Written by Fern
I know this a topic that isn’t brought up during recovery as it tends to feed into negativity and isn’t useful however desperate sufferers wish to talk about it. I am not here to talk numbers or comparisons but to share an experience I had recently that was very empowering for me. I am still processing this and having little realizations every day and above all I am praising myself a lot and am in such awe and pride at who I am. I wanted to share to firstly talk it through for myself and secondly most importantly show myself and any readers how far my own thinking has come, how working on oneself repeatedly and change thought patterns. I amazed at myself because what I thought my biggest perceived fear was would make me less and worthless when in fact it no longer holds me back, hinders me and most importantly did not affect my worth and value in myself.
So I will put into context my situation without going into too much detail. And remember, regardless of the situation it’s the whole experience, attitude and outcome which is most important. So, I am almost 8 months pregnant, a complete surprise and blessing in itself. And so far my journey has been great, I have embraced the journey and thanked every day for this miracle through recovery. Through my pregnancy I have been weighed which is standard to make sure baby is growing etc. And from day one I was aware I would put on weight but I didn’t want to know a number, my GP weighed me and would just tell me yup all good. I just did not want to know numbers, it’s not useful to me and with a long history of ED I just didn’t want any unnecessary old anchors. Coming from a past of ED I choose through recovery never to be a number and to just be. However, I knew my weight coming into pregnancy through accidentally a doctor telling me. At the time I just said it is what it is, it has no attachment to who I am and I moved on. Recently again the nurse told me my weight when I asked her not to and I discovered I have a stone put on. Now let me tell you my initial feeling. It actually ranged from happiness that thank god I am doing everything right for the baby, to a feeling of edgy inner shaky panic. Up to now I never knew a thing and was happy with this. I admit it shook me a bit to say it out loud as I had in my head at one point associated weight gain with ugly, failure, less, nothing. So initially I felt thrown and an edgy, nervous fearful feeling. Even though I felt uneasy no significant thought came to mind like in the past, it would have been shame, dirt, bad, less, useless etc etc… So I took deep breaths and I told myself I had two choices. Either bottle it feed into something that has absolutely no significance or express it. So I told my partner straight away and I told him I had worry and needed to talk with him as I knew I would feel better by it. I know he is non-judgmental and never sees me as a size or ED or anything. I also felt empowered as a woman and his partner and I trust him and it was ok that I wanted his assurance but as I told him my fears I realized I wasn’t just looking for assurance. I spoke with him all about my fear and realized that what I actually was afraid of was the feelings I had years ago in ED of self-loathing, a lack of self-worth, hatred etc etc. I just initially felt a fear of ED pain and trauma. I felt so empowered and proud telling him my worry without feeling stupid. I realised that my fear wasn’t completely based on size. This is amazing progress to talk to someone openly about something you felt years ashamed for. What I also realized is how much I have grown as my initial thought was not to restrict, a huge step forward if you ask me. I guess what I realized is that its ok to feel anxiety about this as firstly I am a woman but it’s also ok to talk about my fear to my partner. I was aware that I needed to share with him and deal with it rather than go on and on about it which is of no value or bottle it and use this as some sort of destruction. My thought pattern and sense of self have really been highlighted though this experience. What I realised is that weight gain is an old un useful anchor I had to lack of self-worth and loathing but now I have retrained my thoughts I have worked on myself and have enough self-belief and value to just let it go. It didn’t have the hold or the power like the past or I guess I choose not to give that power. It’s very easy to let negative thoughts take over if you choose to, but I have more belief in myself now to see myself as more than weight or size. And yes at times it is a little uncomfortable but I allow myself feel it, I allow myself to say its ok and that it will pass. I know I am worth a lot more than any number so I remind myself daily. It’s important for me now to feel myself care to empower this and to further enhance that sense of pride in who I am, nourish the soul. I am also aware that I talked with my partner about my worry and then made a decision to accept and let it there rather than every day brings it up again. Its only feeding into self-loathing negativity and I decided to make a decision and choose life rather than self-loathing. So its empowering to realize this as I had equated the idea of weight with less and loathing but because I have really worked for years on myself my thought pattern had evolved and so even though I felt edgy I never felt less. I felt empowered. What I kept thinking also is weight is only for baking. So I guess what I learnt and what I wanted to share is that through recovery you learn that life is worth far more than weight. That I am worth more than size and weight and what I was most afraid of was those horrible thoughts of self-loathing no longer serve me. It was lovely to realize that the first thought that entered my mind wasn’t to restrict or feel less. I choose recovery, I choose myself, I choose to believe in me. I choose life..