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:


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Answers to questions - exercise, binge eating, eating fear foods

So my question: is it an unhealthy mindset to want to go back to the gym to get my arm muscle back, my core, my legs, be able to do pull ups again, be able to run again...basically be strong and be able to do what I used to do and have muscle. I wouldnt try and do it until I reach my physical goal and then stop, Im pretty sure I would keep going because I think it would be really fun to see how strong I can be etc. Does that make sense? I am also looking for something that I can play that would include exercise as I love that (not saying gym won't be fun but not all the time) like soccer was exercise without me even realizing it because it was so fun! I was physically strong without knowing it! 

I dont think that is an unhealthy mindset. If your goal was just to have 6 pack abs and 5% body fat  then it wouldnt be a very healthy mindset because you would still be too focused on the physical and your appearance when in recovery you want to move away from those things. Accept your appearance and know that you dont have to be the skinniest or have no fat on your body etc
  It is absolutely possible to love yourself and your body and still want to improve it, which sounds a bit like your goal. And if you have been strong before then i can understand why you would want to go back to that. For me, when i first began exercising i was a complete cardio bunny. I struggled alot with finding balance with exercise so i did alot of cardio as i didnt think i had exercised enough if i hadnt done my X minutes of cardio, but i began strength training because i felt my arms were too skinny. My body naturally holds weight in my legs, hips and thighs while my upper body was still very thin... so my main reason to begin strength training was to get bigger arms, and then i fell inlove with strength training. So having a goal such as wanting to be stronger or able to do pull ups or just to feel capable of doing things, not feeling weak (which was a strong motivator for me) are good goals. That was a long answer! And this is just subjective, some might say that it isnt good goals, but i think they are good goals and dont have to be ED related.

And exercise which doesnt feel like exercise....  there are many team sports which are exercise but dont feel like it as you are with others and just having fun. When you are doing something on your own, then you know its exercise but with others its more fun and social as well. Maybe basketball, handball (If you have that in your country), tennis, swimming (you can take group classes), pilates, yoga, running groups (those are very fun!), outside workouts (if you have them where you live), gym classes (if you find ones you like they are alot of fun! Such as spinning, Bodycombat, Bodypump, step up classes etc etc), dancing..... dare to try something new, you might find that there is one or several types of exercise which you really enjoy and can be great to do :)

P.s. if I really wanted to get my flexibility back, i.e. splits/stretches and also be able to do those awesome crazy things people do like headstands and cool shapes, what do yoy suggest? I know your mom is a yoga teacher but would yoga itself help? I'd be able to do those cool things/flexible through that? Or is there something else you suggest?
 Stretching and yoga would be helpful for that :) Make sure to be warmed up before stretching and do a little everyday or a few times each week and you will notice progress. When it comes to headstands and handstands there are great videos online you can use to help you, and if you can maybe get someone to help you or stand behind/infront of you so that you dont injure yourself. But i think yoga is great for everyone (there are many types of yoga) as it can help people to stress less, feel more calm and relaxed as well as having so many health benefits. Unfortunately ive tried yoga several times and its not something i enjoy so havent been able to commit to it. 
But the best thing to reach your goal of flexibility is to dare to try them and to keep practising - but make sure you feel "flexible" enough before trying, dont want to injure yourself because you try to do some move and the body isnt ready.

If I could just ask a quick question. If yoy have any advice. I usually eat the same meals for every meal (or certain ones I know of so it slightly varies) but that is because I know the total calorie content to eat meal. So for the longest time my breakfast has to be x amount of calories, snack x amount, lunch x amount, and so on. So whenever I get my food ready I don't have what I necessarily want but what l fit that calorie number and it can't go above. The reason is I'm scared I'll gain weight too quickly as I want it to be gradual. But it has been lije this for a looong time but I want to get out of it but I can't. I don't want to reach my goal weight and still have to count these calories and make sure every meal is the same. But then I'll gain weight if I don't aND go over. What do j do?

The first thing to remember is that the body is not a calculator... you can eat more one day and your body wont suddenly gain weight. I know it doesnt feel like it, it can feel like once you eat 20kcal more than usual suddenly you will gain 500g, but that is not the truth. You need to dare to eat more and eat differently, because otherwise you will be stuck in these routines and controlling ways of eating. It wont magically happen that you will allow yourself to eat differently or more, things wont change just because you gain weight.... you need to keep fighting those rules and control your eating disorder has. 

The first thing is to think... i need to gain weight so who cares if i gain more one week. That is not the end of the world, because one way or another you will have to reach your goal weight.

Two, what is so bad if you do gain "more" one week?

I dont know how much you are eating, but it is important to remember that in recovery you need to keep increasing your calories so that you eat around 2800-3500+ a day, eating very little while gaining weight = metabolism wont fully speed up or recover and then you will be limited to very few calories and most likely not enough calories.

The best advice i can give you is that one day decide to eat a snack which you want to eat, something you are craving. I know it can feel tough, you panic and worry how many calories you ate, did you eat too much, will you gain weight etc But fight those thoughts, fight those fears, because if you dont they will always be there and will always control you. Do you want to be 50 years old and still eating exactly the same foods and things because you dont dare to eat differently? Think of all the amazing food there is out there and how limited you are... what happens if you travel, if you need to be away from home or somewhere else? Not sure if you are in a relationship or not, but what happens if your partner wants to go out to eat or wants to cook you something for your birthday or for special occasions but you end up screaming and crying and refusing to eat because its "different" and might be more than what you usually eat. That isnt a life, that is surviving within 4 walls.
   So try to eat something different, even if you just do it 1 or 2 times a week to start off with. Try and see that nothing will happen, distract yourself against the anxiety and the fear. And then try to eat a lunch or dinner according to what you want, without measuring or counting. Break free from the meal plan and dont worry about eating "too much" because you most likely wont. Infact, when you are eating without measuring its better to add a little extra because at first you are more likely to eat less than what you need because you are worried about eating too much.

