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Body Image, Bulimia, and a Beautiful Baby Boy (Katie)

July 23, 2008

I struggled with my weight all my life. I struggled with a viscous eating disorder that ruled my every moment, and nearly killed me. I was 106 pounds, and had no menstrual cycle to speak of, fainting spells, seizures, ulcers, and heart problems. Eventually I got more confident, thanks to my (now) husband, and started getting healthy. I got to 120 pounds, started ovulating again, stopped drinking, and got happy. After 3 years together, he asked me to marry him. Shortly after that, we got pregnant. Getting pregnant with my baby boy was the most miraculous thing to me. As a teenager, I had a miscarriage. I was not in a place in my life where I could have handled parenthood. I was irresposible, immature, and unhealthy. Regardless, that was MY baby, and it was gone. I was haunted for years about the baby that might have been. I was devastated. when we got pregnant, I was so afraid that it could happen again. My mother had 6 miscarriages before she got pregnant with me. I threw out any lingering eating habits that threatened my child, and put my baby above all else. I had gotten healthy and my binging/purging had mellowed out, but I was still trapped in the cycle. As soon as i knew I was pregnant, however, I threw a wheel in the gears and stomped on the brakes. Part of letting that go was eating frequently, and being comfortable with food because it was for my son. I snacked almost constantly, and refused to let myself throw up. after that many years, it was a hard thing. It was a shock, I had a few panic attacks, and a few crying fits. But i was adamant. It was all in the name of my baby, and that gave me all the strength I needed. I was five months pregnant when we were married. we had to set the wedding ahead, because my great big beautiful belly was so big doctors first thought i was having twins. I gained over 70 pounds during my pregnancy. I went from 120, to 190 the day I gave birth to my beautiful boy. He was my miracle, and every tiny inch of his perfect little life was worth every pound I gained and more. After he was born, I lost 30 pounds almost right away. between hormones, breast feeding, and lack of appetite, they just melted off. But once I got stronger and more active, the weight just stopped going away. my clothes stopped getting looser. It just slowed to a halt. I was upset at first, and in denial. During pregnancy I had been able to snuff my insecurities with my confidence that my body knew exactly what it was doing. I guess I just expected my body to take care of it, and when It didn’t I didn’t know how to handle it. I held as hard as I could to my new found confidence in my figure, and how it had all been for an amazing cause, and there was absolutely no reason to fret at all about my body image. However, bit by bit, I couldn’t help feeling self conscious with my deflated figure, and became really depressed. I realised later that I became self concious and embarrased with my body when we got television. Every bony hip, flat tummy and twig-like appendage beat down my confidence and love for myself. Then, I found this site. I felt embarrassed then. Not for my body, but for ever having sold my soul to the ideals of a SOCIETY with an eating disorder. This whole country, and the entire nations media, has an eating disorder. I feel ashamed that I ever let that influence creep back into my life. I have an amazing, beautiful son who is so smart and happy and loving. I have a great husband, who is nurturing and strong where I am not. I have an amazing family, I LOVE my life, and I vow to never, ever ever put any pressure on food, body image, or that hunger for approval in my children or my own life. I read that article “save our daughters” and all I have to say is if I can protect my family from every “suck in your gut” i will forever be grateful-and all i can hope is that i can raise my children with more strength of character than I had.









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15 Responses to “Body Image, Bulimia, and a Beautiful Baby Boy (Katie)”

  1. Deborah Says:
    July 23rd, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Congratulations on having a beatiful baby and having the strength to overcome years of bad habits to make a healthy baby.
    Remember that it is only in the last few years that hipbone and no tummy have become sexy. Look at nude paintings,not a bony woman to be seen. Embrace who your are and how you look, your self esteem is the only thing that matters. As one very wise author once opioned a saggy belly and baby chewed breasts show that a woman has given her all to the human race.

  2. Stacie Hulm Says:
    July 24th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Your story made me cry – right there at the end when you were talking about society’s eating disorder and how you are figthing to overcome it.

