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:


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Eating something should be normal, not something you are praised for

In recovery you might find that sometimes when you are eating a family memeber or friend might comment things like, Well done, you are being so good. Or, Its great that you are eating/Great to see you eating. Or You are doing so good. And then there are some who think they are being funny by saying things like Oh wow, i didnt think i would see you eat. Or Wow, let me get a picture of this moment.

The second type of commenting is done by mindless people, people who don't realise that those types of comments can be triggering and are just unnecessary. The first type of comments... well, i get them but at the same time, i think they are stupid.
  For me personally in recovery, i hated when people commented on me eating. Either telling me i was being good - because i didn't feel good. I felt awful, i was trying to fight the voice in my head and didn't like being told i was doing a good thing, when to me.. it felt so awful. But also, it felt so unnatural... really i didn't want people to notice me eating, i wanted to sit in a corner. Eat silently - or not eat at all - and hope that no one paid attention to me. But when someone commented and told me i was donig great or they were happy to see me eat, it almost made me a little angry. I mean, no one went up to my sister and told her she was doing great for eating an ice cream. I didnt want to be unnormal or treated differently, so i despised those types of comments. And one of the Many reasons i hated family gatherings, because there would always be someone coming up to me and praising me.

For some, they need the praise... They need to go up to someone and tell them that they just ate. Its an approval thing, Wanting someone elses approval, telling you did a good thing when it might not feel like it to you.

But think like this, eating is normal... its something you NEED to do to live and surive. You arent congratulated for sleeping, breathing,drinking water... so why with food? Why seek approval for something which you literally need to do to survive?

For me, i've always found the comments weird an unhelpful, but maybe they help for some.

What are YOUR opinions on it? Do you find them helpful or unhelpful?

One thing you can know though is once you stop recieving those types of comments or compliments, then you know you have earned peoples trust :) I mean now, no one would ever think to compliment or tell me i was great or doing a good job just because i ate chocolate or bought an ice cream... thats just something normal and natural. Nothing that makes me special or different. Nothing that needs someone to tell me im doing a good job!


  1. That's exactly how I feel when people say that kind of stuff. I suppose it just kind of isolates me even further because I feel so different from other when people say that. Like, it seems so ridiculous to be told "well done" to me, and I don't mean that in an offensive way at all to anybody who likes being told and praised. The point is, to me, I don't want to feel different. I'm more of an introvert and when people say that kind of stuff, it puts the focus on me.
    One reason I find it so hard to let my ED go is that I have quite severe social anxiety, and am very paranoid of people e.g. afraid they'll hurt me. I want to be small and blend in, not to stick out in any way possible. Therefore, being thin to me didn't just make me happier, but I felt more secure in public, as if nobody notices me they can't hurt me (sorry if this sounds weird to you).
    So when somebody says "Well done," or "You're doing well, you're actually eating", it makes people more aware of me, and I hate that. Like I despise attention or people watching me. Aha.
    Sorry I rambled on, aha. anyway these are my thoughts on the subject, anyway.
    You're awesome, izzy!:)

    1. I know what you mean, not wanting to stick out in a crowd, have the attention on you. However, you also have to remember that its ok to be noticed, its o kto have the attention on you... you dont have to blend in all the time, be in the shadows. But also, when you are very thin you are likely to get even more attention as people look at you because they are worried or other reasons.
      Learning to take up space in your life, and in life in general can be something good to practise :)

  2. Hi!
    I agree totally. I hate when people acknowledge me eating and gives approval for managing to eat something. Also my mom does this thing when she makes a thing about the times I eat. I mean that I still follow the clock with meal times because I cannot trust my hunger signals. But my mom says it out loud that it is MY meal time. It´s like no one else needs to eat but me. This is so irritating :(
    Thank you Izzy for an inspiring blog

    1. Know that your mum is just tring to help you in the best way she can... its hard for the people supporting someone who is sick. When my mum had to sit with me with for my snacks somestimes all she took was a frut or some tea and i hated it, i thought if i had to eat loads, then why didnt she have to aswell. But my mum sat me down and reminded me that we are 2 different people, i needed to gain weight whilst my mum was a healthy weight. She was eating when she was hungry not just because of certain times, and also that she was alot older than me and so didnt need to eat as much as me either....
      So some good things to remember. Also remember that you are eating for YOU and YOUR sake. If you find that it bothers you alot - what your mum says, then try talking to her. Telling her that you can eat at those times without her having to shout at you... but then you have to make sure you do eat at those times :)

  3. Hmmm~ I never really thought of that as I live alone and there barely is someone to praise me as I most of the time eat alone or just with my sister and closest friends that don't say such things but when I started recovery my mum was telling me "wow you eat really a lot" in kind of a negative way which made me feel so awful and also I relapsed after that D: ... My dad came afterwards to me and spoke with me that it is ok when I eat that much and stuff ... I really have a bad relationship to my mum ... Like really but I think I wouldn't like people commenting when I eat it would make me feel uncomfortable but I have to admit I like to hear when people say I look better and my body looks better and stuff because of gaining weight and happiness x"D

    1. Some people don't really think before they make comments which can be tough to deal with, but sounds like you have a good dad anyway :) So listen to him!
      I think its great that you like those comments, that is a really positive thing :) To take them for what they are - compliments! Not negative comments.
      And very true... recovery and weight gain should equal happiness :)

  4. The comments are good after the very beginning and right before some kind of trust has been earned - that medley is the time for that kind of cheer. I, personally, didn't really mind, except that slight annoy when people were praising me for eating so well when it had already become a norm for me to eat enough. At that point in would've been more mentionable news if I had started restricting. That never happened, though (strangely linearic recovery, but then again, I was sick for quite a short period of time). And I get it why was I complimented for my success for so long: my mom's a psychiatrist and also tends to exaggerate things a bit.

