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:


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Answers - starvation mode & metabolism, following a diet after an eating disorder

I do not have anorexia, however I have always been curious about one aspect 
of the eating disorder, the people who gain weight. Based on other websites 
I've gathered info from it seems that if you eat at all while anorexic it 
can make you very bloated and for some people not eating actually makes 
them gain weight.
My question is: how come some people get very thin (visible bones, thigh 
gap, etc..) and others actually gain weight? Are there any differences in 
the behaviour of the people that would cause them to gain a lot of weight 
as opposed to lose a lot of weight??
I hope this does not come off as arrogant or downright stupid, its just a 
question that has been on my mind for a long time, I truly mean no harm by 

Hello, i think that this is a really good question so i dont think you are being arrogant. Asking questions is a good way to get information and is encouraged. However dont just rely on my answer here, i am not a doctor so maybe someone else more knowledgable can explain it better or correct me if i am wrong.

I have read alot of different opinions regarding this. Because it is well known that weightloss or weight gain is about calories in VS calories out. So if you eat less than your body burns/needs each day, it causes weightloss. However for some eating very little actually causes weight gain, which can be seen with people who yo-yo diet, and who eat very little but gain weight. This is often due to a slow metabolism due to all the diets so the metabolism has slowed down and doesnt burn as much each day. The body can also go into "starvation mode" where the body then begins to hold onto everything you eat, it turns into fat to protected the body and organs, and so a person who eats 500kcal a day can actually begin gaining weight because their metabolism is so slow. Though for many, this doesnt make sense to them and they dont believe in starvation mode because they think of people in poor countries who are very malnourished and underweight. They dont get enough food and they are very thin, so why would people in western countries then eat too little and somehow gain weight. Its hard to understand, and because i am not a doctor or a scientist i cant really explain it in the best way either. But as i understand it, it is due to the metabolism and the bodies way of protecting itself. The body needs fat, and so it can break down muscle for energy and store all the food you eat to feel protected and safe. The lower calories you eat, the more stressed the body gets, the more the metabolism can slow down. I have read articles about people who have suffered from restrictive eating disorders or  done many fitness competitions and have eaten very little and exercised alot and their metabolism is completely out of whack. They eat 1000kcal a day, have to do several hours of exercise a day but still gain weight if they eat a little more, and this is due to the metbaolism being slow/ruined, and so a form of reverese dieting is often needed, but for some they have ruined their metabolism so much that it cant be fixed.
  This is also areason why EATING ENOUGH calories is IMPORTANT in recovery. Dont think that youc an just eat 1200kcal a day and go for an hour run everyday and just because you gain weight you dont need to eat more. You do, otherwise your metabolism will still be slow, and trust me... you will regret it. During your weight gain and recovery, that is your chance to help your metabolism recover and repair itself (as well as the body, cells, organs etc) so dont miss out on that just because you dont want to eat alot. You are doing more harm and more long term damage by tring to eat very little even though you know you need to eat alot and gain weight.

Also, when a person has been in starvation mode or eaten very little for a period of time and then begins eating again, the body gets very bloated. A lot of water goes to the stomach, as a sort of protection. Also the body doesnt really know what is going on as it has gone without food, or very little food for a long time. But that bloating will go away eventually and so will the stomach pain. The best thing to do is give the body enough food, rest and regular energy so that it can repair itself, speed up the metabolism and begin to function properly!

while randomly watching YouTube videos yesterday evening, I came across  several teenagers/ young adults that all had suffered from Anorexia or a restrictive eating disorder. They were eating a high carb low fat (sometimes raw) vegan diet which consisted mainly of fruit and sometimes vegetables. The majority of them were still very underweight (you could see the hip bones of one of the girls sticking out). I wanted to ask if they (possibly) decided to go hclf vegan so that they could in some way stay with their ED (and stay skinny) while eating "normal", as it seems hard to become overweight on such a diet. What worried me was that they were convinced that animal products were terrible for you and that some were eating a total of 3 melons for breakfast. It doesn't seem very balanced.

