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: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

Translate

Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday 29th February - Tired and just trying to get through the day & todays dinner and yesterdays lunch

Hello :)

Today i guess you could say is an "extra day" considering that it is a leap day!! And tomorrow it is already March... think, when March is over then 25% of the year has already passed? Maybe a good time to start thinking, is the year going as you want it to... are you trying to reach your goals?

Today had not been the best of days for me... infact when i woke up i knew that today wouldnt be that great a day. Infact i lay in bed for 10 minutes after turning my alarm off and contemplated whether i should just skip my classes today as i was not excited for school at all.


Hahahah, pretty much my thoughts this morning!!

But i got myself together  and got ready and headed to school where i mostly felt like sleeping and didnt feel so great at all. Just an overwhelming tiredness in a way and a heavy body, and a lack of concentration all day. But i made it through my lectures and ive answered almost all the emails i said i would answer on Sunday, so just a few more to go!
Finally at 3pm it was home time and i headed to the store to get a few items and i also found vegan chicken, which i have tried for my dinner. My opinion on it? Well it doesnt taste like chicken and it tastes kind of weird, but it wasnt horrible... but i would prefer to just eat tofu.


Supposed to be eating smaller meals for the sake of my stomach and digestion... but that isnt working well at all. Infact im pretty much just eating 3 big meals a day, hence why i am  not writing any food diaries either, as i do think eating smaller meals frequently is generally better. But at the moment this way of eating works for me.

This evening ive got two articles - 50 pages about sugar and sugar addiction to read, and i am actually quite excited to read them and see what the proffessors have to say about that, and then also prepering for my seminar on Thursday as well as lots of note taking. So a study filled evening, but its interesting so it isnt so bad, and i am filled with energy now so much easier to focus and concentrate!!

I hope you have all had a great Monday and maybe this evening set some goals for March, and things to look forward to :)

Below: Yesterdays very late lunch when i got back to my apartment before having to spend my evening studying and doing group work.




Eating and living - A recipe book for eating disorder recovery – by those who have been there

I was contacted by Francesca Baker a few months ago and she told me about a recipe book she was creating where the purpose was to help those struggling with an eating disorder to share recipes and to promote the message of balance. And that no food is good or bad. This book can help you with recipe ideas and also gives balanced meal ideas which are helpful while in recovery. The money raised from the book sale will also go to the charity B-EAT. So if you are interested you can check out the book HERE:


I have seen a sample of the book and i can say it looks very helpful and can be a great resource with some great recipes!!


For more information  
https://eatinglivingrecovery.wordpress.com/  
Contact fbaker@live.co.uk 


Key details  Title - Eating & Living – Recipes for Recovery 
Author - Produced, edited and curated by Francesca Baker 
ISBN - ISBN-13: 978-1518760167 ISBN-10: 1518760163 
List Price - £10 paperback $15 paperback 
Categories - Health, Food, Wellbeing, Recipe 
Format  Paperback 
Retail outlet – Amazon  
Publication Date - February 2016 
Publisher - Francesca Baker © 2016. All rights reserved.   
Edition - 1 
Keywords - recovery, eating disorders, health, recipes, wellbeing, nutrition, recipe book, cooking, self help, food 
Language - English 
Territory – Global 


Short Description 
Eating & Living is a recipe book for those in recovery from eating disorders – by those who have been there, with profits goings to eating disorder charities.This collection of recipes has beenshared by people who are recovering or are recovered, carers, friends and family of sufferers, professionals and health experts – and each of them has told their story as to why this recipe matters to them.Born out of conversations by patients on an inpatient ward, it is testament toresilience, hope and belief that recovery is possible, and the importance of physical and emotional nourishment. In a simple and safe format, the book provides balanced recipes meeting nutritional needs, and offers support with grocery shopping and planning meals. Guidance has been approved by registered dieticians, to support readers in feeling confident when following the recipes. 

Wanting to eat intuitively but having stoamch pain/intolerances/allergies

I thought this topic: Wanting to eat intuitively but having stoamch pain/intolerances/allergies  was important to write about because of all my recent stomach pain and all the new guidelines i have been told to follow.

I believe that intuitive eating is best and that following diets or counting calories or macros is a waste of time. Of course eating intuitively shouldnt mean overeating or undereating everyday, but being able to listen to your body and eat the right foods for your body and your healthy but also knowing that a treat here and there is nothing to feel anxious over. Eating intuitively should be sort of "free" and not so much thought about eating.

