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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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Answering your comments - nutrition/food related

It has been FAR too long since i have replied to comments and i apologize for that, but i will try do these weekly posts when i can just answer in a post if i dont get around to answering in the comment section!!


If you go too long without food/between meals why do you loose that feeling of hunger? What causes the body to give out the signal that you don`t want to eat, when the truth of it is that you do and you need to? 
One of the bodies curiosities and I really wondered about this!


I am not fully sure about the answer to this question but i read an article before that it might have something to do with survival in the past. For example when you are so hungry it can be hard to concentrate on anything else, all you think about is food and wanting to eat... but in the past that might have inhibited them from actually finding food (??) so instead to function properly other hormones kick in and the hunger goes away so that you can actually do something else rather than just think about food and unable to do anything due to the hunger. Something like this, but im not fully sure.... But i think its also like with pain receptors in the body, when they get too strong they can almost shut off so you dont feel the pain anymore. Or for example say you hit your little toe and it really hurts but then you end up banging your elbow 5 minutes later, then suddenly your toe doesnt ache anymore and instead you just feel the pain from your elbow. Something like this... but if anyone knows the actual answer just comment below :)



Hi Izzy - have you any recommended recipes for making vegan burgers? I`d like to try making my own - if you make your own could you post how you do it or if theres a tried and tested recipe post the link?

There are lots of ways to make vegan burgers and you can use all different types of ingredients such as black bean burgers, sweet potatoe burgers, chickpea burgers, quinoa burgers, lentil burgers etc The important ingredients are the actual taste/main ingredients such as what type of bean or grain you want to use, then some form of flour, chiaseed egg/flaxseed egg/no egg replacement/corn flour as a binding agent, some form of milk or aquafaba. I never really follow recipes when i make food so its mostly trial and error so i dont have any recipes to share but you can just be creative and mix together ingredients.  But HERE is a link to 16 different veggie burger recipes .




This is such sound advice. When I was well, before my ED began my weight was more or less stable and what I ate reflected on how hungry I was at the time and what I fancied! Now though it feels that I have to re learn the whole eating thing over again. Will this have happened by the time I am weight restored or does it really start when you are off the meal plan and begin eating intuitively? At the moment my body hasn't a clue what it wants or needs and eating is somewhat "robotic"
When you are in recovery and when you have either been restricting, binging, purging or all of them then your hugner hormones are all over the place and cant really be trusted, so it is a relearning process. That is why a meal plan is recommended in recovery because you cant really trust your bodies signals not to mention portion sizes can be off. Eventually your body will adapt to your meal plan and you should start feeling hunger around your meal times as well as feeling full after your meal and that makes it easier to eventually start eating more intuitvely when you have regular meal times and start feeling hunger and fullness again, so then you can start to eat more freely and trust your body that somedays you might feel extra hungry and other times you feel less hunger - but it balances itself out. Just trying to listen to your body in recovery is not the best idea because your signals are all over the place, so give it time and you should be able to trust your body again.


What is the best way of getting more calcium into your diet? A calcium supplement or food? If its through diet, which foods are best for calcium?
Im not sure if you mean calcium through a vegan diet or through a mixed diet?


Calcium on a vegan diet comes from beans, green leafy vegetables,  almonds, tofu, fortified oat/soy milk,  soy products, edamamde etc However it is also important to have an adequate D vitamin status/intake, but also to eat enough calcium as its not absorbed as well as non vegan sources. 

And in a mixed diet you can get calcium through milk, cheese, yoghurt etc 
Image result for calcium vegan

I have been getting problems with my blood sugar levels and I was wondering what I am doing wrong with regards to my diet and what I can do to prevent the nasty "dips" that I have been getting. In between meals I have started feeling very headachey,nauseous and really quite unwell but I am reluctant to eat anything because its almost time for my next meal and I don`t want to ruin my appetite. I always find though that by the time I have eaten my meal I feel 100% better, all the symptoms disappear for a few hours. I don`t know what to do. I am drinking enough fluids and don`t tend to eat many sweet things so I`m guessing its not a "sugar crash" like you get after eating something like a chocolate bar. But I am so fed up with feeling like this as its having a huge impact on my daily life.
Any ideas?

