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I have battled anorexia on and off for about 12 years now. I considered myself "recovered" about a year and a half ago. I waited around a year to be sure that I would be healthy enough and not slip back into my old eating habits until I TTC. I was a little hesitant about pregnancy because I knew that as recovered as I was I would reach a point when I would have a meltdown and freak about my weight gain. I reached 150 lbs not too long ago and I've started going nuts.<br><br>
Let me give a little history about my anorexia...it's not what people usually think of when they think anorexic. I ate just enough to survive. By survive, I mean pass out. I could never go a whole day without eating (most likely because I had no fat or energy reserves) but would usually get away with a small meal like a bean burrito or something like that. I knew exactly what the minimum amount my body needed to survive and I gave it that and no more.<br><br>
I don't know what to do. I've found myself slipping back into my old eating habits. I'm eating more than I used to, but I know I'm not eating enough. I've tried to get help, but I'm too embarassed when it comes down to it and can't bring myself to ask. I did get a referral to a nutritionist, but I don't know if that's really going to help me. I know what I need to eat. I know when I need to eat, but I just can't bring myself to eat. The baby is still growing fine and he's as strong as ever, but I know it's going to affect him if I'm not careful...but most of all it's really going to affect me and I want to be healthy.<br><br>
I just don't know what to do...I can't even stand to look at myself in the mirror because every time I do all I can see is that my breasts are big and a little saggy and I have stretch marks on them. My butt is absolutely enormous and there are stretch marks all over it and my thighs. My stomach is fine...I love the fact that it's getting bigger. My arms are getting chubby and I have a little pooch of fat where my arms meet my torso. I can't stop obsessing about how terrible I look...and this makes me depressed.<br><br>
I guess what I really want is someone who's BTDT to just offer advice and support. Don't flame me...I flame myself everyday of my life (which is why I have this problem in the first place). I don't need to hear what a bad person I am or lectured...I know. Trust me...I know.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> No lectures from me. I haven't been where you are. I'm in the recovery part, but I haven't been pregnant. I just wanted to say 'hi' and thank you for writing. I'd like to see what people say as well.<br><br>
Have you researched much into pregnancy body changes? If you haven't gone there, I suggest it. There's a lot of information about how your body temporarily changes your metabolism to be more efficient (very similar to when an anorexic is in a cycle), and about how there is a specific distribution of tissue to areas, and your body will do it no matter what you're eating or how much. These changes are really cool since they are only during pregnancy, and somehow, your body knows how to go back afterwards.<br>
I have some wonderful stories about anorexic moms and healthy babies if you want to hear. I'd PM them to you because they are not about me, but about someone else.<br>
One physical suggestion is to buy some stretchy body suits with sleeves. It helps hold the body in, so parts that shouldn't touch don't. I don't like it when skin touches after I determine that skin shouldn't be close enough to touch.<br>
I have one of these:<br><a href="http://www.sierratradingpost.com/product.ASP?wc=true&base_no=15231&dept_id=&est=" target="_blank">http://www.sierratradingpost.com/pro...&dept_id=&est=</a><br><a href="http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/asp/base_no.12100/dept_id./est./qx/product.htm" target="_blank">http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/...qx/product.htm</a>
 

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Shyly, I just want to send you my love. I had battled eating disorders for about 13 or so years before having my first son. I had considered myself recovered somewhat before getting pregnant as well. I have to admit that it wasnt easy for me. I gained some comfort in just surrendering to the whole process. Knowing that I was doing it for my child gave me motivation. The opportunity to educate myself on proper nutrition and doing it for such an important reason was amazing. ( dare I say obsessing on another aspect of food) By the end of my pregnanacy I loved how round I got.If I am completely honest I really believe that our bodies will hold on to a bit more fat storage in case of future famine. The hardest part was after, and I still find myself battling those urges when I am down.I really hope that you have great care through your pregnancy and support and love around you. I will be there for support if you need me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I wasn't anorexic for very long (four or five years is all) and when i got preggo with DD I managed to totally convince myself that I was fine gaining weight . . . 70 pounds of weight! Then afterwards when I had trouble losing it, I got so so so depressed and slipped back into my old ways. I ended up losing all but about five or ten pounds of the wieght before I got pregnant again and I am trying to be healthy this time. I feel like I am now, but I still will just cry sometimes when i see the numbers on the scale going up, even though I haven't gained too much. I think the key is finding a balance. Gainng enough to be healthy, but not so much that it triggers the anorexia all over again once you have the baby. I keep trying to remind myself that the wieght is good for the baby and that I'm not gaining too much this time around, but it is hard. I am never going to have the lean, sleek, muscular body that I once had . . . I'm just not. Even if I lose all of my weight, my body will never be the same because of stretchmarks, saggy skin, changing breast size, etc. That is a really hard thought to swallow. But I just remind myself daily why I am gaining wieght, but I amso use it to motivate myself to get out of bed an hour early and go running. The whole balance thing again. I hope you can find peace with this . . . I feel like I have found and lost peace with it many time this pregnancy. But you just keep trying. Good luck, and it sounds like there are several here who understand. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br>
Aprilynne
 

