Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

I am a generally happy girl who loves running, going to the gym and eating food!! Though my life has been very different.
I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia & purging tendencies & over exercising. I was depressed and self harmed. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
After alot of struggles, lots of ups and downs, suicide attempts, tears, anxiety, panic and never thinking i would be healthy.
I am now declared healthy from anorexia nervosia.

I have been blogging for 4 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I am happy and healthy and living my life. Going to school, meeting friends and trying to find myself in this world.

I write about my daily life, but also try to write posts about how it was when i was sick, advice and tips.
I am open and friendly, so dont be scared about writing a post or sending me an email at: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Your eating disorder doesnt make you special

I found this post (below) on Tumblr today, and i thought some might need to read it or be reminded about it. Some of the text might come out as harsh, but sometimes that is exactly what a person needs.

Even if eating disorders arent about attention and many do as much as they can to hide all symptoms and hide that they are struggling, but they might also love the comments they get when people notice that they arent eating or that they have lost weight. Or get a kick of "energy" when they begin to get more attention even if it is negative attention, or maybe they even feel proud for having an eating disorder or like they are special. But i can tell you... you arent unique or special for having an eating disorder and it is nothing to be proud over. Something that you however CAN be proud over is recovering from an eating disorder or other mental illness. But struggling with an eating disorder... that isnt special, amazing or something to be proud of. But choosing to recover and everyday making choices to get your healthy life back, THAT IS inspiring!

Get attention for being YOU, for being amazing just as you are. Relish in the compliments of a healthy body, beautiful smile, more energy, better hair and skin and nails. Be proud of the things you can achieve in life, be proud over what you can accomplish and what you are good at, and even the things you try and fail at in life. Enjoy the compliments for a healthy body and be noticed for what you can do, not just for being super skinny or eating the least... those arent things to be proud over.


"


Do you want to know the truth? Here it is: your eating disorder doesn’t make you special.
Up to 1 in 10 college women suffer from an eating disorder or disordered eating. Eating disorders are among the most common chronic illnesses among adolescents. About 55% of the adult population is dieting at any given time.
Your eating disorder isn’t special. Millions of people have an eating disorder. You want to be special? You want to be noticed? You should want to be noticed because you’re kind, funny, smart, generous, creative, efficient, innovative, empathetic. You should want to be noticed because your personality is unique.
Don’t throw away your life just because you want someone to notice you’re skinnier than the average person. Eat your food, keep it down, and don’t overexercise. Find a way to be special that won’t fucking kill you someday." (http://becomingbrook.tumblr.com/post/142093173379/do-you-want-to-know-the-truth-here-it-is-your)

New changes in routine - less time to workout? Extra hungry?

I can really identify with this, i have recently restarted college and although im not fully recovered im further than i have been but what im finding hard is that ive no time to exercise anymore and im finding i need to eat more cos i cant concentrate if i dont. Im like so hungry and cos i drive there i am not doing barely anything. Ive put on lots of weight this week and feel awful. Im trying to tell myself my work is more important but i dont know what to do about the fear, the guilt, the hunger and the weight gain.


I thought i would answer your question/write a post about this as i am sure you are not alone with these thoughts and maybe the changes in daily routines.

The first thing i can say is that these cahnges in your lifestyle are OK. Life will always change and your routines and habits will have to change or adapt, and you cant let that change stop you from doing what you want.

When you study or work your body needs alot of fuel as your mind is always working and using so much energy. I dont know whether you were studying before hand, or if you have had a long break or just had a summer break now? But if its been a while since you studied last, you might not realise just how much energy your brain uses while studying or even when starting a new job. Even if you physically might not do as much, it feels like your body is using double the amount of energy because you feel so tired and mentally drained, and maybe even physically drained of energy. Give your body time to adapt, usually during the first few weeks of new school or new work or just new routines in life, dont make exercising the first priority. Instead do other "Life things" such as socializing, exploring, resting or studying/preparing/organizing. If you enjoy exercise you will find time for it again, but usually in the beginning or something new you might need to just take a break from exercise to find yourself, regain energy and then later on find time for exercise in your schedule.

Life is about so much more than food and exercise and weight. Now that you are back in college try to focus on your studies and all the college things and try to live life - as much as possible while still getting school work done, so to say! But what i have found in my own life is that the more i live life, the more i focus on my goals and doing fun things and creating a life i love. The less focus on my body, food or exercise or weight.... those things just arent important if you live a life you enjoy and focus on life.

