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

One eating disorder turns into another

Ok this post is just a mix of my thoughts and is going to be a bit of a ramble, so bare with me ;) (If you even manage to read it!!)

Ok, so i guess its not hard to notice recently that all these recovery blogs, such as on Tumblr or accounts on IG are popping up everywhere, and in huge amounts. However, they claim that they are recovering from their eating disorder, yet all i see is pictures of oatmeal, fruit, low calorie bars and protein this, protein that.Ok now you may ask, am i being hypocritical? Isnt that exactly the type of food i eat, and yes you're right, 50% of the time thats the type of food i eat.
  But i am recovered. And no, i dont have orthorexia either, i am pretty sure my family, or the numerous doctors and doctors appointments i have would have noticed if i did.
    But on these blogs and accounts, all these people seem to eat is these 'so called healthy foods'..... And if they ever, once in a blue moon post a picture of some sugar free ice cream or a few chocolate covered nuts, and tag it with anxiety, pro recovery, icaniwill and all these other tags. Trying to get some sort of praise maybe for eating ice cream or some form of junk food....

For the most part, i dont follow any of these accounts. Because i get very bothered by them.... all i want to do is shake some sense into those people. Remind them that they CAN eat other things than oatmeal and fruit. It just feels like now so many people in recovery are using the excuse 'im being healthy' or 'paleo diet' or 'vegan' diet... just an excuse for not fighting the actual problem which is inside their head. Its a defence mechanism... they know that if they use the excuse they are eating healthy, then they can avoid their fear foods. But you know what, you are just putting yourself in another square box.... 3 steps forward and 2 back again. Developing another form of an eating disorder, orthorexia. The fear of eating anything deemed unhealthy.
   You dont go out with friends, you dont eat whats served, you have to know the nutriional value, count calories or macros, focused on the healthy and dont eat anything unhealthy. And many over exercise... and still, you tell yourself you are just healthy.
  I am seeing more and more of this, and it sadens me.

Once again, you might think im being hypocritical, i mean i exercise and for the most part eat the 'so called healthy foods'... but to me, i eat the food i like. Whether that is one day chocolate and ice cream, and another day chicken and sweet potaote or a questbar etc
  But also, i didnt actually start exercising or working out until i was almost at my goal weight. And you know what, i believe i began exercising too early in my recovery. Because i began just doing cardio, of course i loved running, but when i began at the gym i only did cardio. And to me, it felt like i had to do a minimum of an hours cardio to call it a workout.
    And it took a long time to learn to listen to my body and my cravings. It went from eating lots of chocolate (around 5 times a week) & i baked in huge amounts which i also ate, but ate very little 'real food' as i ate so much sugary food. To then going to extremely healthy.... egg whites, chickpeas, tomatoes and salad for lunch. Only fruit and some low fat yoghurt for breakfast.... and from that i then began listening to my body and developing the health relationship with foood. And that relationship gets stronger and better all the time!!
   My choices today are healthy ones... i mean, there is no voice in my head telling me to eat or not eat certain foods because im scared of gaining weight. Im not scared of gaining fat, so what if i get some more fat on my stomach. That wont kill me, neither will eating some chocolate, or eating chocolate 5 days a week. Missing a workout or 2... or takinga  whole weeks rest wont kill me either. Its these healthy thoughts which i have, but many who are 'recovering' dont have... giving them an unhealthy mindset.

One thing which i really hope i can spread with my blog is that you need to face your fears in recovery. This is the message i spread the most. And to step outside of your comfort zone.
  Because lets be honest, in recovery its easy to to turn to salads, oatmeal and low carb bars, because those are 'safe' easy foods.... but thats not how it works in recovery. You are not supposed to be comfortable, you are supposed to fight your anxiety, your fears, become stronger than your ED.
  You cant let the voice sit in your head and control you. Have a say in what you eat. Thats not how it is.

If i still had that voice in my head, my behavious, my attitude to food, my body and exercise would be very differently. I have fought my way to full recovery, no voice in my head. And i know you can do it to.
  You just have to work at it.... Push through the hard times.

Please dont believe that the only way to recover is to eat salad leaves and egg whites. Its ok to eat chocolate 5 times a week, infact its almost good if you can do that. Eat a chocolate bar as a snack, and then eat pizza for dinner the same way. Am i saying you have to eat this way everyday. No i am not, because that wouldnt eb very healthy either.
  But atleast being ABLE to do that. Not getting anxiety over it. But turning to a healthy lifestyle in recovery I would NOT advise. Because you are just turning to another form of disordered eating.
 
