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

Translate

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Being judged for having an eating disorder

By having my social media and opening up about my story and my past struggles, i have also opened up for comments, both positive and negative ones. I've opened up for judgement and critique from people who dont even know me, but think they do because of the text i write and photos i share, or just because i am a "public person".

A reason why i dont tell new people in my life about my past struggles with an eating disorder - and everything else that was involved with that - is beause i dont want to be judged. I am sure many wouldnt judge me negatively, but at the same time their opinion or their view on me could change. For example i want to be able to eat a salad without someone judging me because of my past and thinking that it is an eating disorder making me choose a salad at a restaurant. I want to be able to go for a run in the morning before breakfast before people jumping to the conclusions that i am restricting myself and trying to burn calories. I want to say that i am vegan without someone thinking that it is just an eating disorder, and i want to be able to say that i love working out and eating healthy without someone jumping to the conclusion that i have developed orthorexia. I want to be normal and like everyone else, which is what i am in my "real life". I am just like anyone else... there are no body comments or remarks about weight gain or weight loss, and the only comments i get about my food is asking for vegan food advice or how to cook certain food or make vegan food taste good or what vegan options there are. I do of course get regular comments about the amount of food i eat, but those dont bother me and i have learnt to deal with them becuase most new people i meet and eat food with comment about my portions or combination of food!

Online however i can get comments telling me that i have just gone from anorexia to orthorexia, or people commenting about my weight and my body - as if it was any of their business - commenting about the food i eat and what i should eat or shouldnt eat, about my portion sizes etc  They dont really bother me, i just get used to them and well... when i post pictures of food, of course there will be comments about it. Bbut sometimes it bothers me when people so freely comment about my appearance, whether it is to say that "i look too small", "i have too little fat", "i looked better when i didnt have so much muscle", "i looked better when i was even skinnier", "am i even a healthy weight?", "am i even healthy/recovered from my eating disorder" etc It just seems unnecessary to comment about my appearance. I look the way i do, and i am a healthy weight (though i dont weigh myself at all if i amnt at the hospital and need to be weighed). But also a healthy mind and a healthy lifestyle/life.

If i hadnt mentioned or been so open about the fact that i have struggled with an eating disorder i dont think people would comment things like that on my photos - or personally email me and attack me. (Yup, thats happened -_-' Or people who personally email me and tell me all the reasons they hate me or dislike me and what i do ? ) I would just be "another online person" who workouts and eats a vegan diet. I dont think people would so freely comment and say "im sick" or "i look too skinny" etc if they didnt know i had once had an eating disorder.

However, i do also find that when i am with my family i am not really allowed to comment "i am so blaoted" or "i feel huge today" or even to be happy when i see some type of progress from working out (I may not workout for appearance reasons, but i am not going to deny that it makes me happy when i begin to see more back muscles or my arms begin to look bigger. ) Whenever i do make comments like that (which happen 1% of the time) my mum always comments back with "You shouldnt be so body focused... your appearance doesnt matter". And i am well aware of this... this is what i preach on here, but at times i wish that i could just make a comment about my body and not be reprimanded for it. I.e i should be able to say that i am bloated or look 8 months pregnant, or fish for a compliment about my body without being told i am shallow or negative or not allowed to do that - purely because i have struggled with body image problems in the past. Whenever my sister comments about her body she was never told that she was "body focused" or "shouldnt complain/talk about her body" instead she would just get lots of compliments about the way she looked, whereas i dont get any... hahaha (do i sound jealous?!!!)


Anyway... a ver long ramble. But i guess i just wanted to write, that in a way i will always be different and judged because i have had an eating disorder. There are things that make me different from my friends, such as i AMNT as focused on my body as others are, i have more balanced eating/thoughts about food compared to friends (or thats how i feel anyway), am more of a positive thinker etc but i can write about that in another post maybe!


Do any of you feel the same way about being different and judged because of having/have had an eating disorder? Or like you get more comments about your body and food compared to others?





Tuesday, September 27, 2016

First university course completed and a glass of wine to celebrate (& talking about vegan alcohol)

Hello :)

It feels like the hours and days are just running away and my days are filled with things to do from early in the morning to late in the evening. But i am not complaining, as long as i get one or two hours in the evening to just lie in bed and watch a series/youtube, i dont mind having my days filled with things to do!

This morning i got up early, felt unmotivated and negative but decided to change my thoughts and just make the best of the day, and that was the best choice i could make because my day did turn out positive!