Dont worry about the weight gain, it really isnt something to feel panicked about. Weight gain happens and it can be for numerous reasons - stress, eating more salt/drinking more water = body can retain water, less sleep, due to different hormones in the body acting up, or it could just be that you are eating more... and that is OK. If you are more hungry, then eat more... that is what you do. Dont focus on the number and do other things in life so that you dont just sit and think or stare at your body, 

You said that you werent fully recovered, so i would say now is the perfect time to focus on full recovery. Letting go of that need to exercise. - maybe refinding a glow/energy for workouts or cherishing that 1 hour you have 3 times a week to exercise instead of feeling like you need to exercise everyday or walk everywhere. Also aybe facing the fears of eating more/less structured/with less control.... dont let your eating disoder control you. Even if you find it scary to eat more - if that is what your body wants, then do it. Fight those thoughts and do the opposite of what your eating disorder wants. Facing your fears and the things that hold you back is the only way to recover.  So now with all the new changes/starting school again, try to find the REAL and healthy you.


Listen to your body. Take care of your body - but also do things in life that make you focus less on "controlled eating/counting everything you eat" and less on weight and exercise and more on being free and realising that there is more to life than body image, weight, exercise and food.



I know that this might not be the best post - but know that you will be ok. Face the fears. Create a life you love and dont let your eating disorder control you anymore!!!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

A day of exploring

Hello there :)

How is everyone doing? Me... i am doing well, though feel like i have too much physical energy and too little mental energy, haha so not really sure what to do with myself!

My day started rather early where i ate breakfast and got ready and then after doing some research i decided to walk into town to check out a gym which i might want to join. I had looked at the map and figured i would find it rather easily as it was close to my school. So i walked all the way to my school, and kept walking and walking and walking... and walked in circles. With no data or gps on my mobile and the only people out at that time of the morning was tourists and runners. So i kept walking in circles until finally 90 minutes later i found one of the gyms in the gym branch i wanted to join. I walked into the gym with sweat all over and looking all flustered! I got to look at the gym and i really liked it so decided to join that gym branch and am super happy about it, because now i have a gym close to home and 2 gym options close to my school!!

After that i did some exploring around the town and found a cafe which i have long wanted to try - however i will go back there some other day when i feel like "treating myself"! Eating out isnt really a priority or something i can do so often, so maybe after my first exam i will go there and get myself an acai bowl!!

Then finally i took the tram home and made myself a delicious lunch:



Which was followed by series watching and a snack, and then i got too much energy and didnt just want to lie in bed anymore. I must admit - i miss my job. Iit was active and it feels so strange to just sort of lie in bed for hours now... hahah, i have far too much physical energy for that!! Though once i start school i know i wont feel as restless and will enjoy just lying in bed.

Anyway, i decided to go exploring the area i live. On the map i saw that there was supposedly a park which i thought i could run sometime... but the park was super small and the park wasnt exactly a "run around forest/park" unless you just wanted to run for 5 minutes, hahaha. So i kept walking and exploring and ended up getting lost, haha. So i just began following people and hoping to find some some route or way i would recognize... turns out that following people isnt a good idea, and when they begin to notice you following them they begin to get creeped out - so then you have to just quickly take another way and begin following someone else, hahahaha. Eventually i found a centrum i recognized and i found a raw/vegan store close to where i live, and also went into a food store which sold alot of vegan products which i love!!! I know people think vegan eating might be healthy, but i actually eat so much processed food its crazy... hahah, so much of the processed fake meat and vegan chocolate and crisps and nuts with salt and oil etc But all i was craving this evening was lentils and potatoes and salad, so when i got home that was exactly what i made!!



It was a long exploring/adventure walk but i still have so much energy - i guess thats what happens when you eat alot of food. I.e food = energy! But i am going to spend my evening in bed with a film this evening and i am looking forward to a new day with more exploring tomorrow :)

I guess my whole day has been a positive in all honesty. Its strange how happy and content i feel at the moment. I am so glad that i made the decision to move and to go against the fear. New starts and changes are scary, but they can bring awesome things and new positive changes! I am hoping to continue feeling this energetic and happy and that school goes well!!