    We do sell our souls don’t we? Our soul, the essence of our being, our life force, gets shackled by the superficial and ephemeral. We allow it to suffocate and die trying to live up to someone else’s expectations of how we need to be. What a waste of time!

    You are such and strong person! I am glad that you were able to overcome and it sounds like you have a lovely life and lovely family.

    Keep focusing on what’s important! Try not to waste anymore time hating yourself – because as far as I can tell you’re an amazing person.

    With sites like this we can take some of the power back though

  3. John Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    You are beautiful – and thank you for realizing that your child is more important than your vanity – you deserve to be applauded.

  4. MilkMama Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Awww oh my gosh! I love that breastfeeding photo! Congratulations! You sound like such a strong woman! Your children will be blessed by you and your experiences!

  5. Janel Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    WOW! Your story is very similar to mine. I suffered with wieght issues my whole life as well. At one point I was down to 97 pounds.But that is all behind me now. It was a struggle to accept my body but I am getting there with the help of websites like this.

    Now I weigh 135 and have never been curvier. I posted a submission so look for it soon. Thank you for sharing your story and you look fabulous! Your son is lucky to have such a strong mom to have as an example.

  6. Katherine Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Keep on breastfeeding, and the weight will keep coming off gradually, especially as your little one gets bigger and bigger. I am a YEAR postpartum and am only just now fitting back into pre-pregnancy pants (though they fit differently. I’m convinced that the breastfeeding is what has done it. Also, we are so conditioned to think that our bodies are supposed to look like we’re eternally 21, and that’s not the reflective of reality. Making a baby is a HUGE deal, and it’s normal that your body would change because it has grown a new human being inside of it. All the dumb fashion mags and tabloid rags at the supermarket checkout are crap, so just ignore them and love your son and the amazing body that made him!

  7. Suki Says:
    August 14th, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I applaud you your courage and insight.

    our society DOES have an eating disorder…its almost as if we’ve forgotten what food really is, and have instead labeled it “comfort, convenience or ours by rights”

    I’m glad you’ve found peace and health.

  8. Kasey Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I cried my eyes out reading this. I’m 20, haven’t had any kids, but having children is something that is so important to me.
    I’ve been bulimic since I was 12 years old and I’m always so afraid of 1. what my eating habits are going to do to my chances of having a kid and 2. how I’m going to handle the changes in my body when I do become pregnant.
    Thanks. So much for this. You don’t even know what this meant to me.

  9. saggy happy girl Says:
    September 1st, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Your story reminds me so much of mine. I was the same bulemic/anorexic right up until i found out I was pregnant. I remember feeling the same way as you were describing. I’m so glad that you wrote your story it made me feel proud of mine and look at things a bit different, and stop feeling resentment that I carry around for people that hadn’t been through what I had, until now realizing that I wasn’t the only one. I feel extremley releived actually. So your story helped me alot. “My page is you think you sag..plz”. I should have put my before pics cuz it looked identical to your. I also really agree with you on everyone having an eating disorder. Were beautiful on the outside becuase of what radiates on the inside. Thanks for being you.

  10. saggy happy girl Says:
    September 1st, 2008 at 11:53 am

    This song helped me “Learning to breath” – switchfoot..donno what music you like but this song describes how I feel like..it reminds me of our transitions…

  11. saggy happy girl Says:
    September 1st, 2008 at 11:56 am

    are we aloud to contact each other on these sites? like -email

  12. another mama Says:
    September 5th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    i absolutely love the last picture!!! breastfeeding is so amazing and a beautiful thing God gave women. it is such a beautiful sight to see a mama nurishing her child, keep up the good work!

  13. ashley Says:
    May 23rd, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    What a beautiful story and kudos to you for recognizing that society is the one with the problem, not healthy mothers. You look fabulous and I couldn’t have put my feelings into words as eloquently as you when you said:

    I felt embarrassed then. Not for my body, but for ever having sold my soul to the ideals of a SOCIETY with an eating disorder. This whole country, and the entire nations media, has an eating disorder. I feel ashamed that I ever let that influence creep back into my life.