First up a walk to the gym and a short workout before i headed to school to finish up my notes for my presentation before the rest of my group joined me. And then it was some practise/run through of our presentation before finally, at 1pm it was time for us to present... however during the presentations (not mine) the fire alarm went off in the school building and we all had to evacuate. Several hundred students and teachers stood outside, not quite sure whether it was just a fire drill or an actual fire. But shortly after a fire car arrived, though it didnt seem like it was anything serious so eventually we all got to return into the building and then it was just to try to refocus and gather my thoughts again for my presentation.

Finally at 4pm our presentation was done and everyone in the class could sigh of relief that for now the first course of the progam is completed and all the stress that we have felt could be released. And what was the best way to celebrate? A few of us went to a bar to get something to drink and celebrate.

At first i wasnt super excited to follow with - the introverted and comfortable side of me wanted to just return home, to eat and lie down. But i knew that i needed to push past those feelings, now was my chance to really bond and talk with others from my class and make a better connection. And i had to remind myself that i have the whole Wednesday to rest, so now i needed to just step outside of my comfort zone and socialize more.
So i followed with and had every intention to just buy a redbull or a cola zero, but once i got to the bar i ended up buying a glass of white wine - it felt like a good time and to just be carefree. I dont promote drinking and i dont drink and in all honesty i dont actually like drinking on random occasions like today. I rather save my alcohol consumption to New years. But i made my choice, and well i had to deal with the spinning and dizziness i felt after just half a glass of wine. I really didnt feel so great and it was harder to hear, i felt like i would fall off my chair and i didnt dare go to the bathroom until we were leaving as i thought i would fall over if i tried walking.
Basically... i was reminded of why i dont drink, not even a little. Not to mention that the medication i take for my CF shouldnt be mixed with alcohol. Bbut i was reminded of why i dont like drinking, it is just a waste of money according to me and nothing i want to put into my body (even if i do think it tastes good, i dont want to put alcohol into my body and to feel so unstable.)

But also on the way home i began to realise that not all alcohol is vegan and then when i checked up the white wine i had drunk i realised it wasnt vegan. Which then caused a little anxiety, because i just contributed to animal abuse (in some form). Of course it wasnt on purpose and its not like i went and bought some chicken to eat, but still... i should have thought about it. But because i dont drink i have never had to consider what alcohol is vegan or not, but now i am going to make a list and remember so that next time i drink alcohol i will hopefully choose one which is vegan.

This is kind of a learning lesson for me. Because this is the first time i have bought something/consumed something none vegan since i went vegan months ago. And i need to realise that this doesnt make me less of a vegan or like a bad person. I made a mistake and i am not perfect, but i have learnt from my mistake and i didnt knowingly contribute to the animal abuse, and next time i can make better choices.

Of course some of you might think "wow she is over reacting" but i dont think i am. For me, being a vegan means not contributing to any animal abuse... its not just a diet. Its not just that i dont consume meat or eggs or dairy, but that i dont buy products tested on animals, i dont buy drinks or supplements which have animal products. For example the next time i get my hair cut i will make sure that the hair dresser uses products that havent been tested on animals, and the next time i get a tattoo i will make sure that the ink is vegan, and of course things like hair colour i need to be aware of whether its been tested on animals or not etc (So if you are thinking about going vegan, realise all of thse things  aswell... if you just change your diet, you are just eating plant based and its not a lifestyle change). I do my best, but i am sure i will make other mistakes in the future, i am not perfect. but of course some of my CF medication contains animal products and in the future i hope that they wont, but i am not going to risk my health either. I want to do my best to not contribute to businesses that earn money on animal suffering/death.

Anyway, moving on... i just felt like i needed to write this out.

I had a great time with some of my class mates and it was nice to get that extra bonding time and out of school socializing. Making better connections with people, and of course with a little (or a lot for some people) alcohol in the system its more of a flowing conversation and lots of laughing and walls are broken down etc etc Next time though i am going to stay with alcohol free!

Also wanted to mention that alcohol definitely stimulates an appetite. I came home and it was like i had  a black hole in my stomach - of course that wasnt just the alcohol, but it was like an unsatisfied feeling which i think was due to the alcohol! So extra food was eaten.
Just thought i would mention this, that if you are drinking you might feel more hungry (and its ok to eat more as well!!!) DOnt be scared and sit and feel super hungry, your body still needs energy and fuel when you drink. I can also mention that drinking on an empty stomach isnt a good idea, thats what i did today which contributed to the alcohol affecting me quicker and worse, but also to the extra hunger from not eating enough before drinking but also the alcohol.
So just a little note - but i am guessing its a well known fact that you should have food in your stomach before consuming alcohol!! :)


Yesterdays lunch! Vegan fish fingers on bread with ketchup, potatoe wedges and vegetables.

