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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Sunday, June 8, 2014

My thoughts: Abs

This is just going to one of my Thought rambles where i write my trail of thoughts... sometimes the post doesnt even make sense, or the paragraphs dont go together... but thats ok because this is just me trying to put words to my thoughts.... And apparently alot of readers - You guys :) - seem to like these types of posts!! And i like writing them...

Today ive been thinking about The hype over abs.  Or maybe not 6 pack abs but a defined, toned stomach which almost all girls seem to want to have at the moment.
 
Lets get 1 thing straight to begin with Everyone has abs.... Abs muscles are your core, they are there keeping you straight. You use your core in almost all movements.... The stronger core muscle you have, the better posture as you can keep yourself upright and not slouch/hunch over.
   But not everyone has visible abs... Guys have it easier to have visible abs as they often have more muscles than girls but can find it easier to lose fat in the core section.
  Whilst girls actually need to have some fat around their mid section and thats where most girls stores their fat, and on the hips aswell.
   Also, for girls they often need a very low fat percent to have visible abs... but that is NOT a healthy body fat percent. Infact most of the times its not healthy for women to have visible abs all year round... now im talking like 6 packs.... Some people though can have that and be perfectly healthy.

I do admit that before i was drawn into the hype of having 6 pack abs... that was what i wanted. It was like i was putting my worth into my core... (hahaha XD). And i did have somewhat visible 4 pack for a little while, but now when i reflect back to that... i was doing alot of cardio then. Yes i did enjoy it... i did enjoy running but at the same time i was putting alot of focus on my body, on the way i looked. Something which i have learnt to not do anymore. To not put my worth into the way i look...i bloat, idont always look the way i want to, i have bad hair days and bad skin days, i ahve days i feel fat etc etc But why should that make me feel like crap, or just because im bloated doesnt mean that i should hide away in my room all day.

For me, i know that my body isnt built to have visible abs.. i would have to have a very low, unehalty fat percent to have them. And that is not something iw ant to do. I dont want to go on some diet just to look a certain way... i am happy with the way i look. I dont need to try to get that summer body. If you are happy and confident, then there is no point trying to change....
  But also, when you are happy with yourself and your body you are less likely to compare yourself to others. Because you know that you dont need to change or look like someone else.

For the most part i know i have a flat stomach, but it is not super defined or toned or anything... not in my eyes anyway. But that doesnt really matter... i am still going to wear a bikini or run in a sports top. I dont always feel super confident but i think like this fake it till you make it.

^^My body is healthier now, than in the 2 pictures above.
I have more fat on my body, and that is where i am healthiest!! And thats the most important :)


   
This hype over having a super flat stomach or super defined stomach has to stop... because you know what its not healthy. Its not good for girls - and even guys. Because guys have just as much pressure as girls to look a certain way, and i know guys can feel bad about their body image, want more muscles and abs... they compare themselves as well.
  But this hype has to stop. When girls & guys are going on diets to try to lose fat, to try to obtain this image that might not be healthy for them. Because you have to realise that many photos are photoshopped and fixed... the ligting, contrast etc all to make the person look better. But also you are not likely tosee a picture of that person wtih perfect abs when they are bloated or not flexing.... so remember that.

Can we all just start loving and accepting ourselves, instead of trying to change our bodies all the time. We are not going to feel happier because we have abs..... Why are we putting our happiness and worth in these things which really dont matter.
  Because think like this, When you die are people really going to remember you as the girl or guy who had 6 pack abs? Or the girl/guy who was always happy, who has confidence and loved living life?
   Are you just wasting your life trying to look a certain way..

I know this is very morbid thinking, but if you were to get hit by a car and become paralysed and suddenly you realise that you've spent almost all your life trying to change your body, trying to look a certain way... but now you cant even move? Is it really worth it... you could be spending your time with friends right now. Or with your family, or out doing something you enjoy...
  But instead you lock yourself away, counting calories, weighing your food, too scared to meet friends or over exercising in your room....Is that really worth it? What are you getting out of it.

I personally think its ALOT better to live your life, to experience things and be happy than to be obsessed, depressed and trying to achieve some body that might not even be healthy for you.



This post is just a bunch of my thoughts, but i hope i have evoked some thoughts and realisations into you. And please comment what you think and what your opinion on this is!!!