    I totally agree, although my embarrassment sometimes fades to shame when I let the influences make me feel momentarily down. Thank goodness my great husband never fails to remind me that it is all alright. Thank you for sharing your story and your revelation-it helped put words & text to my feelings that I couldn’t vocalize.

  14. Heather Says:
    July 25th, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I just want to say that is a beautiful and touching story.
    I am 26 years old and just entered my 2nd trimester with our first child.
    I struggled for 10 + years with anorexia and bulimia. I have had caused difficulty with getting pregnant for my husband and I and I am so grateful that we got here.
    I’m so glad to have gone across this site, I’m so glad to have come across your story. Thank you.

  15. Melisssa Says:
    August 25th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    I AM BULIMIC SINCE ABOUT TEN YEARS. I TOLD MY HUSBAND AS WE WERE DATING OVER FIVE YEARS AGO. NOW WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR FIVE YEARS AND WE HAVE A GREAT MARRIAGE. MY HUSBAND IS A GREAT MAN AND WORK VERY HARD SO HE CAN PROVIDE US WITH EVERYTHING POSSIBLE. WE DON’T HAVE KIDS, BUT WE’LL LIKE TO HAVE JUST ONE IN THE FUTURE.

    THE OTHER NIGHT I HAD A HUGE URGE TO VOMIT SO BAD AFTER DINNER, HE REALIZED SO AND TALK TO ME OUT OF NOT GOING TO THE BATHROOM AND VOMIT WHAT WE JUST SHARED OVER DINNER. MY HUSBAND IS A COP, HE IS GOOD AT TALKING PEOPLE OUT OF BAD SITUATIONS. MY HUSBAND GOT ME INTO BED AND CALM ME DOWN AS I CRY FOR WANTING TO VOMIT MY FOOD. I TOLD HIM THAT IT WAS BOTHERING ME INSIDE AND IT WAS HURTING ME; AND HE IN A CALM TONE OF VOICE SAID: IT HURTS BECAUSE IT NEED TO BE TALKED ABOUT AND MAYBE WITH A HELP OF A THERAPIST IT CAN HELP YOU OR HELP ME TO HELP YOU TO THROW IT ALL UP IN WORDS, AND ADDED: SOMETHING IS BOTHERING YOU INSIDE AND WE NEED TO DEAL WITH IT WITH THE HELP OF A THERAPIST. HE CONTINUE TOUCHING MY HAIR SOFTLY UNTIL I FALL ASLEEP. IN THE MORNING, AS WE WERE HAVING BREAKFAST HE ASKED ME HOW I WAS FEELING AND STATED THAT IT WAS TIME FOR ME TO START TO SEE A THERAPIST, I ASK HIM IF HE COULD COME WITH ME AND HE SAID THAT OF COURSE HE WILL BE THERE BY MY SIDE ALL THE STEP OF THE WAY. HE ALSO ASSURE THAT HE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO AGREE IN EVERYTHING I WANTED IMPLYING THROWING UP, BUT HE WILL GIVE ME TOUGH LOVE IF THAT IS NECESSARY FOR ME TO OVERCOME MY EATING DISORDER. I THINK THAT HE HAS DONE YESTERDAY BY NOT LETTING ME APPROACH THE BATHROOM AND REDIRECT ME TO OUR BED.

    I LIKE TO HAVE MY HUSBAND AWARE THAT I SUFFER FROM BULIMIA, BECAUSE HE IS A GREAT DEAL OF HELP AS IS, I WILL START SEEING A THERAPIST AS SOON AS NEXT WEEK AND HE WILL COME TO EVERY SESSION WITH ME TO SUPPORT ME ALL THE WAY, BUT I AM SCARE ABOUT THAT TOUGH LOVE.

    THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME EXPRESS MY THROUGHTS.

    A BULIMIC COP’S WIFE

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