How Having A Baby Healed My Eating Disorder
Please note, I did not say “getting pregnant healed me”. No, in fact it made it worse. A lot worse. I struggled daily with the lack of control I felt and, ashamedly, fell deep into old patterns of disordered eating.
I obsessed and dreamt about the day I gave birth because I planned on cutting out all sugars, counting macros, and doing EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to lose the baby weight as fast as I could once I was no longer restricted by pregnancy.
*insert eye roll here*
Thankfully, I was brought to my senses before it was too late.
With my first, I desperately wanted to breastfeed, but was not well informed. I had a low supply from the beginning because I wasn’t eating enough food to sustain both him and me and maintain a good amount of milk. Amazingly, I was able to feed him for 21 months, and somehow he grew (and grew!), but I now know why I struggled so much to produce more than the bare minimum.
When I had my second, I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted in the first month in order to build my supply. I kept telling myself (even though I didn’t believe it) that my body is beautiful and capable and strong. I reminded myself that I just had a baby and that, of course, my body looks different. I drilled it into my mind that health is much, much more than the way I look — it is how I feel, both physically and emotionally. So, with permission to eat whatever I wanted, I ate whatever I wanted! And, amazingly, in doing so, the chains that had bound me for so long broke and disappeared! I don’t think I ever realized how obsessive I was about food until that obsession was gone. I never realized how time consuming and overwhelming it was to constantly think about food — what I was going to eat next, what I ate, was it good, was it bad, guilt, guilt, guilt.
And something truly amazing happened, I started to believe everything I told myself.
I can tell you, with 100% assurance, that it is by the Grace of God that I was healed. After a 10+ year long battle with body image issues and disordered eating, I was healed! We were never meant to live life chained by society’s expectations of what a woman should look like! Reality check: THEY HAVE NO SAY! Our bodies were gifted to us as precious vessels that carry us through this beautiful life. Our bodies allow us to experience love, joy, pleasure, pain. Our bodies grow and sustain life. Our bodies are not ornaments. Our bodies are not here for the sole purpose of pleasing men! Our bodies are ours. Our bodies are beautiful. Every curve. Every dimple. Every imperfection! All of this makes us unique and perfectly imperfect. All of this makes us exquisitely intriguing. Our bodies house our minds and our souls, which are the true sources of beauty.
So if you are one of the millions of women struggling with body image, please know that there is hope! But you have to want it! For so long, I would have rather stayed in my self-loathing pit of despair than breathe the fresh air of freedom. But now that I’ve experienced it, I will never go back to that black hole. Live your life! Let go of those chains holding you down, and I promise you, you will feel as light as a feather!
I would love to hear from you if you are struggling from an eating disorder, your body image or overcame either. Please comment below. We are all in this together! ❤
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