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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Night snack

Keeping up with the food posts... I post too many food pictures -_-' (Hahah, you can never post too many food pictures ;);) Especially not on the weekends :))

Craving something different than quark or casein for my night snack... crazing waffles. But everytime ive made waffles they have turned out terrible (Because of our super old waffle machine), so instead i made crispy oatpancakes! (p.s i ate LOADS of pancakes while making them!)
   Added greek yoghurt and strawberries & some dark chocolate & tea!!

Perfect, delicious snack! :) Soon its time for bed, though im feeling a little too energetic from all the delicious food ive eaten today, ahah! 





Movie time & dinner.

This evening/afternoon has mostly been spent infront of the computer. It started with eating a late lunch and watching an episode or two of Desperate housewives... not wanting to leave my body, not wanting to use my brain or have to write on an assignment. But after some motivational words i got myself to the kitchen table and got an hour of work done. I like to do a little everyday, it feels better that way... even if its just research and finding a few useful websites for my essay, its a start and it means that when i finally begin to put the whole thing together its not as much. So a little everyday is one of my best tips for you in school and are struggling with school stress. This goes for recovery as well infact... small steps towards recovery everyday help! You dont have to make giant leaps everyday, but small progress is better than nothing :)

I was home alone for dinner again today... Its usual in my house, so im used to it. But today i didnt  feel like creating my own recipe or doing anything advanced. So i used the left over quorn from yesterdays taco dinner and my sister had gluten free spaghetti from when she ate dinner (a very early dinner as she was going away) so i ate that.
   I've mentioned it before, but i have bad memories with spaghetti.. haha, sounds weird. But when i was little my sister made some comments about spaghetti which have stuck in my head ever since, and it hasnt been my go-to carb soure when it comes to dinner or lunches. But i mean im older now, i cant let some silly comments when i was 5 stop me from eating spaghetti. I love gnocci and fresh pasta with filling, so its no problem with that... just spaghetti. I was a very picky child when i was younger - infact, thats almost something i could write about, haha!
But i enjoyed the dinner anyway.... took a long time to get to the actual point of what i was writing :) :) Just thought i would give that little background information! :)


^¨And it was all mixed together afterwards, i just thought it looked better in the photo not mixed ;)


During dinner i decided to watch the film Maleficent... i like Angelina Jolie and i like Disney films so i thought it would be good.
   And in general it was.  I mean, it wasnt a bad film.. just a little pointless. 80 minutes and not alot happened... I mean, it didn't grab my attention and just make me forget everything else. Infact i checked how long the film was several times, wondering when something interesting was going to happen. Hahah, i am cery critical when it comes to films, so maybe my reviews aren't that great. But i mean if you want something to watch, then its a good movie :) Something to help pass the time anyway!
  But maybe not one of my top 10 movies or a movie i feel i have to watch again ;)

Has anyone seen Maleficent? Did you like it? :)

Adivce from a reader - Sharing victories

This post comes from Olivia, sharing her advice and helpful words for recovery!

