Parenting in the Wake of an Eating Disorder

 

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“Carbs and sugar. All she wants are carbs and sugar,” I huffed at Ryan as we attempted to cram peas and chicken into Summer’s mouth. I wanted her to want meat and vegetables, yet she would grasp for tortillas and cookies and pieces of bread. All trigger foods for me.

As I felt these words falling from my lips, I realized I was responding to Summer out of my broken past. I was not viewing her desire as an attempt to taste and explore solids, but rather as a desire to binge – a concept foreign to a 9 month old.

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Eating Disorders in Bed

 

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WARNING: I share these intimate details of my life with hesitation and caution, knowing the great risks associated with sharing such information. I share my story because I desperately want to normalize the hardships that accompany marriages involving a partner with an Eating Disorder. I want to impart hope to couples that are struggling through the relational dance that can feel tangling and disappointing, at times. It is not easy to share these personal details with such a broad audience, so I pray you will consider my story with sensitivity and grace, knowing that every experience and every path is different. So, if you are someone who would take offense or feel uncomfortable reading about my sex life, I encourage you to move along. For others, I pray this entry imparts hope. I pray for those who have found themselves suffering in a relationship impacted by an Eating Disorder – that you would experience personal healing, a fun marital friendship, and the sexual fulfillment God intends for you to have.

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Loving Through Disorder

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Today is the day I have been waiting for.  Today is the day I get to introduce you all to the most amazing man in the world – my husband – Ryan Hudson! This incredibly strong, courageous and tender-hearted man of God has been generous enough to share his experience of my eating disorder from the spouse’s perspective.

I cannot lie – just last night we held hands on the couch with tears in our eyes as we reflected on how far God has carried us. As we re-visited some of the darkest moments of my eating disorder, we were reminded of the soul-level scarring this disorder inflicted on us individually and on our marriage. We celebrate how greatly God has redeemed and restored us as individuals, and how he has touched our marriage in the years following this disorder.

I pray you will take time to read Ryan’s words, particularly if you are supporting someone with an eating disorder. I pray that his story helps to normalize your experience and breathe hope into your journey.

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Eating Disorders: The Roots and a Framework for Healing

I am amazed at the amount of comments and questions I have received regarding Eating Disorders since launching Livinguncovered.com. Questions like, “how do I overcome? How do I connect in marriage and relationships? How do I engage my sexuality in the midst of this battle? How do I keep my eating disorder from affecting my parenting?”

The conversations that have surfaced in the wake of publishing this blog have been intense, and powerfully relevant.

My disclosure: the content I plan to discuss will not be adequately explored in one, or even multiple, blog entries. I pray the limited information I share based on my experience and studies will be practical and helpful to those who are struggling with Eating Disorders, as well as their support system. If you find yourself experiencing thought patterns relevant to Eating Disorders or are engaging in obsessive-compulsive feelings/behaviors around body image, please seek professional help. You can search https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ to find a therapist to suit your needs, or you can consider online counseling through a forum like www.betterhelp.com.

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Eating Disorders in Marriage

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The most devastating impact my Eating Disorder has had on my life has been within my marriage. Of course, the toll the disease has had on my body is disturbing. The healing my spirit and mind have required has been exhausting and intense. But the affect the disease has had on the most sacred and precious relationship in my life – my marriage – has been the most unexpected upset.

When Eating Disorders begin to take root nobody warns you that your relationships will suffer and that you will lose touch with Love. You find that out in the most inopportune moments – like on your honeymoon, or shopping as a couple, or when you get pregnant, or when your child indulges on your trigger food. These are the moments when you realize the breadth and depth of this disorder and how it impacts those around you.

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Diagnosing a Nation

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25

Eating Disorders (ED) have become an epidemic.

In order to see the number of people suffering from EDs diminish, we must better understand the causes, the warning signs, the all-consuming nature, and dynamic evils at the core of EDs.

EDs have the highest mortality rate among mental illnesses.

Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result of an eating disorder. (1)

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10 Phrases to Not Say to Someone with an Eating Disorder

Walking in relationship with someone who stands in the grip of an eating disorder must feel like an impossibly delicate position.


Everyone experiences eating disorders differently. Everyone is triggered by different words and situations. What triggers me may not trigger someone you know with an Eating Disorder and vice versa.

It’s important to tune into the individual struggling and learn from careful observation, good questions, and genuine conversation to know exactly what words, phrases, and behaviors act as triggers for him or her.

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Hopeful and Broken

It was one of those mornings. The sun’s warm rays gently touched my face in the early hours, waking me up. I squirmed beneath the sheets and was, once again, incredibly aware of my thighs. The rolls of fat on my stomach. My round face.

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Mentioning the Unmentionable: the eating disorder.

*This was originally published anonymously in 2013 when I decided to share this journey in the blog world. Now, in 2016, I am sharing publicly to those I know and don’t know in hopes that it will provide a springboard of healing to those who find themselves on a similar path*

I want to begin by saying it’s hard for me to disclose this process. It sort of “goes against the grain” of society to reveal such brokenness before finding healing and breakthrough. I have found through experience that sometimes disclosing myself in process can compromise my qualifications to teach, to lead, and to contribute to community in the ways I feel called. Nonetheless, here I go…

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