It’s National eating disorder week. As someone who has struggled with eating disorders most of my adult life I wanted to pause and reflect on my own journey this week. I looked at pictures of myself and I realized how I could find so many that I wanted my body to be right now. How sad I have been these past few months that I am so overweight.
I wake up every single day and look in the mirror and this voice inside of me reminds me of how disgusting I look. I hate my body. That’s the raw honest truth. I feel heavy when I’m running and I feel achy. I was obese for many years then I lost over 100 pounds and I felt so free.
Now I feel like I’m back in prison. A prison of a heavier larger body that I cannot stand. I have tried many things lately to get the weight off but nothing consistently sticks. This is a serious frustration because since I lost my weight that first time I have not struggled with keeping it off. I would always bounce back after having a baby and lose the weight within 6-8 months.
I found this picture of me and I started to feel tears.
I remembered how strong and capable I felt that day. My 5th child was 11 months old and it was this feeling of being back. Back to myself. Then I let my mind linger and I remember how honestly I still didn’t feel my best. I still did not like my body, I still wanted to lose weight.
That month we got pregnant with my daughter. I went into that pregnancy feeling good and then the pandemic kind of threw my mind off track. By the time she was born I had gained about 45 pounds which is double what I like to gain during pregnancy. We went through a week of being there with her and it gave me some lasting anxiety and triggered a bout of depression.
It’s been 8 months since she was born and I have been battling with the weight still. I initially lost 20 pounds quickly and then my final semester of graduate school got complicated and I feel into an old bad habit of stress eating.
Emotional eating has always been a struggle for me. Battling with postpartum depression and anxiety combined with the stress of managing life just became overwhelming. And I wish I could say it was over. But it’s not.
Does the battle ever end?
This is the thought that plagues me now.
I’m not happy with my weight right now. I have 45 pounds to lose to get back in my ideal range that I like to be at.
This was supposed to be an Instagram post but I realized I had more than a single thought to share, so here we are. Honest and raw emotions that I have kept hidden from everyone. I could analyze why I’m here and try to justify it. But that’s not what helps me. What helps me is admitting that I have been allowing my emotions to control my eating and hating myself. The inner critic voice that is inside of me is far darker and worse than anything anyone else would ever tell me.
The inner critic who knows the hidden shame in binge eating and the guilt I carry. It’s hard to know the things you need to do to make yourself better but it be able to grasp the ability to take those steps.
I know I’m strong and capable. I have been running 30-40 miles a week and training for a 100 mile race. But I cannot outrun everything and I cannot outrun this.
So where does this leave me? I’m just not sure. Honestly I think that’s the truth. I’m still trying to figure out how to manage working as a mental health counselor, being a wife, a mom to 6 children and take care of myself. I always tell my clients it starts with self awareness and to take small steps from there. So I suppose this is me opening up and being self aware and deciding to take a small step back towards recovery.
For help with eating disorders contact the National Eating Disorder Association https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline
You can also text NEDA to 741741 for a crisis situation. Or call their hotline at 800-931-2237