have since added to my world championship title collection.
However, in May 2019 after some time battling with it alone, I finally gained the courage to speak out and was then also diagnosed with disordered eating. Which has proved to be my biggest challenge yet.
With all the success, the happy/smiley pictures you see plastered on social media/in newspapers, the tiny or skin tight clothing I wear to race in, some might wonder how I got here. I ask myself the same question sometimes. I’ve gotten through and over so much so why has disordered eating stopped me in my tracks.
But that’s just it, everything I’ve done is about being the best athlete I can be, being the fastest version of me. Key to that is the fastest version of me was pre ms me. When I was sick and house bound, I had 0 control. My mum would get me food, sort my meds, help me dress, help me down the stairs if I could face it and there were even times my 6 year old sister would help me cut my food so I could eat. I lost control of my life and I also lost control of my weight. Maybe that’s why I’ve ended up here. My intake and my exercises are 2 things I can control.
I look myself in the mirror and I hate what I see, its rare I can see a difference in my appearance no matter how different the number on the scales. I don’t recognise the person I am right now. I’m so fixated on being pre ms Kadeena, I don’t want to see anything but her in the mirror and that confident girl I once was, is like a solar eclipse.
Here lays my problem, I starve myself and call it a water fast because they’re beneficial for you. I take laxatives and say it’s because my iron tablets are giving me constipation. I do extra training sessions so I can burn more calories but tell myself I need to because I’m doing two sports and everyone has more time to dedicate to 1 sport.
I binge because of a stressful situation, injury or becoming overwhelmed, or merely because I’ve not eaten for 2/3 days and my body craves sugar. But then the whole cycle starts again.
My challenge is, before every major championship my eating habits have got worse and worse, but my performances have got better and better. Just last week (which is what the intro refers to), I got down to race weight, in a way I shouldn’t have but I ran my fastest opener and went number 2 in the world in what was a horrible race for me. I’d been doing so well for months before that. Having at least one meal a day and limiting my fasting to a max of 18hours per day. But the pressures of performance, injury, my self-esteem, managing such a complex performance team and then health condition and it all just got on top of me. I feel like my hard work was undone but then I was rewarded with a fast time.
How do I walk away from the habit when the benefits seem so high?!