The final countdown….

Baby girl numero deux is almost here, just three short weeks if everything (as it always does – insert wee wink) goes absolutely, perfectly according to plan.

In the throws of my eating disorder almost 20 years ago, the thought of getting pregnant never even entered my mind. Despite what “experts” would tell me about the permanent damage I may be doing to my body; the fact that if I kept clinging to ED I may never be able to have children….I (and by “I” I really mean ED as we were so entwined, him and I) picked my eating disorder, over the possibility of new life sometime in my distant future. What silly, childish, immature, irrational yet perfectly ED thinking.

And that, my friends, is the power of an addiction, of an illness, of ED. What could be more precious than a newborn baby?  Yet, even that, was not reason enough for me to continue, every day, my constant need for perfection, for control. ED is strong, stronger than you can possibly imagine, but through all of this, I realized that there is someone stronger than ED, someone that before my life even began, was watching over me, knowing that I would go through trials and frustrations and life breaking, heart aching pains, someone who would lead me through my eating disorder and allow me to regain health, to help others and now…..to be a mother to two of the most precious gifts I could ever have dreamed of. Now, ’tis by the grace of and because of my God that I sit and write about my second pregnancy.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder and life seems exhausting cling to the hope that ED does not have to run, ruin or have control of your life. Be strong and know, as Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

May peace be upon you this holiday season.

Insta-great!

If there is one single thing that scares me about raising a daughter in this world, it is how accessible the technological world is around her.

She is already a child genius when it comes to operating my iphone to play educational games that I have downloaded for her, and I am sure, at around age 5, she’ll likely be able to set up her own Twitter account to tweet all her kindergarten peeps about what mama packed her in her bento box at school today.

It’s absolutely terrifying what is posted on the world wide web these days, and with such ease. My three year old daughter already knows how to go onto You Tube and watch her favorite cartoon, I know it will likely only be a matter of time before she is coming across totally inappropriate material, just by chance.

That is why I am so grateful that companies like Instagram are including statements like this:

Don’t promote or glorify self-harm: While Instagram is a place where people can share their lives with others through photographs, any account found encouraging or urging users to embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or to cut, harm themselves, or commit suicide will result in a disabled account without warning. We believe that communication regarding these behaviors in order to create awareness, come together for support and to facilitate recovery is important, but that Instagram is not the place for active promotion or glorification of self-harm.

in their community guidelines.

Good for you Instagram. Let’s just hope the rest of the internet world follows in your lovely footsteps.

Please read the blog that inspired this post:

http://greatist.com/health/instagram-banned-hashtags#pane-node-comment-form

 

Hide the bump!

*SIDE BAR: This entry may be served with a side of sarcasm*

If there is one thing pregnant women and brand new moms definitely need to hear more about it’s how quickly we can lose the weight we gain in pregnancy.

Flip through any number of tabloid magazines and you will be sure to find an article (or three) that glamourize how quickly new Hollywood moms have shed those pesky pregnancy pounds, like they were evil baggage that needed to be cast away into eternal darkness. Heaven forbid anyone should think that a parent’s most precious gift in the world should cost you 25-30 healthy pounds over 9 months! No, let no one think you gained ANYTHING! Perhaps don’t even leave the maternity ward until you can fit back into your pre-pregnacy jeans. May I suggest a strict diet of green hospital Jell-O to return you back to skinny jean size.

Hollywood, how about writing about how new moms are REALLY doing? How about letting us into the post-pardom that new moms may be feeling? How about letting us know how those first few days of breastfeeding can bring a whole new kinda pain! How about those sleepless nights…..oh wait, there are Hollywood wet nurses for that right – you don’t know about those sleepless nights.

No surprise we are hearing about more cases of pregorexia, emerge as we continue to be bombarded with social media that wants to erase any sign that we may have carried a child for 9 precious months of our lives.

Find out more information about pregorexia and gain insight through one women’s story here http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/987779/pregorexia-eating-disorders-and-pregnancy

Sticks & stones may break my bones but words change a diagnosis

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a tool health care professionals use to diagnose psychiatric disorders. To be diagnosed one must meet the minimum, strictly defined criteria as outlined in the DSM.

The 5th edition of the DSM was published on May 18, 2013 (the 4th version came out in 1994). In this newest version, they have omitted the weight requirements to be diagnosed as anorexic to encourage clinicians to use their own judgement to decide whether a patient’s weight is significantly low. In addition, in earlier versions of the DSM a requirement of amenorrhea (loss of menstrual periods for at least three month) needed to be met to diagnose anorexia nervosa, where as in the new version of the DSM it does not. This means that many people who we view as clearly having anorexia today would not have received the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa before the release of the most recent version of the DSM – based solely on some words that changed in a book.

This challenges the notion that eating disorders depend largely on ones weight or appearance and instead moves to the idea that anyBODY is capable to house a tumultuous, life robbing, eating disorder.

Life Without Ed

For those of you who have not heard the name Jenni Schaefer before, I would highly encourage you to get to know her name. She is an ambassador with with National Eating Disorders Association, a gifted singer and song writer, and a survivor of disordered eating.

In her amazing book “Life Without Ed” she writes short, concise chapters dedicated to divorcing oneself from an eating disorder – or “Ed”.

To think about an eating disorder in the context of a tumutulous, controlling, abusive relationship as Jenni describes in her book gives one a sense that they can say “no” to the voice of Ed in their head. Ed is persuasive, smooth, convincing, attractive, comforting and familiar – just to name a few characteristics; however, he is also oppressive, manipulative, lying, deceitful, vindictive and ultimately, deadly.

They say it takes an abused woman and average of seven times to leave her partner, with Ed, life may not be that much different for those that try to separate from him on their own. Yet, for those that have a “safe house” to run to, including a support system that includes family, friends and a team of eating disorder specialists and the self determination to divorce Ed and live the life they dreamed of, a life of freedom and fulfillment, it doesn’t have to take more than one shot at separating yourself from Ed. Yes, there may be setbacks, relapse and plain ol’ bad days, but ultimately, with diligence and an unwavering commitment to health, Ed can be left in the dust and life can be lived to the full.

Check out more of Jenni Schaefer at http://www.jennischaefer.com/