Of course, its ok to eat healthy.... to eat a paleo diet or vegan diet, but NOT in recovery. Because then you arent working with your mental thoughts, you are just doing something which is safe and comfortable. You can choose that lifestyle when you are recovered, if you feel that that is what you want. When you arent thinking about what is lowest calorie, or healthiest to eat... but when you can make food and exercise and lifestyle choices based on what YOU want.
   Then you can begin making more choices again, but until them... you need to face your fears!!

*'Im sorry for the long post, not sure if anybody read! haha, i just felt i had to get these thoughts out of my head. I wrote this post last night, at 11pm :) hahah **'








8 comments:

  1. I was the same, I would eat the same thing every day , three small meals no snacks and if I had something like cake I would feel like I was a failure, but I told myself I was recovered?! Now I eat loads , I have to to maintain my weight , I also exercise a healthy amount as well . When I say I eat loads I mean in comparison to when is was sick , it's amazing because most days I can't remember what I eat I eat as and when I'm hungry. People need to challenge their thoughts

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  2. This is an amazing post Izzy - it makes so much sense. It is really hard - I went from clean eating to vegan etc - I am trying slowly to move away from it all but there is something, like you said, which makes people see it as acceptable - therefore, its harder to move away from (especially on instagram). My dream is to be like you - eat a healthy diet because I WANT to, and i enjoy it - but to always treat myself and not get anxious about it.

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  3. Hi, I think this was a great post! (:
    I follow many recovery accounts on Instagram because I'm trying to find some inspiration but sometimes it's pretty triggering to see how little these people eat at times. And then there is those almost fully recovered people and this one thing which I just can't understand and it's bothering me all the time: because feels like everyone is exercising, going to the gym, lifting weights and having very lean and good-looking body. Just like you have as well. (But I absolutely dont want to blame or judge you!! Just trying to explain my messy thoughts) So feels like it's pretty easy to say "it's okay to eat chocolate and junk food, it wont kill you or making you fat" etc. People who exercise that's not problem of course because they are so active and it doesnt affect their bodies. But like me: I dont have chance to go to the gym, I have no energy or motivation exercise many times in a week because I'm just not so active or have this huge passionate for exercising.(Of course it's something that I enjoy and I like go for runs and walks but it's just something which I dont like or want to do too often because otherwise I get bored with it)
    So it's quite discordant when those people encourage to eat sometimes fully fat things and "unhealthy" foods etc. Of course it's easy to say that when you don't have to worry about these extra calories because it might be just a good thing for people who are exercising a lot.

    But.. Hnngh.. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say. ._. It just make me sad. Those who are active can eat about everything without getting fat noticeably and recommend the same for everyone. But it doesnt works in the same way with people like me. It's frustrating. It would be more believable if there were people who have this "normal" body shape with fat and without noticeably muscles and they would say "it's okay to eat chocolate!"

    What do you think about this? And hope this doesnt offend you because I think you are an amazing and joyful person and I really like your blog ♥

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  4. Thankyou so much for addressing this in a post! I 100% agree with you. There are so many instagram accounts that say they're "recovering" but eat clean all the time and its frustrating!! Its not real recovery if you're restricting yourself to these certain food groups. I myself am guilty of doing this but I soon realised if i dont challenge these thoughts then I will never get better. Now that I am almost recovered when I see these instagram accounts I just feel sorry for them, because theres so much more to life than just eating clean or paleo or raw vegan etc etc,

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  5. I was vegan before i developed anorexia, but while in recovery i ate eggs, which isn't very vegan of me. But i did it because i knew that to get the most nutrition, i had to eat it. And it made me stronger. Just knowing that i ate eggs in the hospital for a month makes me proud in a weird kinda way, ha-ha.
    So, even though it hurts at first, just remember how you'll feel a year from now when your healthy adn all better. You'll thank yourself for the challenges you decided to face. :)

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  6. Very very good and well written article Izzy! I think you hit the nail on the spot! I see this "development" as critical and with kinda anxiety as you do. These people/acconuts on instagram are hiding theirself behind a safe wall and promoting this lifestyle as healthy, but it's obviously not (especially of recovering people)! It's so easy to "get stuck" in this society and feel comfortable, I guess, because you get a lot of accordance. It makes me really sad and angry to see this and I wish I could do something to make more people aware of that...
    Hugs from Germany

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  7. u are so good! just wondering, how could you be declared healthy when you were not, do mando only go by weight ?

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    1. I was physically and mentally healthy when i was declared healthy :)

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