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<span>First, stop flaming yourself!</span> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
You are a good person, and your concern about keeping yourself and your baby healthy will keep you going. It is so hard to push away old habits, both physical ones and mental/emotional ones, and it sounds like you are doing great!<br>
This habit of not eating/enough is so hard to kick! I've complained so many times to DH about how hard it is to kick a habit of NOT doing something: if you smoke, you can replace that with chewing gum or something. This is so different! It feels normal not to eat/much, it's a hassle to find good food, it's hard to even remember to seek out food on a regular basis...<br><br>
I felt like I was mostly/sort of recovered for about three years when I got pregnant with DD (#1). The morning sickness made it sooooooooo hard! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> -right when I was down on myself more than ever for not eating well, I felt sick on top of it. I felt like a terrible, terrible mom.<br>
So I focused on eating exactly what I wanted, when I wanted, and that got me through the sick times... but then as I started to gain weight, the freakouts started all over again. This is what helped:<br><br>
-I got rid of my scale. I only weigh myself at other people's houses. (okay, I admit, I know who has them, and exactly where <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> )<br><br>
-I sat down with a bunch of fashion magazines and made a huge collage. I cut out women I thought looked good, and those I thought looked absurdly thin. (funny, they don't look very different from each other <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: ) I pasted their bodies all over this big piece of paper and sat back and tried to let it sink in: it may be nice to be that skinny, but it is not forever, and that is <span style="text-decoration:underline;">a good thing.</span> Those women are not healthy, and they will either 1) gain some weight eventually, and live normal, healthy lives or 2) try to maintain that state and be very unhealthy. It can be easier for me to see that for other people than for myself, and it helps to acknowledge that.<br><br>
-I did see a nutritionist, and the main value of it for me was simply talking to someone about what I had put myself through in the past, and what was happening during the pregnancy. Someone who was less shrinky, "let's talk about your feelings," and more "let's see how we can get more nutrition into you in ways that aren't so scary for you." (not to dismiss the value of counseling, of course!)<br><br>
-I started making a lot of protein shakes. I'd keep organic bananas in the freezer, and plunk some chunks in the blender with milk, chocolate syrup, and various nutritional/protein powders. I found it easier to get the liquid down than something I had to chew.<br><br>
-After a while, I started actually having an appetite. Until then, it seems like I had simply killed my hunger trigger. I never felt hungry, I'd just feel sick and lousy if too much time went by- and the sickness would further delay eating... on and on... ANYWAY, once I was 4 or 5 months pregnant, I had an appetite that would not be ignored or denied, and I had no option but to listen. It was wonderful, really, eating so often and finally feeling good about it. I got so I was feeling like a normal person! Well, a normal pregnant person, anyway. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
I gained 60 (!!!) pounds with DD, and my midwife was cheering me on all the way! (that reminds me: she usually has clients write down what they eat for a few days, and when I didn't do and admitted it really stressed me out, she said Then don't do it! just focus your energy on nutritious foods!- that was a wonderful relief, to have her support and understanding)<br>
I lost about 30 pounds when DD was born, and sadly, that appetite that made it so easy for me to eat on a regular basis vanished within weeks of her birth. She nursed constantly, and since my eating dropped off, the other 30 pounds seemed to vaporize. I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight within around three months. It was fun to look so much like myself again, but the reality of it was that I had to learn to eat well all over again.<br>
That was hard. I sort of relapsed for a while (PPD didn't help at all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> )<br><br>
Then when I had this giant, once-and-for-all, I AM GOING TO EAT WELL FROM NOW ON freakout, and started eating "normal" meals on a regular schedule, they went right through me. My body didn't seem to LIKE it!! Somehow I ended up going to my local acupuncturist, and it was like night and day! When I ate, my body actually used the food instead of sending right through (trying to avoid TMI <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ) It was wonderful.<br>
So I eat pretty well these days. I still don't keep a scale in the house, and I go back for installments with my wonderful acup., and I kept taking a prenatal all the way from DD1 through today, when I am 10 weeks preg, and pretty relaxed and happy about it! I seem to be right at that transition between morning sickness and being ready to eat every hour or so! It's fun.<br><br>
I sure didn't set out to write my life story here, but... WOW, just wanted to say, been there done that, and you will find the path that works for you and your baby, and<br><span>No More Flaming Yourself!</span> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<span style="font-size:xx-small;">Part of me feels like I don't have much right to even talk about this. I don't consider myself to have a "real" eating disorder. But I'm sort of... borderline bulimic. It's not enough that I would be diagnosed as a bulimic, according to medical standards, but there is certainly some kind of disorder.<br><br>
Anyway... it has never been treated. I don't think I'm actually recovered. But it's something that comes and goes for me, anyway. I'd struggle with it for a while, and then (for some reason) things would be okay. It was just... always back and forth.<br><br>
I can understand how you feel, at least. Personally... I have been doing SO well while I've been pregnant, and I'm really glad I can say that. However... it HAS been difficult as well. I've occasionally felt kind of... panicked. I know I've been eating too much, and that's the hardest thing to accept. I'm so used to being able to.... compensate if I need to, and the idea that everything I eat has to STAY IN... is scary.<br><br>
I guess I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone, I guess. If you'd ever like to talk... feel free to PM me anytime. If I can be of any support, I will! Try to take care of you as best you can.... baby needs you! As hard as it may be, it really will be worth it in the end.</span>
 

