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, May 3, 2014

Catching a cold/stomach virus when your recovering/have an eating disorder

I thought i would write some tips and what to think about if you catch a cold or a stomach bug when you are recovering or even half recovered from an eating disorder.
   
I hate being sick, any type of sick - a small cold, virus or stomach bug. It feels like i miss out on so much, luckily i have only been sick a few days and havent missed any school, which is a relief.
   When you become sick and you cant eat, or have very little appetite, or if you throw up it can definitely trigger ED thoughts. For me, it doesnt trigger anything but it definitely brings back memories.
   I first began purging (back in 2009 i think it was?) when i had gotten food poisioning. I had already been restricting and my exercise had increased. But i didnt think i was sick or anything so had never thought about purging, but when i got food poisioning i lost alot of weight. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing how i had gotten thinner and i liked it. And so, a week later i was still purging daily, and what do you know a year later i was still purging, and by then i was purging whatever i had eaten, though at that stage it was very little.
  So of course whenever i get sick and purge, it brings back those memories. I am always so worried of - What happens if it continues? However now, it just makes me so disgusted. I have enough acid reflux as it is, and the feeling after purging is not at all a nice feeling, Like i once thought it was.
    
I remember when i was a day patient at Mando i ended up getting food poisioning, and i secretly loved it. I didnt have to go to Mando, i didnt have to eat (though of course i did have to, but i said i couldnt) and i could purge. But as soon as i was feeling a little better, it was right back to Mando again with extra supplement drinks.

Now when ive just had the stomach bug - or whatever it was. I look at myself and just feel weak .- and too skinny. I see that ive lost weight, and i hate it. I dont like feeling or even looking like this.  All i want to do is go to the gym, pick up some weights and get myself looking and feeling strong again!!
   
What you need to remember when you become sick is that, if you lose weight it is AN UNHEALTHY WAY. And it is mainly water weight. Weight that you will regain again once your body is better. You should NOT use a cold/virus as your chance to just go deeper into your ED. But instead, rest up. Try to eat as often as you can. Infact, if you have an exercise addiction, catching a virus which makes you lay in bed for a few days can be just the perfect thing.
   Infact catching a virus is the thing that determines whether you have an exercise addiction or not. Because chances are, when you are addicted to exericising, you wont stop exercising even if you are sick. You wont listen to your body and rest. So remember that!!! If you cant rest, not even when your body is screaming for it, you have an exercise problem.
^^He/she looks so miserable!! hahah

Also what you should remember is TO EAT. And yes, I KNOW how hard it is to eat when you have a stomach bug, so im not saying that you have to follow your meal plan precisly, though if you can, Please Do!! It will only benefit you.
  You have to remember that even if you are just lying in bed with a virus, your body is fighting on the inside and so needs DOUBLE the energy. It needs most probably the same amount of energy as on days where you are very active. Because alot is happening in your body, your immune system is fighting.
  And like an anonymous commented and said to me: i should drink supplement drinks -  Which i am well aware of. However its not so easy to just get a hold of supplement drinks, as they do cost a whole lot. But if you are able to get a hold of them i highly reccommend them during periods where you are sick or lack of appetite. I would have drank them now under the past few days if they were available to me.
  Infact, have you ever had Scandishake? Its like a milkshake supplement drink - compared to things such as fortimel these are actually ok :)

Try to eat small but frequent meals - find what works for you. Some people find that soups, smoothies, yoghurt works for them. Others find that protein works for them. Me.... well i need bread.. haha, there really isnt much else that i can eat when im sick. Pancakes i can eat.... 
  So find the food(s) which you can eat and try to eat them as much and often as you can.

Also REST is key. Like i said above, if you cant rest, then you dont have a healthy balance with exercise and rest.

If you do lose weight while being sick, REGAIN IT! It is not healthy a healthy weightloss. Infact, a reason why you often have to have a higher weight after an ED is because 1) your body needs to weigh more to feel safe, to feel healthy and 2) if you do catch a cold and lose weight unintentionally, it makes it harder to slip back into your ED. Because say if you have a BMI of 18,5 and are 'healthy' but then you lose some weight because you have a cold and suddenly your BMI is 17,6.... Trust me, it makes it alot easier to relapse. When you lose weight, your ED thoughts can start creeping back. It happened to me back in 2012 when i had my restrict/binge/purge cycle, i ended up losing weight and suddenly my ED thoughts were coming back, i was feeling fat again, food was starting to scare me etc etc, just because i lost 1-2kg, and that ended up being 5kg weight loss and almost put me back into day patients from 8.-4 instead of only going to Mando once every week or two weeks.
   
You need to fight the ED thoughts, dont let them take over. Because catching a cold or becoming sick, its almost unavoidable.... it happens, but you need to deal with it. And not get triggered by your ED each time it happens. 

If anyone else has any advice on this topic, please comment :)

7 comments:

  1. You write very useful posts! :)

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  2. Not sure if this is relevant advice but I had a terrible tooth absess in the Autumn which meant I couldn't eat alot and was on strong pain killers, and to top it off still working out. I lost weight pretty quickly, and those old Anorexic thoughts of controlling my weight crept in. Once I lost the weight it was too easy to first maintain it, and slowly lose a bit more. Until, unfortunately I was back down to a very low weight.
    I'm back on track now for sure, but I think its so so important if you are sick, and lose weight which is out of your control to make gaining back your weight a number one priority. Its too easy to get complacent and let sick thoughts worm their way back in, or just get 'used' to a lower than healthy weight..if that makes sense?!

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  3. Very helpful and relevant!! I caught a stomach bug over Christmas break and I have never been so sick before in my life!!! It should have been just one of those 24 hour things, but because I was already so weak and malnourished, my body was not able to fight off the sickness. I was sick for almost a week and had to go to the hospital twice to get fluids and potassium. It was really scary --- it literally hurt just to lay in bed! But I think getting that sick really helped to open my eyes at how bad my anorexia had gotten because I know if i was "healthy," I would have not stayed sick for so long and would have gotten better much sooner.

    Glad you are feeling better!

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    1. >3 yrs later, this post (but the entire blog is the most helpful thing in my fight) is still shining with great wisdom. I have been in a severe relapse for 7 long years now, but 6 months ago the severity was increased significantly. I am experiencing exactly what you're describing here. In 3 years of treating all kinds of people with contagious diseases in my clinic, never did I become ill. After the major weight loss and pushing my body all summer, autumn has come and the first week that sickness starts coming through my door, I got slammed. The difference with me is that I can tell it's some upper respiratory thing, not stomach. But just like you, I'm so weak and malnourished that I can't fight it, hurts to lay in bed, my eyes are opened to what this has done for me (made my life a living hell of daily torture). The disorder is still so strong that I have to come to the blog every single time I eat (which is very often otherwise my body acts like a car running out of gas and the virus begins gathering strength) or else disorder wins. (I'm a Sarah Elizabeth /courtseys/)

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  4. This post was terrific! I feel like I jinxed you last week by suggesting this topic and then you got sick! Sorry about that. Life is strange sometimes. Glad you are doing better.

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    1. Hhaha, no i dont think so... But maybe ? ;) LOL
      I was planning to begin writing about this topic, but managed to actually get sick before i did. But then i had more 'fresh' experience and advice to give!"!!

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