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, January 19, 2017

Your future self will thank you

You may be struggling now, but remember that the struggles make you stronger. And that one day you will look back and be thankful that you kept going and kept fighting.

I may not remember everytime I struggled or remember every recovery choice I made but I can say that I am proud of my past self for making those choices so that I can be the person I am today. I am thankful that I kept fighting.

There are certain times though that I made a recovery choice and I am so thankful that I did.

The time I had planned a run after school and when I got home I didn't feel like running but forced myself out to do it and 10 minutes into the run I broke down crying because I really didn't want to, and I knew what I was doing was wrong. So instead I headed home and asked my mum to buy a Ben and Jerry's I've cream for me... and that day I faced several fears, I. E not doing a planned workout, eating a fear food and also on a day I didn't workout, and also being able to ask for a food and admit I wanted ice cream.

Also the time I went to a cafe with my mum and I had ordered some type of pie and she had ordered soy ice cream and when I got the pie it tasted awful and it felt so wrong to eat something I didn't like, so the anxiety got the better of me but I liked the ice cream my mum had ordered so I asked her if we could swap because I needed to face my fear and fight my anorexia, but I wanted to eat something I enjoyed and so I got to eat the ice cream and enjoy it and made me feel less guilty as it was something I actually liked.

The time I ordered a cappuccino instead of a black coffee like I had done for years.

The time I went food shopping with my mum and after 45 minutes of worrying and contemplating finally asked her if I could buy some chocolate.... I had felt ashamed and embarrassed and didn't want to admit that I wanted chocolate as I saw it as  a sign of weakness.  But she was just happy and let me buy as much chocolate as I wanted.... of course eating the chocolate was the next step but admitting to cravings and not being ashamed. And the next step also was to be able to buy the chocolate myself and not feel ashamed or judged by the cashier.

And then there were also the recovery steps of actually using butter or oil when cooking and eating the food myself. As well as being able to eat food cooked by others and even going out to eat.

So many recovery steps and choices and all of them made me stronger. At the time it was awful and I had anxiety before, during and after but of course future self thanks the past me for being strong enough to make those choices and progress.  Because now it's not even a thought when I use oik to try my food or add 1dl milk to my coffee or to rest when I don't want to exercise or to buy chocolate whenever I want it without feeling ashamed, judged or guilty.

All those small steps and choices lead to the final result of healthy and free. Of course it's a mind set change but all those small steps add up.  Think how differently life could be in 6 months if you everyday go against the anxiety and fear!!

Your future self will thank you and be so proud of you!!! The only way to get better is to make those changes and face the fears!!

Mental state causing physical pain and discomfort, dealing with stress

Hello :)

I thought i would write a little update after my previous "personal" post, but also thank you for your lovely and sweet messages i have recieved on my different social media accounts after i made that post. I havent been able to reply to you all as i am rather overwhelmed and stressed with school work at the moment, but i want to say thank you all for your kind words!

Has my anxiety passed? Mostly, but part of it is still there and lingering. However i know that the anxiety is due to stress... i feel very stressed and overwhelmed with how much school work i have at the moment and most of all i am longing for some free time and for a break. Ive only been back to university for a week and i am feeling the stress rising and effecting my negatively. Sleep problems, anxiety and a lot of stomach pain and discomfort (which i now realise is a direct result from the stress and anxiety i am feeling, i.e its not food i am eating, but due to the psychological way i am feeling.) Ii have also done a whole lot of overthinking and so many "what if" thoughts that lead to more anxiety in my life. And also been feeling this sort of panicked and claustrophobic feeling with my current living situation.... just feeling panicked over living from suit cases for the past few weeks, feeling panicked from being in such a small room and just most of all wanting my own place, wanting to feel settled somewhere. Just a whole bunch of feelings and thoughts at the moment which is why i havent been so active on here - i havent had the energy to write anything motivating or inspiring, or even have the time to answer comments, so i apologize profusely for that. But i am hoping that in a few weeks time life will feel more settled again and that the course work wont be as demanding or intense!!

For now my goals are just to get atleast 7 hours sleep a night. Less coffee/caffeine and more water!
Less overthinking and worrying.
Go for walks to help with anxiety and stress.
Stop thinking i dont have time...because i do have time and panicking wont help.
Get back into having regular phone conversations with my family again.
And hopefully with less stress and anxiety my stomach pains will go away which will make it easier to eat and not have so much stomach discomfort as well as lots of heart burn which sucks. (This might be something YOU want to think about as well... sometimes its not the food that gives you stomach pain, but its anxiety or stress. So many people just cut out lots of food and think its food causing the problem when infact it can be your mental state causing physical discomfort!)

Anyway, i thought i would just write a little update as to why there isnt much activity on here.trying t
Life has its ups and downs and right now i am just in a "down and stressed" period of my life, so hard to feel motivated or inspired, but i am doing my best to stay positive and keep myself happy and healthy!! :) And i hope you are all doing the same thing i.e trying your best to be happy and healthy and know that if you are in a "down" period, it can and will get better!