I would suggest you eat when you feel that way... either you move your meal times so that you eat earlier (you might be going too long between meals) and you eat more meals throughout the day, or you add in a snack such as a handful of nuts, some rice cakes/sandwich, some fruit etc to get your energy up until it is your meal time. When you feel that dizzy, headachy dip it is most likely due to needing food, so eat!! Dont wait until your meal time... thats not how a healthy diet looks - you should eat when your hungry, not just when the clock says its time to eat.
It can also be due to caffeine if you are someone who drinks alot of caffeine? Then it can be a dip from that... but it does sound alot  like it is food related and that maybe you are a little too strict with your food intake?

Eat more frequently/add snacks or move your meal times earlier to avoid that dip!! Try it, see if it works :) 

Hi Izzy - when you make baked jacket potatoes can you re heat them and have them another day? I ask because I make baked potatoes in the oven and they take ages, so I was wondering if I could batch cook some and keep them for later? Also if this is possible how long do they keep for?
Thank you!


It depends what type of potatoe you cook... some potatoes work ok for reheating, but i generally find that potatoes dont work so well for reheating. .So when i make potatoes in the oven i make a whole batch and they last me 1-3 days and i just eat them cold usually. And even if potatoes might not have alot of bacteria such as meat does, i wouldnt reheat and then cool and reheat again just incase, haha. But like mentioned potatoes can last 1-3 days in the fridge, but somepotatoes dont work well being kept cool after being cooked they can turn a little floury and dry.

Do you eat sweets everyday ?
Not everyday :) Just when i feel like it... but usually i like having something sweet everyday whether its a square of dark chocolate, some oreos, some raisins or raw food bars etc :) 



Creative cooking and struggling with a chronic illness - my thoughts/update

One)
I had set a challenge for myself to try to be more creative with my food, to make some different each week such as make a pie or lasagna or chilli or something different from my roasted veggies or lentil soup which is my standard food at the moment. So far that challenge hasnt gone so well, ive just eaten the same food over and over... though this week and last week hasnt been the best week to be creative and spend time in the kitchen because ive spent my days studying 6-8 hours and in school so the last thing i want to do then is start cooking - even if i love it. However my room mates inspire me so much because they are both vegan but they cook a whole range of different food and inspires me to do the same thing. They make burritos, sushi, wok, marinated TVP, marinated aubergine in the oven, pizza etc etc Of course its more fun to make food when two people are eating as well as easier to have a wider range of ingredients and foods when two people are paying for it, but still.... once a week i should manage to make some new type of food whether its quesadillas, coconut veggie soup, falafels or sweet potatoe burgers etc its not so hard  and maybe i can inspire you as well!


Second)
Recently ive been struggling to take my CF health care routine seriously... i just havent priortized it. Ive gone back to that 12 year old me who wants to just say "im normal, i dont want to do this, i dont have CF." Of course the consequences of this showed when i was at the hospital yesterday... not to mention that i can notice it myself with my breathing. But its like i feel tired.... i dont want to do it anymore and thinking that i need to do that routine 1-2 times daily for the rest of my life just makes me want to go "no... i dont want to anymore." I'm sure everyone with a chronic illness feels this way at times, ive sure had my periods feeling this way, because IT IS tiring to have an illness. Whether you need to do rehab, take injections, do inhalers, take a whole bunch of medication daily and all other recovery routines, it can feel hard and annoying at times.
So when i was at the hospital i mentioned this... i just said that i was finding it difficult to priortize my CF routine, i was finding it difficult to take my medication and that of course showed when the tests were done. And instead of guilt shaming me - telling me that i need to do it, i need to think about my health, it will have consequences or putting me on antibiotics directly - the doctor just started mentioning different ways that might help me solve this problem, ways that would make it easier for me and not make it so time craving or energy craving. And it was kind of nice to just say it out loud.... of course there is a therapist i can also go to as many people with CF can have times they struggle with their mental health due to their illness or the hinders in life because of their illness, and sure maybe it would be good to talk to someone and just get all my thoughts out. But for now i havent booked a time, maybe in the future.

