I am no stranger to having an eating disorder. I’ve dealt with anorexia for a number of years, struggling to keep my weight under control and my mental health balanced simultaneously. When I became pregnant, however, it became much harder to manage both conditions at the same time.
At first, I was extremely terrified about how carrying a baby would affect my eating disorder. Being mindful of my caloric intake had become such a habit that even when I tried to ignore it during pregnancy it felt like a huge burden on me. That only increased as the baby grew inside me, making it hard for me to rationalize needing more food while also being afraid of gaining too much weight.
I decided I wasn’t going to let this fear gain control over me, so every week I worked closely with a team of specialists in order to monitor my nutrition during this process. They gave me nutritional advice based on what’s best for both me and the baby – which helped immensely since most information sources usually just focus on one exclusionary aspect or the other (which can be discouraging). Working with them also made sure that whenever doubt or disordered thoughts started creeping in, they gave me the support and validation I needed in order to better understand and process them.
The journey through pregnancy has definitely been difficult- but ultimately very rewarding! Reaching out for help by speaking openly with professionals was key for adjustments when healthy changes weren’t happening on their own. It has been empowering learning how to protect both myself and my growing child despite having an ongoing battle with anorexia.