This post deals with eating disorders and miscarriage, and might be triggering for some readers.
On my wedding day, I didn’t fit into the dress I’d picked out six months earlier. The hook closure in the back snapped when I took a deep breath on the way out of my hotel room, leaving the top inch of the zipper open for the entirety of my wedding day.
If you squinted, you could believe it was a cute detail.
I knew the truth, though. I was too fat for my wedding dress, unable even to control my eating for a few months so I could feel beautiful in the gorgeous white gown I’d chosen specifically for this day.
Watch: Kasey Chambers on what it’s like to have an eating disorder. Post continues below.
Pregnancy as a trigger
Weeks before, we’d moved from San Francisco to Boston.
We’d been squatting at my sister-in-law’s house, surviving on takeout until we found a place (and a kitchen) of our own.
I had just begun a new job that often had me up at 4:30 and working on the couch in front of the television until 11 or later. I didn’t have time or energy for proper nutrition, and it began to show.
After a significant weight loss five years earlier and a couple of years as a triathlete, I found myself getting steadily bigger with no way to stop.
All the diet and exercise in the world still wasn’t able to give me what I needed to overcome what I was finally beginning to recognise as a real eating disorder.
By the time I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was the heaviest I’d ever been. And pregnancy was the perfect excuse to gain even more weight.
I stopped going to the gym, ate whatever I felt like eating and ignored the weight gain guidelines. I was already buying maternity clothes, so there was nothing wrong with buying a size up, right?
Thanks to breastfeeding, a nutritionist, and the relative portability of a single child, I was able to lose a considerable amount of weight after my first pregnancy, leaving me weighing less the second time I found myself getting a positive test result.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about my second postpartum period. While one baby was pretty easy for me to manage, now that I had two I felt weighed to the sofa.