Life without Anorexia

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

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 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 now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Thinking the past was better and comparing yourself with the past

Could you write something about comparing yourself to when you were sick. I am doing this and I don't know why or how to stop. I compare my meals, my body etc. I look back and actually miss the days I spend eating large amounts of food and not looking fat. I miss being the skinny one. I just look past how aweful I felt and how sick I was and think of all the 'positive'. Allthough there wasn't much positive really!? I have curently a healthy weight, declared healthy, but not living my life fully the way I should :/ I worry about my weight... An eating disorder is all in the head, right? Well, then I think people that are supposed to help anorexics should consider that before they declare someone like me healthy. I am maintaining my weight, but I feel aweful.


*repost* 



The brain is funny in the way that it can make the past look a little better than it actually was. It takes away the pain and emotions and all the awfulness and instead paints up a picture of "it was great in the past". In the past i struggled with the same comparison as you i.e my mind told me that weighing 10kg less wouldnt be so bad, because i was still functioning and happy (?) when i had weighed that little before.... my mind tried to paint the picture that things were fine in the past. But then i had to remind myself that there was a reason i had gained the weight, the reason i had fought to try to recover and a reason that i had made and wanted changes. The past had been filled with anxiety, guilt, self hatred and i hadnt liked my body when i was so underweight i still had the fat feelings and hated myself and my body. When i thought rationally and logically i realised that the past wasnt better than the present and that the problems i was dealing with in the present were problems i could deal with and not resort to old behaviours.


Nostalgia is a liar - something i have learned in life. That the past always seems to have a rosy taint to it and makes everything seem better than it was, especially when times are tough in the present. The important thing is to try to focus on the now and not look into the past, unless you are trying to learn from past mistakes or to see how far you have come. Staying in the present and making the present time good is the important thing, not looking into the past and thinking the past was better as it often wasnt, and even if it was... you can't go back.


As you wrote, eating disorders are mental illnesses and often the body heals before the mind. And to truly recover mentally can take a long time, but it is not impossible. If you find that you are still struggling i would suggest maybe seeking help such as therapy, or just consling in someone? I find it strange how doctors and people in health care just focus on weight and the physical aspects of eating disorder recovery and not so much on the mental side, despite eating disorders actually being a mental illness. So many are "declared healthy" or no longer recieve treatment despite that they still struggle but have a healthy weight. 

The first thing i would suggest is 1) maybe seek help again? and 2) Focus on what YOU can do to change your thoughts and things in your life to make your life better. And these changes don't include going back into the past or relapsing or changing your body. Instead they should include changing your thoughts, facing the fears you have, getting ride of a scale if you weigh yourself as well as maybe starting a new hobby or finding a new interest - something to get you out of the house and doing something fun. Try to create a life now that you enjoy, a life which makes you want to live life and appreciate how far you have come and how awesome life can be. But if you just sit at home and do nothing and "feel fat" and think 'life was better when i was skinny', then the present wont feel so great. But if you create an awesome life now and focus on the present and happiness then going back into the past doesnt feel tempting at all.

I would also suggest getting rid of old photos or clothes or anything that makes you hold onto the past or could be triggering for you. Things such as too small clothes or triggering pictures aren't things you need in your life anymore, instead focus on the healthy and present you.

Also remember that just because you have a healthy weight does not mean that you are fat, and i am sure that you can still eat plenty - if recovery is done right then you should be able to eat enough and not have to restrict to maintain your weight, if that is the case then you might not be at your healthy set point.  Try to focus on self love and the positive things about yourself. Focus on the positives about who you are, how you look and your life... each day try to say 5 positive things about yourself. It might seem fake or cheesy in the beginning but it gets easier and it feels awesome when you can begin to love yourself and look in the mirror and feel at peace - and it all begins in your mind and your thoughts. Self love and happiness comes from the inside and wont happen from staying in the past or hating yourself or constantly trying to change your body.

Focus on dreams and goals and the future, what can you do in your life NOW to make it good - and make it a place you want to be? What can you do now that you couldnt do when you were sick? Try to appreciate your body for what it can do and not how it looks. But also try to set up goals and dreams - both long term and short term, that can make you excited to live life and be healthy enough to achieve them.