27 comments:

  1. I Agree Good for you!! :)
    and awesome GIF!! <3

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  2. Hi Izzy, I hope you don't mind but in pictures when you were I'll, your fingers were red and discoloured. Why was that? And was it relating to ed? I have that now for some reason and the bones in my hand ache my fingers are swollen and the finger joints feel stiff when I flex them (I live in a cold country). Could you please advise? I am so scared because it looks bad like I've been slamming my fingers in doors (I self harm but not like that)

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    1. I know you asked Izzy, but I´ll answer as well. The redness and swelling is propably because you are so dry. When you are seriously underweight there is not enough energy and fluids in your body to maintain moisture in your skin. And if you live in a cold environment the dryness is even worse. Also swelling in anorexia is the symptom of not having enough protein in your blood. Water is flowing from veins to the surrounding tissues causing swelling. Also joint have water based fluids in them too. Proper weight restoring will make these symptoms go away.
      I´ve had a lot dryness, redness and swelling in my fingers when I was at my lowest weight. And I´m a medical student a few years away from graduating and have read a lot about physical effects of malnutrition and underweight.

      p.s. Izzy, I love your blog

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    2. And forgot to add there. That also enough dietary fat is needed to keep the skin healthy and that it renews itself.

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    3. Its great that you answered (anonymous) because i dont actually know why i had red hands/fingers.... i never realised i had it actually?
      But hopefully you have gotten your answer anyway!

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    4. Thank you both very very much! I'm just struggling a lot with recovery at the moment and I never had this symptom before despite not being at my lowest weight so I wondered if it was something else. All the best with your medical education! And Izzy thanks for your blog it really helped me a lot!

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  3. You look so health and happy! Often when I read your blog I feel happy too :) It's like an escape from my life. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing that I feel this way? Wish you all the best! :)

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    1. Thank you :) Well if my blog can make you happy and you enjoy reading it i dont think there is anything wrong from it?
      Its like reading a book... it helps you escape from your own world and reality for a while!! :) Just dont forget to actually live loife aswell!

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  4. Great post, though I might be just a pinch of a hypocrite by agreeing with you.

    The thing is that when I went through my longing for visible abs in theraphy I quickly came by to a dream of being "the girl with the abs".. I felt like it was my only chance to actually be someone, to be noticed: that's what I've always desired the most (besides finding a love) - to be famous, popular, admired and looked above. A child genius. Inhumanly successful. Anything that would make others praise me up to the heaven. An euphoric moment in the spotlight - that's what I was and still am waiting for. It's that I was the youngest of my family, and when I was a kid everyone laughed at my sayings that I had found to be thoroughly mature and wise. I want to show them that I can at least once be more professional than them at something.

    Aaand I'm having my own blog here. What I'm trying to say is that your confidence and feeling of vality really shouldn't depend on your fat percentage... And that it doesn't even say a word about how attractive you are physically. It's just one surprisingly complicated number and there's plenty of more to impress with in every person. Even me, though it's hard to understand.

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    1. Hi there - this reply spiked my interest... I was the same when in the grips of my ed; I too am the youngest and had never felt the spotlight, and yearned and yearned for people to think that I was amazing/talented/clever. I felt like my siblings and friends all had defined talents, and I thought I needed one; that talent being weight loss, being the most skinny, having the best body. This was about a year ago, and since then I have learned that although some people may look up to those that have amazing bodies, abs, a flat stomach etc, it also makes that person intimidating and uncomfortable to be around. As soon as you become wrapped up in achieving the dream body, you forget how to interact with your friends; laugh, tell interesting and gripping stories, hold conversations. Those are the things that people value the most - being comfortable around you and being able to be themselves. I know so many people that I look up to because of their amazing sense of humour and their ability to keep everyone interested when they talk. I know that I used to look up to those with amazing bodies, thinking "they must be so happy" and "their lives must be amazing" when in the grips of anorexia, however after discussions with my peers, I now am disinterested with those same people. Those people may have amazing bodies, but they are not happy. I don't feel comfortable in their presence, they don't have boyfriends, many friends, any other talents. They remind me of a shell; although a beautiful shell, they are empty in the inside! I don't want to empty on the inside - I want to be on my deathbed looking back at all the fun I had in experiences that my body allowed me to do. Men may find these bodies attractive at first glance, but it won't get you anywhere when they realise how wrapped up you are in your own appearance - interesting and genuine men anyway. I believe its true that "it is the inside that matters". I obtained that body for a short while, however it was SO demanding to maintain. In hindsight, I can see how miserable, insecure, self-obsessed and not fun to be around I was, despite having the body I always dreamed of. In conclusion, I really think that it's not worth the hassle!

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    2. To Katriina: Its important to realise that you DO have talents, that you do have things you are good at. You dont need to be the girl who has abs or is the slimmest etc... Its better to be known for something else. Dont put so much worth into your body or looking a certain way, because in the end, no long term happiness comes from that. Listen to the words you wrote, because they are very true!!