Something I've realized a few months ago and still find amazing is that I can do whatever I want. Really. I can be whom ever I want, go wherever I want, do whatever I want. I have a choice. I am my own person. I don't have to be someone else to be happy. I can just be me. Because me is the best you can be. You will embrace it, make it special. We look up to those who are beautiful, wishing we had the life they have. But truth is a truly happy person loves oneself, doesn't need to prove oneself to anyone and, ideally, inspires people to do the same. Love and accept yourself. Unfortunately, many take this the wrong way and think they need to do the things those people do, look like them etc. in order to be happy like them. But it's actually very simple, to say that is, not to do. You need to stop comparing and start smiling, enjoying life, living. 
I can go for a run and actually feel good and energetic, not exhausted like I'm about to faint. I can have two slices of cake with milk before bed just because that's what I want. I can order salad in a restaurant because I love fresh cucumbers and tuna and nourishing my body. I can work towards my goals and feel good about myself while and after accomplishing them. I can lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing productive or do task after task if that's what I want and chose to do. I chose. It's ME who choses. No one else. You CAN get rid of the voice, get your life back, live your life. You just have to fight for it. Put in effort, one day at a time. And if you trip or even fall just keep on going. It is so... so worth it.
The other day I was in the car in the backseat and I just started smiling. Not because someone told a joke, not to fake my mood so my family thinks I'm ok, not to pose for a picture. I smiled because at that time I knew it is possible. I smiled because it felt so great. I smiled because I felt truly happy in that moment. 
It won't come all at once. It's not something that just happens. You have to fight for it. Fight the thoughts. You CAN do this. You do not have to wait or lose weight or get admitted to hospital. That's not fighting the thoughts. It's the voice controlling you. Your sickness controlling you. It's hard, very hard. But in the end you'll be happy. Remember what that felt like? Or maybe you've never felt that. Well, it feels awesome!!! Even though I'm not quite there yet I am fighting. I want to get there. Sometimes I want to go back. Just hide under the blankets, go through my routines, hide from the world, follow rules. But that's just making it WORSE. 
I am so glad I realized it was possible. That being healthy is possible. 
I CAN do this. YOU CAN do this. WE CAN do this. It's SO worth it. I can feel it. Believe me, I believe. Just imagine... you will be free...

My Saturday so far!

Hello :) :)

Because of my day off school yesterday it feels like today is Sunday.... (Unimportant information, i know ;))
   I started my day with a sleep in!! I had forgotten to turn off my alarm from last week so when it rang i just turned it off, deciding that i wasn't ready to get up.
   Then when i did wake at 9am it was breakfast time and room cleaning to be done!


I had no motivation to go to the gym and just lift weights, infact what i wanted to do was aeroboxing but my mum and step dad are gone this weekend so i decided instead, this weekend would be a rest weekend. So i brought all my study things to the table, sat down with a coffee and water and decided to spend the day there. But then my sister came and asked if i wanted to go to the gym with her, My response at first was no. I didnt have energy for it and felt i needed to study. But then she said we could do boxing... and then she used the tactic, Please do it for me :) (And ill buy you a celsius!)
   hahaha. How could i say no?

So we headed to her gym and i got to be an instructor and do one of my favourite things - aeroboxing!!! Boxing and functional training, body weight exercises and using what is around you! And after 20 minutes it looked like we had been in a sauna, but we kept going for another 40 minutes!!!
 It felt so great and at the end we just burst into laughter because we were so tired and looked like we had taken a shower, but it was a good feeling!! Variation is key to motivation!









(I am sorry its been so much about exercise this week, i'll try avoid it. But i guess when it is a bigger part of my day i like to write about it, but i know it can be triggering. So ill try avoid it ;) ;))

This afternoon however i will spend studying... trying to anyway!!!



The positives about being recovered

Here are some of the positive things about being healthy and recovered. Fighting for freedom from your eating disorder.

Being able to have children.
 This was/is (?) something which i have never really cared about. I've been too young and never really been so much of a 'kids person'. However sometimes i look at children or babies and just think, I want one. And knowing that in the future, if i choose to i can have children is pretty awesome!! And should be a real motivation for females suffering with an ED. Of course you can always adopt, but many dont think that's the same thing.

Being able to go for long walks with your dog!
Not everyone has a dog, not everyone likes dogs. But having the ability to go for long walks, or go running or swimming or whatever activity it is you like... having the ability and energy to do that! But also, being able to do those things because you enjoy them. Being able to stop during the middle of a walk or run and take some photos or just sit down and soak in the sun!!


Eating your favourite foods without anxiety!
 Not having a list of safe or fear foods. But just foods you like or don't like. Enjoying food and eating. No guilt or anxiety involved with food.

Spending time with family and friends
Having the ability to sit down and spend time with friends and family. Enjoying their company, not just pushing them away. 

^^The funny thing is that my sister is tallest, then my mum and then me... so im actually the shortest but i have heels on in this photo!