    Right after the moment I realized the ridiculousness of cheating, I never considered eating itself as any struggle. But, knowing that the nurses didn't want any bad for me, it was neat to receive at least that quick, genuine smile that measured my progress. I stayed on my bed, in my little room for eight weeks never seeing anyone else eat. Not a single time. That's partly what made me kind of anxious - do the others _really_ eat out there? Getting to hear the portions were ok was soothing as those reassurations were not thrown over me too frequently.

    This comment probably makes no sense and neither gives any reasonal information, but I wrote this after a couple hours of evening studying, so I didn't even consider a proofread.

    1. That is very well put, there is a time where being reminded that eating is a good thing, that you are doing a good thing can be a good reminder for some. But then when eating becomes a normal and natural thing and you are still being praised, then it becomes a little outdates and irritating.
      Dont worry, your comment made lots of sense :)

  5. I think for me it depends on the person who says it. If it is a stranger, I find it obscenely offensive. Also, I agree with some of the stuff that has been said about not even wanting people to notice you when you're eating, and those comments definitely highlight that you're being watched. That being said, when I had my first meal plan, I felt absolutely awful, and having a close friend saying that I was doing really well and that it was going to be fine if I followed my meal plan was helpful. I think, with a couple of my close friends it can be nice, but it's also a double-edged sword. Praise and attention around food, whether positive or negative, have always kind of fed my eating disorder. So, at the beginning, the shift from "you need to eat so I'm paying attention to you" to "I'm paying attention to you for non-disordered behavior" can be positive for some. Still on the fence about it...

    1. Like you said, its a bit of a double edged sword... at times it can be good, it can be comforting and other times it just does the opposite. And i think it just depends on how the person (with the ED) is feeling and who the person commenting is...
      Also like you said, if it was some stranger or even a sort of far away cousin or someone in the famly were to comment and tell me i was doing great for eating (when i was sick) then i found it offensive and it just trggered me instead of helping me.
      But sometimes all you need to hear is that you are doing a good job, when it feels like you aren't. I guess it also depends how people phrase the comments/compliments :)

  6. I feel like a freak... for me, it's sort of the opposite situation :p I can eat twice as much than the day before, my parents wouldn't make a comment because all they would see is that I didn't get this third serving of rice c.a because I already had extra bread just before or things like that. They only time I get positive comments it's when they come along with bad ones. Like "Yeah, we have seen you are doing progress, it's really not the same than x months ago, it's great, BUT.... (fill in with whatever I'm still doing wrong)". I know they care and they're trying to give me space or whatever but it's never enough for them. I was never given a meal plan, so I try my best to push myself and I've seen a dietitian too who encourages what I'm doing, but they just won't see it unless they can balance it with everything I still do wrong... But I'm not looking for them to start praising either, I still understand the other situation. It just doesn't happen with my parents. I remember once it happened with a friend I hadn't seen since I was really at my worst and his comment talked me out into eating more even though it wasn't that much... The more people comment/criticise, whether what I'm doing it's good or bad, I guess it just makes me feel like the ED is still sticking to my skin and I realise people still see me as a sick person. And that's what's triggering. I want to tell myself that I'm growing away form it, leaving it behind, but every time someone makes a comment it is like if people couldn't let go of past errors. I know it's not like that for real, but that's how I would explain that it still triggers while in recovery.

    1. I know exactly what you mean, sometimes the comments can be reminder that you still have an ED... this i found more when i was moving away from my ED. When eating became more normal, but people would comment and it was like it was THEM not letting go, because they had to keep bringing up the times i cheated with food or remind me of the times when i cried or screamed when food was placed infront of me etc etc and that was just trggering.
      Im sorry that your parents don't seem all that supporting, its a tough situation for everyone. And many parents/family/friend don't know how to behave around someome who is sick and it can cause alot of trust issues. But you need to know that you are doing a good thign and all you can do is learn from your mistakes... they are in the past, as long as you avoid repeating them then people should stop judging you for them.
      Know that you want to be free from your ED and one day im sure your parents will trust you, help you, realise how far you have come :)

  7. I hated when people commented my eating. I hated eating so much that when I was done with my meal I didn't want to think about what I had just eaten anymore, so when people said something about it I just felt even worse for eating.
    I feel the same when people after I left the hospital started commenting on my looks when they told me I looked healthy I only felt fatter. It's difficult to deal with comments when you are recovering. I don't think we can stop people from saying those things. But I had wished that I could have talked to my therapist about that. Because that's also a thing you have to learn to deal with in recovery.

  8. The comment which i struggle with is the "you look better" or "great, the weight you have put on is terrific on you"....
    i am both happy and anxious at the same time
    i now that it to encourage me and i am happy with this but at the same time i just have in my head the "oh god have i put on so much weight that everybody sees it!?!"

  9. I understand a lot of what people are saying, how bad it can feel to get comments on eating/weight, even when people mean them as a positive...

    I wanted to share comments I've gotten that really, truly made me feel good: I had a boyfriend who became all too familiar with my eating struggles, but when I was able to eat a meal with him, he'd sometimes say "It was so much fun to have dinner with you" or "When you eat, you become yourself more." He'd also reassure me that the amount I'd eaten was normal, because I always complained that I was pigging out. Or if I said I really wanted second helpings, he'd say "You totally should."

    I wish everyone in recovery could have someone so supportive.

    It sucks to hear negative comments and let it lead to relapse. I'm going to try to always respond to such comments from now on. Like, politely say "That comment isn't necessary."

    Or if someone says I'm eating too much, maybe I'll say "Well, I'm just better than you!" or "OMFG! You're soo right! Should I go throw some of it up now?" I get pretty angry. I get angry when I stay silent.