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, January 13, 2016

My weight distribution/weight gain during recovery & how my body changed from exercise

It seemed like many of you were interested in this post so i looked through old pictures and thought i would show you how my body changed during recovery. This is just my body and how i changed and there were many ups and downs. I dont know my weight as i wasnt allowed to see the number when i was weighed.

I am starting the "transformation" from 2011 just before  i was admitted as an inpatient for my last time and then my journey from spring 2011 until spring 2012 when i began to relapse, lose weight and began to restrict, binge and purge which i struggled with for a while. And then regaining weight to reach my goal weight in autumn 2012. And then spring 2013 when i began to strength train and some changes from then until now, start of 2016... just to show that 1) how i looked when i had reached my goal weight was different to how i look now, and i know it is because of exercise, even if i dont exercise to change my body... it does change my body.
  But also to show my bloat and to show that in pictures i might not look "Huge" as i thought i did.... i thought i looked like a whale when that wasnt the case, and its most likely the same for you. You think you look huge, but you aactually dont.

I took alot of body photos while i was sick and struggling,  icant really tell you why because i would look at the photos and cry but i still took them.... and then sometime end of 2013 i stopped taking them as i didnt see the point of it anymore. Of course, selfies is one thing and there are times i take "so called body photos" but its not often as i dont see the point of it.


PLEASE SKIP POST IF EASILY TRIGGERED BY "THIN" PHOTOS. OR close your eyes and hit the down button for maybe 5-10 seconds and you can see the later photos :)

From 2011-2015
(First picture been at Mando eating disorder clinic for 8-9 months. Currently a day patient and gained  X kilo. Picture on the right: roughly 25kg difference, post 10km race)

April 2011: Before being admitted as an inpatient again (had been a day patient for a few weeks)

3/4 weeks at Mando as an inpatient. And this was my morning shape (sucking in i think?)

After 6 weeks as an inpatient i was allowed a few hours at home... and of course i took body shots.
Constantly bloated

^^I am sure we all recognize ourselves in that type of photo? The bloated belly and at times you cant even see your feet? That was a constant thing in recovery and having to eat so often. But it PASSES, I promise you. When your metabolism and digestive system works properly it will pass and you will be able to see your feet again ;) Though in the evenings, most people are bloated.

And the pictures are pre lunch.

Almost 2 months after being inpatient (Dont know how much weight gained, i was allowed home again... and i took more body shots)

Sucking in vs. how i looked with my bloat.

I felt like i was alot bigger than how i actually looked. I felt like i was 9 months pregnant.... clearly not. But i was still bloated, just not as much as i thought.
And here you see... almost 2 months of regular eating and no exercise and i was still constantly bloated.

Almost 3 months as an inpatient and my body had changed quite a bit compared to how i looked before. And it was hard to accept but i was trying. And as you can see, alot of my weight went to my stomach, legs, hip and bum... but still quite tiny arms. And that was pretty much how it continued (no idea how much i weighed at this time)

3 months as an inpatient and X kilo gained and I remember when i took the photos below. It was the first time i wasnt bloated and i felt CONFIDENT. I felt happy in my body and i remember thinking, "I can accept this... i can look this way" (Though i was still underweight at this time... no idea how much i weighed)

How i looked, no sucking in and no bloating (or a little bloating.. who knows? I didnt care so much about it at this time)

End of October 2011 and i had been allowed to start school and was going to Mando once a week or once every 2 weeks.
I think i had gained between 13-15kg at this time.

I was beginning to try to accept my body.

End of 2011... school stress had begun to affect me and i had begun to eat less. I remember i got comments back then asking me if i had lost weight and i said i hadnt, but i am pretty sure i had. But i wasnt weighing myself back then.

March 2012, i had begun to go for walks and jogs ( My case manager said i was allowed).

As i was falling into bad habits i couldnt quite accept my body or accept the "fat" i had and the stomach rolls i was beginning to get.... There really isnt much fat there but at the time all i wanted to do was lose the fat.

