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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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fear of continuing to gain weight after reaching a healthy weight

A very common fear when you are recovering is that you will keep gaining weight after reaching a healthy weight, and this fear is absolutely understandable. Especially if you have been overweight or binged before you began restricting, then fearing that you will keep gaining weight can be very hard to overcome.
   And the truth is, it can happen. But it depends on alot of things, whether you are too restrictive during recovery and you end up binging or if your metabolism doesnt recover so that despite eating very little you keep gaining weight or if you resort to binging and purging as a result of being too restrictive. Or even if you begin doing too much exercise and your body and metabolism doesnt recover so your body is still in starvation mode and holds onto weight and such.

If in recovery you find balance, you follow a meal plan or feel that you can eat balanced but more so that you gain weight then you shouldnt have to worry so much about losing your balance. It's when you are too restrictive in recovery that it can cause problems in the future. Because you still dont face your fears, you restrict yourself so then when you do eat a certain food you cant stop yourself and you keep eating it and that isnt good when you cant stop yourself from eating a whole package of cookies or a whole 200g chocolate etc
   In recovery, for some people (like myself) naturally began to eat more things like chocolate, cake etc because i had to face my fear foods and at the end stages of my recovery i did alot of baking and felt that it was easier to eat those types of foods to help me gain weight, but also i thought... once i am a healthy weight i wont be able to eat them because then I will gain weight. But that is not the case, thats not how it works. It's not like a person eats a pizza or some chocolate and they gain weight... you can still eat all types of food even after you are recovered, however if you are eating chocolate 6 days a week to help you gain weight, then maybe not eating chocolate 6 days a week is the best idea when you are a healthy weight, but instead enjoying it 2-4 times a week.
  Things dont have to be off limits just because you are a normal weight.

Depending on your body and how it adapts to your meal plan and calorie intake you usually dont have to eat so much less than what you eat at the end stages of your recovery. Because as you get a healthier weight you also begin living life more... (this is where problems of exercising in recovery come in, because if you are doing 1 hour cardio everyday during recovery and not really eating enough for it as well as weight gain, then your metabolism doesnt speed up and is still slow as you werent eating the energy amount your body needed because you were doing so much exercise.) so instead... you begin to add in exercise and daily activity into your life when you are a few kg from your goal weight because then it becomes +/-/0 .... as the daily activity and exercise you do balances out the calorie intake so you dont gain weight.... and if you do keep gaining weight even after a healthy weight then you just need to cut down alittle, however it could also be that your body is just trying to find its set point. You gain a little more, then your body settles. Or you gain a little, lose a little, gain a little etc but you should be eating the same and balanced all the time... i.e if you gain a little and then restrict and then lose and then eat more, then that isnt helping your body find its healthy set point.

To Summarize:
You can still eat all types of food even after being a healthy weight. You just need to find balance and moderation. Your goal is no longer weight gain, so you need to really try to listen to your body (this works best if you have followed a meal plan during weight gain), and not over eat. Also dont be too restrictive in recovery but also dont binge... extreme hunger is different from binging, but dont just eat everything and eat loads just so that you gain weight quickly, because then neither your body or head can adapt to the weight gain and its harder to find balance afterwards. You also dont necessarily need to cut down or restrict when you reach your healthy weight, but it all depends on your lifestyle and whether you can eat balanced and in moderation or not. But also whether your metabolism recovered or not.

So hopefully this helps, i know it might not calm your fear or nerves, but you dont need to panic about after recovery or when you reach a healthy weight. You need to take one thing at a time, and focusing on learning healthy eating habits!!!

Below are some posts that can help:
Phases of recovery
How to eat after recovery
How to maintain your healthy weight (Old post from 2012... my thoughts/fears)
Metabolism after an eating disorder
Disproportionate and rapid weight gain during recovery
Healthy set point

6 comments:

  1. Thus was really helpful. Thank you for taking the time to wrote so many great posts! It helps me alot, so thank you!

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  2. Izzy - thank you. I am 30, from Ireland & I asked you to write this post .... hopefully you saw my request anyway. This has really started my day in a reassuring way. I am so afraid of everything. I think my body is still finding its set point and i need to realise its bigger than it was - i am a tad taller than you and need to let myself be that tall & be proud. I find myself reaching for chocolate so often. I need to balance things. This post really helped. Have a great weekend & thank you so much for this blog. You are so inspiring and balanced - i am always amazed when i think you are only 19! x

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  3. Thanks for this post!

    My biggest fear is that when I reach a 'healthy weight' that I will continue to put weight on... When I restrict (in my 'scared' moments), sometimes my weight has stayed the same. This makes me think that my metabolism isn't stable yet & it will take a while for my body to become more stable.

    It is great to know that all the fears and concerns I have about my recovery are normal and that i'm not alone. :)

    Thanks so much Xx

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  4. I needed this article soooo much.....
    Since i reached my healthy weight I've gained few kgs,and now I weight a little more then I used to even before all the anorexia thing (and I don't have more muscles etc.)
    Right now I can't do a lot of workouts and HIIT,cardio things,I also started to eat more sweets,and things that aren't really healthy...And I feel gulity for it....also I panicked a little 4 days ago I had bad thoughts and didn't eat for 2 days...

    I was just wondering if you could help me somehow,if it is even possible....I'm waiting till I will be able to workout again...(I'm going on leg sugery,I will have to go to hospital for 4 times because of it.)

    I know there is lot of people with worse problems etc.
    But if you could help me somehow I'll be really happy...

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  5. very helpful article! Im still afraid eat some food, but i believe it will be better!!

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  6. Hi! I'm Joy. I am 30. I recovered and kept gaining for a while. Something that helped for me is that I said I would not diet or restrict for 5 years after recovering and then maybe I could lose a bit of weight if I needed. That gave my body time and it eventually settled back down to the weight I started at without having to diet or watch what I ate. Now I can eat whatever I feel like and I don't binge and I'm maintaining. I started running a lot after I recovered (and during) and was running marathons. For me, I think this just perpetuated my problem b/c I was gaining so much weight from binging after really long runs. I had to stop running b/c of tendonitis and couldn't really exercise for almost a year b/c of the inflammation. During that time, my appetite started to normalize and I lost a bit of weight without trying. Now I'm maintaining without trying and I can be active again (though I don't do much running unless I'm playing soccer or ultimate frisbee with friends.) Something that helped me was staying cognizant of the "time of month" b/c many females burn a couple hundred more calories (or more) a day during the last 2 weeks of the cycle. (This is b/c our basal temperature increases.) When I realized that, I stopped worrying about eating more during those times. Very early on, those were the 2 weeks I binged the most. Later, I was able just to intuitively increase my intake without getting anxious and binging.
    I also was able to redefine what a binge was. I used to let any "overeating" turn into a binge that left me in bad pain. I realized it was still ok to get pretty full, but stop before it reached painful amounts. Then, even when I "overate" and felt really full, I wouldn't just think "I give up. I'm going to eat all I can." Now I don't even really "overeat" any more either.
    It can be helpful to give yourself a more forgiving definition of what a binge is. Maybe set yourself a definition like "more than XXXX calories in each 2 hour period of the day is a binge." (Let XXXX it be a very forgiving number.) That way you might still "overeat", but it will be more limited and easier to get back on track. I did that with the limit and it helped me slow down my eating/overeating and feel more able to get back to normal.

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