How my daughter helped curb my eating disorder

I’ve struggled with Anorexia more on than off since I was sixteen (so nearly ten years). At my worst, I was spending time in hospital, unable to attend university, eating less than half an apple a day and then taking double the recommended amount of laxatives to combat that half an apple (or 48 calories, if you’re interested in that kind of thing).

My weight had dropped down to less than 7 stone (45kg), I was dizzy, cold, my hair was falling out and I spent more time asleep than awake because I just didn’t have the energy. I was lying to my friends about what I’d eaten, wearing baggy clothes so that people couldn’t see how slim I was, and excessively exercising to drop my weight even lower.

At that low point, I never would have imagined being where I am now. My beautiful daughter is nearly 14 months old, and dinner time has actually become one of my favourite times of day. There’s something very healing about watching someone so tiny enjoy food so much, because they haven’t learnt any differently.

When my little monkey was approaching six months old and we began to prepare for weaning, I struggled. I’d worked so hard for so long not to measure portions, and ‘keep tabs’ on the amount I was eating, and suddenly I was having to do this for someone else. We were initially doing traditional weaning (using puree) and trialed this for a few weeks, but eventually switched to Baby Led Weaning as it was much more relaxed on the measuring front.

As my baby got bigger, the more curious she got about food, and the more I had to force myself into a routine of eating meals. I won’t lie, it’s been pretty challenging as I have Gastroparesis to deal with too, which medically affects the amount of food I can digest at a time. However, I haven’t been in a routine of eating meals like this since I was fifteen years old. Its a challenging, but positive change for me. I also can’t get away with eating too little; dinner time is a family event, which keeps me accountable, in a good way.

I’m trying my best to model good habits for my daughter. I’m hopeful that she grows up with good relationship to food, and she doesn’t go through what I still struggle with now. Nonetheless, if she does, I hope she knows she can always talk to me about whatever she struggles with.

Have you had to overcome similar hurdles? Let us know in the comments

If you liked this you’ll love…

#The ups and downs of baby led weaning
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Parenting with a chronic illness

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Paige Piper

Mum, musician, artist, professional sick kid.

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