I want to take a moment to acknowledge a topic that has been near and dear to my heart in the past few months, as well as one which often arises during my work with young women in recovery from disordered eating: motherhood.
Last year, I had the privilege to bring a healthy young baby girl into this world. My pregnancy was at time uncomfortable and challenging, AND it gave me the gift of deepening my own recovery in ways I had never expected...
My nausea and inability to eat the foods I usually enjoy, for instance, gave me the opportunity to practice letting go of any remaining attachments I had to preconceived notions about how I "should" eat. I am so incredibly grateful I was able to follow this truth, and feed my body the foods it did want at the time: mostly bread & cheese in its many delicious formations (I think I tried every cheesy quiche in lower Manhattan!)
We receive so many negative messages from our society about weight throughout, during and after pregnancy: not to gain "too much" and especially how to lose it quickly. Just the other day, while my colleagues were protesting Weight Watchers new free youth program, my fellow moms in a Facebook group were applauding and supporting one another on their ability to shed the post-baby pounds through dieting.
I remember even receiving a comment from my beloved grandfather early on in my pregnancy about how I should "control" how I eat while I'm pregnant (in other words, not to eat "too much"), a comment that surely came from a lack of understanding, and one that I'm so happy I could have a sense of humor about.
For so many, getting pregnant can be a huge source of motivation to recover from an eating disorder, but I also believe it is an opportunity to practice surrendering and going with the flow even more once we are in it. What a powerful time, even with the discomforts, acid reflux, nausea, weight gain, body changes, etc., to practice whole-hearted acceptance of ourself and our body. After all, it is doing the most mysterious thing in the world.