Travelling and experiencing new things.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone, travelling. Seeing new places, experiencing new things!!


Having a future.
Its YOU who decides your future - of course life has its ups and downs and sometimes life throws you things you weren't expecting. But having the ability to keep going, making choices for you and your future. knowing you have a future.

Disordered eating times

Ive been asked about if it matters what time you eat food/meals.

If i put it this way, in the end of the day when it comes to weightloss, weight gain and maintenance. Its about the total calories consumed in the 24 hours (over a longer period of time) which matter. So if you look at it that way, then no... it doesnt matter. If you were to eat 2200 calories for breakfast and a snack then i mean you have your calorie intake for the day.

BUT..... I dont think thats the only way you should look at things. Because if you were to eat say 2000 calories for breakfast and a snack, that doesnt mean you shouldnt eat for the rest of the day... you still need food. Your body still needs energy. You will feel hungry again a few hours later and you still need to eat. Your body can cope with extra calories one day. However, if you are eating say 2000calories for breakfast everyday, then i wouldnt say that is very healthy.... You need to have balance with your food. Not eat everything at once.

 Also if you only eat a little amount during the day and then eat loads during the night that is not a good balance either. Think like this, say your body burns 1500 just being alive (i.e your BMR) but you need c.a 2000 just to maintain your weight, but then you only eat 600kcal from 7am-8pm then you are already at a minus of calories and your body will be so hungry that it can lead to binging during the evening because your body is crying out for food, so once you eat you can't control yourself.
   But its not a good balance because during the day is actually when your body needs the food... its during the day you are active, doing more things - usually. So its then that you need the extra food, but also giving your body food regularly every 2-4 hours is best. As it keeps your blood sugar stable and you always have energy. Its not about 'saving' calories, knowing that you will binge in the evening or thinking 'just in case'. It doesnt work that way, if you restrict during the day you are just making it more likely that you actually will binge during the evenings. But if you were to eat more during the day, then it wouldnt be as likely that you eat such huge amounts during the evening because your body actually has the energy it needs.

So try following a meal plan and eating regularly and ENOUGH during the whole day... from when you wake up to when you go to bed. Its good for breakfast, lunch and dinner to be around 300-500kcal and 2-3 snacks from 200-400 kcal.. (more or less, depending on your energy requirment... when i was at Mando i think my breakfast alone was around 700kcal) (IM SORRY FOR THE NUMBERS IF YOU FIND IT TRIGGERING, BUT ITS SUPPOSED TO BE HELPING....)

If you find that you dont have time to eat enough during the day or just cant fit in the right amount, then eat more calorie dense food. Eat nuts, avocado, add oil to food, nut butters, dried fruit etc is all good to eat or snack on to get the right energy amount.

As mentioned at first, i mean its about the total energy intake so if you eat 300kcal from 7am to 7pm and then eat 2000kcal at the evening, then you still have the right energy amount but its NOT a healthy eating plan or healthy eating. I would still consider it disordered eating.

So let go and change ALL of your weird eating patterns and habits!!

On my bucketlist: To try all Ben and Jerry flavours

If you've read my blog for a while then you will know a few of my favourite foods and one of them is Ben and Jerrys! Every time i buy and eat Ben and Jerrys i remember that day in 2010 when i wrote a post saying how much i wanted to eat some, but i had basically accepted the fact that i would never again eat Ben and Jerrys because just the thought of it gave me so much anxiety and i was so scared of the contents of the tub.
 Now? Well i think the contents is a tub of magical deliciousness :) :) Need i say more?

On my bucket list is also to try all the Ben and Jerry flavours, of course this might not be possible because there are so many limited edition flavours that come out in the U.S and not in Sweden. Part of the reason i want to move to the U.S is for the questbars and Ben and Jerrys :)
  There are still many flavours i havent tried. If i could i would try a new flavour everyday :)

The new flavour and special edition i bought was Satisfy my bowl. Banana ice cream with caramel & cookie swirls & chocolate peace signs.

