Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

I am a generally happy girl who loves running, going to the gym and eating food!! Though my life has been very different.
I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia & purging tendencies & over exercising. I was depressed and self harmed. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
After alot of struggles, lots of ups and downs, suicide attempts, tears, anxiety, panic and never thinking i would be healthy.
I am now declared healthy from anorexia nervosia.

I have been blogging for 4 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 am happy and healthy and living my life. Going to school, meeting friends and trying to find myself in this world.

I write about my daily life, but also try to write posts about how it was when i was sick, advice and tips.
I am open and friendly, so dont be scared about writing a post or sending me an email at:


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to eat after recovery

Ive gotten alot of emails about just this topic - how to eat after recovery and when you are close to or at a normal weight, so hopefully this will help calm you down :)

People said that during recovery, you should eat 2500-3500 kcal, eat whatever you like, drink whole milk, eat 5-6 times a day, etc. but how about after recovery?? How much should I eat? Should I still have snacks? Should I eat more or less than when I was in recovery? Can I still eat what I want? Is eating a cake for night snacks ok after recovery, when weight restored?

I find I've written alot about when you are sick and how to cope. Helping to recover. .... but what about after recovery.  When you are physically recovered and mostly mentally recovered i.e you might have food or body thoughts but you don't act upon them.

When I was declared healthy then that was that.... by that time I had stopped following my meal plan - but I should have been following it for the past few months before I got declared healthy. But I wanted to eat whatever I wanted when I wanted. I had also replaced the supplement drinks with chocolate or cheese sandwiches and i had also began exercising. But u gained weight and reached my goal weight and was 95% mentally healthy at the time I was declared healthy.
But suddenly I realised that I no longer had to gain weight,  the thing I had been trying to do for the past 1,5 years. I didn't have to go to Mando apart from every 3 months for the next year.  I was free from Mando and now had it written in my journal that I was declared healthy from anorexia and depression.
However. ... i didn't know how to feel. Suddenly I realised, how am I supposed to eat? I had only just reached my goal weight. And I hadn't gotten my period back either (that came 1-3 months later). I didn't know how i should eat to maintain my weight... did I need to eat less? eat more because I exercised? Could I eat snacks? could i eat the same portion of lunch and dinner?  could I eat chocolate. .... All these questions which I never got an answer to. No dietician or doctor talked to me. I never had anyone talk to me about after recovery. And of course, by that time you should be healthy and not care about weight or food.... but after spending years being sick and having to focus on weight gain. When that is no longer a problem it sort of hits you hard.
But I am here to help you now to those of you wondering about after recovery.
   All of my posts since August 2012 are from after recovery. And I have had ups and downs... I've fallen into depression again. I've burnt out. I've been stressed. I've eaten too little. I've had days I've eaten too much.  I had a period of too much exercise and then a period of no exercise at all. But that is how life is... its important to remember that just because you are recovered doesn't mean that your life will be a walk in the park. I thought that when I recovered my life would be just how i thought it would be.... Lots of friends,  parties, boyfriend, not so much school stress etc etc but I was wrong. It took me 1-2 months in my new school to find my group of friends and that time I feel into a depression again as I felt so lonely. I wanted to change school and even contemplated suicide I felt so bad and lonely and i wondered..... did I recover just for this?  to feel depressed again.
  But i have had alot of good moments... moments which i wouldnt have had if i was still sick. Such as holidays with my family, buffets, going out to eat, movie nights, great times with friends etc

But to go back to the actual questions:

You should be able to eat roughly the same amount you did before... but maybe a little less such as not drinking milk/juice 6 times a day, but otherwise the same food amount . When you are in recovery you are supposed to have little exercise and then when you are a healthy weight you get to have more exercise which then means that you are no longer at a surplus because the daily activity and exercise you might not basically equals +/-/0
  But if you are doing 2 hour long workouts, eating 1800kcal and gaining weight then that is going to cause some problems when you are at a healthy weight and no longer need to gain weight. 

You can and should still eat 5-6 times a day, this keeps your blood sugar stable, but its also what your body is used to. However you will be more free with how and what you eat.  Maybe you just want anapple as a morning snack or you eat your night snack right after dinner because you are still hungry or you go out with friends and share some crisps and chocolate instead of having your regular bowl of oatmeal & other things.
   So your eating should be more free. Its not like you have to sit and watch the clock and eat your afternoon snack directly at 3pm. But you will notice that you will feel hungry at around the times you usually eat.
  If your hunger and fullness feelings arent back yet or you dont trust your body enough to eat intuitivaly keep eating your meal plan. But dont be scared to eat differently as well.

Depending on your meal plan and if you were gaining weight on it or not you might need to eat a little less. I found it diffucult right after i was declared healthy because i had only been my healthy weight for about a week and i wasnt following a meal plan so i was thinking, if i was gaining weight just eating freely, how am i supposed to do now? But it sorted itsself out. I cant really remember how, but we didnt havea  scale at home so i guess i went up and down 2kg and my body found its healthy set point which is around 58-60kg, but now because i strength train and gained muscle my healthy set point is 62-64kg.

And yes, its ok to eat a cake as a night snack even after recovery. When i was in recovery i had these thoughts that, i ll eat chocolate and cake and things now when im underweight because when im healthy i wont be able to eat them. But thats not the case... you can still eat them even if you are a normal weight. Its not like eating some cake will make you gain weight... however if you eat a whole cake or half a cake too often then it might not be the best... But try not to focus too much on weight after recovery.

When you are recovered you need to be healthy both mentally and physically. you might feel worried about what the future holds and how you will cope and still might have to learn body love and acceptance. But you shouldnt have thoughts of compensation, wanting to restrict or binge or purge. And if you do get those thoughts once in a while, then you dont act upon them. If you do ever restrict due to anxiety or guilt then RIGHT AWAY do something about it. Dont let that one time turn into a second or thid time, because its then that relapse begins to happen.

After your eating disorder its about creatinga  life you want to live. As mentioned above... its not all  fun and games. But it is ALOT better than being sick because you are strong. You can cope with your emotions, you can smile, laugh, do things you might not have been able to do while you were sick. So recovery is worth it.
  But of course there is school, work, taxes, housing, money etc etc that all need to be done and thought about (depending on your age anyway!) . You return to a normal life where there are both ups and downs, not just downs.

If you want to read more about after recovery here are some posts:

If you have any more questions dont be scared to ask :)


  1. Hi Izzy, thank you so much for this! I was just wondering as well, I know that it's hard to answer a question like this as everyone is completely different, but I was wondering how long it took your weight to stabalise/plateau when you increased your calorie intake each time? Only I've just increased my calorie intake by 500 calories to enable me to put on a pound a week (as recommended) after my weight being stable in a half way recovering point for a few months, and in two weeks I've gained 4lbs...I'm fine with this, and know that initial weight gain is normal and it could even be water retention etc, but I was just wondering how long it normally takes for your body to get used to the extra calories to allow a more steady weight gain, and to plateau? Xxxx

  2. Great post! I wish you had also had more help beyond the bare minimum of weight restoration. Thank you for helping us. Thank you for your example. You are amazing.... I hope you will find stability, peace and joy.