Sometime in this past week I came to terms with the fact that I have a problem. The short answer to why I started this blog is that I am using it to document my journey in recovery from a poor relationship with food, dieting, exercise, and body image. This is really hard for someone who is a former athlete and has chosen nutrition as their career path. But it truly needs to be done for my own personal happiness and the well-being of my family.
Things that helped me make this decision:
1. Spirituality – On Monday, February 10th, 2014 I was buried with Christ in Baptism. It’s crazy what a profound effect this has had on my whole existence. I have been going to church for about a year now, but I just recently allowed myself to fully accept the love of Jesus and let him into my life. Jesus has already taught me that real love should be unconditional, not based on weight, BMI, muscle tone, or how many miles I ran this week.
2. My marriage – Things haven’t been great. I really feel that my marriage has been suffering due to my insecurity. I am constantly afraid of my husband’s reactions and feelings towards things for no good reason. I feel like this insecurity is deeply rooted in my body image and “healthy” obsession. After opening up to him about my problem, he has helped me see how it has affected other facets of my life… friendships, social outings, traveling, how I plan my day, how I judge other people, etc. My whole attitude about life has taken a turn for the negative and it is making his life difficult as well. He suggested that I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to help change my attitudes and motivations, which I plan on doing during my recovery. I’ll also note that this crap has completely killed my sex drive – just saying.
3. Other bloggers – Reading blogs such as Your Eatopia and success stories from people like Clare at Fitting It All In have really fueled my quest for obtaining a total recovery. They also helped me to recognize the fact that, though I am not anorexic, bulimic, or diagnosed with any other true eating disorder, my body has been undernourished for several years now and is in NEED of a legitimate recovery. They have helped my find peace in the fact that there is happiness on the heavier side, and that I CAN become free from the restrictions and guilt of food.
4. Infertility – I haven’t had a regular menstrual period since high school. I haven’t had a period at all for 2 years and 3 months. Yes, part of this is due to the fact that I miraculously managed to accidentally conceive a child and bring a wonderful baby girl into this world (which I successfully breastfed for 12 months). But by all means, if I was healthy I would have my period back by now. My husband and I have a deep desire for a large family now, and we really hoped we could have our kids about two years apart. Obviously not happening thanks to me. Despite the fact that my weight is “normal” by conventional standards, my body is letting me know that I have not nourished it well enough to sustain the creation of another human being.
5. Mental Health – I used to be a seriously happy carefree person as a teenager. I wouldn’t say I was the nicest or most considerate person in the world – but I did what I wanted and it made me happy. I didn’t let others’ perceptions determine my actions. Quite frankly I didn’t give a rat’s ass what other people thought about me. I long for this feeling again. I think this eating problem plays a huge role in my relationship with myself and with others. I want spontaneity and joy back in my life – I don’t want to feel like the world is coming to an end when a certain meal, activity, or workout doesn’t go according to plan. I just want to be free from it! (I also think 7 Habits will help with this tremendously!)
6. My daughter – The last thing I want to do is to pass this curse along to anyone else in this world. My daughter learns virtually everything by observing what I do. She is already genetically predisposed to developing some sort of disordered eating pattern in her lifetime, and my heart just breaks to picture her going through these struggles when she deserves so much better. I can think about all the times she’s offered me a bite of her food and I replied with “no, I already ate” or “I can’t eat that.” WHAT WHAT I THINKING!??! Gah, this behavior is stopping IMMEDIATELY. As if a bite of banana is going to make a dang difference. Bottom line, I am blessed with the responsibility of helping her develop a healthy relationship with food and body image. I’m gonna do it right!
And that’s it in a nutshell! I plan to post more later about my personal situation and my methods for recovery. But I think discussing my reasons is a good way to strengthen my commitment to the process and help remind me of the importance of it all when the going gets tough. I’m sure this journey will be filled with ups and downs, but right now I am excited and hopeful for my future.