Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nourishment

I'm reading Eating in the Light of the Moon and just started the chapter on nourishment - physical versus emotional. "Until [a woman with disordered eating] is able to distinguish physical hunger from symbolic hunger, she remains vulnerable to deception."
I'm learning the difference.
When I became pregnant last year, I decided to listen to my body. After all, it had carried my healthy baby boy, why couldn't I trust it to carry my baby girl? I had some ups and downs, but I managed through my pregnancy to be ED behavior free.
My baby girl was born and, like my son eight years before, I decided to nurse her for a year.
I'm halfway through that year and I've had to sit with my feelings. I'm feeding my baby and won't use ED behaviors. That would hurt my baby girl. I won't starve her, so I won't starve myself. That leaves me with my feelings and no way to cope except by experiencing those emotions.
Before my beautiful daughter came into my life, I was constantly doing. The moment my feelings became too much, ED was there, ready and waiting to catch me. Of course, his catching was always the beginning of a slide down a spiral slippery slope.
But now, I have my daughter who I have chosen to have be reliant on me for food. ED is not an option.
Over the past few months, since I've returned to work after my maternity leave, stress has been rising. I'm feeling more - loneliness, exhaustion, frustration, anger - work will do that. ED is still here - in my head, always dripping seduction. Though as uncomfortable as it is, I turn away from him and his false promises. And as tired as I get, especially by Thursday and Friday, I still don't give in. I'm learning to sit with my feelings - I'm learning that they do pass in time. The trick is to give them time. Not hours or days, and in some cases not even weeks. But even as these feelings linger, they do not remain intense forever. I don't need ED to ease the intensity. I don't need ED to get rid of them either.
Neither do you.
I needed the commitment of pregnancy and breastfeeding my daughter to shut out ED as an option for dealing with intense emotions. I'm learning how to nourish myself while I nourish her physically.
Find your own commitment to shut ED out. Share it with me if you'd like.
By committing to shutting out ED, you'll learn how to nourish yourself, too.

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