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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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My half recovery

It feels the longer time goes by, the less i am able to write these posts... Each day that passes i get further and further away from my ED. Yes, i am fully recovered and have been for 1,5 years... but in the beginning when i was first recovered my thoughts often went to the past... how things were. Feeling proud of myself when i ate chocolate, but now... eating chocolate is nothing special. I dont think back to the times when even just the thought of eating chocolate would give me anxiety and make me go running. Now i just live my life, like anyone else really.

But i dont have a problem writing about it, it doesnt trigger me or anything like that. Its just that it can take longer to write about :)

So, my half recovery stage lasted around 6-8 months (from 2011-2012), i was slowly, slowly gaining weight. But then i reached this weight, where i had mentally convinced myself i would never go higher. That it was too scary to go higher, that i would instantly cross the line and become fat, even though my weight gave me a BMI of 16/17 or something.



   50% of the time i felt fat at that weight, i looked in the mirror and either saw someone too skinny, or someone too fat. I had a list of fear foods i still had to tackle. I tried convinvcing myself, my mum and my case maanger at Mando that i was healthy. But no one believed me, i barely believed myself but i kept trying to convince myself. I was eating, not enough most days and i still got ED thoughts in my head. Then when i began school again and had my national tests i began getting very stressed, and because i already had so many other things to think about, and lack of concentration the stress became too much, i couldnt cope with it in a healthy way. I lost my apetite and began restricting. And then as my body was so starved and all it wanted was energy during the evenings i began binging, i was  often home alone as well at this point. I was eating very little carbs during the day so during the evening i binged on foods like granola, raisins, cheese sandwiches, rice pudding etc etc And i felt awful about it, and ended up purging several times to deal with the guilt and the full feelings.

This restrict, binge, purge cycle lasted 1-2 months. It didnt happen everyday, but a few times a week. And i felt awful, my ED was getting stronger... and i just wanted control. Because i knew i would binge during the evenings i would purposely eat less during the days... 'saving my calories' for later. I also began losing weight at this point... i found it hard to be around family and even friends, i had this little secret, this secret which was tearing me apart. I wanted to tell someone, but at the same time i really didnt want to. Because then i would have let everyone down and i would most probably end up back in Mando, maybe even inpatients. And that scared me so much.

    My case manager saw i was losing weight, and when i had dropped i think 3-4kg from my already low weight she basically told me, if i dont gain weight for the next visit (in a weeks time) i would be back to day patients from  8-4. No school, wouldnt be allowed home as much, wouldnt have as much freedom.
   And if you know me, Taking my freedom away, taking my choices away, and having people decide over me is the worst thing i know. But also going back to Mando, the place i had worked so hard to get out of.  It was just that i had relapsed, the ED voice trying to make itsself stronger, and at that point i was still very weak, mentally and physically.
 

I never wrote about what was actually going on during this period of time, apart from that i was stressed, on my blog. But you can tell that i was falling into a depression at that time, and looking back on food diaries and pictures of my food (which i think have been deleted now?) there are comments of people telling me im looking thin, and also that im not eating enough. I didnt see that myself back then.

But when i got that announcement from my case manager, it began putting things in perspective. I didnt want to go back to Mando, i didnt want to let myself, my family or even my readers down. I had forgotten my real goal which was to be fully healthy, to actually live a life. Which i wasnt  doing back then. I was still living within these 4 walls i had put up for me... scared of certain foods, scared of doing certain things. Not strong enough to fight back against my ED.
   But finally, i began fighting the voice in my head.




It was tough, i HAD TO face my fear foods. Chocolate, crisps, candy, eating food out etc etc Also letting others serve and cook for me, i didnt have to make my own every day/night. Also, i began drinking 2 supplement drinks a day EXTRA. At this point (i think i forgot to mention) i had also stopped following my meal plan - once i stopped going to day patients regularly i stopped following it. I wanted to decided for myself, but i couldnt trust my body and ate less... which also lead to my weight loss and the whole restrict/binge cycle.
  I went back to my meal plan for a few weeks, witht he supplement drinks, but it wasnt long until i stopped following it again. I wanted to make my own food choices, but also it made it easier for me to face my fear foods when i could choose what i wanted to eat. To not have times and certain foods whcih i had to eat. But also i began substituing my supplement drinks for 2 cheese sandwiches, because that was what i wanted. Or some chocolate covered nuts. I felt more freedom, and also began enjoying food moore.
  As my weight began going up again i was also allowed to begin running 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes.
And that helped me alot, it felt to be allowed to get up and go.... to do something. Also as i began exercising more, i also thought more about nutrition, how important it is to eat right and ENOUGH. Which helped me to gain weight.

For me, the half recovery stage was tough because i was on this balancing scale... either i was going to fall back into anorexia again, or i was going to fight my fears, take the leap of faith and try for full recovery.



And i knew what my goal was, to be fully recovered and to one day say I have recovered from anorexia!!

As i had lost weight, it also meant i had to gain even more weight, which is tough. But as we didnt have a scale at home, i couldnt weigh myself (though there was  a scale in the gym which i would step on, just to see how things were going. If i had lost weight, i would begin eating lots more.)
   It was summer time, meaning less clothes were worn.... and at first it made me uncomfortable... showing my belly. My legs... i wasnt fully comfortable in my body. But i was letting those thoughts go. Infact i am kind of glad that i went through my final phase of recovery during summer... because it meant i had picnics and barbeques with my family. Also i wore shorts and bikinis, i showed my body... had to learn to accept it. To not hide it.... it was tough at first, lying and sunbathing.... showing my body. But as i looked around on the beach i saw everyone else was doing it... everyone was different sizes, and there was nothing wrong with that.
  At times i felt skinny, at times i felt healthy and loved the way i looked, and at times i felt fat... but the fat days, and even the skinny days became less and less and i began just liking my body. Seeing it as it was... having rough days sometimes, but most of the time i could get dressed, look in the mirror and like what i saw.