Life wont get better unless you make it better, and if your thoughts are stuck in the past and with an eating disorder then you wont feel better. But if you instead make a list of all the reasons why an eating disorder is aweful and why you dont want to go back to it and all the reasons why losing weight is a terrible idea, and then look at that list each time nostalgia tries to convince you that your eating disorder wasnt so bad.

It gets easier and life is awesome if you make it awesome! And i know its easy to get stuck in the mindset of "life is aweful now, why be "fat" and feel aweful when i could lose all the weight again and be skinny and feel aweful", but trust me... it doesnt work that way. And a healthy weight does not equal fat, and an underweight does not equal healthy. Focus on self love and making your present life great!!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Following a meal plan and not cheating with food - eating disorder recovery

Hi, Izzy! I am on the road of recovery currently and really want to recover. However, I find so hard to follow my meal plan that the urges to manipulate and eat less keep controlling me. What can I do to stop those behaviors?

Hello, its great to hear that you want to recover - that is the first step. However its not enough to just want to recover, you have to make the changes necessary to recover. You have to face your fears and fight your eating disorder to fully recover.

When it come to following a meal plan and not cheating, its up to you to make the decision to actually follow the meal plan. I know its easy to think that it doesnt matter or that cheating here or there is ok or skipping meals sometimes isnt so bad, but that is compensating and comprimising with your eating disorder which is not what you should do.  

My suggestion also is that if you live with someone else, tell them the ways that you cheat with your meal plan. It might not be easy and it might feel shameful but in the long term it will help you. If your parents or family or friends know what you should be eating for your meals or know about the ways you cheat with your meal plan then they can keep an eye on you. Of course they cant force you to eat, but you might not want to cheat when you know that someone else knows what you are doing... or when you are kept accountable for your actions. 

You also have to remember that food is fuel and in the end, you arent cheating anybody but yourself. In the end its YOU who has to deal with the consequences. You can keep eating less, keep skipping meals or not eating what you should but in the end its you who still has the eating disorder, its you who still has fear foods, its you who still has guilt and anxiety around food. The only way to break free from that is to face the fears, to follow your meal plan, to eat what your body needs and to fight your eating disorder, otherwise you will be stuck with the fears and the guilt around food. 

I know its not easy, but in the end you have to realise that food isnt bad, and your meal plan isnt "too much", the food on your meal plan is what your body needs. Food isnt shameful or something that should give you guilt, its what your body needs and the only way to recover is to face your fears and to do the things that scare you. It does get easier i promise. However it is easier to follow your meal plan when you 1) know why you want to recover and 2) actually want to recover and 3) have someone else to eat your meals with and make sure that you are eating what you should. Of course if you dont have anyone to eat your meals with, then you just need to be extra strict with yourself and each time you feel like cheating with your meal plan ask yourself what it will lead to... what good will come from cheating on your meal plan? Sure you might have less anxiety for the moment, but it makes your eating disoder stronger and it just keeps you sicker for longer. 

Each meal time you have a choice and you can either choose to stay sick or choose to go against your eating disorder and eat what you should be eating. Its up to you to make that choice, no one else can make it for you. But its your life and you have to take control of your life and not let your eating disorder control you anymore.

Of course, its easier said than done, but its not impossible - you just have to be stronger than your eating disorder and know that following your meal plan will HELP you! :)

Image result for eating disorder recovery quotes
Image result for eating disorder recovery quotes

Is it necessary to take vitamin supplements?

Is taking vitamin supplements necessary?

I often get asked from whether they should take vitamin supplements or not, whether they should buy more or add more supplements into their diet. And i am always wary of answering, because when it comes to supplements more isnt always better. I.e sure 1 vitamin C tablet has its benefits but if you take 3 a day, all you are going to do is pee out the excess vitamin C. Of course with the water soluble vitamins, C and B, you pee the excess out (apart from b12 which gets stored in the body). And the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K get stored in the body so its worse to have an over consumption of those. (Even if toxic level would require extreme doses).

Usually taking a multivitamin a day isnt so dangerous and most people do it, and now a days most people seem to take magnesium and calcium tablets which i dont see too much of a problem for even if isnt always necessary and that all you are really getting is a placebo effect and wasted money.

