This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and I am proud to share that I was included in an article that just published today at Women’s Health, titled What It’s Like for Women With Eating Disorders to Be Pregnant.
#Nourish2016 — in full effect.
Of course, this title is a bit misleading in my personal case — as I’ve been fully recovered from my issues since for six years now, and was recovered almost two years prior to getting pregnant with my first child — but for some of the other women in the article, it made sense. And my side of the story was the other angle — how pregnancy encouraged me to continue on the path of wellness.
Excerpted from the article:
For some women, the desire to be a mother actually becomes motivation to get well.
Melissa Henriquez blogs about her eating disorder and body dysmorphia and has been pregnant twice. Melissa had been recovered from her disorders (which included over-exercising, restricting, orthorexia, and chewing and spitting) for two years before she first became pregnant.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t freak out about seeing the numbers go up so high at times…that was scary as hell for me,” says Melissa. While she alluded to her history of disordered eating with her first ob-gyn, he noticed her lack of weight gain and helped her with the process so that her previous habits would not resurface. She was very open with her next ob-gyn during her second pregnancy.
Despite all of this, Melissa still felt like she had to remind herself that the weight gain was necessary for the baby (and fine for herself). And she thinks it’s hard for any woman, with or without body dysmorphia or an eating disorder. “Having a history of disordered eating issues or an ED only complicates it ten-fold,” says Melissa, who, during both of her pregnancies took photos at eight months. “Seeing myself glowing and pregnant in photos really helped boost my self-esteem during an otherwise uncomfortable time,” says Melissa. “My belly became a piece of me. I don’t look at those pics with disdain; I look at them with pride.” Melissa says she still gets comments on her blog from women who can relate to what she went through and have the same anxieties over becoming pregnant.
I’m super proud to have been included in this piece, and to be able to present the “other side” — a success story.
I’m far from perfect and definitely have body image issues still — but I know my past is in my past … I have, in the words of Elsa, “let it go.”