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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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Eat to live, dont live to eat

I got an email from a reader which i thought was quite important to post and also to give my answer publicly, as i know that others might agree with what she wrote, which is fine :) That is absaloutly understandable and i agree with her as well. Just read my answer as well :)

Dear Izzy,
I am a 24 year old girl from Austria, and I have been struggling with 
Anorexia nervosa since I was 13. I have also spend many months in 
treatment, but now I am nearly recovered. I have studied Medicine and I am 
now a Medical Doctor and started working at a hospital recently. I also 
have a lovely boyfriend, and we are together for several years already.
First of all I would like to say that your blog is great and that this blog 
has inspired me a lot, and still inspires me. I read through your posts 
very often, especially when I have a "bad day". I agree with many of your 
advice posts, and I can also understand how much you love exercising, since 
exercising is also very important for me. I totally agree with you that by 
exercising you can actually learn to love your body for what it can do 
rather than for how it looks.
However, I want to tell you something which I do not quite like about your 
blog. I have thought about writing to you for a long time, and I would love 
to get a reply from you (if you have time).
When I read through your blog, I always get the impression that food is a 
very, very, very important issue for you. Much more important than it 
should be! I know that you eat what you like and you might not have a 
disordered eating pattern any more. And I know this is hard to achieve, and 
I really congratulate you that you have come this far! BUT: Eating is 
NECESSARY, but it is NOT THAT IMPORTANT. Good food can make your life 
better, it can be savoured, and especially after an eating disorder it is 
crucial that you LEARN to enjoy food again. However, I guess you make food 
a very big issue, and it truly shouldn't be that way. For example, in 
nearly all of your personal posts you write what you have eaten for a 
certain meal. There is nearly no personal post of yours where you simply 
describe your day, your life and what you have done WITHOUT mentioning what 
you have eaten or how much, or THAT you have eaten, at least once. Or when 
I read your 2014 year lookback, it actually annoyed me that you wrote 
(don't remember the exact wording, but roughly like this): From January to 
March I fell in love with this or that food combination, I tried this food 
and I baked this or that. In April I discovered this or that food 
combination and I went to lunch to XX bla bla bla. Really Izzy, I don't 
mean to be rude. But reading all this, people might get the impression that 
you should recover from an eating disorder primarily because food is 
soooooooo delicious and important and because you need to enjoy all the 
delicious food again. This is part of recovery, and it can be hard, I agree 
with that. BUT primarily you recover because you would probably be 
depressed and unhappy if you remained in your eating disorder and because 
you could die from it and damage your body! You recover because you want to 
enjoy life again. You recover to meet people, go out, get your life back on 
track, enjoy walks, exercise, enjoy school or university again, enjoy your 
work again, maybe have a relationship etc. etc. You don't recover to eat 
yummy food. This is just one out of many many many things and reasons why 
you recover. You don't just sit in school for 2 hours because then you can 
finally enjoy your delicious snack or whatever. You should eat to live, not 
live to eat (as you wrote yourself). You should eat when you are hungry or 
when you need energy, but you should not focus on yummy yummy delicious 
food ALL THE TIME. I may be mistaken, but maybe, even if YOU are fully 
recovered, you still think way too much about food, even if you really seem 
to enjoy it.
In your personal posts, maybe you could just write more about what you 
actually DO the whole day, and what you enjoy APART from food.
This is just my opinion. I would be glad if you replied.
And really, I don't mean to be rude. I generally like your blog and I read 
it almost everyday :)

Hello, first off i am glad to hear you like my blog and also super happy to hear that you are healthy and almost recovered and able to live your life :)
  And what you say is absaloutly right, so i am not offended at all. Infact i think it is good that you point it out. Would i say i am obsessed with food? No... would i say that i pay alot of attention to food? Yes. On my blog anyway. Yes, i can write about a snack i ate, yes i take photos of some of my meals and yes i can mention delicious food combinations or new things i have tried. But that is because i love food, it may seem fake. I am aware of that.. i mean, can someone really like food that much and not be lying or have some food issues?
    In daily life i.e when i am with friends, family, living my life and not blogging. Food is not so much a thought of mine, i eat when i am hungry or just sometimes when im bored. I eat what i crave and no thought about it. Why i write about my blog is because well its a habit of mine. People like reading or seeing my food posts, whether its for good or bad reasons i dont know. But i can definitely cut down on the food posts if that is what is wanted :) Though i will still post pictures of my food now and again.
   Though sometimes i guess i can feel.... i dont know how to fill the blank space otherwise? My days arent that exciting. I go to school, i study, i workout (but i dont write about working out... so there goes another part of my life i dont talk about) and then there are personal things such as maybe family problems or economic problems or personal or friend problems which weigh me down and i choose to not talk about them (there goes 25% of my day again)... and so what am i left with? Myself, my boring day where i quite honestly dont do much.
^¨That sums me up.
 