Vitamin supplements are necessary for some, but not for everyone. If you dont have a deficiency or on a low level for a vitamin or mineral, there really is no need to take a supplement. Your first choice however should always be food and to look at what you are eating. I've followed people online - on Youtube - who were eating a diet plan and mostly ate chicken, potatoes, rice, broccoli and so werent getting alot of vitamins or minerals into their diet due to lack of variety as well as not enough food. So they relied on tablets to make up for the lack of variation and energy into their diet - which of course works to some extent - but the first thing you should do is to change your diet. Eat more vegetables, more nutritionally dense food and not just take tablets and think everything is fine. Food should be the first way of getting all your vitamins and minerals, and then supplements are just that... supplements.

Also just adding into supplements isnt always the best or just guessing that you have deficiencies. Sometimes you can tell that you have all the symptoms of a certain vitamin deficiency, but my recommendation is always to get blood tests done and not just guess. It might be that you have more deficiencies than one, or it might be that you dont lack any vitamin and all you need to do is sleep more and eat more vegetables, for example.

Balance is best and multivitamins usually have very high doses of vitamins and sometimes it can be too much, especially if you are mixing supplements. For example i know people who have taken 2 multivitamins, D vitamin, calcium, magnesium, extra B vitamins per day and then when i looked at the multivitamin package i saw that there was pretty much 100%+ of everything and the other supplements werent necessary.

So to sum it up, get blood tests done if you suspect a deficiency. Your diet should be the first thing you change before supplements.

Also remember that some supplements such as multivitamins or B12 supplements as well as vitamin A, D, E, K should be consumed with food (most often, but it varies). This is because 1) multivitamins can have very high doses and concentration and can cause some nausea/illness feelings if taken on an empty stomach and 2) the fat soluble vitamins are best absorbed with some form of fat. For example eat a few nuts or seeds or drink some milk(vegan or not vegan) at the same time.

And lastly... a link to a fact sheet about vitamins and minerals so you can do your own research. The fact sheet is from the USA so recommendations vary in each country, for example in the nordic countries the recommendation for vitamin D is different due to less sunlight during winter times.

And some questions to ask yourself before taking vitamins or supplements.


Also note, in recovery and after having messed up eating habits (whether its starvation, binge/purge, binging etc) your vitamin,mineral and electrolyte levels can be off and can be low. And some people end up with digestion problems and they dont absorb food as well as they used to, so in those cases supplements can help you, also if you havent or arent eating enough calories there is less chance that you are getting enough of the vitamins and minerals you need. But like mentioned above, eating enough and varied is the most important... dont just eat little food and take supplements and think its fine - the goal should be to get almost all the energy and nutrients you need from your diet and then just supplements as extra if necessary.

(Also note, if you are eating enough and varied on a vegan diet it is possible to get all the vitamins you need apart from b12, which all vegans need to take a supplement of. You also dont get any omega 3 from a vegan diet, however you can get EPA and DHA fatty acids from oils, nuts, seeds. But i have THIS post which has more information which can be useful if you are wondering about vitamins and minerals on a vegan diet.)


Just a little information post on this Thursday morning as it is something i have been thinking about and wanting to make a post about.
Image result for vitamins and minerals

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Strange study day and 3 meals from today

Hello and good evening everyone :)

Today has been a rather strange day for me... Not that strange or weird things have happened, but that i have felt rather strange today. A little bit out of it and nothing has gone as planned or thought out and my routines and habits have been completely off today, which always makes me feel a little strange.

It started off by sleeping past my alarm and waking up alot later than planned. And usually i am out the door and on my way to school or the gym within 60 minutes of waking up, or 90-120 minutes if i blog in the morning. Today however i ended up getting stuck infront of the computer and had different things to do at home so didnt leave the house until almost 3 hours after waking up which is STRANGE for me. I have usually left the house within 2 hours of waking up, if it isnt that i am sick.

However i packed with me lunch and headed to school and ate my lunch there and did some studying on my own while i waited for my friends to join me. Usually i workout before school  though as we had planned a certain time to study together and i had woken up so late and done other things in the morning i thought i would work out after school. Though as the hours passed by i felt myself getting very tired and got an awful headache as well as getting low blood sugar/hangry, so instead i headed home and made myself a quick 5 minute snack before having to lie down and rest and let the headache pass.





