By Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C
The scene: many years ago, I sit in my therapist's office in Washington D.C.
"My boyfriend invited me to go visit his parents at their house in Rhode Island for the weekend and i'm so stressed out" I said as tears streamed down my face and dripped off of my chin.
My therapist looked puzzled. "Are you nervous about meeting his parents?" he asked.
"Not really. I'm worried about gaining weight. I won't have control over the food. There's no gym there," I sobbed.
"Are you sure there isn't something else that you're worried about?" he asked.
My therapist of the past few years was confused. What had started out as me telling him that I was 'trying to lose weight in a healthy way' (whatever the heck that means!) had developed into a full-fledged eating disorder. He didn't treat eating disorders and didn't seem to understand why I was so distraught about a weekend away.
That weekend is one of those memories that's embedded and vivid for me. I spent it thinking constantly about food and my weight. My anxiety was at an all time high. I felt completely out of control and terrified.
I spent the weekend trying to micromanage my food-often ordering very restrictive things at the restaurants that my boyfriend, his family and I go to.
I woke up early to frantically jog outside because I was terrified of taking the weekend off from exercise.
I felt uncomfortable being in a bathing suit because all my mind could see is 'flaws.'
I was often cold and I was pretty irritable.
Needless to say, I didn't have a very good time.
The scene: present day, it's a Thursday and I am packing a big gold suitcase for a weekend away.
I'm headed to my friend's bachelorette party for the weekend at the beach. I am looking forward to getting to celebrate her and her upcoming marriage-and for a fun weekend.
The difference between then (trapped in an eating disorder) and now (free from one) is that I have a ton of freed up brain space. I am not worried about exercising (not planning to do any), food, or my weight. In fact, I am looking forward to getting my favorite peanut butter softserv and Grottos Pizza.
I can't wait for the sun, sand, yummy food, and memories made with a good friend and her other friends.
I am free. I am at peace with myself. And it feels so incredibly good.
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The Eating Disorder Center is a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center founded by Jennifer Rollin. We specialize in helping teens and adults struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, bulimia, OSFED, and body image issues. We provide eating disorder therapy in Rockville, MD, easily accessible to individuals in Potomac, North Potomac, Bethesda, Olney, Silver Spring, Germantown, and Washington D.C. We also provide eating disorder therapy in Arlington, Virginia and virtually throughout Virginia. Additionally, we offer eating disorder therapy virtually in New York (NYC), Florida, Pennsylvania, and California, serving those in cities including Palo Alto, San Francisco, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, San Jose, and Beverly Hills. We provide eating disorder recovery coaching via Zoom to people worldwide. Connect with us through our website at www.theeatingdisordercenter.com
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The Eating Disorder Center
We are a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center in Rockville, Maryland.