I Am Recovered...i Think.

I have had self-esteem issues since I was a child. I can remember being about seven years old and comparing bodies with my best friend; whose legs were fatter, etc. It was the summer after seventh grade that I started starving myself, and it would continue, off and on for the next 13 years. I am now 23 years old. It started out pretty innocently. Mostly, I would starve myself during the summer when school was out. I was never really bullied in school...I just hated myself. It was as simple as that. So every year about the same time, I would plan my diet. It usually consisted of seeing how long I could go without food. I would lose about ten pounds and be satisfied, and then I would start to eat again. But about two years ago, when I had just turned 22, things got bad. And I mean really bad. I was living with my boyfriend, and he got a job that demanded most of his time and attention. He worked nights and I was always alone. For whatever reason, my feelings about curing emptiness were always "lose weight, you'll feel better." So that's what I decided to do. As usual, my plan was to starve myself, and that's what I did. It started out with me eating something small every other day. I started slowly losing weight, and the more I lost, the more I wanted to lose. One day of starvation turned into six consecutive days a week. I reserved Sundays for eating one meal. Every other day, I allowed myself nothing but coffee. I was losing weight really fast, about 30 pounds in two months. I was miserable, both physically and emotionally. I avoided family and friends because I didn't want to be bothered about my weight loss. They were worried, and I knew it. Eventually, I got fired from my job. I would later find out that it was because my boss assumed that my rapid weight loss was due to drugs (which I have never used). After that, I spent all of my time isolated in my basement, chain smoking and browsing the internet, exercising, and spending hours in front of the mirror criticizing the fat that I still thought was covering my body. Anybody in a similar situation probably knows that your body image is distorted when you are in the depths of an eating disorder. Standing at 5'8", I only weighed 110 pounds. My hair was falling out, my bones were showing through my over-stretched skin, and I was miserably pale. Eventually, my family and friends became so worried that they asked me to get help. By this time, I was sick of being sick. I wanted to be happy again, so I agreed to go to the doctor. This would start the year I spent in recovery. I started outpatient treatment with a therapist who specialized in eating disorders. She sent me to a nutritionist and a new medical doctor, who also specialized in eating disorders. I won't lie, treatment was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But slowly, I started to get better. I was gaining weight and working on my self esteem, although I was still having a terrible time with food. I saw my therapist three times a week, my nutritionist once a week, and my doctor every two weeks. It was so demanding, it literally consumed my life. I will admit, it made it really hard to focus on anything other than my eating disorder. My weight went up and down for a while, until May of last year. After 10 years with inconsistent periods, I apparently had become healthy enough to become pregnant, because that's what happened. It is now January...eight and a half months later, and my daughter is due in four weeks. This is officially the worst I have ever felt about myself. The weight gain has been so difficult, not to mention the stretch marks that have come with gaining weight so rapidly. But I eat anyway, even though I don't always want to. Ever since finding out I was pregnant, there wasn't really any question. I just know I have to do it, for my baby. My concern now is what will happen after the baby is born, and I am desperate to lose all of this pregnancy weight. I have reassured everyone that it won't be an issue, that I won't put my life in danger when I have another little life that depends on me. But sometimes I just don't know for sure. I want to be healthy for my child, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life hating my body. Anybody out there with a similar experience?
An Ep User An EP User
Jan 20, 2013