In my last post, Could Your Weight be Contributing to Your Infertility?, I talked about a new study that links obesity to a decrease in fertility. I also shared that I used to struggle with the eating disorder of binge and compulsive overeating. So, I know how hard of a blow my last post might have been to some of you who struggle with your weight.
Unfortunately, if you have an eating disorder like I did, losing weight is not as simple as going to Weight Watchers. Eating disorders are fueled by emotional pain. For me, each time I binged on food, I was “stuffing down” painful emotions that I was not ready to deal with. When I would diet, I would lose the coping tool of “stuffing down” the pain, so the pain would bear down upon me, and I would feel really, really badly. Because the only way I knew how to control the pain was by eating, I would wind up gaining back more weight than I lost through the diet.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, then hearing that you need to lose weight in order to become pregnant is likely to fuel the fire and make you gain even more weight. This is doubly true if you have been leaning on your eating disorder as a coping strategy to manage the pain from your inability to conceive a baby. I strongly suggest that you talk with a therapist about the emotional issues that are driving the eating disorder. My therapist assured me that after I worked through my emotional baggage, I would no longer feel the urge to overeat compulsively, and my weight issues would take care of themselves. He was right.
I found that I did not have to diet in order to lose weight. Because of my lifetime of overeating, my metabolism is actually pretty high. So, once I started eating regular-sized portions of food and continued exercising, the weight came off without my having to diet at all.
Even though I have recovered from my eating disorder, I will always remain vulnerable to it. When I go through a stressful time, I often do gain a few pounds. However, I also know that they will come right back off when I get back to caring for and loving my body again. I do not have to “punish” myself through strict diets to lose weight.
Your doctor and therapist can provide you with additional tips for helping you work through your emotional and weight issues.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt