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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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Facing a fear food

Part of recovery is stepping outside of your comfort zone. When you are sick you put up walls around yourself, you restrict yourseld from life. And restrict certain foods. and you end up with a list of fear foods for different reasons. The most typical onea are carbs, chocolate, junk food etc.
  My fear foods list was long with pretty much all types of food. I actually still have the paper where I wrote all my fear foods and safe foods down when I was 14 years old, and I can say the only safe foods I had on my list was apples, soup, lentils, tea and coffee.....
The fact is you cant really live a life when you live with all these restrictions and fears. Its easy to tell yourself that you will recover but that you will never eat certain foods and you will never weigh more than X kilo. But that is you ED talking.... becauae if you think about if, thats not how normal people think.


   Also this is why I say that you shouldn't focus on eating healthy or only clean foods while recovering because that is just setting uo restrictions.  You're not getting rid of the sick mind set. As you cant seem to be able to eat junk food. And this is the same with turning vegan or vegetarian while in recovery. I think you can make all these choices when you are mentally healthy from your ED.
  
I have said this before, but it's a good reminder. You dont gain weight from just 1 certain food. You dont gain weight/become fat etc if you eat a burger or some chocolate or even if you eat a whole Ben and Jerrys ice cream.
      While in recovery you need to try your fear foods.
And the best way to do that.... well, some prefer to plan it. To decide that say on Tuesday for my afternoon snack im going to try a piece of cake. Whilst others prefer to do it more spontaneously so that they dont get the anxiety before hand.
   

For me, while I was facing my fear foods I decided to do it more spontaneously because I realised that when I planned to try a fear food I would end up eating less before hand and get so much anxiety before actually eating the fear food that I would end up not trying the food.
   However somedays I felt really strong in recovery then I wanted to try a fear food.

What I found was that the anxiety was always worst before eating because then I would conjure up 100 bad scenarios of what would happen if I ate the food. But then once I began eating I would actually enjoy the food..... and then afterwards there came anxiety and thoughts of compensation.
But my best tip is to have someone with you if you plan on trying a fear food. Because then they can sit with you or do something with you to keep you from compensating/purging/self harming etc
   And if you do get lots of anxiety and on your own remind yourself that there is nothing bad with eating. That you did a good thing! That  you are strong. And do you really want to negate that by compensating?
  
Remind yourself that to recover you need to do things which scare you. You need to fight your ED. Fight the voice in your head.
  And the thing is, it gets easier. Once you realise that you actually can eat the fear food, that nothing bad happens then you can do it again.
  
Even if you only manage half of the fear food, that is good. That is better than not trying at all. And even if you fail, that the anxiety is too much. There's always another time.
Eating carbohydrates,  fats, chocolate,  sweets, crisps it's part of life. Do you need to eat chocolate,  pizza, crisps everyday? No you don't.  But being able to eat them is part of life.
   While I was in recovery I tried all types of foods, I tried pizza several times but found that I just don't like it.... However it's been numerous times that I've been with friends or my parents have ordered pizza and ive taken a slice or two, just to be social. You need to try foods several times before you decide whether you like it or not...

^^ The first time i tried pizzza

   Like cola.... i have tried normal cola  a few times. But I just don't like it. And I rarely drink diet cola anymore. I dont even drink it if I'm offered.  This however is a choice I have made as a healthy person. There is no voice in my head telling me that I can't or shouldn't drink it. It's a choice I have made.
Don't set up walls around yourself or hide yourself from life just because you're scared of eating. You will miss out on alot in life if you constantly say no to things just because you don't want to eat.
   Instead face your fears. Choose recovery and healthy!!


^^^This was one of the first times i was going to eat a pastery after about a year in recovery. I had spent 15 minutes staring at all the pasteries in the cafe and was having a break down .I didnt want any of them...  i couldnt decide. So instead, my mum decided on that pastery, with jam in the middle. I sat there and started regretting that i had ordered a latte and not a black coffee. I didnt want any extra calories. I was breaking down inside and the anxiety was tearing me apart.
  But i saw how my mum looked at me, waiting for me to eat. Hoping that i would actually eat the pastery and not just sit there and tear it apart as i had done before.
  But i did eat it, and i did drink half of my latte. And i felt proud, even if i still had anxiety. But the anxiety passed.... and by the next day i had already forgotten that i had eaten a pastery. It was like nothing at all.
   Did everything suddenly become easier, after that? No, it took time and i had to keep facing my fear foods. Keep going against the anxiety and the voice in my head.But it is possible!!! And you have to remember that.



^^ balance of healthy and unhealthy

And also, when you are out at a cafe or restaurant, dont let your ED control you. Dont think about calories or fat or any of that... just choose the option which you want! Choose the thing that looks yumiest... not the thing that has least calories. You need to face your fears!

9 comments:

  1. This is wonderful!!!! I hope I can conquer some more of my fear foods soon!!

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  2. I have a special fear food problem. It is always the same when I buy a fear food as a treat: I eat some of it and then I either have to eat all of it (like: the whole cake, all the cookies ...) or throw the rest away.
    It is very frustrating and I avoid buying the fear foods, even though I really don't want to have fear foods.

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    1. Just read this.I do it too.I am so scared of treating myself now that I dont buy anyhng:(hate myself

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  3. I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration your blog has been for me. I am trying to recover now and it is more challenging than I thought. It really helps to read such positive and encouraging messages from someone who has been there and really understands what it is like. My counselor, my dietician, my doctor --- they can help, but none of them have experienced this anxiety, this fear of food and gaining weight and cannot truly understand. So thank you and keep writing :)

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    1. Thank you :) I am glad that i could help. Keep strong x

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    2. I completely agree with this statement, it is so reassuring to hear it from someone who suffers with an eating disorder and has batled through it. Thank you for this post it was so inspiring.

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  4. Last weekend I tried one of my fear food ... it worked and now I am really proud but now I am thinking about how of in which time I should try eating fear food... maybe you guess right why I am asking that... the fear to get fat.... sorry ^^"

    I hope I right in an understandable english... I am from Germany but I love your blog... it's so helpful.

    Thank you!

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  5. Thank you for this post, it has been so helpful. I find I can really relate in the way you articulate yourself. Thank you for posting and taking the time to share this with us.

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