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: email@example.com
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Recovering from an eating disorder doesn't mean working out and following a plant based diet and doing morning yoga and drinking kale detox smoothies
Doing those things above - eating a plant based diet, drinking green smoothies and doing morning yoga, they arent bad and there is nothing wrong with that. But i feel like in alot of the recovery communities online those who recover do it just by eating vegan and doing alot of exercise. And no, there is no one right way to recover, everybody recovers differently and that is ok. But for me personally i dont believe that eating a vegan diet and doing lots of exercise while recovering from a restrictive eating disorder is going to help you fully recover. It's still a way to control your eating and your body shape.
I get it, you can enjoy exercise. There is nothing wrong with that, but you also have to accept that if you are underweight, you shouldnt exercise. It's togh to not do something you enjoy, but think... if you can get through the weight gain phase, then you can begin exercising again - if it truly is just something you love and not an obsession. If it isnt an obsession then it shouldnt be so hard to stop, because you know that being allowed to do something you love can be a goal for you and a motivation. But if you are obsessed... then it is extremely hard to stop because you feel guilty for being still and you begin to think you are going to get fat from not exercising. I remember while i was at Mando there was a girl who used to do alot of exercise as she was an athlete (In some form) and i couldnt understand why she found it so easy to rest.... how she could go from so much exercise to being ok doing nothing for weeks on end. And i struggled like crazy to sit down, i had the staff on my heels as i tried to walk, stand and get up every chance i had. And i felt guilty for sitting, for resting combined with the guilt of eating... but that showed that at that time my relationship with exercise wasnt healthy. It was an obsession which is why it was so hard for me to not do it because i felt that that was my way of coping with eating. And as i recovered i had to find my love of exercise again, which i had before i became sick. (Of course who knows.. maybe that girl did find it tough to rest, but i spoke to her a little and from what i gathered she didnt struggle with the resting, even if she missed her sport and exercise it was more tough for her to cope with the food and eating rather than not being allowed to exercise).
You can exercise again, but you have to realise that when you are underweight you cant and shouldnt and especially not if it is an obsession. Then you either need to completely stop or begin to lessen your exercise, because you cant keep exercising when it is a compulsion and obsession... you wont ever find the balance when you force yourself to do it because you are worried about your body changing if you dont or you feel you need to compensate for eating.
Recovery is NOT about turning into a fitness freak and gym rat. You might think i am hypocritical for saying that, but what i want to get at is that the way i live is the way i have choosen to live and enjoy living my life. That doesnt mean that once you recover from your eating disorder you have a lifestyle like mine.... no, you find a lifestyle that works for YOU, that makes you happy. You DONT have to join a gym, you dont have to workout once you recover. That is a choice you make if you enjoy it, if you dont... then thats ok as well. You dont need to exercise to maintain your weight, you can eat the amount your body needs and maintain your weight that way and you DONT need to change or shape your body either.
And when it comes to veganism, it doesnt have to be restrictive and i dont have a problem with veganism however i dont think people should turn to veganism while recovering from a restrictive eating disorder. Because then it still becomes a very restrictive diet. I mean fine if you want to drink soy milk instead of regular milk or use soya yoghurt instead of normal yoghurt or eat quorn instead of red meat... but when you are recovering from underweight then your body needs all types of food and nutrients and eating lots of fruit, vegetables, beans etc might be hard for your body to digest (ok i know non vegan foods are also hard to digest...). But i generally feel that veganism is just a way of controlling your food intake and eating safe foods. Can you honestly say you are vegan because of the animals and the planet... and not just because you dont want to eat certain foods or are scared of certain foods?
I mean if you really want to be vegan, then do that once you are weight restored and healthy mentally... then you have the rest of your life to be vegan, thats your choice. But during your recovery and weight gain, try to eat all foods and face fear foods. Just eating a plant based diet or eating some type of HCLF or Raw food diet while recovering from a restrictive eating disorder... it just doesnt work for me. Its a way of compensating, saying..."sure i'll eat, but i'll only eat certain foods and they are only safe foods and i would like to only gain 0,1kg per month etc etc etc" but thats not how recovery works. Recovery is about facing your fears, overcoming restrictions, finding health and balance and happiness. NOT controlling your food intake obsessively, not trying to shape and change your body, not trying to compensate for eating and not letting exercise take over your life.
Dont let some social media accounts where people who are "recovering" are eating child size portions and working out what seems obsessively (of course, who am i to judge). Of course recovery is different for everyone and it takes time and there are different stages, but dont think that just because others are exercising that that is what you should do as well or just because everyone else is eating protein powders and questbars that you need to do that in recovery as well. If i am honest, i sometimes think that following a bunch of recovery accounts can do more harm than good. Because it can make you stuck in the "recovery identity", scared to actually fully recover because then you arent "recovering" you are recovered. But also because some accounts are very triggering and shouldnt be saying they are recovering when clearly they arent. (And of course, i have been one of those who has done that... said i was recovering on my blog when i clearly wasnt and people called me out for it. They told me i had lost weight in the photos i had posted and that my food diaries showed just how little i ate. And at the time i hated those comments, but now i realise that it was the truth but i was so stuck in my illness that i couldnt see it myself and i was trying to fool myself that i was actually recovering just because i ate even though i exercised to compensate and ate extremely little).
I know this post is long and not so "to the point". But i want you all to understand that recovering means facing your fears, stepping outside of your comfort zone, NOT compensating and compromising with your eating disorder and still holding onto your eating disorder. You want to break free and that means fear, anxiety and guilt but it also means you get stronger!!