I cant eat bananas so it did leave me with an itching and irritated throat, but it was worth it... to at least eat a 1/4 of the tub :) I couldn't eat much more 1) because it was insanely sweet and also because of my itching throat.
  I wouldn't say its my favourite flavour, not just because of the banana but because i like ice cream which has LOTS of things in it such as the Half Baked or Peanut butter cup.
  But it was nice to try a new flavour, and if it didn't irritate my throat so much i would actually buy it again :) :)










^^the ice cream was melting as i was taking the photos... ^_^

My opinion on HRM monitors

Dear Izzy :-) Maybe you could write something about the use of fitness 
watches during training. (Which shows you your heart rate, calories burned 
etc.). I bike, run and do weights and personally I feel like some people 
think I'm not doing my best when not using a watch. While what I am 
actually doing is simply having fun and LISTENING to my body and responding 
if it starts to hurt. Also I do find the calories a bit triggering.. What 
is your opinion on this? 


My opinion on heart rate monitors is that they are a bit unnecessary... unless you buy those with GPS which you might like when you do alot of running. Exercise SHOULDNT be seen as just calorie burning... If you start thinking or worrying about 'how many calories did i just burn', 'was this workout long enough' or 'was this workout hard enough' 'can i eat my night snack today or do i need to do another 30 minutes on the treadmill' etc, then its not a healthy relationship with exercise.
   For some people, having a HRM which tells them how much they burn during workous can be great. Just the thing they need... and even some people who recover from eating disorders find them useful, so they know how much extra they need to eat. However, if you are so focused on calories and numbers, then i dont know how healthy your mind is.
  
Like you wrote, exercise should be about fun. Doing what you can and enjoying.... you dont always have to give 150%.  Somedays your 100% is very different and somedays you can only give 50%, and thats ok as well.

I bought a HRM in 2012, mostly because it was a trend, i thought they were pretty and i thought it could be useful for me to know how much i actually burned during my workouts. And it was a bit of a shock to me, to realise just how much i burned during my workouts, it was then i began realising that i wasn't eating enough. I also did a week of tracking how much i ate and realised that i was undereating by quite a bit. So the HRM was helpful to me. I used it for a while when i first bought it, but then the battery started acting weird and didnt use it so often. Then i used it a little summer 2013 but not so much. And then i think i used it 2 or 3 times this year, just to see... But otherwise it just lies in one of my draws, not being used. For me, i dont want my workouts to be connected with calories. I dont want to have to think, Wow now i need to eat this much... i just follow my bodies signals and that works for me. I find that i can easily fall back into the calorie counting again, so i avoid it. But also because of my past exercise addiction i don't like being or feeling forced to exercise and i don't like having the feeling of someone or something counting the time i exercise or how many calories i burn. It takes the fun away. My workouts are about fun and enjoyment :)

In some cases HRM's can be good, they can be helpful. But i really dont think they are necessary. You can still see progress, eat enough and keep reaching goals without knowing calories burned during workouts :)

Study study study

Thought i would update a little - so it's not just a bunch of answers. Sorry about that ;)
Today is my study day which is exactly what I'm doing! I went to the gym this morning which was both chaotic & really good. And then i came home and made myself breakfast for lunch and sat studying which I've done for the past 2,5 hours and now I'm sitting in the car on the way to the food store. Then when I return home again I will sit in front of the computer again, so not sure how well the updating will be today or this weekend. But I'm trying my best :) :)
  And also trying to get around to an serif all your questions and writing about the topics you suggest :)

Hunger and fullness, the Mando method.

 How to recognise fullness, does tv or reading really distract you, what the mando method taught you? 

This post has been a long time coming, so im sorry to you who ask about this. It's taken such a long time to actually find time to write.
  How to recognize fullness? Well, i know ive posted this model 100 times before, but its a good one to follow.