Does it matter where you get your calories from during eating disorder recovery?

Does it matter where you get your calories from in recover from a restrictive eating disorder eating disorder?

The answer is both yes and no. Because the most important thing is to get enough energy/total Kcal each day, but it is also extremely important to get all your nutrients and vitamins, because if you havent been eating properly or you have compensated by purging, then your body hasnt gotten all the vitamins and nutrients it needs, but also the fact that your digestive system might have been affected and making it harder for your body to absorb all the nutrients. The reason we need to eat essentielly is to get our daily vitamins and minerals as well as the glucose, essential amino acids and essential fats each day. And generally speaking, if you eat right and eat a diet filled with fruit, vegetables, fibers and "good carbs" as well as healthy fats and protein then most people reach their required amount of all the vitamins and minerals. Unless a person eats in a very specific way and doesnt eat all food groups, or the body doesnt absorb all the vitamins or nutrients or other factors.

In recovery however it is also about facing fears and fear foods, so just because an apple has technically more nutrients in it than chocolate doesnt mean that chocolate isnt good... because chocolate has its functions as well. And in recovery sometimes you just cant eat all the energy you need through the "normal food" and you actually need buns, cake, ice cream or chocolate to help you reach your energy amount and there is nothing wrong with that. Even people who dont have a very high calorie need each day can eat those foods and not gain weight or lose health. It is also about the balance.

Personally i eat some chocoalte almost everyday, sometimes more and sometimes less... or sometimes it goes 2 weeks and i dont eat any chocolate, it is very different. But it fits into my diet and my lifestyle, i get all the nutrients and vitamins i need (as well as having to take supplements as my body doesnt absorb vitamins and nutrients to its full potential) through food and then things like chocolate are eaten because they are delicious and they fill the function of being something delicious and good for my soul! If you have a balance of one day eating a sandwich for a snack and another day maybe eating a cinnamon bun and then next two days eating fruit salad with yoghurt and nuts for a snack and the day after that maybe an ice cream for a snack etc etc

A calorie is still a calorie, in a sense.... I mean 100 kcal from a banana or 100kcal from a special K bar, they both have the same energy amount... but the banana would definitely have more nutrients and vitamins. But it is also important to allow yourself to have things which arent "the most healthy" and to eat balanced. Maybe not 12 cookies, but 2 cookies as part of a morning snack combined with an apple!!

A long answer, but i could write so much more about it, but it would take too much time and i am sure no one is that interested so i will skip it. But the answer is that both yes and no, it does matter in a sense.... but it only becomes a problem if you are eating very specifically. I.e if you begin to eat just protein and salad and skip all fats and carbs even if you were to reach your calorie goal it could cause problems, just like if you were to begin to reach your goal goal with just chips and chocolate then that would cause problems. So itsnot just calories but also vitamins and minerals, but with a balanced diet then you can eat both vegetables and dessert in the same day :) It is not either or!








Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Focus on gaining health and life not on losing weight


But, even if you’re not fat, if you’re a woman, you’re probably still so caught up with your toxic weight shit that you can’t even see straight. During my working life I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been part of these ridiculous workplace group diets. Almost all of the participants have been women. Sometimes they even try to bribe one another with money. They all put in ten dollars on the first week and whoever loses the most wins the pool at the end of 4 months, or whatever it is. Look, I’m like you. I’ve done it too. And at a perfectly normal, healthy weight I’ve done it. All because of a sick, shitful, ugly little voice in the back of my head that tells me I ought to be smaller.
And that’s the rub, right there. Exactly why do we want to be smaller? What exactly is the appeal of being smaller? How does it benefit us? Does it make us better mothers? Better students? Better lovers? Better artists? Scientists? Friends? Does it make us more badass badasses?
No, no, no, no, no. You must see that it doesn’t. It doesn’t do anything but make us smaller.
Babies and puppies are small. So are dimes and Skittles. You’re a fucking woman. A woman! You are entitled to occupy as much fucking space as you like with your awesomeness, and you better be suspicious as fuck of anybody who tells you differently.
Why, ladies? Why must we continue to whittle ourselves down? Who is it for? What is it for? You can walk through a certain aisle at the pharmacy or at the grocery store and see the language of diminishment all over the packaging for weight loss aids of all kinds. “Shrink your waist.” “Lose inches off your thighs.” “Slim down.” “Get skinny.”
How about “Grow your mind.” “Increase your confidence and productivity.” “Beef up your knowledge.” “Enlarge your scope of asskicking.”
That’s a valid message for women and girls: grow, expand, branch out, open up, get bigger, wider, faster, stronger, better, smarter. Go up not down. Get strong, not skinny.
You are not here to get smaller. You are not here to have a thin waist and thighs. You are not here to disappear. You’re here to change the world! Change the fucking world, then! Forget about “losing a few pounds.” Think about what you could be gaining instead.
  
