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, June 14, 2015

Following a 'fad' diet after an eating disorder

I was recently asked about my opinion on following a diet after an eating disorder. The truth is my opinion varies because i have tried different 'diets'. I've tried IIFYM, intermittent fasting, paleo... and what happened? Well none of them lasted or worked. What has worked for me is intuitive eating, listening to my body.
  Because a diet and a plan based for everyone (to some extent) cant tell you what your body needs to function properly. Everybody is different, but also diets are very restrictive.



Lets start with IIFYM, this seems to be very popular for people recovering from eating disorders as it still gives them some form of control over their food. They can weigh their food, they can measure and count and have an acceptable reason as to why they are doing it. But the truth is, WHY are you counting your food? Food is just numbers and macros, you can only eat certain food because it 'fits'. Maybe not because you want it..... you frantically try to find some food that has 18g protein, 30g carbs and 5g fat... you feel guilty because you went over your carb intake or because you cant reach your fat intake etc etc
  I dont personally think its a good idea to start counting your food or measuring it. How normal is it to take food boxes everywhere? To not eat out, to not eat a cookie or bun or even a fruit just because you want it. But instead you need to know how many macros it contains? Ask yourself why you are weighing and counting food? Is it something you can do forever, be happy?

Now i am not going to be completely anti IIFYM, just because it didnt work for me, doesnt mean it doesnt work for others. There are plenty of people who are happy following this type of eating and it is not restrictive at all. They know roughly how much food contains and dont track everyday, but used it as a way to get control over their eating and eventually it became more loose where they dont need to count or weigh every thing.
  The problem is when you feel guilty because you dont know how much a good weighs or how many macros it contains. When you cant live somewhat normally, and you are still very restrictive. For some it works but i would personally advise against starting this type of diet after an eating disorder.


With intermittent fasting i did this because my eating was way out of control. Lots of boredom eating and had lost my hunger and fullness feelings and i felt i needed some type of routine and some form of control. Not restrictive control, but to not just eat all the time. So i had an eating window from 12pm to 8pm or somedays 2pm to 10pm. And i did do it for a few weeks and it worked to help me get my hunger and fullness feelings back... though then it went the other way where suddenly it was 1,2,3pm and i hadnt eaten anything because i didnt feel hungry. And suddenly i wasnt able to eat the amount i needed and also, strength training on an empty stomach.... it just didnt work for me. So i stopped with it after a few weeks, but it did help with less bloating and eating every few hours instead of eating every hour or so out of boredom. But i would NOT recommend this type of diet at all. Ive tried it and my opinion is that it is not normal or good.


And when it comes to paleo, there are alot of good things about it, but if you have had an eating disorder. Its far too easy that you follow a raw food diet, vegan diet or paleo diet just as a way of eating 'clean/healthy'. They can work for some, but after an eating disorder you need to find balance and be ok with eating all types of food. Learning to trust your body, not setting up rules and guidelines and having things you can or cant eat. Or having certain times you can or cant eat. (In general though eating every few hours is a good idea to keep the blood sugar stable)


Ive never followed any LCHF or HCLF diet because one I absaloutly love carbs and i would not be able to function or have energy to workout if i ate little carbs and two i absaloutly love nuts and eggs and salmon so could never eat lots of carbs and little fat. I think those diets are too restrictive when you restrict a certain food group. I dont think they last, but also LCHF is not good for the body or heart so i would not even want to try that diet.

I dont think following any type of diet is a good idea. Its better to learn to trust your body, find what works for you. What foods you can eat and your stomach is ok with them. Find what foods give you energy, foods you enjoy. Dont be restrictive, but binging on food isnt good either. Following some form of meal plan can be good if you feel that your eating is completely crazy either you forget to eat or you just eat all the time, then following some form of structure is a good idea.
  But stay away from fad diets. Just because other people are doing doing IIFYM or the 5:2 diet or a rawfood diet doesnt mean you have to do it as well. You will mostly find people online doing these types of things, but remember you dont know what they actually eat. Or you dont know how healthy their bodies or minds are. So dont copy them, learn to trust yourself and what your body needs and wants!!!


So my overall opinion, dont follow a diet after an eating disorder. I dont believe anyone needs to follow a fad diet. Though something i should have mentioned in the beginning is that 'diet' is basically what you eat, a 'diet' is not a bad thing. But a FAD diet is a bad thing (according to me anyway). I believe that everyone, no matter what their goal is can eat all types of food in different moderations and reach their goal and be happy. Some people need to be more strict, some more free. Some need to eat more of certain foods or food groups while others need to eat more of a certain food or foodgroup. Everyone is different, but if you listen to your body then you will find what will work for you and make you happy!!!


This is my opinon on it anyway.


2 comments:

  1. Hi Izzy! This is the first time I leave a comment on your blog but I thought it would be about the time to thank you for being here, thank you for writing this blog. You and your texts have helped me more than I could have imagined when I first found your blog. So thank you, so much. Saying thank you doesn't feel like enough but I guess that just has to do. Izzy, you're wonderful, keep on going and being you and rocking it! (And also this post resonates really much with my own thoughts. Great words.)

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  2. I agree with you Izzy, no matter how 'unrestrictive' the diet is, it is still a set of rules that an eating disorder is able to feed upon. When your body is in a healthy place again, then you will intuitively know what foods make you feel good and give you energy and which do not. There is no more need for labeling, and no more infinite searching about the next diet that will make you look a certain way because you will finally be in a place where you love and respect your body no matter what. Thank you for the post!

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