How to actually recognize fullness? Well its different for everyone... for me, i stop eating when i am comfortably full... when its like i'm sure i could eat a fruit or a few more bites, but actually i am quite satisfied with the amount i have eaten.
   Personally, i still have it engrained in my head to finish the plate/bowl that i am eating. So say if i feel full but i still have a few bites left, i will still eat it because i don't want to waste but also i feel weird leaving a few bites of food left.
  Over time however i have learnt my portion sizes, ive learnt how much i can fit into my stomach when i am really hungry or just a little hungry etc etc So the amount i take always leaves me feeling satisfied and full. And if im not, then i take more.
  I like to think that after every meal i eat i should be full.. i shouldnt feel like i want more. Not physically anyway. Sometimes when you eat something so delicious mentally you just want more, you want one more slice but physically your stomach is saying no.
   So somedays when im really hugnry i eat every 1-2 hours and feel full after every meal, its just that i get hungry again quicker. And somedays its just 4 meals i eat  as i feel full longer.

Its good to also do the 20 mninute rule and to drink a glass of water. Often the body is thirsty and it takes 20-30 minutes for it to recognize that its full. If you arent satisfied after that, then take more. But this rule ONLY applies when you have eaten a normal portion. I mean if you eat a tiny bit of fish and 1,5 potatoes and a little salad, then no... you might not be full (or you shouldnt be full anyway). But if you eat a normal sized portion (HERE is a guide which might help you) adn wait and are still hungry, then it means you should eat a little more.

But also remember, in recovery you can feel hungry more often and more frequently. So called Extreme hunger where its like the food goes right through you. Even i have days or like 3 days where i feel like i could eat the contents of the fridge and pretty much do. There is nothing wrong with that.... though if you are a normal weight and still have extreme hunger, then i wouldnt say its a good thing.
Also if you have a meal plan - FOLLOW IT. Eat regularly and enough, the meal plan has been calculated for you. By following a meal plan you are more likely to get your normal hunger and fullness feelings back.

When i was at Mando i had a meal plan calculated for my needs which kept increasing over time as my body adapted to the calories. I felt very full after each meal, a big bloated belly and a tight feeling...  but that was because i had to eat so much and also stretch my stomach. My stomach size had shrunk so eating a normal sized meal would make me feel extremely full. I rarely felt hungry following my meal plan, my body didnt even have enough time to digest or process the previous meal before it was time to eat again. But thats how it is. In time, i did get my hunger and fullness feelings back. I started feeling hungry before the meals and a satisfied feeling afterwards. Somedays i even felt i could eat a little bit more... though these feelings came back when i started to do more things. When i just sat at Mando all day, doing nothing then i just felt a constant full feeling. But when i was at home and could more freely choose food and also what snack i was going to eat or what i was going to eat for dinner or lunch.
   I've written about the Mando Meter and Wii base HERE, so i dont feel like writing it out again. Though if you have any questions, just ask :)





When it comes to distracting yourself when you are eating... i have such mixed feelings about this. But i guess i will state my own personal opinion and that is, I think its ok with distractions when you eat.
 To read a book, to watch a film or TV, to study etc
Even now, i find it SUPER awkward to sit at the table alone, in silence and just eat. It might be because i like multitasking. I like getting 2 things done at a time, i.e i might as well eat while studying or eat while watching a series etc It  might even be a good thing for me to learn to just sit in silence and alone and eat.
 But then again, that isnt so normal either. Meals should be eaten with other people. Talking with other people, not just sitting in silence.

I think its good to be able to do both (or all 3...).. i.e eat while watching TV, not just focusing on the food. Eat in silence on your own, and just enjoy the food and taste. And also to be able to eat in a group and with others and jsut talk freely (no focus on food). (I am going to try write a post about eating infront of others or in groups as this has been requested, just give me a little time :))
  So practise all 3. Distractions while eating doesnt have to be a bad thing, it can help you cope with the anxiety because you dont just focus on eating. But also, if you always need a distraction to eat, then its not a good thing because you can't just distract yourself or have to have your mind somewhere else everytime you eat. You should be able to focus on  your food - without it being a negative thing - and enjoy it :)

Hopefully this helps you who asked the questions, and anyone else who had the same questions :)