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:


Monday, August 25, 2014

Bloating in recovery

One of the most frequently asked questions i get via comments or email is about bloating. I understand your panic!!!
  Bloating is one of those dreaded things which we all hate... but in recovery, its part of the process. Bloating is basically your body holding onto water whether its due to stress, hormones, excess salt or protection. In recovery when you first begin eating again your body bloats and it can take weeks to months for it to pass, I wish i could give you a miracle cure and tell you that drinking peppermint tea would help, but from what i have experienced and what ive heard, it doesnt work that way. Not with bloating in recovery (Though of course, its different from person to person!!!)

Bloating happens because when you restrict and your body goes into starvation mode your metabolism slows down. For people who have gone very long periods with little to no food they find that they cant actually begin eating food in the beginning of recovery because their digestive system is so messed up. So they need to drink supplement drinks and juice/milk etc
   Your body first goes into shock, doesnt quite know what to do with the food and so accumilates water, mainly in the stomach area. This is also a form of protection for your organs. You can find that you can gain anywhere from 1-5kg just in the first week from all the water retention, but slowly the water will go away.

The bloating also happens because your digestive system works so hard as you need to eat so frequently and its not used to it. Its trying to figure out how to work again.... over time you will have to increase your calories as your body gets used to the amount you eat and no longer gains weight. Its reccommended to be up to about 2500+ some stage in recovery, this is because if you are continuously gaining weight eating say 1500kcal, then what happens when you reach a normal weight but still eat so few calories. So you need to keep increasing until you eat quite a large amount as this means you can then eat a normal amount when you are maintaining your weight.
   The amount you gain on all depends on metabolism, height, weight, age, activity etc

You might find that you are very disproportionate... your arms are skinny but your stomach sticks out. Almost like the starving children you see in poorer countries. This is due to malnourishment and it will go away when you begin eating more and more frequently.

When your body becomes safer, gets enough energy and begins functioning properly you will see that the bloating will go away, or not be as much. However bloating is common at the end of the day.
  Some bloat after gluten or lactose as they are slightly intolerant or if you have eaten alot of salt. But drinking lots of water can help to get rid of bloating.

When you are stressed, have your period, dehydrated or under eating your body also bloats. For me, i know when i undereat or am very stressed or about to get my period because then my body goes into major bloating for 3-5 days.... And no amount of peppermint tea, water, little salt helps. Though exercise can help get rid of bloating, as you sweat. But that is normal bloating and not recovery bloating.

The most important thing is to NOT panic and start eating less. That will make the bloating worse in the long run because then you just cause more damage to your metabolism and can cause irreversable damage.
  Keep eating frequently, normally and enough. That is my best advice!!!

If you have pain then lying and resting and putting something warm on your belly can help. Also know that exercising excessively in recovery or beginning to exercise too much too early can cause bloating!!

Your body needs rest and to not stress!!

^^Sticking out my stomach/bloating vs. normal
^^Dont believe everything you see

HERE is a video you might want to see

This post will now be the post i refer anyone to if they ask about bloating :) :)


  1. Thank you for this izzy!! All your posts on the difficulties of recovery really help and make me realize i am not alone!! :)

  2. for the past few hours I've just been laying down in tears because of how horrendous my bloating is, and this post couldn't have come at a better time.
    thank you so much for your help!:)
    sending hugs from England x

    1. :) Dont worry about your bloating, its annoying but it will pass whether it takes days or weeks. Dont stop eating, that wont help either.

  3. I'm not in recovery anymore,but sometimes my belly is still bloating,and I've gained few kg this past few weeks and idk what I did wrong I calculated my BMR and it said my bmr is about 1212-1300 kcal.
    So I started eating more to reach this,(till then I ate about 600-900 calories per day,and I thought it was enough) and I do workouts too,but I can't see any results,I think it went wrong way because my waist it better for about 2 cm..And I really don't know what I have done wrong,I eat healthy and do cardioňá/hiit and streight too...So maybe I'm not buring as much calories as I should...
    So could you help me somehow?

    1. This question might come off rude, but you have to ask yourself, how recovered are you really if you were only eating c.a 900 calories a day AND exercising? That is undereating and most probably the cause of bloating. But now that you have increased (but still undereating) this is a shock to your body and its most probably water weight.

      You have to realise that BMR is basically what your body burns if you were to be in a coma and tube fed. Your TDEE is what your body burns (roughly) with exercise included. You shouldnt be working out right now. And you shouldnt be thinking in how much you are burning during exercise, thats not a healthy mindset.
      You are starving yourself and your body is in starvation mode - you are eating too little and exercising too much. Putting a pressure on your body. Your metabolism has most probably slowed down and if this continues then you can cause irreversable damage.
      You need to increase your intake... yes you might gain a little or bloat, but that will go over when your body is in a safer place.
      You might want to google reverse dieting as that is pretty much what you have to do.

  4. I really needed this right now, my bloating is bad. It's good to hear it is 'normal'

    Thank you

  5. Im honestly in pain right now from bloating. I was wondering why my body was acting up even though I have been feeding it healthy foods. I wish this would pass :/

  6. Hey!
    I've read so much about how bloating will go away within a few weeks of regular eating and I know I don't eat si frequently but I'm already in a normal weight and I'm still bloating literally 24/7, I'm really not exaggerating :(. It's so so hard, I just want to have a flat tummy at least for once but it just won't happen. I wanted to ask how often do you bloat now and how long did it get for you to stop bloating? And maybe you could explain me what overshooting is and how many calories I should eat, I can see my doctor very rearly and she has never talked about how many calories I should consume on different periods :(. I'm sorry for so many questions but I'm just so lost on this tipi and I would really really appreciate if You could answer my questions :) ❤