Do you have any positives of the day you want to share?

Something positive i want to share though is that the woman i am living with said she was inspired by my vegan eating so she ate a vegan dinner and bought some vegetarian products! That made me so happy to hear :)

Also i plan to write more about veganism and maybe what i eat as that has been requested :) I wont write out portions as i dont weigh or measure anything but maybe a weekly food diary or something if you want that?



Are you living or just waiting to die

An important thing in recovery and when you are reaching the stage of almost recovered, its important to begin doing things with your life again... to begin with hobbies and school or work. Going out with friends or family. Doing something you enjoy... this is to get you moving away from your ED. To do something with your life and realise that there is more to life than being sick, worrying about calories and weight and body size. Its easy to get stuck in your ED, not really want to let it go because its a comfort. But if you begin doing things you enjoy like starting a hobby you enhoy, then you begin focusing on that and you move away from your eating disorder.
  
If you just follow the same routines, keep eating your meal plan, dont really do anything with your life... then you are still stuck in your ED routines. But also you can feel like, is recovery really worth it`?  You dont get your life happiness back, you dont really use your new gained energy. So when you are getting closer to a normal weight and getting your energy back, then begin doing things with your life... this will also help with more balanced eating. Learning to eat at different times, eat out, let others prepare food for you. Eat different things and at different places. But it can also teach you that if someone offers a cookie or some chocolate its ok to take some, even if its not your 'usual snack' time....

Doing things you enjoy will give you happiness and a sense of purpose which is what you need after having an eating disorder or any mental illness. You need to feel happy again, find your reason to live and to know that it was worth it to recover!!!

Make recovery worth it by looking into the future and creating a life you love and enjoy. If you just stick with old habits and routines, refuse to change or change thoughts and just keep thinking the past was better - well then yeah, it can be pretty hard to focus on the present and feel like life is great in the present.

Let go of the past and focus on making and creating the best life you can :)

Friday, August 26, 2016

My day of travelling to Gothenburg & meeting my class - My thoughts about Gothenburg and how i am feeling

Hello everyone :)

And prepare for a long post because i have alot to write. But also i dont know when i will post again at the moment, but i felt like i wanted to write out my thoughts. Or well, i wanted to make a video but the walls are so thin in the apartment so the woman i am living with would hear me talking and i dont really feel like going outside to film. So writing will do :)

I'll start off with yesterday.... a day of travelling. We took an express/fast train at 10.30am so that we finally arrived at Gothenburg at 2pm. The train journey went well and i felt excited until the train began to roll into the station and that is when the anxiety i hit. Inside of me it was chaos and panic and i began thinking "what the hell am i doing?"... please stop. Stay on the train and ride back to Stockholm and refuse to be an adult and maybe time will stop. 
I guess the reality hit me once i was standing there with my bags. But i calmed myself down and my mum and i left our bags at a storage place so that we could wander around the town for a while and get some coffee while we waited until we could travel to the apartment.

As we walked around Gothenburg i felt the anxiety rising again, but also a sort of calmness as i began to recognize myself. And while wandering around we found were my school is and were i will be going for lectures and that was very calming. To see where i would be, and i felt so much better and felt like "Yes... this feels good. I like this place and i can imagine coming here everyday."

After a few hours we picked up our bags again and took the tram to the station where i will and found our way to the apartment.

The place i am living is really nice. It is very open and the walls are thin - which i slightly dislike. I.e if i get up early in the mornings i dont want to wake the owner up because all the doors and floors creak, haha. But all in all, the location seems pretty nice (But i will do some exploring during the weekend - and will also try to find a nice gym i like. Iit feels so strange at the moment to be gym less... and not have a gym to go to. :( ) and also the apartment is great for now. I am just thankful i have a place to live!!

After i had unpacked and gotten to sit down for a while, my mum took the tram back into town and ate dinner (burgers and fries as i wanted to try that burger place) and then my aunt and her partner joined us as they were currently in Gothenburg as well which was very random, haha.

And after that it was super late and i was half asleep on the way home again!


Onto this morning: It was time for a voluntary get together with the different classes and to get some introduction into the program and studies. My mum travelled with me to the school before she then took the train back to Stockholm.