There are only so many advice posts or help posts i can write, and yes i do want to post several posts a day, thats what i like doing. I dont like when it goes 8-12 hours inbetween posts, thats not how i like blogging. So i like putting up a picture of my lunch or snack, but also because i want to inspire others. I want others to see that food is delicious, should you live to eat? Maybe not. Food is a part of life, just like anything. Focusing 100% on school or work, or exercise or food isnt a good idea. Its a balance.
   But also remember that what i write, what i choose to publish is only certain things of my life. Not every thought of mine is published, not every thing i do. I dont publish when i go for a 20 minute walk with Daisy, or each time i have an interesting conversation with a guy or each time i go for a run or each time i grab a bag of chips at home and begin eating it infront of a movie. Not everything is essential to write down.
   
So at times it can feel - i am sure to a reader anyway - like all my focus is on food or working out, i get that. Its hard to know anything else when all you see and read are these small snippets of my life.

Though i am quite honest so i think the best thing is that: YOU ASK QUESTIONS. What do you want to know about? Do you want to know more about me? Do you want me to do some certain weekly post like once a week i talk about relationships or once a week make a video or make a thought post etc
  I know i dont reply to all comments, i try to. But i dont always see them all, some dont show up in my comments box, so its not until a month later that i go onto a post and see i missed 3 questions or comments. So its just to recomment or to send an email then.
   
But dont be afraid to give me feedback on what to write about or how i can improve :) I know at times i can seem like i get super offended and at certain things i do get more offended, but i am a nice person :) And if you're super rude, ill most probably be slightly rude back. But if you send an email or comment like the person above i would like to think i am rational and give you a valid reason back :)

So to any of you who think i focus too much on food, that is not the case. Its just what i have choosen to write about to fill the blank space, but also to inspire you :) But i will of course cut down on writing about food now and just a few photos might come up now and again :)


23 comments:

  1. I completely understand where both of you are coming from. But part of me enjoys the fact that food is still a prime concept on this blog. Because this isn't a normal blog about a girl posting about what she did at school or with friends (even though that occasionally comes up which i appreciate because it makes you more relatable), but rather this is a blog designed to help people with eating disorders, which food is obviously a prime issue. I know there are a lot of recovered and suffering people reading this blog, which is nice that there is always a mixture between advice for both and at any stage of your illness. I actually had a quote which I kept telling myself during recovery 'eat well and travel often'. Which I guess is a balance between both Izzy and the reader. Life is about nourishing your body and soul.

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    1. Thank you :) I think im just going to let the comments decide on what i do... whether more or less food pictures/thoughts/posts are wanted :)

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  2. One of the things I really enjoy about your blog is that you post about your food so often! For myself, it's helped me realize that eating and enjoying food doesn't have to be shameful, and actually has put into perspective how much I need to take in when I'm healthy enough to start exercising again. You've gotten me hooked on Quest bars and cottage cheese as well :p I hope you don't cut out that part of your blog entirely!

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  3. i like your blog the way it is and i read it multiple times every day <3

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  4. the food posts are awesome and tbh, it is your blog. plus, this is aimed at ed recovery and food, rediscovering food is part of recovery. and i think it's awesome to see what other people eat and just......sorry this isn't very coherent as i'm rushed but you get the point... don't change it!! :D xxxx

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  5. I like your blog a lot, but find the food posts quite dull. Maybe you could include more posts about life in Sweden? I like it when you explain about things like fika, and the Swedish housing system, and Swedeners' attitude towards talking with strangers. It probably seems boring to you because you live it, but I find small cultural differences really fascinating.

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  6. I like your blog and all of the food pictures :) I think it shows that its okay to eat and eat large portions, a big concern among people with eating disorders. I was wondering if you could do a post on getting around Sweden. Like do you drive at all or have your license?? You talk a lot about taking the bus and you never mention driving yourself. And if you don't have your license, wouldn't you need one to drink and get into bars?? Haha sorry if these are common sense questions, I live in the U.S. :p

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  7. No Izzy! It's YOU. Everything on Herę is AMAZING because it comes from you!!! Don't change anything! It is beautiful that you live food! It just show that it is POSSIBLE to enjoy food again and love food not just be exhausted and bored by food. No!!! You're showing us completely different side. And I don't mean to be rude but the email you recieved... Well maybe this person isn't that close to recovery as she may think, I'm sorry. Or just does it in a completely way. For me? Your way is awesome and correct.
    Lulu

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  8. I love your blog the way it is!! I like that you post your food (thanks to you i discovered how much i love quark with fruits and granola and covered nuts!! :))
    I don't think you should cut down on posting your food, but i'd also like to post more about you!! :)