But recently i have been given alot of guidelines of what to eat and how to eat and sort of takes the intuitive away from it. Not eating big meals, not eating certain foods, not eating at certain times, not being able to eat some favourite foods etc etc and it definitely isnt fun for me. Though it takes my stomach pain away so it is worth it. 

However what i wanted to write about is that, if i was given all these guidelines and rules (well not really, i always have a choice over what i want to eat), and had to think more about what i eat, after recovery i dont know how well it would have gone.I know many people develop a sort of fear of certain foods if they get alot of stomach pain or other pain from the food, which isnt strange... i mean who wants to eat something that gives them pain? But i dont have that fear, i know that i can eat all types of food... just that some food will leave me in alot of pain, but i can still eat them and deal with the consequences. But i dont know how i would have done or whether i would have truly recovered from my eating disorder if i had to constantly think about all the things i think about now...then it would still have been so many rules regarding eating and what i can and cant eat. And recovery from an eating disorder is about taking the focus away from food, finding other things in your life to focus on... but that is not always the case.

For example if you have food allergies or intolerances, then you do have to think about that or if you have thing such as IBS, gastritis or just a sensitive stomach. But you learn to deal with it and suddenly it wont be such a big deal, but in the beginning when you need to make all the changes it puts alot of focus on food.

I can say that if i had all this pain and given all these guidlines during recovery or after recovery it would have made it alot harder to eat intuitively, because often i feel nauseous and not hungry and most likely would not have eaten, but now atleast i know better and know i need to eat even if i dont feel so hungry. But also, those years i learnt to find balance and find peace and moderation with all types of food. Not have the black or white thinking and be able to face fear foods, i was able to take the focus away from food and eat because my body needed it and because i enjoyed it.

Though that can still be done even if you have certain stomach problems, it just means that you need to learn what your body feels best from and what might cause pain, and even if that might take some time, it is fully possible to eat intuitvely - within the foodrange that you can eat - and also to not have food as a main focus. I mean just a few years ago if you had celiac or were lactos intolerant then it was almost impossible to find gluten free foods or lactose free food, but now in Sweden anyway there is a wide range of both types and so many products as well as in restaurants and cafes they can often make gluten free or lactose free options. And that makes eating and daily life so much easier for those who have those allergies/intolerances.  But also now there are many different types of medications that can help for dfferent problems.

It is important to know that in recovery there will be alot of bloating and some dicsomfort and fullness feelings, but they should pass after a few weeks/months. After a while those things shouldnt be a problem, but if those things continue for a very very long time and you can connect the pain or discomfort with certain foods then you can get it checked out. The hard thing though when recovering is knowing whether its justnormal bloating and your bodies digestion system trying to adapt or whether it is an actual problem/food intolerance. But that is something you will figure out eventually hopefully!

Having stomach pain is a discomfort but it can be sorted out and it wont be that way forever, just dont stop eating. .Instead find what works for your body and your stomach, but dont make food your whole focus either.  Instead try to connect the dots and find what works best for your body and once you have done that it is much easier to be able to eat freely (with what you can eat) and not have food as a huge focus.

I know this post is a bit of a mess, because i sort of lost my trail of thoughts half way..... but if you have any advice or been through something similar then comment below and maybe give advice to others who might be struggling or such!

Your eating disorder changes you

Alot of people worry about after recovery. Wondering how to get back to their old self? How they will look? How they will feel? Worrying because they will weigh more than their pre ED weight.

But the fact is, you won't be the same as your old pre ED self. Think of everything you have been through. There is no way that you could go back to being the old you. You have changed, gone through events and experienced new things. But also your weight, it won't be the same because time has passed. You can't expect to weigh the same weight you did when you were X years old. But also after an eating disorder your body needs to weigh a little more to feel safer and function properly.
   
Life is also about creating yourself. You might find new hobbies and interests, your personality might change a little just like you might not enjoy certain things anymore.  You change. You will be different. So stop aiming to be the person you were before your ED.  Because you won't be. You can't go back to the past, you can only move forward. So focus on creating the new you. The person you want to be!!!




 I tried to find photos of me before my eating disorder, but i dont really have any. These are sort of pre ED pictures.