Half recovery is all about Taking that leap of faith. Because thats what it is... its dark and its scary infront of you, but you need to jump anyway. Know that things will get better. You cant compromise with your ED and say you will have a weight or BMI that puts you still underweight. It doesnt work that way. If you dont have your period (if you are a girl), or still have ED thoughts or underweight, then the chances of fully relapsing are very strong. But also, after spending a long time underweight, its important to be at a healthy weight for your body to repair itsself.
   You need to fight the voice in your head, face all your fears, conquer them. Become stronger than your ED. There is no other way.

You need to set up some goals for yourself... know what you are working towards. It DOES get better, but it wont if you stay in this 'grey area' (which i call half recovery).

You need to become stronger than you ED. Find new ways to cope with anxiety and stress. Stay calm, eat food. Listen to your body. And NO compromising with your ED. 
   Ex. say if you know you are going to a buffet in the evening and you eat less during the day just to compromise... But it doesnt work that way. Eat all your normal meals && the buffet, nothing bad will happen!!!

I dont know how helpful this post was, but if you have any more questions you can just comment or email me :)

22 comments:

  1. I can't tell you how much I needed this post right now, thank you so much Izzy you are so inspiring and really make me want to recover fully and - like you said - be able to say 'I recovered from anorexia' one day. So thank you!!

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    1. I am glad that my post helped!! Stay strong, you will be able to say that one day!!

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  2. I ma glad that my post helped!! Stay strong, you will be able to say that one day!!

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  3. Wow, just needed this!
    I can not thank you enough for sharing your story:)
    My weight is not the problem anymore ( it wasn't really at all) but my mind is terrorizing me, so this really helps.

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    1. I know its tough with the mental part, to fight all the thoughts. But its possible to fight yourself free of all the thoughts!

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  4. Izzy this post was amazing! It was so helpful and good to read at this stage in recovery thankyou so much. Plus I know what you Mean about the supplement drinks they are really not nice! X

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    1. I am glad you liked it :) I dont like the ensure or fortimel, but the scandishake isnt so bad actually! Its like a milkshake, but i convinced myself i didnt like them because of the caloriee content.

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  5. You know, you can tell by the ambient/color and look of your room that you are much healthier now. It used to be dark and really depressing and now all I can see is white bright colors, flowers...it says much about your psychological well-being, it reflects that you feel better..if this comment makes any sense :D

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    1. I know what you mean, but the colour of the walls isnt actually my choosing. Hahaha.When i had the room that was black, it was only because it was the only room available, and we werent allowed to repaint it. And in the room i am in now, it was already white and i couldnt really be bothered ot paint it a different colour!! But yeah, i think it does sort of portry a more healthier me!

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    2. its not just the paint on the wall, look at everything else as well, the bedding for example :)

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  6. something that I think could really help is that all of your current pictures of yourself, you look really healthy and happy and good about yourself. however, what people need to see sometimes is that you are not perfect/do have flaws. Although you are very pretty and healthy looking, would you mind taking some pictures of parts of you that, if you were sick you wouldn't like about yourself? Just so others can relate and realize that you are so happy with your body even though it isn't perfect?

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    1. I know what you mean... but at the same time, am i really going to take pictures of my 'no thigh gap' or bloated belly or 'rolls' when i sit? Everyone has them, and i dont see them as flaws or unperfections. I dont want anyone comparing themselves with me anyway... this is my body, this is the way i look.
      Ill think about this, i might make a post around this topic!!

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  7. Hahaha wow there were quite a few energy drinks there! Thank you for this post!! I really appreciate you writing this! I'm half recovered at the moment and am sometimes taking baby steps forward, but this helps so much! Xx

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    1. Baby steps = one huge leap forward in the end :) So keep those changes up!
      Hahah, yeah... at times i was drinking 3 or even 4 a day!!! As i stopped drinking them, as i preferred to eat real food i gave them to my friend who was in need of supplement drinks, so it worked out well :)

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  8. You are so strong. I try to recover but...I eat little during the day and in tje night I crave for some snacks and I eat peanuts and popcorn and then I cry and feel guilty cuz I ate...but I want to eat cuz I know I need to do it, I just dont want to feel guilty about this. I am afraid not to became too fat if I eat what I always crave...what can I do?

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    1. You should try to eat more normally adn regularly... eat 5-6 times a day. Remind yourself that you NEED food and energy to survive. It wont make you fat just because you eat. And its ok to eat popcorn or peanuts now and again. You need to find balance. But saving your calories for the evening isnt good....
      You shouldnt restrict yoursefl. You need to fight the voice in your head, be stronger than your ED.

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  9. You are so inspirational. I just found your blog a few days ago, and I am in awe of your strength and courage. Wow.
    I am in the half recovery phase and struggling about choosing the right direction or falling back into sickness. What did you tell yourself to take that leap of faith and start eating more? I know I need to restore, it's just such a battle.

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    1. Thank you so much :)
      I know its hard to choose to fuly recover, but for me i was so scared of falling back and letting everyone down. Of going back to hospital, having my freedom taken away from me. And i knew i wanted to be healthy... i knew i wanted to live my life, even if it meant gaining weight. So i had to keep fighting.... Make the choice to go against my ED everyday.

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  10. This is EXACTLY what is happening with me right now and you gave me so much inspiration to fight this eating disorder and gain weight, not to get inpatient again. You are amazing, Izzy. Little angel :)

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  11. ^_^I am glad i can help. Stay strong.

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