I was several months into a relapse and my health was rapidly declining. Friends and family were reaching out to help, but I was in such denial that I was sick, I declined their support. I started feeling so drained of energy, I could hardly get out of bed. I was missing work and my favorite yoga and meditation classes. There wasn’t any energy left for things I loved like sewing and painting. Little did I know the help of a dietitian could save me.
I knew my eating disorder was taking over quicker than ever.
Then one night I collapsed in the kitchen. I just broke down in tears and laid there for a few hours. I was done feeling this way. So I called my sister and committed to get help the very next day.
One of the first steps in recovery is building your treatment team. I called my insurance company and found a list of eating disorder specialists in my area. After many calls I had my team in place: psychiatrist, psychologist, dietitian, doctor, and dentist.
For months I spent most of my days in appointments. I had lab tests, weigh-ins, and therapy weekly. While I had seen many of these types of providers before, this was the first time I saw a dietician.
Why a dietitian?
In eating disorder treatment, a dietitian’s job is to help monitor appropriate nutritional needs, help manage gastrointestinal symptoms of eating disorders, and provide education and counseling on appropriate nutrition.
My dietitian did more than that though, she gave me hope.
Our first meeting I laid out everything. I told her my history of my eating disorder, my strange eating habits, my fears, my concerns, and my goals.
For the first time in years I told the truth about my eating disorder. She recognized quickly that I had a long way to go before I would reach my goal of normal eating. I left after the first meeting with a meal plan in hand and headed to the grocery store.
She had just given me permission to eat. Something I felt I didn’t have for so long. I loaded my cart up with all the meals we had come up with and I started the next day on this new plan.
My dietitian explained the important of the nutrition in the recovery process in a way that made sense.
Falling into place
After a few months, my meal plan became second nature and allowed me the flexibility I needed in recovery.
The rest of the pieces fell into place.
My health started to improve. The obsessive thoughts slowly started to leave. Most importantly, I realized that recovery is possible.
My dietitian has become someone I look forward to seeing each week. She helps manage my recovery process in so many ways that give me hope that life without an eating disorder is possible.