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, November 20, 2015

How to eat meals quicker & eat dessert in recovery and eating with others during special occasions

I've gotten 3 comments recently regarding the topics in the title which I thought I would do my best to try to answer.  Though in the end, all those 3 things and things you just have to do.... You just have to try them no matter the anxiety beforehand or the guilt afterwards. Like all things in recovery you just have to face your fears and keep facing them until they are no longer fears. Because no one else can do that for you.

How to eat meals quicker? (It feels like you have only finished eating one meal before its the next meal and each meal takes up to an hour to eat )
While I was at Mando we had the rule that snacks should take 10-15 minutes and main meals 15-25 minutes. And I think that is a good rule to follow on recovery, that you keep trying to eat a little faster to eat roughly within that time frame.  Think like this 1) food should be enjoyed so you don't need to eat everything in 5 minutes but if you are taking an hour just to eat a snack then it is excessive. Think like this... food should be an enjoyment but also a way to give your body energy. It's a part of life so that you have energy to live. But it shouldnt take up your whole life.... if you are spending an hour on each meal (so roughly 6 housr a day more or less) then you have very little time for other things... so see the "free time" as a reward. The quicker you eat your meal the more time you have for other things...... Ask yourself, what are you getting from eating so slow? What will happen if you eat quicker? Because you will have to eat the food whether you do it in 10 minutes or 90 minutes. But also your day wont feel like "" if you have more freetime between your meals, you will also have time to digest your food so that it wont feel like food is stuck in your throat because you havent had time to digest your previous meal. The best thing you can do is try to eat a little quicker, there isnt so much other advice. You just need to make yourself do it and ask yourself why you want to eat slow? What benefit is that? What happens if you go out to eat with family or friends and everyone is finished eating their meal and you have barely made it half way? You might eat slower because then you know you can eat less and throw the rest away, but you are only fooling yourself because in the end if you dont eat it is you who will end up with the consequences. But it can also be important to realise that eating very very slow is an eating disorder habit and one that you need to get rid of if you fully want to recover. 

I also got asked about eating dessert in recovery.

When i was at the psychiatric hospital in Ireland i had to eat dessert (so breakfast, morning snack, lunch, dessert, afternoon snack, night snack). But when i was at Mando i didnt have dessert and just had my 6 meals a day. Now a days i like having something sweet after lunch if i am at home, usually it is a square or two of dark chocolate or some dates  and sometimes i even have a bowl of yoghurt and muslie or some chocolate casein. In all honesty i dont really know how to answer this question because i dont know if you were asking if it is ok or not ok. I think... if it is on your meal plan, then eat dessert. And if it isnt on your meal plan but you want dessert, then eat dessert.... because dessert can be anything. It can be fruit, bars, chocolate, ice cream, cookies, granola, nuts, yoghurt etc And its not so weird that if you eat something salty that you might want something sweet as well.

With dessert it means that you might not have a huge afternoon snack or a huge night snack, or that maybe you dont have a morning snack, you eat breakfast which fills you up until lunch and then you eat dessert as well and then later an afternoon snack, dinner, night snack. Dessert doesnt have to be chocolate, cookies, muffins... but it can be if you want it to be.

When it comes to eating out and eating dessert, for example if you are going out to eat dinner at a restaurant and you eat a 3 course meal then you can count dessert as your night snack if you want to, but dont be afraid to eat something more when you get home if you are still hungry. I've done this before, if i have gone out to eat and even though i ate a main meal and dessert it didnt fully fill me up so i ate something more when i got home. So there is nothing wrong with that and there is nothing wrong with eating dessert either. If you want to eat dessert everyday, then do that, but it can be good to vary what type of dessert you eat. So one day it might be cookies, the next day maybe some fruit the day after maybe some dates and peanut butter and the next day some chocolate covered raisins etc

I am not so sure if this answered your question or not, but know that dessert is ok :) It can be an everyday thing. And if you go out to eat, then choose the dessert that sounds the tastiest and eat that and enjoy it. Because i am pretty sure you dont eat chocolate cake with ice cream or bananasplit  etc everyday so enjoy it when you do :)

How to cope on special occasions and eating infront of others:

When it comes to special occasions and know there will be alot of food and family around it can be tough, but know that this is just an obstacle you need to overcome in recovery. And that you can get through this. I have some posts below which can be helpful and are about dealing with food comments and special occasions.

If you find that you get triggered because family mention or comment things about food or appearance then maybe you - or your family - can talk to those people beforehand. Just mention that they should stay away from making comments about appearance, weight or food. Of course you cant avoid those triggers forever, but it can make it easier if you dont have 10 people commenting the same thing all the time. It can also feel when you eat with alot of people and they know about what you are going through, that they all sit and stare at you. And that IS tough, but try to focus on eating your meal and ALSO being social. It can be easier if you try to talk with others, try to relax and not feel so stressed. Everyone else is eating and you can eat as well. Try to make conversation with people and eat at the same time, Have a mantra or some type of quote you can repeat in your head if you find it tough, or dont be scared to take a few moments to just sit and breathe if you need to, but go back to your meal and finish it and know that you arent going to let your eating disorder win. You are going to overcome this obstacle and know that you can do the same thing for Christmas celebrations. It can also be good to know what triggers you, what will make the situation tougher for you and try to have some techniques ready or some plan to make the day go easier for you. Also communicate with your family beforehand if you can, just let them know what might make the day easier for you. Know that you can do this :) Eating is normal and your body needs to eat. Try to avoid the glances you might get if family are watching you eat. Enjoy the food and try to not get overwhelmed if there is alot of food, just focus on eating what you have to and making the best of the day and not letting your eating disorder ruin the day and celebrations.


  1. thanks for this would be really helpful to know what to do when you are on a plan but that doesn't fit in i.e. you said to use dessert as your night snack. this was good to know cos being on a plan that just doesn't fit feels quite life restricting. its how to work out equivalents and what to replace with what x

    1. Well you don't need to replace you can eat dessert as extra. I mean that won't cause any harm or damage and if you do need to gain weight then it's just an extra. But even if you need to maintain you can eat dessert as extra every now and again. I don't like the whole rplacement thought I. E that if you know you are going out to eat and then you don't eat an afternoon snack. But for example if you are eating dinner at 6pm ad then dessert afterwards and you get home at 9 or 10pm then you might still be full from dinner and not be hungry for your nights snack but it's all very individual and I don't want to tell you to do one thing
      See food as enjoyment and not as something you need to compensate for or if you eat dessert you eat less of something else... dessert should be enjoyed and can be an extra :)

    2. thanks its really hard when I've been set this plan that i must follow where the amounts are like massive and i don't know whether this is a normal portion and just me or what I'm so confused

    3. If you've been set an amount then that sin what your body needs. Forget about what is normal and focus on following your meal plan and getting your body and mind healthy :)it might feel like you are eating alot but you are just eating what your body needs :)

    4. thank you sorry x

  2. could you do a how to survive christmas post, food, drink, no exercise, different structure to day, staying over at family house etc.

  3. I was the one asking about eating meals quicker - I'll try my best to eat quicker. Meal by meal. Day by day. Week by week. It's still hard and I got comments on me eating slow today, but that's just another reason for me to work on that: to not get those stupid comments anymore.
    Thanks :)