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Recovering from Eating Disorder & Pregnant


#1

Hi there,

This is my first post on these forums.

Has anyone ever felt like their body is just stuck? I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. In high school, where I lost about 80 lbs. Unfortunately, while that started out healthily, it progressed to an eating disorder that lasted for ten years. I was able to walk away from the eating disorder 6 years ago with the help of God (seriously, I tried everything and I was just stuck!) but I’m finding that the negative thoughts are pretty overwhelming still. I have a pretty severe back injury that causes a lot of pain but I still workout 6-7 days a week. I make a lot of my own food and eat a pretty much plant-based diet and STILL am not able to lose weight. It just feels like my body is absolutely convinced that this is my weight. It can be really hard to ignore the nagging voice that tells me I’m fat, disgusting, and ugly. I have a recurring thought that tells me, “See, the only thing that worked was the eating disorder” but I am 100% not going to act out on that.

I just recently found out I’m pregnant so my efforts to lose weight will need to wait until after baby comes. (My hubs and I are excited about the pregnancy, but terrified ya know!) But, I’m also terrified of gaining weight with the baby, which I know needs to happy for a healthy human to form. I just feel so disgusting and worthless. I don’t want to leave the house because I’m convinced people will only see how fat I am. When I look in the mirror, sometimes I think I look relatively in shape because I exercise a lot but then as soon as I get dressed and go out into the world, I feel exposed, vulnerable, and hideous. It’s a vicious cycle that I’ve been dealing with since I can remember.

In my younger years, I attempted suicide, cut/burned myself for years, hit myself with weights, did drugs, slept around–pretty much anything to numb the inner ache of feeling ugly and disgusting. I was made fun of a lot and abused for many years by a family member and that impacted my thought process a lot.

It’s taken years to deal with a lot of that baggage and slowly, I’m trudging through it with the help of friends, my husband, professionals and my faith. I guess right now I just feel at a loss as to how to push passed these thoughts and enjoy being pregnant, regardless of what my post-partum size will be.

I appreciate any advice, thoughts, and support you might have to offer. Thanks for listening to a piece of my story,


#2

Hello!

I’ve felt the same way, but not about being fat, but the opposite always being told I’m skinny. My family out of all people are who joked about it the most, how I should play sports, or start excercising, and it really made me feel less “manly” because I wasn’t running laps, or benching 500 pounds or some other stereotype. Getting over that eating disorder is a big victory! No matter how small a change you make it’s still a step forward, which is always a victory. About your weight, some people just have a weight where there body needs to stay at that point to sustain itself, now that may be the case since you are pregnant (Congrats!) so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

One thing I’ve learned is that half of the time, whatever you’re thinking is all in your head. The news and media always makes it seem like girls must attain this sort of “God-bod” where they will be accepted for how they look, but I can tell you it’s not the case. I’m sure you are a beautiful person, and one thing I would tell you is to learn to love yourself, learning to love myself was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, because it gave me so much confidence and self-esteem that I don’t care about what anyone says about my tastes, or my physical attributes or even my music taste. God loves me and I love me.

I’m glad to hear that you’re overcoming what happened when you were a teen, I’m still in my teen tears and have had some of the same experiences as you, and it’s great that you have people around you who love you. Learn to love who YOU are, it’s great that you have a husband who can help you with that because he married you because he loves you, despite any flaws you may think you have, or do have. I guarantee you that no one is looking at you with disgust when you walk outside, because I mean your pregnant, you have your own little life coming along, which is way more important than what you look like while that’s happening. The only way I’ve found to get over that fear of stepping outside, or even something as simple as not wearing a shirt when I go into a pool, is to love who I am, love who you are, you sound like a beautiful person who is going to have a happy life with the people in your life right now, and the future family that’s coming along.

One last thing that helped me was to realize that my identity shouldn’t be in my physical appearance, or my talents, or whatever it is. Placing your identity in Christ is the best thing to do, because you are made in His image, and despite what anyone else thinks, He loves you. Just thik about that, God, who created the universe, who can do anything he wants, has everything he needs, loves us. Stupid little humans who worry and fret, He loves us, and that’s all that matter for me.

I’m always here to talk if you want, I’ve felt similarly and am more than happy to chat with you. Also this talk by Gerard Mora on HeartSupport really inspired me and helped me so I would give it a listen when you have time. Just remember God loves you, your husband loves you, your child is going to love you, and you are going to love you. Don’t give up!


#3

Hi EzraE,

Thanks so much for your care and concern. It is so humbling and I greatly appreciate it. You sound like a very mature, grounded young woman and I applaud you for the direction you’re taking in life.

I really appreciate your kind words. I watched the video you shared and definitely teared up! Will be taking your thoughts to heart.

Much love and hugs


#4

No problem ksmit, I’m not a woman, but glad I could encourage you regardless!


#5

LOL I’m so sorry! I just assumed. How silly of me! Thanks for understanding. :slight_smile:


#6

@ksmit133,

I don’t know exactly how you feel but I have definitely been somewhere similar before and fall into that still way more than I would like.

Congratulations on being in recovery! That is absolutely amazing!
If only all the negative thought went away with it right…? On days where I am tempting to go back to my old disordered eating habits, I try to remind myself that it is about being healthy not skinny (way easier said than done). There are still days I feel like a disgusting blob - on those days its all I can do just to breathe and make it through. You mentioned God’s help in your recovery so another thing I do when I am feeling crummy is sending up a quick prayer asking to see myself and my body they way he sees me - You are beautiful, you are the apple of his eye & his prized possession, you are fearfully and wonderfully made (again, easy to say than believe a lot of the time).

Congratulations on your pregnancy!! That’s big… but I get what you mean about terrifying. Remember that how other’s choose to view you is often more a reflection on them than you and it NEVER changes your worth!

I also started to follow this random gym on instagram… which is weird I know but they are a body positive gym so they post a lot about loving yourself and your body regardless of the flaws that you may see. (I think it is called @mybodywpg), and it has been helping me a lot - especially on a platform that often makes me feel crappy about my body.

Is you husband a safe and caring place to address some of these things? He might be able to affirm you daily then and more specifically… if that makes any sense. Also, I try to look at the people in my life that are bigger than me and realize how because I actually care about them as people their size doesn’t change my love for them any. And since you are becoming a mom - my love for my mom is infinite (even when she drives me a little nuts) but she looks at herself and sees a lot that she doesn’t like about her body but all I see is someone who has cared for me even in my worst times and walked through dark places and light places with me and was always there to love me and cheer me on.

Sometimes it’s about shifting focus from what we perceive as the negative to the positive even when it seems forces and fake.

You’ve got this!

With love,
Michelle


#7

Hi Michelle,

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave me such a kind response! I really appreciate your words, encouragement, and perspective. Yes, it is hard to walk that out and believe those positive things about one’s self, but something worth trying every day.

I really appreciate your perspective about noticing my love towards people who are bigger than I am. I’ve never thought about it that way and I honestly never look at a friend and think, “Gosh she’s gross!” so that’s a good reminder.

Thanks again for your thoughts and care. That means a lot.