So young, not really knowing what awaited me. But it was at this time that i began thinking more about my future, worrying about my CF and i stopped taking my CF medications which was sort of the first step towards a very deep, downward spiral.

But what i wanted to show was that, this was the old me. The younger me. I really didnt weight so much at the time so when i was told at Mando that my goal weight would be higher than it was at this stage it felt like someone had punched me. I didnt understand that 1)I had grown a cm or two and 2) I was several years older so of course i would need to weigh more.

During my recovery i never longed back to the girl i was before, i didnt like her. She was shy, very low self esteem, worried too much about everything and got anxiety, i didnt dare step outside of my comfort zone. I didnt want to be her anymore and i had almost forgotten how i was when i was deep in my eating disorder. However i did long back to being a 5 year old, wanting to run in the fields, have my mum and dad take care of me, not have any worries or go to school or stress, think about my body or have anxiety. I longed back to being a child - but i had to realise that 1) I will never be a 5 year old again and 2)Life is what i make it. Life doesnt have to be bad, i just have to make it good!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Tips to "love yourself"

Recovery takes time

Something which i think most people - who are trying to recover or have recovered - will agree on, is that Recovery takes time.
   
When i first got admitted to the kids psych ward, i remember them saying 2 months minimum... but they said that in those 2 months, i would have permissions home and start living my life... In 2 months? not really.
  After a month in there though, they started talking about something like 6 months minimum as an inpatient.... i was still on complete bedrest and was then put on NG feeding.
   After 8 weeks of that treatment, which was just having the opposite effect on me. My family and I moved to Sweden where i was admitted to Mando.
   When i started there, i remember hearing that one girl, who was an inpatient at the time had only been there c.a 2 weeks and she was about to become a day patient... so i then thought... 2 weeks. Ill be out of there.
  That wasnt the case for me.... i think in totoal over 1,5 years i spent 7/8 months as an inpatient.... Not exactly 2 weeks?
  ¨
When you start recovery, you think... fine. Ill eat again. Ill gain weight... ill be out of there in no time...
  but the truth is... when you start recovery you have to give everything, give up everything for minimum a year.... there is no quick way in recovery. There is no cheat, no short cut.... the short cut just leads back to sqaure one. Trust me.
  It can happen that after 2 months, you feel healthy... think you can do it yourself... think you can manage, you might be able to for a while, but you will come crashing down... not necessarily... i will be very surprised and impressed if someone has managed to break off their treatment after a few weeks and mange to become healthy With a healthy weight.
   
You have to go through the different stages, you have to start off slow... taking things easy. Just getting into the routine of eating. And then in time, start tackling realy life. Getting back into life.
  When you're sick, you think that when you eat a potatoe... youll gain like 2 kg... the fact is... with a c.a 2500 calorie intake everyday... you might gain a half kilo a week. which isnt much.... its gonna take a few months for you to actually get to  a normal weight... and some treatment centres dont actually allow you to start doing anything, or to get back into life again without a normal weight.... 
   
I am sure most of you can agree that, you expected to be recovered and healthy after a month or so.... it usually takes longer.
  There is also the mental thing... yeah sure, you can have a BMI of 19... gained weight and have a healthy weight...that does not mean that you are healthy. Anorexia, or any eating disorder is in the head. It is a mental illness. That is something which many (who are not sick) forget.
  They think that if you suddenly eat again... or have a half ok weight.. then your healthy... NO.
  And that annoys me... because it is all in the head. If you are feeling mentally unweell, depression, loads of anxiety, panic... still hate eating but eat anyway. Then you're nto healthy, no matter what your weight.
  But working on your mental health is usually something you have to work with alot on your own. To spend time thinking positive. Writing down good things. Aims and goals. Telling yourself you look good.
 Finding ways to stop self harming, to stop thinking abotu suicide... everyone has different methods or ways... (iof anyone wants i can later write down some techniques or ways to help with anxiety or any of that...? )
   
Recovery takes time, and i am going to be honest and say... you will have to give up a year or more of your life, and focus solely on your recovery ,on your health... everything else can wait.
  And its hard to hear... but this is your life. This is your health... a year, is nothing compared to how long you will live if you recover? And think about it like this.... one year in recovery.. could stop the rest of your life being sick? How many years of your life have you spent sick? dont you want to start living now?

