This beautiful story has been written and contributed by a TCM reader, Jessica Cassle. Check out her Instagram handle (@theplantbasedeatery) for gorgeous and inspiring healthy recipes.
Stress affects people in many different ways. A common way people manifest their stress is through the food they eat. Whether we over eat, eat something we normally wouldn't or don't eat at all, stress-induced eating disorders are more common than one may think. Stress causes chemical and hormonal changes in our bodies that can either cause us to feel full or feel hungry. The science behind it is still not completely understood but in my case... I was never hungry.
Hi my name is Jessie. I am a 28 year old registered nurse, plant-based food advocate and mother to a newly 6 year old boy. Let me take you back 5 years and introduce you to my 23 year old self; I was adjusting to my new roles as nursing student and young mother, while simultaneously recovering from a broken heart and a complicated labor without any adequate emotional support.
To some it up, it felt like my world was spinning out of control. This cocktail of events also triggered an anxiety disorder that lead to taking anti-anxiety medications (side effects include decreased appetite.) That feeling of helplessness made me want to control the one thing I knew I could: what I put it my mouth. I wasn't starving my body to be thin. I was starving for control. Starving for control of my own life.
These unhealthy habits landed me at an all time low weight of 82 pounds just 6 months after giving birth (at 148 lbs) and caused massive hair loss. When I look back at pictures of myself at this weight I am horrified at my gaunt figure. You can see in my eyes how unhappy I was.
My recovery was a slow one. It took many years for me to regain my weight and develop healthy eating habits. I can say now, with confidence, that I would never allow stress to affect me in that way again. I am too strong now and I've come too far!
I did go to therapy for a short amount of time but it ultimately took me accepting my situation, refusing to be a victim and loving myself to truly heal.