But i just wanted to write and say it was nice to not feel ashamed or embarrassed or guilt shamed by the doctor, because tha is what previous doctors have done to me. Its not easy to have a chronic illness there are times you want to scream "I dont want this anymore, i dont want to take my medication anymore" and just hope the illness goes away, but it doesnt work like that. I KNOW i need to do my CF routine and take my medication, i feel it almost instantly if i dont and THAT makes life difficult.... its not CF that makes my life so difficult, its when i stop with my medication and inhalers that life gets difficult, so then i only have myself to blame in a way. Anyway... now im just trying to motivate myself and get myself to take my CF seriously and not just pretend im normal and like everyone else when im not - and im not the only one with an illness that requires medication or different daily routines.

I dont normally buy materialistic things to motivate myself but recently i did. I bought a stamped spoon and a stamped fork which ive wanted for a while but never thought it was necessary to buy... but now i felt like, i need to buy myself a little gift just because ive had it tough and ive told myself i can only open the package (when it arrives) if ive gotten back into my routines hahah... it will take 1-2 weeks for the package to arrive, so i have 2 weeks to get my act together. But also noticing that breathing gets easier and that i dont feel like im struggling for air each time i walk up a flight of stairs or when i lie on my side - that is definitely motivation to take care of my health!


Also... i know this post is super long already - i apologize!
But i was recently asked at the gym what my tattoo on my leg said - which is strange, most people dont ask, they just stare. Though a few times ive had people ask me what my ribcage tattoo says in the changing room (weird!!) or people who said they've admired my dream catcher tattoo. But when the people asked what my tattoo said i just told her "no one is coming to save you" which is what is written, her look was a little skeptical hahah. But at that moment i realised that my tattoo has another meaning than just the original one... The original meaning was about my depression and anxiety - that no one is coming to save me, that i need to change my thoughts, i need to want to get better for myself and that it is ME who needs to make the changes. Many think the tattoo is something negative, like im some type of princess longing for her prince to come save her (hahah), but it just means that i need to save myself even if there ARE people who can support and help me. But in that moment i realised it also stands for my CF. That there is no cure (maybe in the future), but i need to take care of my CF health, i need to take my medication and i need to follow my CF health care routine because no one else can do it for me. No one can "save me" from my CF, it is something i live with and something i need to deal with, even if there are amazing doctors and nurses and physiotherapists and even reserachers/scientists trying to find a cure, not to mention all the amazing people foundraising for CF reserach and health care, so there are always people out there trying to help but in the end its me who has to save myself and take care of my health and CF!!


Monday, April 24, 2017

Learn what triggers you

Learning what triggers you in life/recovery is one of the things that will make it much easier to cope and stay healthy.

Triggers dont have to be eating disorder related, triggers can be anything... maybe something that makes you feel sad or gives you anxiety or makes you feel bad or just irritates you. I know i have some things which just irritate me and then i know that it is something that triggers that feeling and i try to avoid those triggers as much as possible. But ALSO know how to deal with the irritation when i do get triggered, which is also important. Not just to now what triggers you, but also know how to deal with the response because you cant avoid all triggers in life even if you can try to limit them.

I know for example that if i dont sleep enough that triggers my anxiety and negative thoughts/feelings. But also too much caffeine can trigger panic and anxiety attacks (and when you combine too much caffeine and too little sleep then its an awful result). I also know certain online accounts or different FB groups trigger me to get very irritated so i unfollow them so that i dont have to feel that irritation. Too much stress can also trigger a whole bunch of negative feelings, anxiety, lonliness etc and stress isnt something i can avoid but it is something i have/am learning to deal with to limit the negative response.

