Most of my life I was in denial about the fact I had an eating disorder. I wrestled with Binge Eating Disorder and Orthorexia for years before acknowledging something was wrong.
I realized the need to get help soon after I came across Intuitive Eating. This new way of eating was what I had been looking for all my life, but my eating disorder kept getting in the way of me being able to transition from extreme orthorexia to eating whatever my body craved. Intuitive eating felt like I was jumping off a cliff with no parachute.
Like many others who wrestle with an eating disorder, recovery seemed impossible.
Working with a dietitian has significantly impacted my life in many different areas. Many are hesitant to get professional help because they don’t think they are sick enough, it costs money and insurances often don’t cover it, and it requires one to actually face the illness. These were the reasons I didn’t reach out before.
If this is you, then I want to encourage you to reconsider getting professional help. My life is forever changed because I did and I believe yours will be too.
Here are 4 ways working with a dietitian has helped in my recovery.
Working with a dietitian has taught me how to eat intuitively which has resulted in not having any restrictive foods and less binges. I never imagined I could eat my favorite foods without feeling guilty or binging on them. When I have the temptation to binge, I now have the tools to fight and combat my eating disorder’s thoughts and his lies. Grocery shopping is fun again! When I go, I can buy whatever sounds good and my body is craving.
I am learning how to feel. Before I couldn’t handle emotions and so I went to food to numb them. While feeling one’s feeling is very difficult at first, now, I know it will be better in the long term to face them rather than to numb and have to deal with the emotions and the struggle that comes after a binge. The time I spend with my counselor now is not filled with conversation about food. Now we can talk and work through the issues leading me to turn to food. She helped me see things I would never have been able to see on my own.
Most of my life was consumed with food and body thoughts so I was never able to live in the present moment. Now, I can enjoy vacations, dates with my husband, and time with family and friends because less thoughts are on food and body.
Colors are brighter, smells are richer, and I am enjoying the moment rather than worrying about what I can or can’t eat at the next meal.
There is less shame and guilt in my life. In the midst of my battle, I would never have dreamed of sharing my story with people because of the shame I felt.
My focus in life is about learning to accept myself as I am and not on losing weight. This is still a struggle for me but I have made a lot of progress since starting to work with a dietitian. My recovery journey has deepened my faith and relationship with God. It is more intimate and real. I have learned the importance of grace. Through the work with the dietitian, I experience grace over and over again when I struggle and am weary of the battle. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She has shown me an eating disorder is not something you can just wake up one day and be over.
It requires commitment, dedication, and a desire to change to recover.
I now live with the hope that one day I will be able to say “I’m recovered.” I encourage you to reach out to get professional help if you are struggling with food or body image. You will have someone to help lift you up in your journey and remind you there is hope, you won’t be alone!