Meet My Dietician, the Person My Eating Disorder Loves to Hate - From the Couch Of - weight restoration

I’ve never been in a long term relationship with weight restoration. The phrase itself “weight restoration” was new to me when I entered eating disorder treatment for the first time. Ultimately it shook down to mean how many calories must I consume daily to be at a healthy weight.

The brains behind the relationship? My dietician. And what a sweet soul she was, and certainly still is for battling my eating disorder along side of me when the battle was anything but peaceful. Remember as a child having a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store (or maybe you are the parent to this child), and the tears, and the rosy cheeks, and the inconsolable screaming that seemed to last, well, forever? That was me in my dietician’s office in the depths of my eating disorder.

My relationship with my dietician has been the longest standing love-hate relationship I’ve ever been in. The part of me that craves recovery and freedom loves her support, her suggestions, and her ability to manipulate my meal plan to keep me on track. My eating disorder? It hates her 100% of the time, and I think it makes a lot of sense. My Anorexia and Bulimia feel threatened by her suggestions and wary of her genuine concern and the grace she extends me every single session.

I think it has less to do with what she is requesting of me to eat and everything to do with my eating’s disorder’s fear of losing control. And that fear is so legitimate and so emotionally driven that it looks a whole lot like walking out of her office mid-session, trying to be deceptive in disclosing my meals for the week, and cancelling appointments when the very place I need to be is in her presence.

The only person I can think of who was more in the trenches than myself in battling this terrible disorder was her. Nowadays, striving to have more days in recovery than in relapse, I find myself drawing on everything she has taught me. I carry her with me nearly every time I go out to eat at a restaurant, and I hear her words of reason every time I find myself beginning to cut corners.

Recovering without a dietician was not an option for me. I had such a dysfunctional relationship with food that I needed my only task to be to eat the food, not to feel concerned with the amount, the exchanges, or any other detail for that matter. I believe so strongly in the role of a dietician in healing from an eating disorder that I simply cannot take credit for where I am at today without including her in my narrative.

I believe so strongly in the role of a dietician in healing from an eating disorder that I simply cannot take credit for where I am at today without including her in my narrative.

It can be terrifying to invite a professional into your space, particularly one who is most likely going to challenge every rule you’re eating disorder has written as law. Do it anyway. My dietician not only helped me weight restore, and weight maintain, but also heal from years of distorted food rules and food preoccupation.

My dietician not only helped me weight restore, and weight maintain, but also heal from years of distorted food rules and food preoccupation.

I feel remarkably less terrified of foods that used to be off limits because, guess what, my dietician sat and ate them right next to me and she still remained a beautiful human being. She took years of restriction and binging and created the one thing I had been most desperate for all along, balance.

I’m grateful for the meltdowns in her office, her consistency in my most erratic times, and her willingness to help me recreate a relationship with food that is sustainable and dare I say, enjoyable.

Endless gratitude for the professionals who battle alongside me, and help so many other woman and men reclaim their lives.

Endless gratitude for the professionals who battle alongside me, and help so many other woman and men reclaim their lives.

Image Credit: dolgachov / bigstockphoto.com