Life isnt trigger free even if you can limit them such as if magazines, social media, tv shows or different people can trigger you, then you can limit your access to them or try to avoid the person/people who evoke the negative response. However sometimes it is family members or friends or just things people say without thinking that can upset/anger/irritate (etc) you, then its not so easy to just limit that... you cant control what other people say or their actions, but also sometimes you cant just cut people from your life even if they have a negative impact on you. So then the best thing is to learn to deal with the trigger and learn to cope with your negative response/emotions so that you dont resort to a negative coping mechanism.

Things such as dieting, weightloss, calories, people exercising, people exercising too much, people trying to tell you what to eat, people commenting on your food, people commenting negatively about their body image, people commenting about your body, people spreading false information etc arent things you can avoid... you can try to change the conversation or tell the person to stop but it will still happen sometime or another and if those types of conversations trigger you, then its best to learn to deal with them because you cant control what others say or do.

For example having mantras or mottos to help keep you grounded and not get triggered, trying to change the conversation, trying to leave the room/area if possible. Writing, talking to someone, painting or drawing, taking deep breaths, listening to music, reminding yourself of your goals or why you shouldnt get triggered/bothered.

As mentioned above too little sleep, too much  caffeine, too much stress etc can trigger me. Even going too many hours without food can have a negative effect on me... when i pass the stage of "super hungry" and end up just feeling sick, then i can get this "i dont want to eat..." feeling because i dont feel hungry, but infact i am super hungry and i know i need to eat because i am in a stage of 'hangry' and it wont get better if i dont eat. But its like this barrier and this little trigger.... of course this may not sound good and sound like something disordered, but i know my sister and others can feel this way as well when hunger passes to sick feeling because its gone too long and you just get angry and irritated and everything feels awful (hahah.). So then i do eat it all goes away and i feel fine. But i know that happens if i go too long without food so i always make sure to never get to that stage and have snacks with me to avoid feeling that way. And when i get bouts of anxiety or lonliness or panic then i write or i talk to someone in my family and that helps me cope. Sometimes listening to a podcast and going for a walk or doing baking or cooking also helps me cope, depends on what the trigger was and how strong the response was.

Anyway, this was just a little reminder for you all..... you can try to limit what triggers you, but if you KNOW what triggers you then you can also learn to cope with it when they do happen!!


Never stop learning or being curious

I may not show it on here or even in real life, but i am someone who has alot of questions but i don't often say them out loud.

I've always been someone who loves taking things apart to figure out how they work. When i was younger i just couldn't understand how tv's, computers or mobiles worked, they were so fascinating to and it happened on more than one occasion where my mum would come into the living room and see me trying to take those things apart to see what was on the inside. The one thing i did manage to take apart was the TV remote but it didnt make me any smarter in understanding how it worked.

I have alot of "how and what and why" questions in my mind. And it feels like the more i learn the less i feel i know because i just have more questions. I want to understand. I want to know. If i could, i would want to know alot about everything, but that isnt possible (or who knows, if i were to dedicate my life and every moment to it it might be, haha. Never say never!)

I began thinking about my curiosity and realised that it is one of the things that i love about life... learning new things. Being curious about life and how things work, and the best feeling is when you get a better understanding of something. While i was depressed or had no life motivation i didn't have much curiosity either... i didn't care. What did it matter how things worked or why, nothing really mattered and learning more or being curious didn't appeal to me either.

And i began thinking about how dull and boring life is if you don't keep learning and growing? If you aren't interested in something? If you don't have questions and curiosities... if there is no life motivation.

One of the things that helped me in both recovery from an eating disorder and depressions is learning more... being curious. How does the body work, how does the brain work. What does food do in the body, how does exercise impact the body, how do different medications work on the brain, what is depression and why does it happen, what is an eating disorder and why does it happen? There was alot of googling and reading books to help answer my questions. Of course with most questions and answers there are 2 sides and you need to be critical of the source of the information and not just believe the first thing you see. But in recovery it helped to learn more and to get a better understanding as to why i needed to recover and what was happening in my body.

Of course when you have 101 questions to be answered, sometimes the best thing is to do your own research but as i mentioned earlier, its important to be critical of the source!!