And so with my unhealthy eating habits i began losing weight again

I look so sad and empty in that photo.... and i was at the time. I was VERY appearance focused at that time. I was too focused on my body and not happy with the way i looked.

But then in May/June, roughly 6-7 months of my relapse i was given an ultimatum. If i didnt regain the weight i would be back as a daypatient at Mando... and i really didnt want that. So i began to follow my meal plan again to regain the 6-8kg i needed to gain to reach my goal weight. I also began at the gym sometime.... as you can see, me thinking i looked "strong"...

Below, the day after being declared healthy 8-10weeks after my ultimatum. I had a BMI of 19 at the time. My healthy body that i had to learn to accept.
During those 8-10 weeks i had also managed to stop binging and purging.

^Me at my healthy weight. (Photos i took for a modelling agency)

End of 2012 and i decided to focus on strength training in 2013 (my new years resolution). I did alot of cardio at the time (still hadnt found the balance with my exercise. But also stress and too little food meant that i was bloated alot at this time, despite being active. But i learnt from my mistakes and that is the important thing).

Now im just going to post a few photos from 2013-2016 and how exercise changed my body... as 3 years could mean alot of photos, but ill just post a few.

Started 2013 looking like (left) and ended 2013 looking like (right)
The difference. More food, less cardio and more strength training on the right.

Left side: Start of 2014
Right side: End of 2014

Focus strength trainng & food & lots of intervals.

Start of 2015.
Lots of running throughout the year.
But fininshed the year doing very little cardio and focus strength training.

Ênd of 2015

Start of 2016.

I would not look the way i look if i didnt exercise. But you know what... i exercise because i LOVE being strong, being fast, being capable of doing all things. 

One thing which i hate is that when you, my readers look at me and look at my body and think, "i want to look like that as well. Is that how i will look when i recover." NO, you will look like you. The way i look NOW is because of exercise. I dont even deny that, but i can be truly honest with that fact that i dont exercise to change my body or to "Have abs" because in all honesty its just good lighting. I have stomach rolls and am bloated often if i eat things that my stomach has hard to digest, and in general i am bloated in evenings. That is normal!

But to show you that the picture above is just good lighting, here you see some of the photos i would prefer to not post.

Post food, sitting down belly.
(I.e no sucking in or fleing)

No sucking in or flexing


And here you see one of my lovely bloated bellys which i get from time to time...
Though in this case the extreme bloating (could have the above bloat for days on end) and it was due to certain foods ive been eating and my body not being ablet o digest them. So that is why im now doing diet changes and so far its working!! XD

But back to the topic..... the bloating will pass. It lasted 3-4 months for me during recovery and then my metabolims began to work properly and it was no extreme bloating until i began to over exercise, stress (stress always causes me to bloat lots). And then now, when my stomach has been having some problems.
But the bloating pass.

And the weight will redistribute, but you cant change the fact that your body naturally holds onto fat in some areas. For me its the legs, hip and but and very little on my arms. So for me, one of the main reasons i began strength training was that i wanted bigger arms and to be stronger, because otherwise my arms would still be very tiny. I didnt feel very proportionate.
The weight does redistribute and by the time you are close to your goal weight that is pretty much how you will look, unless exercise changes that.

Also need to add, that from the end of 2012 and me reaching my goal weight i now weigh about 4-6kg more than that but look very different.

I hope this was somewhat helpful and helps calm your mind with the bloating and weight gain process. Of course this was just MY WEIGHT GAIN and it is different for everyone. Not to mention that even if you weighed the same as me and were the same height you wouldnt look the same as me. Everyone is different and that is ok.

The important thing is to accept your body as it is. Learning to love your body and when you do that then you wont feel the need to change or look like someone else, but you are happy in your body!!