— Ladybud.com  (via albinwonderland)

Dealing with anxiety and panic - wanting to do disappear or be someone else

Yesterday evening was not a good day. Yesterday evening I was hit with a huge wave of panic and anxiety. My heart began beating fast and I felt it was hard to breathe and my thoughts taking over completely. I felt this feeling of wanting to disappear, wanting to shrink but also..
Wanting to be anyone but myself right then and there.

In my life now I've learned to take up space, learnt that I am not a burden and learning to be confident, loving myself and accepting some of the flaws I think I have on my personality and behaviours. But yesterday I wanted to shrink myself  .. wanted to take up as little space as possible and wished I could disappear and wished no one had ever met me. Or just wished I could be anyone else. I wanted to change myself..... change my appearance.  Wished I could be someone who always had nice hair and always looked flawless and was good at make up. Wished I had nice clothed and didn't spend 85% of my time in workout clothes or look like I just got out of bed. I wished I was someone who had more confidence and was more bubbly and outgoing. I went to bed with a whole bunch of anxiety and the first time in a very long time where I wanted to cry myself to sleep because I just felt so low and negative and overwhelmed.  Stressed and anxious and now in the morning I know that those feelings had to do with a lack of sleep recently and other factors in my life.

But also this morning I began thinking about why I felt I wanted or needed to change who I am. Because the truth is, I can change.... I can be the girl who wears heels and red lipstick to school, the girl with awesome clothes and makeup and hair on point and the person who is confident and bubbly. But the truth is that i don't want to change.... I want to change for other people, to impress other people because I think others would like me better if I looked or behaved differently.  This of course is my low self esteem, thinking I'm not good enough, thinking that people don't like me or that I need to change who I am or what I look like to be accepted. This is so silly though, I have friends who like me for who I am now, I  am accepted and loved for who I am. Sure certain personality traits I might need to change but I don't need to change who I am to be accepted or loved. I need to continue loving myself, taking up space and being confident. Low self esteem and hating myself will do nothing but break me down.

I am writing this post to remind you that anxiety passes.  It won't last forever and don't do anything irrational when dealing with those strong emotions.

But also, to not compare yourself to others or try to change yourself for anyone else.  It's OK to change but then you have to do it for your own sake and not to impress or others. Instead work on your self esteem and learn to love yourself.  Learn to be confident in yourself and your life.  Stop focusing on the negatives and focus on the positives and what you love about yourself. Of course it's easier said than done but trust me, even if I woke up and still had lots of anxiety, the rational thoughts are helping so much. To realise that little sleep, stress and low self esteem are the underlying factors to how im feeling.  But also that change has to be for my sake, not to impress others or for someone else's sake. I am who I am and that's OK.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Your body is always using energy

A part of recovery for myself was realising that the body is always burning energy no matter what you are doing. I felt like I could only justify eating something - even if that something was still extremely little - if I had been active and done something physically.  But also I felt like I could only justify and be somewhat ok eating chocolate or anything other than a safe food because I needed to gain weight. I thought, once I reached my goal weight I could never eat any of those "treat" foods again.

That was not the case. I.e i can still eat any types of food, but all foods in balance and moderation and it's the same for you. Food needs to be eaten everyday no matter what you do.

You may lay in bed sleeping all day but your body will still burn a whole lot of energy keeping you alive I. E your BMR which for most people is around 1200-1400 which is the energy amount your body used just to keep you alive. I.e energy to your organs so they can keep working. So even if you do absaloutly nothing you still need to eat. And then of course if you just do basic things like go to work/school, do the dishes, food shop, cook food, take out the rubbish all of that adds up and most people burn around 1800-2200 just by going about their day. Of course calorie requirement is so different for everyone, for example if you have been eating very restrictive your body will have adapted to that and won't expend as much energy doing things because it doesn't feel safe enough to do that. But also  I don't want you to go about your day just thinking about burning calories or doing 110 things each day to burn more. I made that mistake in the past as well, I would constantly be doing things because I thought just sitting still wouldn't burn calories... but yes it does.

Of course this post can be taken in the wrong way, I don't want you to focus on burning calories or that every movement is thought of calories burnt. More that I want to make you aware that even if you do absaloutly nothing you still need to eat. And even if you don't need to gain weight you still need to eat. Everyone needs to eat.  Of course different portions and different amounts based on many factors but you don't have to eat just salad and cucumber because you are a normal weight or because you haven't been active. Your body needs daily fuel.

I think following hunger and fullness is the best and that is what will lead to balance, for example Somedays you are more hungry and some days less but there is a long term balance. However if those signals aren't working as they should then sometimes you just need to make yourself eat even if you don't feel hungry just because your body needs energy!!!

You don't need to earn food. You don't need to compensate for not being active. You need to find a balance with food and most importantly change your thoughts regarding food and intake!!!