10 signs that you may be a mom with an Eating Disorder
I talk a lot about Body image issues for kids and teens. Having been a teenager when my eating disorder issues started, I understand what it’s like to be growing into a body that seems inadequate and I know what it’s like to constantly wish to be thinner, prettier, smarter, funnier and more interesting. It sucks.
What I don’t talk about as often, but proved to be even more painful for me, was what it was like to have those feelings as grown woman…with children.
What made my eating disorder more disheartening as a parent was that I knew that it wasn’t just affecting me, but was now impacting the lives of my children and the GUILT from that was unbearable.
While I’m grateful that my kids were young enough to be somewhat oblivious to the pain I was in, I’m also aware that while they couldn’t understand what was happening, their version of “normal” had become somewhat warped, and that was my fault.
An Eating Disorder is about much more than food; it affects you physically,emotionally and spiritually. Life had dealt me some pretty heavy blows and for years the physical pain from what I did to myself with food, either by restricting it or binging on it, was easier to accept than the emotional pain I was avoiding. I battled this disorder during some of my teens, all of my twenties and part of my thirties. It finally reached a point where I had given up on myself. I was tired of fighting and feeling like everytime I managed to pick myself up, life would sucker punch me in the gut yet again. I was exhausted, but even though I had given up on myself, I could not give up on my boys. They needed their mom, they DESERVED their mom and I needed to be here for them.
I didn’t just want to exist, I wanted to be the type of mother that my mom had been to me. I wanted them to grow up with an abundance of memories of our family laughing, playing, dancing and just enjoying life. A few years ago, I found the help I needed and worked my butt off to get well and I thank God every day that I did.
My boys are now 10 and 13 years old and they know all about the craziness we lived through, because they’ve heard me tell my story many times, but they are just “stories” to them because the mom I am now is a far cry from the mom I once was. Thank Goodness.
Our society is obsessed with food and diets. Countless magazines, billboards and TV commercials tell us on a daily basis why we should lose weight and how to do it. As a result, too many of us have lost faith in who are and concentrate instead on what we look like.
Not all of us have taken it to the extremes that I have..but just in case you’re wondering…
10 signs that you may be a Mom with an Eating Disorder:
1. You avoid family functions because you don’t feel you look good enough to be seen.
2. Your children think they have your attention, but all you can think about is what you’ve eaten, are eating, or are going to eat.
3. On your way to a restaurant for dinner, your child asks, “Are you eating today, Mommy…or just watching?”
4. You have to CRAWL to your kids’ bedrooms to tuck them in at night because you’re either too weak from starving or too full from binging.
5. You leave your house at midnight, while the rest of the family’s asleep, to walk to the 24hour gym, an hour away and workout for 2 hours before walking home, in the dark, alone.
6.You discover that the child safety gates that your kids have outgrown are no longer packed away, but have been reinstalled by your husband so he could hear you sneaking downstairs to the kitchen to make pancakes at 2am.
7. While walking through Canada’s Wonderland wearing a bikini top, your son points to the bones of your spine poking out and yells,” Look, Mommy’s a DINOSAUR!”
8.You’ve never been on a family vacation where a bathing suit was required. Ever.
9. You find yourself having to convince your kids that they DID, in fact, already finish all their Halloween candy, while you hide the wrappers in your underwear drawer.
10. The food that you’re binging on, restricting yourself from or purging over is keeping you from enjoying the life you deserve and deeply want to have.
Here’s the GOOD news: Mother’s are incredibly strong human beings, even when they can’t see it themselves. There’s a gut instinct that will keep us fighting for our children’s well being, no matter what. It’s this need to take care of my kids that led me to the help I needed and gave me the courage to get well.
This disorder is tough…but we’re tougher.
“Self-worth should not be measured in pounds!”