Lunch (in a box!) Oumph, cashews, vegetables, taco chuips and cheese sandwiches.
Potatoe fries yesterday!!

Should you move away from home/live on your own if you struggle with an eating disoder or depression?

Moving away from home is a rather big step and life changer for most people. For some it is a bigger deal that for others, and for some it is a scarier life change than for others.

Personally, moving away from home has never been a "big thing" or never been something that has scared me (of course at times before i first moved out it scared me, but after that it hasnt). Ever since i was 14 i longed to move away from home and live on my own... i even looked for apartments, but of course as a 14 year old struggling with an eating disorder and suicidal thoughts as well as locked up in an eating disorder clinic, there wasnt much chance that i would be living on my own in the near future. For the next 6 years i dreamed of having my own place, being independant and being an adult, and finally i got the chance to move away from home. At the time i was struggle alot with my depression and had been dealing with suicidal thoughts and lack of life motivation, but the change in scenery and the new life change was exactly what i needed. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, my life changed somewhat and i needed that life change to give me a little boost in life motivation. However it wasnt always easy living on my own and struggling with depression. I was stuck in my little depression bubble - i had no friends in the new area i was living in, i was constantly tired and stressed, low on energy, trying to find positives to keep me going. There were days i didnt have the energy to go grocery shopping or do laundry or clean my room, but they had to be done anyway. When i moved away from home i didnt call or text my family or friends, they were the ones calling and texting me, making sure that i was ok and i would only answer 20% of the time and most often just declined or ignored their messages.... living in my own little bubble. The introverted part of me loved being alone all the time, having no obligation to meet anyone, having no obligation to be social or to smile, just living in my own little bubble. And my depression meant that i was always tired and just did the bare minimum... i studied, i went to school, i worked out and did the basic adult things. At times i had energy and felt happy, other times i could barely get out of bed in the morning and spent my days from 9am to 8pm sitting by the kithcen table, studying.
Moving away from home both helped me recover from my depression, but also held me back from recovery. I needed the new change of scenery, i needed my time alone to just think and figure my life out and what i wanted in life, i needed to test to be an adult and to be independant and to do all the adult things and have no obligation to anyone else (well... i did have a boyfriend back then... but still). I didnt take the best care of myself though, i didnt take my medication, i didnt always brush my hair or eat the healthiest food, i was sometimes a wreck.

When i moved back home again (as my study time was done), i longed to move away from home again but at the same time it was sort of a comfort to live at home again. To see my dog everyday, to have people around me and to eventually talk about my depression with my mum and to get the support and help i needed to recover. It felt good to eat dinner with my family again at times. Of course my depression recovery was due to many factors and i wont get into that now. But over the summer i got better and now when i moved away from home again - and without deep depression, i am doing so much better and coping better with living on my own. I make sure to stay in contact with my family daily, take my medication daily and keep my room tidy and take care of myself and with a vegan diet that my body feels best from i get the right energy and nourishment to keep my body and mind healthy. Living on my own when i dont struggle with depression is so much easier/better than when i lived on my own and struggled with depression.




So after this long post, i will finally get to my opinion about living on your own while struggling with an eating disorder or depression.

My opinion is that you shouldnt live on your own if you are struggling. 1) Bbecause you need support and people around you. I know its nice to be on your own and have your own space, but if you live on your own it is so easy that you have "too much" alone time and that your thoughts take over. But also if you struggling with restrictive eating then you have others around you who make you eat or you eat meals together with so that you dont have to be your own "guard". It is easier to follow a meal plan and to rest when someone else is there making you do it. Also if you struggle with binge eating or purging, then you can sit with family members/whoever you are living with, until those thoughts and compulsion to binge or purge pass. But if you are on your own it is easy to just start binging and purging and no one is there to stop you.

With eating disorders and depression you most often want to be alone. You want to be stuck in your own little bubble where no one ruins your routines or habits, no one forces you to step outside of your comfort zone or change your habits. But that is exactly why you need someone to do that.... being on your own and suffering in silence wont help you recover, even if its "nicer and easier" and what your illness wants. If you are on your own and day in and day out suffer in silence and just follow your sick habits and routines, then it is much harder to recover and to change your ways because you have no "reason" or no one making you change your habits.