On the way to the school i was filled with so much anxiety and worry, wondering if i should just call it quits and move back to Stockholm, but the closer we got to the school the less anxiety i felt, and by the time i was sitting in the lecture room i was feeling alot more calm.
I also did my best to smile and talk to people, as well as being the first one to say "hi" and to ask questions, which resulted in having 3 other girls to talk with and after the introduction they showed me around Gothenburg and we then went to get some coffee and sat talking for a while. It was super lovely and i am glad that i made the effort to be the first one to talk, but also glad that i didnt listen to the introvert side of me who screamed "i want to go home" when the girls suggested we wander around Gothenburg. I didnt feel like it, and just wanted to be on my own... but i went against that and also stayed when we got coffee. So i must say, i am rather proud of myself and i was filled with energy afterwards. I felt happy and like "I can do this. THis isnt so bad, and i do like this town and like the school and hopefully the class and lectures will be great!"

After that i decided to walk home and stopped at a gym to check out how it looked - and i think i might sign up to that gym branch as their is a facility close to where i live but also close to my school which works well. And then i also went food shopping to get all the basics anyway!!

And once i got home, that was when the tiredness hit and now it is just resting all evening and trying to process everything happening in my life at the moment, hahah.

It is alot to process and so much "new" so i am going to do my best to deal with it all. This weekend i have time to rest up, sort some things out, wander around the town, buy the things i need before school starts and set up a little plan over my routines/when to study/how my schedule looks etc

At the moment it all feels good. My first course at Uni will be a tough one, and not so fun as it isnt about nutrition, hahaha. But it is only 4 weeks long so hopefully it will go well, and i am going to do my best to be social and go to social events and just make the next few years of my life as amazing as they can be... and only time will tell what happens!!!


As i have so much to process i dont know when i will blog again, maybe this weekend... maybe next week, maybe in 2 weeks time... who knows. But i'll most likely blog during the weekend, but bare with me if the blogging isnt so great for the next while!!





Thursday, August 25, 2016

When family eat less than you - feeling guilty - eating disorder recovery

I am currently suffering from an ed now, but my family members around me always eating so less (especially my skinny mom and sister). Their portions of food are quite triggering that when I sitting with them and eat, I tend to eat less and the ed thought comes out. However, my mom and sister usually comment on my food, saying that I eat so less (but obviously, I eat so much comparing to their intake). How do I deal with this situation? I am feeling so hopeless now


Focus on you and what YOUR body needs. Everyone is different and needs different amounts. Instead of being jealous and thinking they eat less than you, so you need to eat less. Focus on that your body needs alot of energy and so you need to eat enough to fuel your body. Why try to eat low calories and little when you could instead eat as much as you want ? Isnt it better to be able to eat lots and feel full and eat all types of food?

Below are some helpful posts which might be beneficial to you!!


Not everyone around you is trying to recover from an eating disorder. Stop trying to compare yourself to how they do things - your needs are unique to you and you do what YOU gotta do.
— Kateryna @recoveryjournaling


I found this quote and thought it was important to share because when you are in recovery you can begin to wonder... why you arent allowed to do things which others are allowed to do? For me i never understood why i had to eat more and not allowed to workout while my sister ate less than me and was allowed to workout. I didnt understand why others could do 30 day no sugar challenges or cut out carbs or do a 30 day squat challenge and i wasnt allowed to do it. I didnt understand why others were allowed to walk places and i had to sit all the time and i didnt understand why some people were allowed to eat a later breakfast or a smaller breakfast and i had to eat a huge one each day whether i was hungry or not.

I compared myself to everyone... i wondered why people thinner than me werent in hospital or being told to eat more. I wondered why the patients thinner than me ate less than me, while i felt huge and had to eat lots.

Of course now i know why i wasnt allowed to do those things, because i was in recovery. I wasnt "normal" or "healthy". I had my own goals to follow and things such as 30 minutes exercise everyday or walking a station instead of taking the bus or cutting out on sugar, that wouldnt help me. That was the opposite of helpful in my case, even if that was what would be helpful to others who were "normal".