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Been there. Done that. Wish I could give you a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">.<br><br>
Something that was very meaningful to me in pregnancy was a focus on the good things my body was doing. After years of trying to manipulate it into being something that wasn't natural for it, I had no choice in pregnancy but to admit that my body was in control of itself. I detached a little in the first trimester and watched, amazed, as my body accepted a fertilized egg into my uterus, grew a sac and then a placenta to nurture it, increased my blood volume, changed my shape to accomodate a growing baby, and a dozen other things that happened without me doing ANYTHING. I could choose to obsess over whatever variables I wanted before that, but once I had that positive pregnancy test, I knew that my body was now in charge. And, to my amazement...<br><br>
...my body did a wonderful job! It kept that baby nourished, safe, warm, protected, and ALIVE. It got me through several moderate pregnancy complications and gave me the strength, even after weeks of no sleep due to a terrible pregnancy rash, to labor for 29 hours and push out a daughter. After she was born, without me doing anything, my body produced milk for that baby, helping her grow from 5lb 7oz to 10 pounds in less than 4 months. My body was AMAZING.<br><br>
Years of fighting, years of hating it, years of wishing I had someone else's body or even no body at all -- I can't say those emotions all went away after my experience of becoming a mother, but they became muted. Be amazed. You're doing an AMAZING thing.
 

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Please forgive me. While I have not been there done that, I was reading & thought maybe it would help you to know that it's normal to have a hard time eating enough or eating right. I think most of the people even without an eating disorder feel inadequate with our eating. Maybe we feel we are eating the wrong stuff or too much or not enough... Not too many pregnant women don't worry.<br><br>
Anyway, I hope somehow it will help you to know that. I sincerely hope you stop beating yourself up & know that you are doing the best any of us can do. You are going to be a great mom...<br>
Best of luck to you...
 