I personally wouldnt recommend that you live on your own or move away from if you are struggling with an eating disorder or depression. UNLESS your family/where you are currently living, is making your illness worse or is the cause of your illness... then it can be good to get away. Or if you feel that you CAN make a change while on your own, that you just need a change in scenery, that can be helpful but then you also have to be honest with yourself if you can cope on your own or not.

Moving away from home can be helpful for some, but i think that if you are struggling alot then it will just make your illness worse. Your illness wants you to be on your own, have no one interfere with your routines, but being alone wont help you at all... it can lead to you just getting sicker. So think about your reasons and motives for wanting to move away from home.

But also realise that if you are struggling alot, then maybe moving away from home to study might not be the best option. Your health should come first and school comes second... so if you have moved away from home to study but are struggling alot, then know that it is ALWAYS ok to move home again and get the support you need to recover. There is no shame in that. Moving home again and having support over the summer was exactly what i needed and now i am in a much better place!!


A very long post, but it was something i was thinking about this morning.

What are your opinons about this? Have you moved away from home while struggling with an eating disorder or depression? Did it help you or hinder you?

Changing the negatives to the positives

Image result for positive mindset


Good morning everyone :)

Tuesday morning and i woke up and had a rather negative mindset where i just wanted to complain about everything.... "it's getting colder", "its getting darker", "i have a stomach ache", "i dont want to do my presentation", "im tired" etc etc Waking up and feeling negative is never a good start and just makes me feel tired and unmotivated for the rest of the day, so instead i decided to change my thinking.

Autumn and winter means warmer clothes and can use my heating blanket and walk around with afluffy night gown on inside. Autumn/winter means that it is ok to wear fluffy scarves and big jumpers outside - i can wear all dark and grey clothes and its normal!
It may be getting darker, but that just means that i have to embrace the hours when it is bright outside! And once my presentation is done today i have a day off from school and school work tomorrow before my next course begins on Thursday. It may be hard to breathe and i feel tired and heavy, but once ive gone for a walk i know i will feel much better.

I could complain about everything, but i know that isnt helpful and definitely wont lead to a great day. So instead, starting my day with positive thinking, coffee and a morning walk while listening to a podcast.  The best way to start the day according to me.

Today might not be the best day ever, but there is something great in everyday.

I hope that all of you manage to change your negative thoughts into positive ones and try to find something good about yourself and your day. Those negative thoughts and negative vibes wont lead to anything positive.

Today, make sure to smile or laugh. Try to get some fresh air. Drink enough water and think positive. Do something today that will bring you closer to your goals, a small step forward makes a difference :)


Monday, September 26, 2016

Mentally and physically tired

Hello :)

I am sosorry for my lack of psots recently, my group project has taken up all of my time and i have felt very tired and low on energy. Yesterday we somehow managed to get the essay done and sent in by 8.30pm, however i had done everything and done all of my own parts by 2pm, but the others didnt get around to finishing their parts/the grammar until that time... but i knew i had done all i could so i came home and just rested.

This morning, Monday, i was far from energetic or excited for the day. I felt sooo tired, my mind telling me "No, stay in bed", and if it wasnt that i had a presentation to work on with my group, i would have just stayed home. In the morning i felt dizzy and lightheaded as well  as sort of "out of it", and i wanted to cry for random reasons (though i think thats just hormones!). However i was very distant and tired all day today and i am surprised that i even managed to get any work done.
  When i got home by 3.30pm the plan was to eat and practise what i am going to say for my presentation tomorrow, but instead i felt so dizzy and tired that i have been in and out of sleep the past 5 hours and only woke up at 8.30pm when my house tennant knocked on my door to see if i was ok. (As we usually talk about our days in the afternoon/evening, but i hadnt been out of my room since she got home).

I definitely feel a little run down at the moment but i blame it mostly on my CF health which isnt so good at the moment. My lungs hurt alot when i breathe and the medication makes me tired and my heart beat fast, and my lungs are just working so hard right now to try to get the oxygen around in my body. It kind of sucks and scares me, because at times it is my stomach that is cramping and i have digestion problems due to my CF and other times like now, it feels like my lungs are like lead and each breath hurts and coughing blood is a weekly or daily event. But oh well.... thats life with a chronic illness, however it doesnt help that at the moment i have no hospital to turn to for advice/help. Anyway...  I just wanted to write  alittle update into my life :) I am basically just doing school work, sleeping, eating and at times working out... not much more than that at the moment. But the truth is, everyone in my class has said the same thing.... they dont have the time to socialize or have a life because studies is taking up so much time, so i am not alone in my "simple life routines" hahah.