I know its tough, but think do you want to be like this forever? You will need to overcome these barriers and the fear sometime, this is part of recovery. You CAN eat more, you CAN eat differently, you just need to try.

I want to ask you (maybe a stupid questions, im so sorry), is binge eating if someone eat around 2000-2500 cal per day ? Im recovered but not fully yet, but i will :) I want to eat according my hunger but if I eat according my hunger I eat daily only 1300 cal or something like that and its bullshit. Thanks :-*

There are no stupid questions so dont worry about that :) No, that is not binging. If you were to eat 2500kcal at once and you felt you had no control and you ate and ate then that might be classified as a binge. But 2500 kcal in a while day, that is what your body needs!! :) So keep giving your body the energy it needs and its great that you know better and can eat the right amount rather than very little just because your hunger signals might not be working properly. I am proud of you :)

if you have time would you mind writing about what to do in periods of extreme hunger. i am often starving and all the info i read just says eat but i can't eat like 6000 calories like it says so wondered how to cope without eating so much. it triggers panic attacks and scares me that i may lose control and binge and also leaves me in physical pain too. thks x

 If you are going through extreme hunger from restrictive eating, then eating what your body tells you is the best... even if that means like 6000kcal. All that energy will be used to repairing your organs, and extreme hunger doesn't last that long but if you ignore it, it can end up triggering binges as you have felt this constant hunger but ignored it so then it is like something snaps and you just eat and eat and eat and it becomes uncontrollable.
   But if you feel like you dont dare to eat what your body is telling you, then atleast eat MORE. Not sure if you are following a meal plan or not, but if you are, then eat bigger portions. Add in dessert or extra to your meals, take more. Because right now your body needs more food, it wants more energy as it is trying to repair itself so give your body the energy it needs. By following a meal plan and just eating bigger portions it means you are still eating regularly and keeping routines but giving your body more energy it needs, and then when you feel that the extreme hunger is passed either keeping eating the same or go back to your original meal plan. Food is fuel and hunger means that your body needs food. Think, you have put your body through alot and it hasnt felt safe and hasnt gotten the energy or nutrients it needs, and now it is saying "give me food, give me energy, give me nutrients", its way of saying "i have been starved and now i need lots of energy to repair the damage and to make sure that if we starve again, then the body can atleast have some energy to last on": Allow yourself to eat more and see how you feel, the extreme hunger will pass eventually.

If i have missed anyones comment, then please either resend the comment or comment on the post you had commented "such as... you didnt answer my question or "look at the comment above" etc" as i dont see all comments and i dont always check my own posts :/ But i dont mean to ignore you. 


  1. Oh my god izzy I can't believe you answered 2 of my questions (the first 2)!! Thank you SO much!!!!
    You are write, even though it'll be difficult, I have to try and break free from this calorie limit I have. It's about nutrition right? Not calories.....I think I will take your advice and a different snack once in a while and hopefully continue with meals and then not count at all (I wish and hope!!). It's just difficult because I know that befote when I was healthy weight I never counted and just ate what I wanted but I maintained. That probably had to do with exercise as well which is why I think going ti the gym will help me (but I want to get strong anyway!). Is it bad to just want to eat healthy foods? Like if I want a muffin or cookie Id usually not because it's not healthy so I'd go for the fruit instead?

    Thank you again so much izzy!! You really are a amazing person!! Love you!!!

  2. A random question: do you like rice? ^-^

  3. To the anon who wrote about trying different foods & calories, this is really relevant to me too thanks izzy. What i have been trying to do is introduce new flavours or a new type of cereal so that it's still familiar but you're trying something different. it can help to break the cycle of always having the same and gets you to think about which flavour yoghurt or cereal do i fancy. was just something that is helping me so i thought i would share x

  4. Thanks izzy for answering the last question, i think you are right about increasing my portions so I'm more satisfied at meals. This is really scary but I'm going to try thank you x

  5. hi izzy i don't know if you could offer any advice but i was wondering if you had on how to cope with going over certain markers or weights that mean something. Im really struggling to get over weights that have some significance to me and thus feel I'm in a constant state of fear about increasing my meal plan as i want to gain weight but i don't want to hit these numbers. it's proving a bit of a barrier thanks x

  6. izzy, do you have any advice on meal times, i am trying to keep to a food plan but i find that i am hungry at times that i shouldn't be eating and then i feel i have to starve myself till i can allow myself to eat and thus I'm clock watching and o don't know what to do with myself as i can't concentrate and I'm in physical pain. but if i eat early say then i have an even bigger gap before i can eat again and then this is worse cos I'm in more pain then. i feel so greedy and out of control and it feels like I'm bingeing if i eat all at once or soon after. i don't know what to do maybe I'm eating the wrong foods or something

  7. the post about eating set calories was really helpful thank you

  8. I have the same problem as the 'anonymous' above regarding meal times! I have also commented on your recent post 'Monday positivity' asking for advice on weight etc, so if you could answer that too, that would be great! Sending you love Izzy!