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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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Can i be healthy and underweight?

I have gotten ALOT of emails about just this subject recently so i thought i would answer it all in a post instead of writing 20+ individual emails with the same reply.

In short... No, you cant be healthy from an eating disorder while still underweight. It doesnt work that way. To be healthy from an eating disorder, you need both a healthy body and a healthy mind.

But i have a healthy mind, why cant i still be underweight?
Well if you have a healthy mind, why are you so scared to gain weight?

That was what my case manager told me when i was trying to compromise and tell her i was healthy and i didnt think i needed to gain weight. When she asked me that, it got me thinking... I wasnt actually healthy because i couldnt let go. I hadnt let go of my eating disorder. I still had problems with weight and body image. I felt fat even though i was underweight.

But you can read more about my half recovery HERE (which can help many of you in that stage or struggling with similar thoughts)

Some more posts that can help:
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/10/the-dangers-of-half-recovery.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/09/half-recoverd.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/06/thoughts-during-my-relapse.html


Other similar questions ive gotten:

If im fat now - i will be super fat when ive gained to a  healthy weight.

No you are NOT fat now... you have fat on your body, so does everyone else. You need to change your view on your body and accept your body. You NEED fat on your body.
This post might help you : http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/11/recovery-fatweight-gain-exercise.html 
   Instead of hating your body and the way you look and thinking that skinny is best and that you can never be happy or love yourself unless you are skinny, change your thoughts.


But i was underweight before i became sick? Why cant i still be underweight?
Well so was I.... but now i am a healthy weight and happier than ever and looking better than ever as well.
  First off, ask yourself why you are so obsessed with having an underweight?It is a very obvious sign of an unhealthy mind if you all you want is to be underweight. Being underweight wont bring you happiness. There are alot of naturally skinny people who hate their thin bodies and would do anything to be more curvy.
  You may have been naturally slim before and you will still be slim after you have gained weight, but you will also havea  healthy weight meaning a healthier body. Also, its been proven that if someone has a lower weight after their recovery from an eating disorder they are more likely to relapse or not recover at all. So let go of your obsession over the scale and weight and focus on a healthy body and mind.

If you are healthy and recovered then the number on the scale shouldnt matter.

Read THIS post for more information.

I know this isnt what you want to hear... im sure what you want to hear is that its ok to have a BMI of 16 or 16.5 but NO, it isnt ok. Its unlikely that your mind is fully healthy and if it is as healthy as you claim, then why are you so worried about gaining the essential weight your body NEEDS?




7 comments:

  1. Hi Izzy <3 I know this sounds like a silly question! But you know sometimes you hear about those people who have a very fast metabolism and eat loads, and stil don't gain weight - do you think this is actually possible? For to me, at the moment it seems like I am eating loads - much, much more than I ever did - and yes I have gained weight but still, it feels as if it is such a small amount, when I look at what I usually eat in a day now - that doesn't seem to be reflected in what I weigh! :( Could it be possible that after so many years of malnutrition my body just can't gain? could some irreversible damage have been caused? xxxx

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    1. Well, if you arent gaining weight then you need to eat more.Be honest with yourself... are you actually eating enough? I mean i maintain my weight eating around 3000+kcal.... so if i were to gain weight, living my life like i do now i would most probably need around 4000kcal a day.
      When i was at Mando i had the highest meal plan there - the dietician even told me that, that was why i had to have 3 supplement drinks added because i physically couldnt eat the amount i needed in just food.I ate around 3500kcal with no exercise to gain around 0,5kg a week... Some weeks i didnt even gain though i ate the same amount.

      For some people its harder to gain weight, for some people its harder to lose weight. But its not impossible to do either for anybody. Eat and drink more.

      Rememeber, for athletes and things like that they have to eat around 5000-10000kcal a day to maintain their weight - though they do hours of exercise each day which i know you arent doing. But its just showing you that some people need to eat lots.

      Make smoothies, milkshakes, drink juice and milk to all your meals. If you try a bit harder it should work :)

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  2. Thanks for this Izzy, so much :) This is where I am at right now and I really needed to hear this so than you x

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  3. Hi Izzy:)

    I know you basically just answered this but what if I do have a bmi around 16.5 but I still eat 2000+ cal and I don't restrict. I honestly like the way I look. Sure I have my down days when all I do is compare but I also have my up days when im like, wow why did I ever want to be stick thin? Im not really actively trying to gain weight but if a little happens im ok with it. Is this ok? Like I eat chocolate, and desserts and things a lot. But ive also learned that I really do love fruit and healthy foods. Although I over did it for a while and got sick of them, I realized that and cut back.

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    1. Well you're underweight so im not exactly going to tell you its ok. Not in my opinion anyway, with a BMI of 16,5 it is definitely too low, no matter what you think. If you were to have a BMI of say 18, then i mean its not the end of the world as long as your body and mind are ok and you have energy etc
      You sdound a bit like i was when i was half recovered, saying you are healthy but then why cant you gain weight? Who says you wont like your body after you have gained weight? Its not good to be obsessed with anumber on the scale or a certain BMI... no happiness comes from being underweight or being a certain weight. Instead, you need to let your body take care of itself, whether your healthy set point is BMI 18 or 21, you have to let your body find that itself and not control everything.

      So in my opinion you still need to gain weight and if you cant do that, then youneed to ask yoruself why and then whether you are actually healthy or just half recovered?

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  4. For the most part I really love your blog. My only issue is sometimes what you say when it comes to bmi and being overweight. I suffered from anorexia for 11 years. At my lowest weight my bmi was 19.5. At this point I was saying about 400-500 calories a day and working out like crazy. Basically I was super super sick and was constantly ending up in the hospital from passing out etc. My entire life I was always in the high end of a healthy bmi, even though I was never considered fat. It took me a long time to ask for help because I didn't have an incredibly low bmi, even though I had all the other physical attributes of severe malnutrition. After a few years of treatment, inpatient and outpatient, I recovered. However my bmi was 25, which technically meant I was overweight. This was the weight where my body wanted to be and my mind was in a great place. Given that growing up my bmi was always around this, this was healthy for me.
    I guessy point of all of this is to say that everyone is different. And being in the overweight category can still be healthy. Anyone, with any body size can struggle with anorexia, even those who are obese. And the same approach should be taken with everyone. At least in my opinion.

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  5. BMI is just a stupid number! Stupid as the number of the scale!
    Why everybody keep thinking that BMI is the solution of the problem?! Why 18.5is considered healthy?! Who has said that?! Who can know if I'm perfectly healthy at a BMI of 17 or a BMI of 24 maybe having a BF of 7%?! All of this numbers should disappear, they're stupid and without sense. We should focus on healthy food, healthy state of mind, healthy in general ( period, heart rate, balanced exercise) all the other things are useless. This is my opinion

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