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, June 6, 2013

How to stop calorie counting

I wish i could give some solid advice about how to stop calorie counting. Or some technique that will help you stop. But it is more a mental thing, to just stop counting. But that isnt so easy. Especially not as calorie counting is an obsessive thing.
    While i was sick i counted calories obsessively and i have diaries where there are pages filled with foods and all their calorie content, and my food diaries and how much i ate. I counted every little calorie, and i always rounded up. Even though i knew that an apple was X calories, i counted it as X+50, just incase. 
  And since i've recovered - been healthy&stopped counting calories obsesively. Its happened twice where i started counting calories again. The first time was because i wanted to know how much i was actually eating, and to know that i was eating enough to gain weight (this was while i still had 2-3kg to gain) and i became slightly obsessed. But stopped with calorie counting. 
  But then a few months back i started again for a few weeks, because i hadnt been eating enough and i think i had put my body into starvation mode. So i wanted to figure out how much i needed to eat & then to eat more to build muscle. I started logging my calories into MFP, and it became slightly obsessive. But once i realised what i was doing and realised that when i was counting calories again, i didnt have as much freedom with food. And so i stopped. And you know what, i feel so much better now. I really dont care about how many calories i eat. I listen to my body, and that is the most important. Because you know what, it doesnt really matter if you eat more one day and less the other, because your body can handle that.
  And i have seen alot more difference in my body since i stopped counting calories ;)

But onto some actual tips& advice.

The fact is, when you have been calorie counting for some time, you know the calories in lots of different foods. So whether you like it or not, you will be able to guesstimate how much you are eating. But for me - that was almost a good thing. I.e, i knew the calories of what i was eating so i didnt have to count them. Its like i knew that now im eating 300... whatever.
   I was following a meal plan, so i knew how many calories i ate and instead of everyday counting what i was eating i realise dthere was no point, as i was eating the same thing all the time. So that was my sort of way of stopping counting calories.
But i know many out there dont have a meal plan, or are trying to eat and gain weight and want to know how much you are eating.
   But my best advice is to figure out how much you need to gain weight i.e calculate your BMR & add 500kcl more to gain weight. Then make a meal plan and stick to that meal plan. Because when you know how much you are eating, when you know how many calories you'll realise that you stop counting bbecause you know that you are eating the same amount.

Another thing which is important is that you have to want to stop counting calories. Just like recovery, you need to want to recover. If you want to, then half the battle is done.
  You need to fight against the voice in your head. The more your fight against the voice in your head, the easier it gets.

At first, start with trying a new snack no measuring your food - because that will lead to calorie counting. And just eat how much and what you want. And there may be anxiety afterwards because you dont know how much you ate, but deal with the anxiety. Dont compensate. Fight against the voice.
  The fact is, anxiety is usually worse before - whilst you are preparing or thinking about preparing the food and then afterwards, but as long as you eat all of the meal and then do somethign which tkaes your mind off things it gets easier.
  Plan to go out to a cafe with a friend/family and then order what you want. And allow yourself to eat it, not trying to figure out the calories. And then maybe you can go shopping, or go to the cinema, or go for a walk or something which will distract you - and when you are with someone else they can make sure you dont purge or self harm or do anything else destructive

The fact is, its hard to give some actual advice on how to stop calorie counting. Because once you start calorie counting you will always know the numbers of food. But you can stop calorie counting, even if you know the calories in food. You just have to decide to stop.
    Instead of using your willpower and control to not eat, use your willpower and control to not count calories and to actually eat. Thats the best way i can put it. You need to revert your willpower to something else.

If you are no longer following a meal plan and just need to maintain your weight. Then just listen to your body - this is a tricky stage, because you dont know how much you are eating. But it is just to listen to your body. Some days you will eat more and other days less. And really try to figure out how you are feeling. If you're feeling tired more often, then you either need more sleep or more food.
  If you know you have a high BMR, and know you're not eating enough then eat calorie dense food.

My best advice, is to just eat what you want. To not care about the calories. Are you craving a bun? Then eat one. You dont need to deprive yourself. You need to live life, and food is part of life.
  If you go out to a restaurant, order the dish which you want. Dont sit there calculating the calorie content of everything and trying to figure out which is the lowest calorie dish. It isnt worth it.
    Stop measuring food, and just start enjoying food.
^^Something which i also want to mention is that just because foods are low in calories, doesnt mean its that healthy. All these sugar free/fat free foods really arent that good. They have loads of added shit to them, and its alot better to just eat the full fat yoghurt.
  Foods like nuts, avocado, salmon, nut butters, olive oil etc might have a high calorie content, but you know what they are some of the best foods for your body and have great benefits. 

I also like to eat the rainbow, i.e getting lots of different colours to my meals - natural healthy colours. I.e red from tomatoe, green from avocado or vegetables, orange from carrot, yellow from banana etc (all through out the day ;) )


Sorry for the really long post, and no idea if the advice was helpful or not :/ 
   But i wrote the best i could :)

And im going to try to get around to writing a post about how to gain weight as that was requested!! :)

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post - it addressed something I've definitely been struggling with lately! I find maintaining a healthy weight really difficult but I'm going to try and follow your advice and try and listen to my body more and eat when I'm hungry (something I find so hard to do) and what I'm craving. Thank you again - your blog is so helpful ;) xx

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  2. Thanks for your advice and tips! I think it's really nice that you take your time to 'listen to your readers' and write posts on what we would like to read about :) just wanted to say that!
    And I'm looking forward to the weight gain post ^-^

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    1. No problem, and im just glad that i can help in someway :)
      If there is ever anything you want to read about, just let me know!! :)
      And even if i dont always reply to all comments, i do read them :)

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  3. I can relate, especially on the say an apple is this xx many calories then you add say 50 more calories to that just to be safe when you know for sure it's xx amount of calories. That's the ED for you. Very good post by the way!

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  4. Izzy! I know I'm posting on an old blog post, but I just wanted to let you know how much your blog inspires me. Everyday I wake up hoping to see new entries from you. Even if it is just a picture of you going for a walk. You remind me that there is a life after this awful disease. I cannot wait to get to where you are. I emailed you a few days ago on gaining weight and how to cope with it. A few days later I saw a post all about gaining weight and dealing with it. I bawled my eyes out. To know that you invested time into my life, someone whom you don't even know, was one of the greatest things that has happened to me all summer. Please do not ever give up on this blog. I hope one day to have a blog just like this and inspire many others just like you. Thank you so much for everything Izzy.

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  5. Thanks so much :) I'm dealing with this right now, but the difference with my situation is that nobody knows about it.. The closest that anyone has come to figuring out what I'm dealing with is my mother noticing that I'm not eating as much as I did and me telling my friend my current (very low) weight.. I'm not completely in starvation mode, and I'm praying that I can do this before I lose too much. This helped so much! Thank you!

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  6. I was looking for just this exact thing. Thanks for helping me. Like you, I have been counting calories for way too long, so giving it up will be a great challenge. I hope I can do it.
    Thanks again.

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  7. Thank you for this post. It has helped me immensely. With your help and the guidance of the Lord, I have overcome a lot. God Bless You and continue being a living testimony that God can perform miracles because I never thought I could overcome Anorexia and I am 5 lbs happier, healthier, and ave gained my joy back.

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