I have written about this before, but unfortunatly there are people who turn to "clean eating", "veganism", "HCLF", LCHF", "80/10/10" etc as a form of controlling their eating, but not being deemed as an eating disorder. Just because you follow one of those types of diets doesnt mean you have an eating disorder, but unfortunatly if someone has had an eating disorder in the past it is likely that they eat that way as a form of controlling their diet. There are still restrictions, what they can and cant eat and that gives the person control. Those types of diets arent always healthy, they dont always get the nutrients and balance they need in their diet, even if they may be getting enough energy. I think its sad when those recovering from an eating disorder still try to control their eating by some form of weird diet. They will never truly experience what it is like to listen to the body, to the bodies cravings because they still deny their body what it wants. Still try to control food to control their body. But like mentioned above, just because someone eats vegan or raw food doesnt mean that they have an eating disorder, but for some... it can be. If a person is knowledgable then they will still get the right energy intake as well as enough of all the macronutrients, but i personally dont believe that restricting a food group or macro is good. The body needs protein, carbs, fat, fiber etc even if some people feel best with more of one group and less of another, that is fine. But doing something like HCLF or LCHF is silly, the body needs both fats and carbs, not just high of one and low on the other. Those types of diets arent long term either, maybe something a person does for a few months or even ayear or two, but in the long term i dont think those last. What lasts is knowing your body, knowing that you feel best when you eat a certain way... but it doesnt have to be super strict, just knowing what food groups/food works best for your body. You dont have to count every calorie or count every macro, the body and your weight will control itself.The body is smart, but if you let your mind control you too much then the body cant do its job and its then that the weight can go up or down like crazy because the mind is doing the bodies job.

I have written some posts about this:


  1. I find it a bit offensive that sooo many questions have been posted and answered and then the questions that were asked/sent ages ago get ignored because you're not up for helping everyone. It just kind of makes one feel excluded by this selective answering. Not that it is that important I mean there's google and all, but its just that the reader's two cents worth of input on an interactive recovery blog gets selectively ignored. Anyway, before every reader jumps to attack this comment, just some thoughts!! Glad you're feeling better and more positive though.

    1. What? I don't see all the comments I get unfortunately and I try my best to answer all comments. But these were questions from my email which I thought I would answer publicly. If I don't answer a question or comment just repost it.i try my best and i am so sorry I don't get around to all questions.

    2. This isn't her job, she does from her freetime so you can't always expect an answer. You can always Google an answer or search her blog. She doesn't have to answer every question and it was rude of you to make her feel guilty for not answering everyone. Maybe you could try having a blog with as many readers and comments and see if you can answer them all before complaining that she doesn't answer everyone. This is just my input.

  2. The answers to these two questions fit this blog's topic very well. The damage one can do to their metabolism by restricting can lead to more fear of food and even more restricting... So it's definitely very important to understand how metabolism works if one wants to recover.

  3. To the person who asked the second question: yes, animal products aren't good for you, and most importantly the meat, egg and dairy industries abuse, torture, rape and kill animals. I agree, however, that 3 melons for breakfast aren't the best choice (though we don't know what they ate later). And like Izzy said, it's crucial that one is knowledgeable on how to eat for their body. Personally high carb works for me :> I don't get stomach aches and don't feel uncomfortable on the stomach. But I don't eliminate any food groups as that is unhealthy. Every body is different :)
    have a nice evening :>

    1. Thank you for writing this, I completely agree. I was anorexic some years ago and now I am a happy and healthy woman who follows a hclf vegan diet. I have been being a vegan for many years and it's the best.. both mentally and physically.
      Eliminating foods like meat and dairy because you are afraid to eat them is wrong, but eliminating them because you are a thinking and feeling human being is another thing. Moreover, hclf vegan diet does require even more calories usually than normal diets..

    2. I dont think being a vegan is wrong, infact its great for many reasons, but for me it is also important to be aware of who my readers are. I am not going to write and tell everyone to turn vegan when people are already struggling with fear foods and controlling food. I dont believe going vegan during recovery or right after recovery is a good idea - this is my own opinion, doesnt mean its right - but if someone feels healthy and wants to turn vegan for other reasons (not just controlling food intake or eliminating foods) then i think its positive. Because like the first comment wrote, the dairy and meat industry is absaloutly awful and I am well aware of this. And even if it may seem stupid i dont think i could eat the amount my body needs from a vegan diet, which is the reason i amnt vegan, otherwise i would love to be.But i struggle to eat enough to maintain my weight from what i am akready eating, which includes pretty much everything. I know what works best for my body and that includes white meat and dairy, but i try to not overconsume it anyway. Finding what works best for yourself is important, but also being honest to yourself why you eat a certain way, because i think its sad when a person wastes their life/spends their whole life controlling their food and being very scared of eating certain foods, when infact they could have enjoyed those foods in moderation and felt happier. But there are so many opinions regarding this, and everyone is entitled to their opinions, but its hard to then talk about it as well without seeming like a "im right. im best" type of thing, haha.

  4. Izzy, it is possible to be almost at my goal weight but still in starvation mode? I still thinking a lot about food, i get full after small amounts, but lately the weight gain is much slower. What should i do? I have to finish my plate even if i got full when i ate like 3/4 of it? Or i can stop when i get full? Sometimes for breakfast i get full whit only an apple. When you recommend to start eating intuitively? Lately i'm trusting my fullness cues and i find myself eating a little less, but i don't know if that's okay because i'm reaching my goal weight or if isn't okay because my metabolism still supressed in some way