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i definately know how you feel. i'm preggo with baby number 1 and am having a hard time with the wieght gain. i've been anorexic since middle school. at the beginning of my pregnancy, i was about 30 pound under my "target" weight. i've since gained at least 10 pounds, which may as well be a hundred, as far as i'm concerned (especially after hearing so many women say they didn't gain an ounce the first trimester). even more than the actual pounds gained, my body has totally changed already (i'm 15 weeks along today.). for the first time in many years, i have an uncontrollable appetite. i am ravenous.<br>
i'm trying to be pragmatic about it. i wanted this baby dearly, and i will do whatever i have to, in order to ensure the baby's health. thankfully, my husband has been terrific, and in fact he likes the extra weight, and is hoping that i keep some of it after the baby is born. i am going to try to excercise the weight off, like normal people do, after the baby is born. also, and i know it isn't pc to say this, but i KNOW how to lose the weight later, if all else fails (i'm sure you do too) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"> . my eating disorder has always been about me, and i've always felt like i was entitled to self destruct, as i saw fit. BUT the next 6(ish) months are all about the baby. i just keep telling myself that. somehow, i'll cross all those other bridges when i get to them, and so will you, i'm sure.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nitemarehippygirl</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">also, and i know it isn't pc to say this, but i KNOW how to lose the weight later, if all else fails (i'm sure you do too) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"> . my eating disorder has always been about me, and i've always felt like i was entitled to self destruct, as i saw fit. BUT the next 6(ish) months are all about the baby.</div>
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I have to jump in here and say something -- it is said from the perspective of someone who has been where you are, who can COMPLETELY hear what you're saying and wanting and imagining. It is said with love and true compassion, but also honesty:<br><br><b>The rest of your <i>life</i> is about the baby.</b><br><br>
It's not just the pregnancy that needs you to care for yourself. You need to be healthy for your child so you can care for him/her, so that you can set an example that you'd want the child to follow, so that you can enjoy your child's life and yours, and so that the cycle is broken for the sake of you and your whole family. It's crucial for your child's physical well-being that you eat well and enough now, while s/he is inside you -- but it's also important that you start to look for reasons why you deserve that care and personal health even when you are not carrying and nursing a baby.<br><br>
I have a daughter. The thought of her seeing my attitudes toward food as something to emulate makes me shudder. I will NOT let her grow up in a disordered home. That was what got me started in becoming healthy. Feeling good and enjoying the world has kept me there.<br><br>
Again, all of this is with love -- please care for yourself because ALL of you deserve it.
 

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Hey,<br><br>
I had anorexia aged 15-20 abo, then had my first baby at 28- so lots of "recovered" time in between, but I do know it's hard.<br><br>
Here's what advice I have:<br>
1. Try to eat all or mostly healthy food, this will improve your nutrition, even if your calories are a little on the low side.<br><br>
2. Take multivitamins and calcium/magnesium daily.<br><br>
3. Don't stress over eating all the servings the books say. When I was pg I aimed for 2-3 servings of dairy and protein per day (not 4 like the books advise) and my baby was still 1.5 lbs larger than any of my mother's, and healthy as a horse.<br><br>
4. Buy yourself some nice maternity clothes- even if it's only one or two outfits, get some clothes you feel attractive wearing. Nowadays they make stretchy, fitted maternity stuff that you can wear even if you're barely showing. It'll probably be more flattering than larger-sized clothes.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I had an ed for years, but (even though "they" say this never happens) being with DH actually cured me. I count myself as very lucky and when I think about it, I am in awe.<br><br>
I was recovered when I was PG with DD, but I remember my OB commenting in a negative way that I'd gained 5 lbs instead of 4 one month. I felt this was a trigger, and immediately started thinking those icky thoughts. Then, in a moment of empowerment, I thought . . .how DARE that doctor dictate my hunger and body with a #$%@% scale!!!! I got mad at her (well, in my head) and myself for even considering jeopardizing the baby. My thoughts never came back. If you're going to get mad at anyone, don't pick yourself--pick an OUTSIDE source and act like a bad, mad Mama Bear protecting your cub.<br><br>
Here's something else you may want to consider . . . when I was going through HS and college, I thought. A lot. The world became a big, scary place to worry and get depressed about. Finally it dawned on me . . .I didn't HAVE to think about it. I would suggest this to you: don't look in the mirror, and don't ever step on the scale (THROW it away if you have one). When you go to the doctor/MW, TELL them you have an ed and you do not want to know your weight. This won't make the ed go away, of course, but staring at yourself and the scale will only serve to trigger things you just don't need.<br><br>
As other mamas mentioned, giving birth was the absolute most amazing experience. I felt like crying, thinking of how much I'd put my poor body through and hating it when all along it was so perfect . . .it HAD to be perfect because it gave me the most incredible gift of my daughter. If you head on over to the TTC board where some women having been TTC for years, you may catch a glimmer of what it is like to actually appreciate your body for allowing you this gift of pregnancy.<br><br>
As a PP said, I have a DD, too. I am so, so, SO thankful that my ed is long gone so that I can be with <b>her</b>, not my ed. Please find help-- you and your future child deserve it.<br><br>
PM me if you ever need support!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/guilty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="guilty"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><br><br>
Well put.
 