  1. That post is amazing and very helpful! Thank you, Izzy!!
    You are my idol (i am recovering from anorexia) and i wish i had a life like you. Really . greetings from slovenia;)

    1. I'm glad you found the post helpful :)

    2. I appreciate you being real and sharing so much about your journey. The courage to go through the process, restoring health + weight, trusting the body to find it's balance again after being treated with dignity is life changing. I have avoided it and am facing it now. Uncomfortable and also exciting at moments, to be free from fear about what will happen when deprivation or rigid rules stop. There is so much life beyond the fears of deprived thinking and living!

    3. Courage! To go into unknown territory because life beyond the confines of fear and deprivation are more compelling than the voices of mean, nasty, cruel, scared ED. I appreciate your honesty and sharing the process. It's unnerving and also exciting to step forward and say "NO MORE" to limiting food, attaching self worth to some ideas that are illogical, being small, taking up less space. I choose life and am open to the restoring process being more enjoyable than grueling!

  2. Thanks for a helpful post :D I think you currently look awesome --and if that doesn't inspire others to wanna be happy and feel confident in their own skin, I don't know what will.


    1. Naaw thank you :) happiness and self love comes from the inside. And I think when someone is happy it also shows on the outside!

  3. Thank you for this. Just a question, would you be happy in your body eve if it hadn't changed (from when you reached your goal weight?) Or did you just love your body when it changed?

    1. Great question :) ive answered this in a post today :)

    2. Hey I been having really bad acid reflux I just started to recover from an eating disorder will it eventually go away or will it stay forever ?

  4. Thank you for that post, it was somewhat "calming me down" and helpful! I am really proud of you and your progress :) (ptw) question: I know you wrote a post about increasing a few days ago, but how do you actually bring yourself to increase? I just can't bring myself to do it... Btw i am still on 800-900 cals

    1. Thank you :) well the only way is to just do it.... Because you are scared of what will happen if ypu increase, but you won't know until you do it. So start off with a 100 increase and just face the fear... there is no other way around really. Like with all fears you just have to overcome them and to face them. Otherwise they will always be fears. Stay strong, you are stronger than your eating disorder. Remember that your body needs food and needs alot.more than 800-900. Don't be scared of calories, see them as energy or happy points :) the more the better!!

    2. Thank you, You're totally right - what will hurt me is not the food, it's my ed. It won't be easy, but I know it will be worth it :)

  5. You are so, so kind to go to all this trouble, Izzy. I feel really touched. Your pictures and your words and all the love and care and wisdom in this post are moving, and a beautiful gift. Thank you. Thank you so much.
    Also, I like the shirt "Normal People Scare Me!" I can empathise with that one, for sure!

    1. <3 <3 haha I bought that shirt in NY, not sure where it is now...

    2. Hey I been having acid reflux lately not that much just I occasionally I just started to recover , will the acid reflux eventually go away or would it stay forever ?

  6. Thank you izzy (:

  7. This was so helpful. :)

  8. Thankyou Izzy for sharing your recovery journey on here. I think you are very brave to have had pictures taken of you when you were sick, I cringe when I see pictures of me at my low weight. You have proved that it is possible to come back from the illness and not only look healthy but happy as well. your journey is an inspiration to me to keep going on mine.

    1. Thank you! Well the photos don't bother me and it's not something I am.embarrswd about either.... instead proud of what I have overcome.

    2. and quite rightly so. you should indeed be proud of yourself. What you have overcome is a huge acheivement

  9. Thank you so much izzy and the last pictures thank you for sharing them. My stomach allways looks huge when I sit and I hate it but thank you for sharing. Your blog helps me so much. Xx

    1. I'm glad you like my blog :) and most people's stomach looks different when you sit compared to when you stand or lie down. It's just normal and how the body is.