And then it was just to shower an make dinner which i am now going to eat! This day has just flown by and ive felt very strange, also the fact that i never (or rarely) get headaches but i think it might be due to some neck pain/strain. This evening i plan to continue just lying in bed and watching documentaries and tomorrow the plan is to just sit and study at home and try to focus, because when i study with friends its usually just 50% study and 50% sit and talk about other things and begin planning different upcoming events and such, haha, so not the most productive. But atleast its fun to meet friends and be social and get some type of studying done nonetheless!

(Dinner, pretty much the same as lunch! Just eating leftovers for dinner usually.)

How has your day been? Have you eaten anything yummy today? :)


Enjoying food again

Hey Izzy! I've really appreciated all of your uplifting posts lately, they're very encouraging as I'm in a tough stage of recovery and trying to motivate myself to push through. I have a quick question. When did you start to actually enjoy eating again? It seems you really enjoy cooking and eating now, was it like that throughout your recovery or did it come later? I have made a lot of progress in terms of eating enough calories, spacing my meals throughout the day, eating a wide variety of foods, and eating all my "challenge" foods (had some Mac and cheese yesterday!). But I still find little pleasure in eating. Instead, I view it as a chore that I just have to do to be healthy. So, do you have any tips on how to make eating pleasureable again? What worked for you? Thanks

Hello, first off you have made amazing progress which you should be very proud of :) And even if you may still be struggling you have come a long way, and you can get through this as well.

Food is something i love and it does make me happy, however its not always like that. Sometimes i get bored of eating, especially if i just have the same foods at home. And at times cooking and eating just seem like a "get it over with" and then i rely on meal prep so that i have food ready to just eat. For the majority of the time food does make me happy - i like finding new foods, new recipes, new flavours, new combinations. I love eating and knowing i am nourishing my body but also love eating chocolate and cake and dessert because that is delicious as well. It has definitely not always been this way though.

In recovery i ate because i had to, because it was on my meal plan. And i longed for the day when i knew i didnt have to eat according to a meal plan or thought i could eat less calories. I also found it very strange to think that people just sat down and ate when they were hungry - as i still didnt have any hunger feelings, i was just constantly full and never really wanted to eat. I did enjoy food, but not in the same way i enjoy it now. Ii enjoyed food in a sort of obsessed way where food was numbers and i enjoyed feeding others as well, but i didnt enjoy food that was high fat or high carb... i enjoyed food only if it was low calorie or if i knew what was in it. There was still alot of fear and anxiety involved with food.

Then later on when i had faced fear foods, ate balanced and intuitively i enjoyed food alot and loved eating. It was part of my life, not my whole life... just like it is now as well. However i feel like i enjoy food more now when im vegan because there are more flavours, more vegetables, more colours, more creativity. I get inspired by different accounts online and i love finding the new vegan products that are being sold. Of course with that said, food is something i enjoy alot... i enjoy buying food, i enjoy making food (somedays), and i enjoy eating food (mostly), but food is still just part of my life and only 5-10% of my day is spent eating or making or thinking about food.

What are my tips on enjoying food?

Its easier to enjoy food when you are actually hungry, but if you have a meal plan to follow then stick with that.

Eating with other people is a good way to make food more enjoyable again. Or maybe go to restaurants or cafes and try food there, try somthing new and different. Go to a dessert cafe and order 3 or 4 different cakes and try them all, just for the sake of it? 

Go to the food store and try something you wouldnt think of trying? Or maybe have a food theme for the week. Maybe one week eat lots of thai food, another week make indien food, the next week try chinese food etc 

Add oil, butter, cream... it can make a whole lot of difference in taste wise. For example, potatoes in the oven with no oil or salt are ok... but once you add oil and seasoning its like a whole new thing! 

Add seasoning and flavourings to your food.

Try plant based food... it often gets you to be more creative and when food looks good or smells good it can often taste better.


Try to not see food as a chore or something you need to just get over with. Its easy then to begin skipping meals or just not eating as you dont see the point of it. 

Its hard to give tips on how to make food enjoyable again or how to enjoy food, as its a mental thing. But its also so easy for food to become an obsession and that isnt good either. But trying varying food, new foods, eating with others.. Maybe eat 3 big meals instead of 6 small (for example?), or try making smoothies or oat cookies instead of oatmeal, or make mashed potatoes instead of boiled potatoes. Maybe meal prep so that you have food ready? Vary food... or maybe just eat your all time favourite foods for a while?