I hope you are all doing well :) And if you want to see more of any types of posts/less of any types of posts, or have any questions just ask me... or resend your question as i dont always go back and check old comments (i.e i keep telling myself i will, but theni  completely forget until 4 weeks later!). I am not ignoring any of you, i just have so much else on my mind that i forget half the things i say i will do!! :)







Sunday, September 25, 2016

When you know what you are doing is wrong but you can't stop

It is much easier to give out or to read advice, but much harder to actually follow it or implement it yourself. I was thinking about the past when i struggled with my eating disorder, i was given advice about what to do or how to think or how to cope, and even if part of me knew that i should "just eat" i just couldnt do it anyway. I wasnt stupid when i was sick, even if the rational and logical part of my brain wasnt at its best as the things i did and said or thoughts i had were far from logical or rational due to my eating disorder.

I knew that purging wasn't healthy or normal. I knew that skipping breakfast and lunch and snacks and just eating a tiny bit of dinner wasnt normal, but i couldnt stop either. When i was going through a binge-purge-restrict cycle i knew that it wasnt healthy and i kept telling myself "tomorrow.... tomorrow i wouldnt binge or purge", but the same thing happened anyway no matter how much i told myself "tomorrow i will change".

Often you know what is right or wrong - not always, but often. But it isnt always easy to follow the right advice when you struggle with an eating disorder.  Your mind goes blank and your eating disorder controls you and you can't think straight or properly or think about the consequences of your actions. If only it was as simple as "just eat" or "dont purge" then nobody would struggle with an eating disorder. When you struggle with an eating disorder you also become a little blind to reasonable thinking around food, such as when i was restricting i couldnt even eat half an apple without feeling extremely guilty, but then when i was binging i could eat a whole loaf of bread, 12 cookies, a box of raisins and half a box of granola all at once and as long as i purged i would feel somewhat ok.

When it comes to recovery it isnt enough to just read advice or recieve advice - you have to follow it as well. And it isnt enough to just say "i'll start tomorrow" over and over and keep going with your destructive habits because tomorrow never comes.

Image result for recovery steps eating disorders
My best tips is to set up goals and decide on a plan you follow everyday/weekly. For example, in the beginning of recovery from restrictive eating you decide that you eat 4 meals a day, no compromising. You set up that goal and then you just make sure to do it.... and i know its easier to write it on here, and not as easy to follow when you are sick. But i do believe that if you decide on small steps every day/week it will get you far in recovery. If you dont have a plan or routine to follow in recovery it is so easy to compromise... if you instead follow a meal plan where it says exactly what you should eat then there is no "i dont know what to eat. Im not hungry. I want to eat just salad etc" type of thoughts, because it is already decided for you. Or if you decide that two times a week you face a fear food, and decide that Wednesday and Saturday night you will eat 2 scoops of ice cream, and then it is just to do it... no matter how much anxiety or guilt you feel.

Of course you also have to have "blind faith" and just trust the process of recovery and the advice you recieve. As well as trying to think logically and rationally, for example... if others can eat 2000-2500kcal and maintain, why cant you do that? Or if others can eat normal portions for their meals, why cant you do that as well? Why are you "special" or "different". You need to challenge your eating disorder thoughts and try to find the "real" you and be smarter than your ED. And just trust the steps and process of recovery - as well as finding how to cope with the anxiety and guilt you may feel.


Decide to set up a recovery plan/steps and follow them. Trust the process but also decide that you WANT to and NEED to recover. No one can make you recover, that happens on the inside with your thoughts. Recovery is about physically and mentally recovering and all those ED thoughts you have.... you need to fight them and face them and need to acknowledge which thoughts are unhealthy and need to change. And then it is up to you to face your fears to overcome those thoughts and to find the root of the problem to help change your thoughts! Its not enough to just eat or just rest, but also to change your thoughts regarding food, body image, weight, exercise, self esteem, the future/past etc

Somewhere inside you you know what is right and wrong and even if your mind can go blank or your eating disorder makes you do things which arent healthy or logical, know that you have the strength inside of you to do what is right!

Image result for recovery steps eating disorders
Image result for recovery steps eating disorders
Image result for recovery steps eating disorders