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<b>The rest of your <i>life</i> is about the baby.</b><br><br>
definately true. i had a hard time earlier getting exactly what i wanted to say out. i see now that you might have taken what i said to mean that after the pregnancy, i'm free to do whatever i want without consequences. that isn't what i think.<br>
what i meant is this: in all probability, i will probably have the ed forever, sometimes getting better, sometimes getting worse. if and when things get worse for me in the future, or i flip out and fall off the wagon again, so to speak, i will try to get better, as i always have. i cannot, at this point, guarentee that i will not flip out after the baby is born, and starve some of the weight off. i'm hoping it doesn't come to that, but i know it is a posibility (i know that sounds awful to say, and while i'm not condoning it, anyone who is really struggling with an eating disorder would have to agree that in the back of their mind, it's ALWAYs a possibility), and it's one i have to deal with later. my sister, who has been involved with alcoholics/narcotics anonymous, tells me that they have a saying "just for today". supposedly, what it means is that you cannot say with certainty whether you'll be sober in a week, six months or 10 years. but you can decide that you will be sober, just for today. i guess that is the stance i've taken with the ed, and pregnancy. i can't say what the future holds, but i can say with certainty that i will not allow my eating disorder to deprive my unborn baby. i can at least commit that far.<br>
it is my hope that i will actually come out of pregnancy feeling better about myself, not worse, and that things will not be as hard afterward. if i were to have a daughter, i would absolutely not want to pass on my self hatred to her, or a son for that matter, and i will do whatever i can to prevent that.<br><br>
i guess what i was getting at earlier, is that a lot of people have responded to my pregnancy (knowing about my ed,) essentially by saying, "well suck it up and get over it, you're gonna get fat, maybe forever, blah blah." eek, what a scarey and impossible proposition for someone with an active ed. to me, it's more manageable to say, hold yourself together until the baby is born, and then you can start worrying about the aftermath (hopefully in a healthy way...)afterall, worrying about it now isn't going to make it any easier, but it might make pregnancy a miserable time for you and the baby.<br><br>
i wish i could have come into this pregnancy without any baggage at all, but as far as i can tell, everyone has something they have to struggle with.<br><br>
mommyofshmoo: i agree about the last part. i finally went out and purchased a few maternity shirts last night. they look much better than the illl fitting clothes i've been wearing (regular clothes several sizes too big).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nitemarehippygirl</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">[what i meant is this: in all probability, i will probably have the ed forever, sometimes getting better, sometimes getting worse.</div>
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Obviously I'm not dead yet (so there's no guarantee the ed won't come back at some point) but I just can't see it in my life again. I NEVER would have believed this. My dad was an alcoholic who never got help (he died when I was 13) so I learned a lot about addictions early on. On purpose, I wrote tham I am RECOVERED versus RECOVERING which is what most support groups tell you to say.<br><br>
This is a post not related to pregnancy and anorexia, just eds in general . . .there truly, truly is hope. You do not have to be locked into the hell forever . . .and it is hell. I'm not using it as a swear word-- those of you who've been here know it's thisclose to being literally true. I urge all of you to get help to free yourself.<br><br>
One of the biggest things that helped me was to take responsibility for it. This sounds simplistic, but it is very difficult. I had meds, therapists, was hospitalized, etc., but I kept expecting someone else to do the work for me (not consciously). Everything I read told me the ed would always be there, which is somewhat of a daunting prospect, even if you take it one day or even one second of a time.<br><br>
Finally, I realized how beautiful taking reponsibility was . . .sure, it was a burden, in a sense, but it also gave me a sense of positive power that it WAS within my reach to change. It was a process that happened very, very slowly, and I do think all of the help I got in the past was of use. I finally chose to live . . .everytime I chose the ed over anything else, I was chosing death . . .of my body and soul. I can't say I love how my body looks, but you better believe that I respect it, and ultimately, that is what counts. I have cried thinking of all the precious time I've wasted on the ed, time that could have been spent being with people I loved. We don't get that time back . . . and once you have a child or have lost someone to death, you realize this even more deeply.<br><br>
We all know this is not about weight. As soon as you start saying anything about being fat or whatever, shut that voice up and ask yourself the real meaning behind the voice . . .is it saying "I'm scared?" "I can't do this?" As soon as you start blaming "feeling fat" (as my mom says, feeling fat isn't a feeling . . . and she's right) you know you're off track and no way, no how will you find peace. Get OFF the topic of weight because, like I said, IT'S NOT ABOUT WEIGHT and don't EVER lie to yourself that it is.<br><br>
Support, love, and hugs all around!
 

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I just want to give a big <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to everyone. hearing my thoughts (good and bad) come out of someone elses mouth (or keyboard I guess<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">) is so comforting on so many different levels.<br>
Aprilynne
 
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