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  9. I am recovering from anorexia, and I find it really motivating and encouraging to see your food posts, as it reminds me that others do eat as well (I know this is common sense, but I find it encouraging to KNOW that others get hungry and eat in between meals and that it's alright to eat when you're hungry, and whatever you like etc). I think that people come on here mainly to get motivation to carry on with their recovery, and you are giving people the motivation to move on, as we see that you are enjoying your life and food is part of that! Also, it's YOUR blog at the end of the day! xx

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  10. It is super helpful to see food posts! If you decided to do more posts about your life too that would be awesome but, I understand the want for privacy in certain areas of life as well. I think it's really awesome that you have made this blog because you seem so passionate about it and you're right, it does help bring fulfillment to your life and the readers. I agree with the others that it is your blog so, write what you like:)

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  11. I agree your food posts have helped me a lot and look so delicious! Can you start posting some more recipes, like egg white oatmeal?

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  12. I agree-the food posts are motivating! Also, love when you post recipes.

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  13. http://wearyourlabel.com/ Hey everyone. My classmates shared this site on Facebook and I thought I would share it with all of you. It's such an amazing idea and is a way for people with mental illnesses to come together. The clothes are a little pricey but definitely worth it if you have the cash. Even having a bracelet would be a great way to show support for people with mental illnesses.

    Also, thank you Izzy for your blog. I read it everyday and find it really helpful. I also enjoy your posts about the food you eat. You spent so many years hating food and trying to avoid it and you have the right to enjoy it now. I personally have an issue with talking or sharing photos about food as I feel like people will judge me but it's nice to see someone who is healthy be able to enjoy food and share it with others. It also helps me realize that I shouldn't be ashamed or feel guilty when I eat.

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  14. In the same way that you won't go to the economic section of the newspaper if you're looking for sport news, I think it's everyone's choice to read the posts that interest them but respect that not everyone is looking for the same thing. Seeing how food can be taken in such a light-minded way can help a lot its intended audience. I, myself, realised how my interest slowly shifted from the "food posts" to more "boring teenager posts" (which I actually don't agree with as being boring ;) ) as I was getting better. So I'm NOT disagreeing with the e-mail, I do think they could be, maybe, some posts totally free of food etc. but I know those other posts used to help me before too. Anyhow, do what feels right for you, it's the blog of your life after all :)
    Carine.

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  15. I love your food posts Izzy! It's so refreshing given that so many girls nowadays are on diets etc. and only eat small salads or half their meals. I think one of the reasons I developed an ED was because I was so self-conscious that I ate so much in comparison to my friends so I LOVE when you post about how much you eat as it helps me to know that there are people out there who do eat properly! You're an incredible inspiration to everyone, your blog is awesome just the way it is and I guarantee you that you have saved lives with your advice! Don't change!!

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  16. your food guided me through my recovery it made me think "if izzy eats this you can too!" i have to say that you have half of the honer of my recovery, you share it with my spykoligist :´ D keep being amazing!

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  17. I would like less pictures of food and more about you + the same amount of inspiration and tips for recovering from an eating disorder. Love you!

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  18. Your blog guided me through recovery and still helps me to make it all the way and fight relapses))!! I like how you write and your food posts and just as good as exersice posts, those who find them triggering for some reason should just skip.... And it's understandable that you don't put everything on your blog, like writing long posts about school work would be pointless, yet it's a big part of your life and so on... So don't worry, your blog is wonderful just the way it is!!!!! Hugs))) and thank you)))

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  19. I really like the food-posts, I actually think that they have helped me to recover. It made me realise that you can actually eat real food and enjoy it without gaining weigth like crazy, and your food pictures allways inspire me:) But most important, I think you should blog about whatever you want! People will allways want some more/less of this and that and I think that every blog can't suit everybody perfectly,but you blog is by far the best blog I know! Don't feel pressured to change your blog if you like blogging as you do now, and the other way around, don't feel pressured to keep your blog the way it is if you want/need to change it for yourself! just blog about whatever you like because making changes of things to just please anyone is no fun at all! Have a great day,anyway<3

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  20. More food pictures!!! Thanks to you I don t blame myself if I eat rice pudding or chocolate or salted nuts and other food that I see in your pics because I think that if you can eat it and have visible abs then I can eat it too and feel ok with it. Food pictures for the win!!!!

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  21. Interesting comments. Most of the time I find the food post helpful, not because I am a recovering anorexic obsessed with food but because I am a recovering anorexic who needs to see pictures of normal, healthy portion sizes. You have no idea how much the pictures have helped me. I look at what I put on a plate compared to your pictures, Izzy, and realise that it is nowhere near enough. So, thanks for your food pictures they have actually helped me progress in recovery, not become obsessed with food pictures or pull me deeper into the disorder. For me it is the opposite and I am so grateful that your food picture posts have helped me move forward in my recovery. However I know everyone is different and at different recovery stages, so for some it might not be what they need. But they are definitely very helpful :) :)

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