  10. I needed this. I love how you show both the bad and the good of recovery, but you also do this for life afterwards. That bloating when you're healthy exists too and that the body is never constant. Even though I know this in the back of my mind, it's always nice to be reminded. xx

    1. I think everyone needs a reminder sometime. And I'm just glad I can help people and be that reminder!

  11. Thank-you so much for this! So helpful!!!
    You're a true inspiration by the way! :-)

  12. Izzy, I broke up with my boyfriend. I had progress, tiny progress, but now I feel lonely again. I put the blame on myself and I feel like I want to start starving again. My whole body is thin except my belly, it looks so big.Now i understand it was the same with you. I am trying to fight this, but can you just personally give me motivation, it will help me so much if you say it just to me...please..

    1. Dont let your break up ruin your progress. If anything, show your ex that you can get healthy and happy. That you are stronger than your eating disorder. You need your life back for you and to be happy, healthy, strong and able to live a life. A stomach is never fully flat and during recovery you bloat alot, and that happens and you need to keep eating anyway. Your body needs foood.... think of everyone else who eats and maintains their weight, how people can eat several times a day and eat all types of food and still maintain their weight. People need food to survive and you need it as well.

      Think, what great is a thin body if you arent happy or cant live a life? I have no idea why you broke up with your boyfriend, but often if you have an eating disorder that can lead to the end of relationships, and if your eating disorder did have something to do with the break up, then think about your future... do you always want your ED. Always want your eating disorder to ruin things for you, take opportunities and happiness away from you? Recovery is tough, but you can do it. You can recover and get your life back. A healthy and happy body, a functioning body is so much better than a thin and starviing body. You need to find your reason to recover and to keep fighting even when its tough. Focus on all the positives about recovery!!

  13. You look so beautiful and vibrant in your recent pictures!!! Actually, has anyone ever told you that you look like Ellen Paige (or Page? LOL I don't know). Either way, you're beautiful and inspirational. <3

  14. you are so never sugar coat things and always explain things super clearly. I've been down this road before, like you I have relapsed in the past in the middle of recovery. I know this is against what you believe in, but I became vegan last year. Honestly it was for the wrong reasons and i began to start counting cals again and exercising this lead to the B word (w/o the P word). Eventually i saw the damage i was doing with my body and I stopped exercising, got my period back and started eating fish again. Now mentally, I am much more recovered, not physically unfortunately. I am going thru this dumb bloating phase (expected). It's mostly bc im eating like a large watermelon for breakfast and then a big salad bowl-sized meal (not an actual salad, not a fan), bc eating more cals always helped me recover faster. (I lived off of almond butter back in summer 2014 and this helped me get restored in around 4-5 months). Since it's a dense food the bloating wasn't bad at the time. My metabolism is def off i can get full off of 1500 the goal is 2500-3000 and i often make it but at night my stomach HURTS. Ugh. I am now vegan for the animals and i don't follow "raw" or "raw till 4" anymore, ill have oreos and vegan mac and cheese (as long as it's cruelty free ill eat it) I just want to know that this is normal --> I never got my extreme hunger I experienced the last time! and it's been about 1 month since i started recovering again? Hope this is normal, I often wake up full from dinner...

  15. Thank you for sharing these. I was feeling really uncomfortable with my belly roll that's become a permanent fixture on my body. After reading this, I looked at myself in the mirror with similar poses and realized I wasn't anywhere near as fat as I thought I looked and felt. :)

  16. I've just been struggling with this a lot in the past few weeks,I really appreciate this post as it has calmed me down a lot! Your honesty is amazing, thank you for posting ^_^

  17. Thanks for sharing this I found this very helpful as I too have been getting the constant bloating and uncomfortable with my stomach. I have been dealing with anorexia for 4years now and I thought I was coping very well at home as I managed to put on some weight and was getting so excited about getting back to my work but then I had a relapse and started restricting my food and my portions again and my weight got so dangerously low (34kg) that I was admitted to hospital. I have been in hospital for 5weeks now and have managed to gain some weight which I now feel comfortable and happy with so I am now on my road to recovery.