I know this might be a strange post, but it was something i thought about and how it can be annoying to have so many questions and feel like i don't understand some things, but at the same time that is one of the amazing things about life that i CAN learn and can get a better understanding. I much rather have 101 questions about life and different things in life than have no interest or curiosity in life at all!!

Image result for curiosity killed the cat but


Sunday, April 23, 2017

15 lessons learned in college - how to surive college

I found these tips online and i know i have written about them before in previous post but i love how simple and summarized this list is and it might just be a good reminder for some... even if its only a month or two left of school, maybe for those starting university next year you can look back on this if you need advice or a reminder!!
Do YOU have any tips or advice to share about going to university or what has worked for you? :)

1. it’s really easy to get behind on your textbook reading, and it’s really easy to not catch back up, just read it 
2. sometimes you will start to nod off in class and your notes become illegible, when this happens, voice record the lecture on your phone, but do not do this all the time 
3. do not skip class to study for another class, it will just come to bite you in the butt later 
4. online assignments are really hard to keep up with, therefore having some type of journal, agenda, or list is crucial 
5. you either benefit from studying with other people or you get absolutely nothing done, figure this out as soon as possible 
6. a quiz in high school may have meant 5-10 questions, but in college a lot of the times it’s just one 
7. reading your notes right after class allows you to review quickly what you learned, so you don’t immediately forget 
8. you cannot study the day before an exam and get the results you want, it doesn’t work like that 
9. making friends in your classes is crucial especially if your notes aren’t as detailed as needed or you want a study partner 
10. do not waste time between classes, it is usually the most productive parts of my day and most of the time prevents me from staying up all night doing homework 
11. keep your laptop with you all the time, along with anything you might even plan on studying 
12. learn how you like to take notes, and learn it quickly, drop/add week is the best time for this 
13. do not underestimate a class or it will no doubt overwhelm you 
14. GO TO OFFICE HOURS 
15. remember that your academic goals are self-defined and that you need not compete or compare to others 
(Source: http://pencyls.tumblr.com/post/150427755277/15-academic-things-ive-learned-in-the-first-month)

Life and updates

Hello and good afternoon everyone :)

After writing the post this morning im feeling a little bit more motivated to blog. I was feeling rather down and not "good enough" about blogging. However i have alot of other things going on in life at the moment as well which is taking up alot of my time so blogging isnt a priority. I am choosing to keep my private life private and wont be writing much about it as that is what feels best right now.... i dont feel the need to share my life so much online.

At the moment there is alot of school work... alot of essay writing, alot of article reading, alot of numbers and percentages to keep track of as well as studying for my test and working on group projects at the same time. So that is taking up alot of mental energy and most of my time.

But also i now have a part time job which i start next week, ill be working at different stores - and thats about all i will say about my work. Both because i have nothing to write and dont want to write about my work but also due to my contract.

Otherwise there isnt much else in my life... school, working out, online work, work, friends.... thats about how my life is at the moment. Ups and downs, somedays filled with hopes and dreams for the future and other days worrying myself sick about the future. But all in all im good and happy and hopeful!! Trying to manage everything and not get too overwhelmed about everything i have going on in life!!

Since being at home over easter and filling up on my herbal remedies ive felt alot better anxiety wise and sleep wise. Finally able to sleep at 10pm again and not lie awake until 1 or 2am. As well as coping with stress and anxiety alot better with my herbal remedies.  All the years ive been critical of my mother and just taken what she has given me but been skeptical i can finally tell the difference, or the past year ive noticed that the herbal remedies she gives me makes a huge difference. However i have never taken any other "official" medication apart from medication for anxiety relief but all they did was make me fall asleep and when i woke up id still have the anxiety so they were only really helpful when i was overwhelmed with anxiety and needed to stop myself from doing something compulsive or stupid and would take the anxiety relief pills which made me sleep. Of course everyone is different and i believe that "official" medication also works and is important when needed!!

Anyway, this was my little life update. Not so active on here unfortunatly but focusing foremost on school work but ill try get better at answering comments i know i havent done that for a while :( There is only so much apologizing i can do before you start getting mad or irritated at me, hahah!!!