Doctors and staff will usually say it will take somehting like 2-6 months... and it can do that. So dont not believe them. If you are ready to recover and willing to challenge yourself, to go all out... to stand out with the anxiety and really recover... it can go quickly. If you are willing to keep being healthy...to not just fight to get out of the treatment centre and then start your sick behaviious again?

But dont ever think twice about asking for help or seeking treatment... never.
  Recovery will be one of the best things youve done in your life... the best choice you can make.
  
Even if it takes time... it is worth it (And no... i wont ever stop saying that quote!!! :) )

Saturday - cinema and sister time

Good morning :)

Its Sunday morning, currently 7.40am and i am getting ready to start my day today! On the agenda today is a workout with my sister before i head back home as i have some school work/group work to do, and then not so sure what my plan is for the evening, but if i know myself well i'll find some good series to watch and just relax as that is my favourite way to spendSunday evening before  a new week of school!

Yesterday, Saturday was a really good day spent with people closest to me! First up a workout with my sister and then i headed home before her and i got some school things done and picked up packages and ate some lunch and then my sister came home. And then the time just sort of passed, we did everything from reminiscing  on old memories and laugh about them, instagram stalk people, listen to music and just goof around. If there is one person who can always make me laugh it is my sister... even when i am angry or sad she can manage to make me smile!! We've always had a good relationship but in a way the sibling relationship is usually best when you dont live in the same house hold because then you spend time together when you want to. Im sure others might have experienced this with their siblings before as well?
  Anyway, after that we headed to a shopping forum where my boyfriend met us and my sister went off to do her things and my boyfriend and I went to a cafe before we went to the cinema where we saw Deadpool. I know there has been alot of hype about the film and many people say that its the best, but i guess i am not so much of a marvel fan so i didnt think it was that great. I guess i just find it very hard to watch all the violence in films and then when they try to make it comical... though thats just my opinion. Seeing action films and films where there is lots of violence isnt my preference so to say, but i've seen the film now anyway :) Has anyone else seen Deadpool, what did you think of it?

After the movie we headed back to my boyfriends place and just had a cosy evening as today I am heading back home again!  It has been a nice weekened, but mostly because i spent time with people i care about and enjoy spending time with. But home doesnt feel so much home, i sit there and dont feel like i can relax and it doesnt help that my room has begun to be a storage place, hahaha. But that was something i had expected so it doesnt really bother me. Its better that my room is being used for something rather than an almost completely room!! Though apparently Daisy goes in there during the day and sleeps in my bed or just walks around my room, sort of waiting!! :(

Anyway, my train leaves soon so i need to wrap this post up before it gets any longer :) I hope you all have a great Sunday, do you have any plans today? :)




Saturday, February 27, 2016

If you enjoyed your day its not a day wasted

I feel like for "young" people now a days there is such a pressure to always be doing things. That Friday and Saturday evenings need to be spent out partying or out with friends or doing something. That you always need to be busy and doing social things, never saying no to social events.

At times i have been told by my family that i am "wasting my life" because i dont do so much. And i am aware of the fact that my life is pretty boring, i dont do so much and i enjoy being at home. I enjoy calm evenings by myself and just watching a series, that is relaxing and enjoyment for me. And i go to bed with contentment. Even after a day of two of not doing much i still feel i have enjoyed my day. I dont feel the need to always be doing things or always out and meeting people, i dont feel the need to always be around people. I enjoy my alone time, but of course i dont mind being around other people and socializing as well.

I know there are times when i might not feel like going out and meeting people but i do anyway, because i know that once i meet them i will have a good time. But then there are other times when i force myself to social situations or to meet people when i really dont want to and then i just have an awful time and i would have had a better evening if i had just stayed at home.

And i wish more people would realise this. That life isnt wasted just because you dont go to all the social events or because you enjoy spending time at home. If YOU enjoy what you do then its not time wasted. Though of course if all you do is sit at home and watch series and wish you were out doing other things, then its up to you to make  a change so that you dont feel like you are just wasting away your day and your life by doing nothing. But if you are content with having evenings on your own or just watching series in the evening, then thats ok. If it makes you happy!!!

I believe in having the balance, that if you you spend all your time alone and never meet people or never go to social events then thats not so good for your mental health either. You do need some type of social life, even if that means going for coffee with your mum, sister or father every second week. Just meeting people and getting out of the house every now and then. But you dont have to feel like you are wasting your life if you enjoy being on your own and prefer to spend evenings alone or at home most of the time, that is ok as well.

