eating

The Time I Had An Eating Disorder

Some of you may not know this about me:  I had an eating disorder. 

   

I was a sophomore in college. Life was good. I was beginning my second year in marching band, I was reunited with my incredible friends I had made my freshman year, engagement to my childhood sweetheart looked to be in the very near future, and I had officially declared my major. I had a new dorm, I had a new roommate which would become my best friend for the remainder of my time at Liberty, and I had a new love: kickboxing.  

 

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I have never been athletic. I have never cared for competitive anything, nor did I care in the least about exercising. My first kickboxing class, I must have looked like a clumsy toddler as I struggled through every moment. But I loved it. And I became obsessed. Not with the class per se, but with doing whatever I could to get smaller.  

 Satan flew through that door as soon as I opened it. He filled my mind with the most foul descriptions of myself. The lies were piled around me in this house of horrors. I couldn't keep up with (the clean up of) it all. It was too much. His lies haunted every corner of my mind. I would pray. I would write. I would sit for hours in our tiny campus chapel just crying and feeling completely overwhelmed with the burden of feeling just disgusting.  

I told myself, "you don't deserve to eat. Just eat enough so as to not give yourself a headache. You aren't where you need to be yet. You're gross. You're revolting."  

Throwing up was not an option. Even through all of my pregnancies, I fight hard to avoid vomiting through morning sickness. I'm quite good at it, actually. So I had to eat as little as possible in order to be successful in my new endeavor.  

Every morning I would eat a poptart. That poptart would last me four days as I only ate 1/4 each morning. Lunch and dinner were usually two packs of saltines and a small bowl of cottage cheese. I was starving. In every way I was starving: spiritually, mentally, and physically, of course. 

On my twentieth birthday, I broke down. I told my roommates (who were my closest friends at the time) what my struggle had been. I told them I needed their help and prayers. I had struggled in secret long enough, but I didn't have the courage to tell anyone beyond that. Not my family. Not even my (almost) fiancé.  

A sketch of the prayer chapel that my sister did.  

A sketch of the prayer chapel that my sister did.  

At my lowest weight, I fit into a shirt that would comfortably fit my now two year old nephew. I was too small. And guess what? Despite the fact that I had surpassed my goal size, I wasn't happy. Imagine that.

I am disclosing all of this right now because I believe that once you struggle with an eating disorder, it never really (ever) goes (completely) away. Satan has invaded my heart and mind many times since then. I'm no where near that size I was when I was at my lowest weight, but sometimes, I find myself going there again. I feel completely repulsive and overwhelmed with disgust for myself, I take the lies Satan gives me and I cling to them as if there is no alternative.  

Recently, I have lost about fifteen pounds. It's not that easy. While I can be happy for the accomplishment, I have to be careful to tread lightly on the fact that when I begin to lose weight, it doesn't become an obsession. Maybe that's why I've avoided it completely since having children. Gaining weight for pregnancy never bothers me, and I actually never feel more beautiful than when I have a life growing within me. It's the aftermath that I hate. I don't push the struggle (of losing weight) too much for fear of getting lost in that downward spiral once more. 

Lately, if I may be so raw, I have caught myself using our scale 5-6 times a day. Shamefully, in the middle of the night, when my baby wakes, I check and make sure that things are staying steady and not increasing. I'm ashamed. I am. That's why I'm telling you now. I don't want Satan to come and wreak havoc on my mind and body again.  It seems as though I may have left the door cracked open though...

This post seems to offer little in the way of encouragement and enlightenment. For that, I apologize. I write because that's my therapy. That's my voice. 

I hope, if you are struggling with body image, or if you have in the past, that you are honest about it.

Tell someone. Then, get on your knees and tell The Creator you are so sorry for not believing the promises and truths He has graciously spoken to us in His Word.

Finally, purpose to change. Change your actions, your thoughts, and your beliefs....taking every thought captive.  Choose whom you will serve. Remember how much God loves you. Remember how much Satan hates you. Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Remember that The Enemy is out to destroy you. Remember, that if you follow Christ, you have the power (through His precious blood) to tell Satan to leave you alone. He must flee...

"Greater is He that is within me..." 

Love, Alicia  

Why I Ate My Placenta (and You Should Too!)

I know what you're thinking: "that's gross...super disgusting, foul, I can't even stomach the thought", etc. No, we didn't "fry it up" and have a cookout either, if that's also what you were picturing.

Bare with me.

Trust me, it's not gross and it's not weird.

I'm simply here to share with you the ways eating my placenta benefitted me. This isn't a general post about postpartum placenta consumption. This is specific to my experience only. I am not an expert on this topic, but I believe personal testimonies on this growing trend are needed. So here is mine:

Why I did it...

I've gone through four prior {horrible} post-partum periods. After my first pregnancy, I unknowingly suffered from severe post-partum depression. While I never pondered hurting my baby, I definitely thought about hurting myself...often. One particularly trying day, I still vividly recall wanting to literally jump out of my two-story window. I recall standing there with my hands on the latches. It was bad and also the point at which I realized "this isn't how it's supposed to be" after baby.

All of my subsequent pregnancies never brought me to that severe point of hopelessness, but I always suffered the "day four" meltdown after birth and an extended period of time with the baby blues.

I had seriously had enough. I had read for a few years about the benefits of placental consumption on the post-partum emotions mothers sometimes experience.

This information was enough to sell me on the idea. I decided I wanted to do this. I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I thought, "good grief, even if it only were to work slightly, I would be thrilled!".

I wanted to do it after my fourth pregnancy, but I realized that the OB office I was going to coupled with the hospital setting didn't make for a good recipe to get to my goal. I asked them about them giving me my placenta afterwards and while there wasn't a hard-pressed rule against it, there were just too many hurdles to jump thru in order to do so. It just seemed like a huge headache and I could tell the whole thing was generally frowned upon.

So for my fifth pregnancy, I decided I wanted a completely fresh start, a new approach, and I wanted a place that could give me what I wanted. I wanted a natural birth, in the water, I didn't want to spend the night anywhere and I wanted my placenta. I found that place an hour from my home. It.was.awesome.

How it works

A few weeks before the birth, I contacted the lady that prepares the placenta. She charges $150 for the service, which is completely worth every penny, in my opinion. I gave her a deposit and told her my due date.

When I delivered at the birth center, she was called and she came to pick up the placenta almost immediately. She took it home, placed it in a dehydrator, and encapsulated the powder into pill form.

The pills are then put into a smallish container that retracts light so as not to spoil the product. She then delivered the container of pills back to the center and I picked them up at my day 3 postpartum appointment.

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The pills. Amounts will vary from person to person depending on size and quality of placenta.

She gave me a daily regiment for consumption that was designed to slowly taper off as the weeks progressed. The goal was to extend the pills out through the first six weeks.

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If you don't consume all of the pills in the first six weeks, they can be frozen and consumed as needed, preferably during your monthly cycle.

Did it work?!

I can answer this with an emphatic YES!!

I have cried [mildly] just twice since giving birth. I completely evaded the day 4 hormone crash I always experienced before. I had energy like I've never experienced with my previous births. I bonded quicker with my baby and my baby reaped the benefits of placenta as well.

I can't speak it's praises enough and will definitely without a doubt do it again if the opportunity arises.

If you are interested in eating your placenta, I encourage you to do your own research. Talk to other moms who have done it before. Find a caregiver that promotes the experience or maybe even advertises for someone who encapsulates.

It's been worth every penny. And it wasn't hard to swallow.;)

Love, Alicia