What We Are Praised ForSeptember 21, 2020
Content warning: disordered eating / eating disorders / malnutrition / body
When I was losing hair I related it back to what happened during postpartum and didn’t think anything of it.
When I felt cold all the time, it made sense to me because I lost weight and lost my “insulation”. So yeah, I was cold.
When I was exhausted, I felt that was normal because I was working so much, and a mom of 3.
When I lost feeling in my legs, I decided it was because I crossed my legs too much, even tho the doctor said it was bones on nerves from being so thin.
When I would be bloated, I would take laxatives to clear out my system, blaming my IBS repeatedly. I became reliant on them.
When my bloodwork came back deficient, I just figured I needed more vitamins.
Today I read a post about malnourishment and how it looks and appears on an adult body and these memories came rushing back as I checked off the list one by one.
In the quest to become thin, and stay thin, I was malnourished. But malnourishment doesn’t just exist for those in thin bodies. Eating disorders don’t just exist for those in thin bodies either.
In the US alone, it’s estimated that approx 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from eating disorders at some point in their lives.
For malnutrition, it can develop from both under-nutrition, (common with anorexia nervosa), and overnutrition, which can often be the case in binge eating disorders.
I was a weight loss success story.
A before and after.
Praised for my ability to self control.
The truth being a swinging from one disordered eating pattern to another. Blaming my body for its sicknesses, instead of seeking help for my mental health.
Have I healed yet?
No. I don’t think so.
My changing body and ever present fears tell me I haven’t. But I’m pushing. I’m striving. I’m showing up every day. Some days confidently, some days more honestly with the reality of not having it all together.
But my hair is thick, I’m no longer cold, I’m tired but not exhausted, I can feel my legs, I can poop, my bloodwork came back normal.