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Say It Brave

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: I’m a New Mom

By Priya James
In March of 2016, my husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl. She lit up our lives and I was the happiest I have every been. Naturally, my body changed. And at first, I told myself it was normal, but as time passed, I began to struggle.

Being a new mom is hard. Being a new mom who has recovered from an eating disorder is even harder.

I had been recovered from my eating disorder for a long time before I relapsed. Several months after I relapsed, I found out that I was pregnant. I didn’t know what do. I was at a crossroads. Life wasn’t just about myself anymore, it was about the tiny little human growing in my body. I’m not going to lie and say it was an easy, but thankfully, I made the decision to be healthy no matter what it took and worked hard to nourish myself for the baby.

In March of 2016, my husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl. She lit up our lives and I was the happiest I have every been. Naturally, my body changed. And at first, I told myself it was normal, but as time passed, I began to struggle. I listened to other moms as they talked about what they were doing to change their bodies while I told myself over and over again in my head that I could not go back to my eating disorder.

There would be days that I was not able to look at my shadow on a sunny day or even in the shower. I wasn’t able to go to my yoga studio or gym because I knew I would have to see myself in the mirror. I didn’t want to go to social functions with friends or family, and I did not want to take family photos because of the fear of what I would look like.

It was debilitating every single day. I could have gone down the wrong path again, but one day, I looked at my daughter and thought about how she basically saved my life when I had relapsed. I knew that I couldn’t let this beautiful little girl see me sick. I needed to be healthy to watch her grow up and enjoy life. I needed to teach her that being beautiful has nothing to do with what she looks like.

I know that she will have a lot of hurdles to jump over growing up in a world where social media plays with self-esteem and fad-diets are now the norm. But it’s up to me to be there along the way to guide her. To all the moms out there who have recovered or may be struggling, I know it can be hard, but always remember that you are strong and you are beautiful and together we can teach our children to grow up loving themselves.

Priya James
Written by

Priya James

Priya James is an eating disorder recovery advocate and Chair of the Houston National Eating Disorders Walk. Priya started her career in the fashion industry in 2001, working for one of Houston’s leading modeling and talent agencies. After four years working for the agency, she began her study in fashion at The Art Institute of Houston, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing.

Priya then went on to work as the marketing & PR director for designer and Project Runway 2 winner Chloe Dao. During this time, she also held a position on the Board of Directors of The Fashion Group International (Houston Division). She retired from the industry in 2016 and began to focus on her advocacy efforts.

As a person in recovery from an eating disorder, a former professional in the fashion industry, a mother of a beautiful young girl, and the wife of a psychiatrist, one of the goals in her life is to educate and bring awareness to eating disorders. Her advocacy efforts have been especially focused in cultures where depression, anxiety and other issues are not taken seriously or looked down upon.

Follow Priya Mary James on Instagram.

Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center are accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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