i don’t understand, he tells me, the emaciated me, the girl that relapsed as a young married woman; i don’t understand why you just can’t eat.
my husband, raised on a farm, who sees food as celebration, and i’m glad he doesn’t get it. i don’t want him to get it, for that would make him sick, too. but isn’t there a line between getting it, and being able to help? and why are there no resources on this?
i don’t want him to understand, don’t need him to, until the day he asks me to choose between him and food for i am married to both, and that is the day i decide to get better. the day i need him to know what a big choice this is, and that i can’t do it alone. but how do you tell your lover this?
how do you explain why you like to look and feel sick? why you are addicted to eating less and less, and how this gives you a sense of purpose when you’re really not sure if you’re worth anything at all save for this way of starving yourself. and deep down, how terrified you are of the person you’ve become.
so hard, this staring into the eyes of love, a love that says, i’ll never leave you, but you’re not you anymore, and i feel as though you’ve already left me. and in some ways you have, for you’ve chosen to believe what the voices in your head are saying over the person who holds your bones at night. because in some ways, you want an excuse to die. you’re doing all of this because deep down, you’re punishing yourself for not being the person you think you should be, and you’re slowing trying to escape forever.
and so when he asks you, that spring day on the alberta highway at the side of the road to make a choice between him and food, and you choose to ignore the voices and change and eat and live because he loves you, how can he help you?
according to my husband:
“Be very loving when you talk about food, because it’s a sensitive subject,” he says. “It’s important to let them know that you’re there to support them, not control them, and to let them know you trust them. You can’t be watching them all the time, so you have to trust.”
Keep a closed mouth, he adds, and an open door. “Let your wife know if she is struggling, she can talk about it with you anytime, and you won’t judge her.”
But urge her to walk in healing. “Encourage your wife to make the right decisions,” Trent says, “and expect that she will.”
according to Remuda Ranch:
Mom needs to work at loving herself on a daily basis, says Dr. Amy Wasserbauer. “Self-love as a whole is top priority. That is the greatest commandment—to love your neighbor as yourself. The call to love our children comes out of our ability to accept ourselves, and to accept God’s love.”
Fathers need to support their wives in this initiative, and to avoid critiquing people, both within and outside of the family, in regards to their size. “So many of our patients have been affected by their father’s and grandfather’s perceptions of food,” says Wasserbauer. “They’re so food focused.”
Do not discuss body image issues with your children. Also, “get rid of the word ‘healthy.’” And do not use food as a way of controlling your children, or appeasing your own guilt. Guide your little ones in their portions, and teach them what it means to feel ‘satisfied,’ but don’t create harsh restrictions (such as one cookie a day) or allow them to eat anything they want to; instead, encourage them to know their bodies, and to know when they’ve had enough. In other words, teach them intuitive eating.
for an inspiring blog post on what it means to embrace yourself as a real woman, click here.
for videos and discussion questions on how to find healing, click here.