      And to the anonymous: Great reply!! Because just like you, when i did have my more visible abs i never really saw them myself, but also i was very caufght up in looking a certain way that i was almost forgetting to live life. And thats NOT a life.
      If youneed to sacrifice actually living or happiness just to look a certain way, I DONT presonally think its worth it... others might, but i definitly dont. I prefer to be happy and live life with a little extra fat than to jsut try to be skinny but sad.

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    3. (its the anonymous) I completely agree Izzy - its not living, and its really a massive waste of time!

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    4. The words of wisdom are the ones you're telling. And 90-95 % of the time I couldn't even imagine mocking myself or feeling less because of some sixpacklessness. No. That's a truly sad waste of time, joy and life. I believe I have received a good balance in my seld-worth; that balance won't be shattered for some those rare bad days that even Izzy and all of the people on Earth have maybe once a month. We should all be stronger than our mood swings. As I don't really have urges to compensate anymore, I believe I'm pretty tightly on that safe state nowadays and I hope that everyone can achieve that state.

      ^^ You both are amazing.

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  5. Great post. I've never had an ED, but I struggle sometimes with feelings of anxiety and low self-worth. Your blog motivates me to work through them, because I can see from your writing that a person can actually change their thought processes with lots of hard work. You should be really, really proud!

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    1. Thank you!! And im glad you like my blog!!

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  6. I love this post! Not everyone was made to have a flat stomach or abs. Look at Olympians, people who are extremely fit/healthy. None of their bodies are exactly the same, even if they are trained to do the exact same thing, so why compare yours to someone else's?

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    1. Exactly!!! There is also the picture which shows lots of different women weighing hte same amount but look so different!!! Thats why you shouldnt compare yourself to others or strive to look like someone else, because it doesnt work that way.

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    2. Yeah!! I've seen that picture, it's just another great reminder that weight means nothing

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  7. This is such a great post Izzy! You are so right - if we died tomorrow, who would have paid attention to our abs or muscle tone? NO ONE. They pay attention to if you were kind, or happy, etc. A few months in to my overexercising regime I started to get abs and I was SO proud of them. But after a few months I would get sad when I did my daily 'body check' because the abs were better than ever, but when I looked in the mirror I saw this athletic body, but this sunken, withdrawn face. The abs started to become a sign of everything I had given up in order to have them. And because my body fat reached a level that allowed that, I now have to work hard to get it back up as I've never had a period (I'm 19) and I've been told that I could have damaged my brain, which, as a girl that has always been smart, terrifies me. Now I can see my abs disappearing, and it actually makes me happy! I don't want to be the girl known for having a muscly stomach - I want to be known for being the girl you can have a great conversation with!

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    1. I am glad to hear this and that you are fighting towards a more healthy body!! :)

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  8. I already commented, but I wanted to add: I had a sort of 'four pack' when I was younger, and was proud of it. I was healthy on the whole, but I think now that I was slightly underweight for quite a few years - mostly due to restricting, which I never really recognized. How do I know? Because my periods were very irregular and sometimes disappeared for months at a time. I am still very active because I love exercise, but I'm a bit heavier now. I can tell that it's a much healthier weight for me because (1) it's no effort to maintain it; and (2) my cycle is regular. Female bodies keep on developing through the teens and through the twenties, and it's a mistake to think that weight gain = failure. It's just part of progressing to a more mature body. I'm proud that I can look in the mirror now and see myself as a strong, healthy woman instead of seeing the absence of a six pack.

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    1. I am happy to hear this :) :) And its great that you are not a much healthier weight, and can live life, rather than obsessing over having abs!

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  9. I personally think that this ks one of the best posts you have ever written! I really think that if someone trying to recover is gonna read that post, they are going to be feel so much encouraged (at least that's how i surely would have felt:) ) I also have to say that you look so beautiful and healthy now, your smile has gotten even brighter and I am so proud of all your efforts put into yourself and also this blog, because you are literally helping to save lives. And btw, you have such a 'perfect' body, you shouldn't feel insecure for even a second!!:)

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  10. You make an excellent point that it's all about body type. There are some people who will have "abs" naturally, and others who get it only when they overexercise and restrict food. It's similar to the lust for size 0 clothes: some people are naturally size 0 and others only if they hurt their bodies in the process. For example, if a person who is naturally a size 10 were to become a size 0, they would be a 0 in clothing sizes but also a "size 0" in energy, friends, happiness, health, etc. Why not be that size 10 and have 10 times as much in life?

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    1. Exactly!!! :) Its abot body type, just like with thigh gaps... if you have the bone structure for a thigh gap you can have it even when your on the bigger side. But for some people they need to starve themselves and just be skin and bones to have a thigh gap. Its more important to be healthy and happy than to have abs, a thigh gap or be size 0!

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