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:


Friday, October 9, 2015

Disproportionate and rapid weight gain & weight distribution

Disproportionate and rapid weight gain during recovery

Most people in recovery experience an uneven and rapid weight gain. I experienced that I gained more weight on my thighs and stomach in the beginning, and also a massive water retention of several kilos. Bony back, spaghetti arms and a ”matching” pregnant belly, oh I looked so hot. This happens to most anorexics and goes away if you just keep on gaining and dont relapse and confuse your body even more. Now, a few months into refeeding, my stomach has somewhat gotten back to normal - I dont look 9 months pregnant anymore, my stomach actually look slimmer than when I was at my lowest weight.

The rapid weight gain on the stomach should be appreciated as it is the most important place to gain weight - it is life-saving isolation around your damaged organs (..yes, damaged. You dont only loose body fat when you starve yourself, you also slim down organs, muscle tissue - even your brain shrinks). 
Your body thinks you will starve it again soon, and gain weight to the most important places first. Water retention is a sign of healing. Be grateful for the amazing job your body does to save you!
I copy-pasted this from some helpful articles that saved me when I was in this phase, I hope it is helpful.

”Perhaps the most crucial thing to bear in mind is that the discomfort of these complications is a sign of how damaged the starved body is. The discomfort of fluid retention during refeeding, for instance, is proportional to the extent to which the body is dehydrated, and is a consequence of its being rehydrated again. There is no way round these physical difficulties, just as there is no way round those of starvation, but the key difference is that the former are a step on the road towards health, whereas the latter only mark the progress deeper into sickness. This certain knowledge makes it all bearable.”
”When you twist your ankle badly it swells up and it hurts. These are symptoms of healing. The swelling is water retention and the pain is the reaction of the tissues to that swelling that signals you to stay off the ankle and rest.
The water retention in recovery is fluid being retained in areas where a whole mess of damage is being cleaned up and removed by all those fabulous cells dedicated to the task. The fluid actually speeds up the process because things travel faster in and out that way.”
”Many of them may seem to confirm the worst fears of the anorexic, since they involve visible bloating that can look like fat deposits. Fluid retention, for example, may be an issue, with oedema around the ankles (during the day) and around the eyes (at night), and the sensation of bloating, seeming to realise all one’s worst fears about regaining weight as nothing but ‘getting fat’ (although oedema/water retention can be a feature of starvation as well).”
”The stomach is also likely to become bigger disproportionately to other body parts, which also taps into typical anorexic fears, but this is to be expected given the slowing of digestion (food can take four or five hours to pass through the stomach in a starved person, as opposed to about 1.5 in a healthy person) and the wastage of abdominal muscles during starvation. Bloating and wind, abdominal discomfort, and stomach cramps are likely as the digestive system adapts to larger amounts of food and the muscles involved stretch and strengthen. Avoiding too much insoluble fibre may help at this stage. It’s important to remember that all of these things will pass, and are not reliable indicators of what the recovered state will be.”

”Another frightening consequence of fluid retention can be disproportionately rapid weight gain in the first days or weeks of eating even a small amount more, as fluid in the tissues between the body’s cells and glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are replenished.”

”During the early days it is important not to weigh oneself too often (once a week is plenty), because fluctuations in weight can lead to unnecessary anxiety and distress. In general, weight fluctuations over the course of the day, and from day to day, aren’t negligible, so it’s important not to attribute significance to a single reading, but to assess at least three readings, taken across three weeks, in order to draw a conclusion about whether weight gain (or loss) is a trend or just an anomaly. After about three weeks of a consistently followed refeeding plan, fat will start to be deposited, in a thin layer all over the body, serving as insulation and protective padding, and helping restore hormonal balance. Then, gradually, sunken cheeks and the hollows between bones are filled in; later, in women, the buttocks, hips, thighs, and breasts will begin to fill out too (see Lucas, 2008: ch. 9). Fat distribution may be a little uneven for the first months, but gradually it will even out. Then the once-skeletal sufferer can start to rediscover what his or her healthy body looks and feels like.”

”In the underweight state, many studies have documented that body composition is severely disturbed.1,2,3 Although patients may say they “feel huge,” they do not have a disproportionate amount of fat. In fact, total body fat, as well as total body muscle, is severely decreased, consistent with the starved, underweight state of AN.”

”Water retention. Massive water retention. Water retention that hurts. Water retention that aches. Water retention that makes you look pregnant. Water retention that looks like it might be real weight. Water retention that adds 16 lbs. or more on the scale after only 2-3 days of eating recovery guideline amounts of food. Water retention that scares you. Water retention that sends you scurrying back into full-blown relapse.”

Eat, rest and let your body do the job. It knows what it is doing.


Source X


  1. the swelling for healing bit is just what i needed to help explain it thanks izzy x