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, January 17, 2014

Phases of recovery

The Phases of Recovery
Phase I — water hoarding.
The body seems to gain 7-16 lbs. in the first couple of months. An anorexic that has not been prepared for this will panic and restrict before she/he gets too far along. The “weight” almost exclusively water hoarding. The body needs the water for cellular repair. The water retention dissipates past the second month, but only if the person is reliably eating 2500 calories every day throughout that time.
Digestive distress is common in this first phase: gas, pain and abdominal distention (bloating). You can alleviate this a bit by eating smaller amounts more constantly throughout the day: 200 calorie increments 12 and a half times a day. This digestive distress occurs because starvation has drastically reduced all the critical bacteria in your gut as well as all your digestive enzyme levels. In order for the bacteria to recolonize to acceptable levels they need the energy in as well…resist the urge to drink lots of water. You will get adequate hydration if you eat 2500 calories a day. If you do have drinks, make sure they are full of nutrition.

Phase II - vital organ insulation
…the body preferentially lays down fat around the mid-section to insulate those vital organs. Again, an anorexic that is not prepared for this will freak. You can feel huge (a combination of fat around the middle and the residual bloating and gas of a digestive system struggling to get up to speed again). Unfortunately, many relapse here.
The redistribution of all that fat around the mid-section to the rest of the body only occurs if the anorexic persists right to the final phase.

Phase III - bones, muscles, almost there
Assuming you have been purposefully eating your 2500 calories (minimum) right up to this phase, then you start to get rewarded for all your hard work to help your body repair itself…
This occurs about 4-6 months along the recovery path (depending on the starting point) and will be around BMI 18.5-20.
A few will resume their menstrual cycles at this point, although they are the minority.
Unfortunately this is often when an almost-fully recovered anorexic makes a series of mistakes (often also due to misguided advice even from her own medical and professional team). She/he assumes she can now maintain her/his weight and that she/he is recovered.
Instead, she/he relapses again [no matter to what extent] within the year. Why?

Final Critical Phase: Leptin or relapse.
It is rare that an ED patient will attain pre-ED leptin [‘hunger hormone’] levels at BMI 18.5-20. Usually, due to the physiological implications of having an ED, leptin levels are lower in recovered ED patients than in normal controls who are exactly the same weight/height/age as the ED patient.
Furthermore, [only a very small percentage of the population] is naturally at BMI 18.5-20—i.e. naturally thin.
To get an optimal leptin level as a recovered ED patient, you need to shoot for BMI 21-25. We know that the higher a recovered ED patient ends up on the BMI scale, the less likely she/he is to relapse.
From there, you can now maintain your weight—but even then there is a catch. You maintain by eating the amount you ate to regain all the weight in the first place. So in fact you don’t maintain your weight, your body does.
You would think that doing that would mean you will actually just keep gaining and gaining.
Instead, once your body reaches its own optimal weight set point (and only your body decides what that is) then it just stops gaining weight and starts maintaining the optimal set point it has reached. It does this seamlessly because the metabolic rate moves back into the optimal range at that same time and biological functions that were on hold are now back on line.
You gain weight through all those phases of recovery because the metabolism is suppressed—that energy went to weight gain and repair. But now you are recovered, the energy now goes to day-to-day functions (all the neuroendocrine systems that had been on hold up to that point).
You gain on 2500 and then you maintain on right about the same amount. And once you stop gaining weight then you can also depend on your hunger cues to keep you eating what your body needs to maintain your health and weight for the rest of your life.
Also, screenshot from here:
image

6 comments:

  1. Hi Izzy I emailed you earlier but haven't heard from you, wondering whether my email has been sent successfully or not?
    J

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  2. If its gone more than a week then its best that you resend the email just incase ive missed your email, not gotten it or its gone to junkmail or something ;)

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    Replies
    1. I've resent it already, but seems like it still hasn't gone through to you :( is there any other way I could get in touch? J

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    2. Hmm, thats strange. Are you sure you are using the right email address? Could you comment what you needed to write?
      Otherwise, if you have a Tumblr, you can write to me on my Tumblr and i can answer/give you advice/help there?

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    3. weird - I've sent it 3 times already! it's just a simple email:

      'Hi Izzy,
      I'm so glad that I've found your blog - you are a true inspiration for me. I have been a struggler for about 3 years now, and I've just come through the rock bottom of my illness. I'm on my road to recovery (or rather, quasi-recovery) and I get a lot of determination, understanding and mental support from reading your blog. Often your words are exactly what I'm feeling/thinking. Just want to say a thank you for writing all the amazing blog posts, you have no idea how much you are helping we people who are struggling out there!
      Enjoy your life :)'

      Nothing special really! J

      Delete
  3. Hi Izzy!

    This was a really comforting read! But I still have the question of if our body has a set weight it can maintain why do people become obese?

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