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“I finally wanted something more than I wanted to be thin—I wanted a baby.”
-Amanda Swartfager, Valrico, Fla.
I was in college and working nearly full time when my problems with eating became the worst. I would go weeks barely eating anything and exercising off every calorie I consumed.
Eventually, I would break down and eat until I was about to explode. Then I’d vomit, which at first made me feel relieved. But as soon as the rush wore off, the compulsions and obsessions returned.
My healing began once I stopped thinking that I had to please everyone else and started living for myself. But I was still struggling with disordered eating when my husband and I decided we wanted to have a baby. After two years of trying, my OB-GYN told me I’d have to put on 5 pounds and exercise less.
I stopped weighing myself and even threw away the scale (after digging it out of the garbage twice). When I found out I was pregnant, I worried I might miscarry due to my history with disordered eating. But for the first time since childhood, I was eating nor- mally. I remember the day I ate two pieces of pizza and expected to have a panic attack because I wasn’t exercising or puking the calories away. Instead, I felt happy.
I was thrilled when I had a healthy baby girl. Now that I have this beautiful little person who trusts me to keep her safe, I no longer have time for my eating disorder.