It is so important to focus on you and realise that when you are in recovery you are not the same as people who have never had an eating disorder or people who are just "Normal". You need to recover and that also means that recommendations and guidelines and what is "healthy/recommended" will be different. Because often what is healthy for a person recovering from a restrictive eating disorder is lots of rest and lots of food, while for someone who is "normal" then the recommendation might be to be a little more active and eat a little differently. But it is all very individual and that is the thing you need to remember. Not to compare yourself to others, but definitely not compare yourself to others when you are in recovery. Whether that is comparing yourself to other patients and wondering why they can eat a certain way or why they can workout and you cant, or comparing yourself to normal people/friends and wondering why they can do certain things and you cant.

For example, going vegan it isnt recommended in recovery but later on when you are healthier it is ok. Or things like eating more fat and less carbs or more carbs and less fat, finding the balanced intake for you can be done when you are healthier. But in recovery you just need to focus on facing your fear foods and being able to eat all types of food without guilt.

It is also important to remember that unfortunatly there are people who are "healthy" but who do have a weird relationship to food such as cutting down on certain foods or always doing yoyo diets or just dont have a very healthy relationship with food, then you can begin to wonder why they can do certain weird habits and you cant.... but you cant and shouldnt compare yourself to those types of people. Instead focus on you and your goals!!

Also remember, dont compare yourself or your eating habits to me. I am recovered and have been for 3,5 years... my life is "normal" and i have a healthy body and mindset. .I dont follow recovery rules and i dont necessarily follow the "recommendations" instead i know my body so well and know what is best for my body and those are the rules i follow.

Focus on you and what is best for your recovery!!! You cant control other people or what other people do, you can only control yourself and what you do, and so you need to make the best choice and decision for yourself!!

Ive written this post: http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/12/being-recovered-is-not-same-as-being-in.html which might be helpful and a good reminder as well!!



Below is a repost of an old post that might be helpful, and more helpful posts below as well!!

One of those tough situations you are put in during and after recovery is when friends or family around you are dieting or eating low kcal. That can trigger something within you, thinking that you are doing wrong by ordering a pasta dish when a friend orders a salad, or you eat a magnum ice cream and your sister takes a popsicle... you begin feeling guilty, anxious, triggered. You get self hate for yourself and believe you made the wrong decision because someone ate something that might be less calories. But you need to stop that type of thinking right then and there. To take a moment to just breathe and ask yourself What does it matter what someone else ate/is eating?
   Its easy to compare yourself to others, look at what others are eating and want to do the same thing. But you need to listen to yourself, know what YOUR body needs. There will always be someone dieting, wanting to lose weight or saying they have already eaten/not hungry. that doesnt mean you have to do it as well.


If you go to a cafe with a group of friends and you all order cake and hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and one of your friends orders a diet cola, it can evoke feelings inside of you. But you know what, WHO CARES. Instead enjoy that you can eat that cake or the extra scoop of ice cream or that toasted bagel etc and know that you will enjoy more food later on. You are giving your body energy, and you know what your friend will still eat later on and if they dont, well then feel sorry for them. Because a life without food, a life where you are scared to eat and obsessed with calories, that is a very sad life. Its barely a life at all. Instead be proud and happy of yourself that you are fighting for your health, that you know what your body wants and needs, that you can enjoy all types of food and give your body energy.
   And there will be people who are dieting and trying to lose weight and you know what, some people need to lose weight. Dont get triggered by that... weightloss is not your life goal, some people need it to be healthy that doesnt mean you have to lose weight as well or that you are suddenly in competition or you need to eat less than them.
   You are not a monkey, you shouldnt just follow others. I mean if someone jumps does that mean you have to jump as well? No it doesnt.  Everyone goes their own ways and has to know what is best for them.

So instead of focusing on what others are doing focus on what is best for YOU.

When you get guilty feelings or feel triggered by friends or family, take a moment to just breathe and think rationally. Even if that means you go to the bathroom and just try to calm down for a few moments. Or even sit in the bathroom and write down your thoughts... ive done this before, even if it meant i was gone 10 minutes. That was what i needed to do to calm down and then be able to actually eat. Be kind to yourself and your body!! Having a good motto or mantra to repeat to yourself in tough times is also a good idea :):)


I hope this helps. Focus on YOU and YOUR body and YOUR goals. Not on what others are doing.



Other helpful links:
Trying to gain weight while your partner/family member tries to lose weight
How much to eat - portion sizes - eating more than family
Comparison with siblings
Eating more than others
Feeling like you need to eat less than others
Thoughts about other peoples food intake
Low calories is not everything in life