Of course sometimes food is just boring and a chore, i think it happens to most people where they just eat because they have to. But it shouldnt be that way forever, food is something that is delicious and should be enjoyed. A balance with food, i.e it shouldnt control or take over your life where food is your only happiness in life, but it shouldnt be a "force feed/chore" thing either. 



If anyone else has any tips/advice please comment below. All i know is that when i went through a phase where food was boring i just kept eating and eventually when life felt more balanced, when i was less stressed and when i felt happier, food also became more delicious again. So if you are depressed or stressed or just unbalanced then that can affect eating as well.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Life, recent thoughts and gratitude

Hello and good evening everyone :)

First off i think its super fun that so many of you commented on the previous post and left a message about what motivates YOU in recovery. More of that on my blog, as i know it inspires others and i get messages from people saying that even if they dont comment on my blog they read those types of comments from others and get inspired!! So if you ever want to share a recovery success or progress know that you can always comment on here and share it as it makes me so happy to read about your success and it is a motivation for others :)

Onto my day.....  A rather long, slow day with a whole lot of head ache but i got through my hours of studying in school despite lacking study and school motivation recently. At the moment i just want my exam to be over on Friday so i can move on and start with my new course. A little tired of reading the same thing over and over right now.

Apart from studying and school, today has been a day filled with gratitude. I think most people forget to be grateful or thankful in their daily lives, at times life just feels awful and there is nothing to be thankful about. But over the past year i have learnt to be more grateful about my life and where i am in life and all the possibilities and opportunities i have in life. Each night before i go to sleep i say a little thank you for everything in my life - to go to bed feeling happy and thankful is a wonderful thing and to see all the positives in my life.

Today i have been extra thankful though, because while i was at the gym this morning i felt rather tired and heavy so kept my workout very basic and simple and kept my workout short as i didnt have the energy for anything else. When i thought about it in afterhand i felt so happy over the fact that exercise is something fun for me, it is something that gives me peace and energy and enjoyment. Even though i ate roughly 4dl flour and 1dl oil yesterday before bed (i made home made "fried bread" which i then topped with vegan cheese and butter) my workout was not decided or based on what i ate the day before. My workout is done because it is something fun and something i want to do, not because i go there to compensate or workout because of guilt. Of course it has been several years since i last worked out due to guilt or compensation, but its so easy to forget (thankfully) how i once worked out due to guilt and anxiety. How i forced myself to workout to burn calories and run until i would fall or faint. That is not a part of my life anymore, but its easy to forget that unfortunatly that is part of many peoples lives... working out because of guilt or workouts based on what they ate previously. Sometimes i dont give myself enough praise for the fact that i got out of that negative bubble and sometimes i forget just how hard it was to break free... but all i can say is that its not impossible to break free. You can recover from an exercise addiction... and today i was so thankful that i have!

And secondly, i have felt thankful over the fact that i can afford food. It makes me so sad to see all the beggers on the streets and i wish i could give them money and at times i have, or i will buy them food and give to them (Nothing i share online as i dont feel that i need to. Its something kind i can do but it doesnt have to be shared online.) This morning my fridge and cabinets were rather empty so after school i went to the store and bought all the food i neeeded and wanted, and that is a privilige which is easy to forget. Its easy to forget to be thankful over the fact that i have money - even if it is thanks to a student loan - i have the economy to buy lots of delicious food, to pay for my rent and to live life and have a rather comfortable life. Of course i dont spend alot of money on things and am not so materialistic so that helps to keep a budget!

When i came home and started unpacking my groceries and began meal prepping i said a little mental "thank you" and felt gratitude for the fact that i have food and that i can eat and eat so much nourishing food - because that is another privilige in a way. I live in a country where vegan food is rather cheap and easy access to which of course makes it easy for me to be vegan, but i know that might not be the case for everyone.

Today i hope that you also feel grateful and thankful for things in your life. Even if life isnt always easy or perfect, sometimes you just need to say thank you anyway. To see the positives and the good things in your life. It is a much better life in my opinion if you can be happy, positive and thankful!!