Its about being honest with yourself and knowing what you enjoy and being ok with what you enjoy. You dont have to go out and to things all the time just because others tell you to. It is ok to enjoy your evenings on your own! If you enjoy your day it is not a day wasted, and remember sometimes the best thing you can do is just to spend a day not doing much at all!!! Maybe not spend your whole life doing nothing, but sometimes a day or two where you do little can be beneficial, and other times you spend a few days/week out and about and socializing and enjoying it. That is the important thing, to enjoy what you do. And sometimes force yourself out and know that you will have a good time, its just the initial getting ready and leaving that is the hardest!




Answering emails on Sunday!

To anyone who has emailed me recently, i am sure you have realised that there hasnt been much of a reply. And i apologize for this, but i havent answered anyone. There just hasnt been the time or the energy for it, and i have also deactivated the syncing of my blog email to my phone so that i dont feel stressed seeing the unread emails pile up.

But i thought that on Sunday afternoon i would take some time to reply to as many emails as i can, and give you the chance to ask any questions you may have or if you need any advice or just want to talk :) Or if you just want me to reply, haha :) So hopefully Sunday evening i will sit down and reply to all the emails i recieve and the emails i have receieved the past week or two. But the emails before February i will just mark as read, and i am sorry for that but its almost a month later and i dont know how useful my reply will be now. So instead resend your email if i can still help you :)

But of course know, that commenting on my blog will usually give you a quicker reply either from me or a reader :) But sometimes you have triggering stories or other things which you want to send to just me, and thats ok to :)


I hope you all have a lovely Saturday and hopefully i will get the chance to post again today :)


Recovery questions - linkbacks to old posts

A while back i got this question and its questions which i have answered before so i thought i would do a bunch of linkbacks so if you have similar questions you can look back on those questions :) Hopefully this helps, and i am sorry it has taken so long to reply!

And if you have any more questions, want me to clarify something or write about something just let me know :)

I would be interested in posts on how to know when to increase your diet. Like how many weighins do u need before u up it again. 

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2016/01/calorie-increases-in-recovery.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/03/answer-mealplan-increase-fear-of-rapid.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/09/calorie-intake-in-recovery.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/03/increasing-my-calories.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/12/answers-it-important-to-talk-to.html (weught gain and meal plans)


Also what to do if you're hungry but you cant eat more because you're putting enough weight on as it is. 

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2016/02/extreme-hunger-already-gaining-weight.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/02/fear-of-continuing-to-gain-weight-after.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/09/maintaining-weight-at-low-calorie-intake.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/10/feeling-greedy-fat-or-lazy-in-eating.html

How to deal with flutuations in your weight.

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/11/weight-fluctutations.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2013/02/how-to-cope-with-weight-gain_3.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/10/disproportionate-and-rapid-weight-gain.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/04/gaining-weight-after-anorexia-what-to.html

 How to cope with sitting when return to work/study and cant exercise. 

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/04/exercise-addiction-not-wanting-to-sit.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/05/how-to-be-ok-with-sitting-down-eating.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/02/restlessness-and-feeling-like-you-have.html

Meal ideas for those earlier on in recovery as well as for maintenance.

You can find meal inspiration here:
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/search/label/lunch%20ideas
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/search/label/snacks

I cant really give you any meal plans but below are some posts about maintaing weight and also my meal plans in recovery:

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/09/my-meal-plan-in-recovery-vs-how-i-eat.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/02/meal-plan.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2016/02/how-to-eat-to-maintain-weight-after.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2012/08/how-to-maintain-your-healthy-weight.html

 Anxiety thats a huge one, i feel so much anxiety at the moment, its crippling and making me want to retreat cos i fear something bad might happen. Is it hunger or anxiety im feeling.

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/07/anxiety-self-help-post.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/03/how-to-cope-with-evening-anxiety.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/04/calming-gifs-for-when-you-have-anxiety.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/09/get-comfortable-with-being-uncomfortable.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2013/01/alternatives-to-self-harm-and-things-to.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/03/eating-without-guilt.html


How to deal with eating more/fear foods and the guilt and greed u feel. 
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/10/feeling-greedy-fat-or-lazy-in-eating.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/03/facing-fear-foods.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/02/facing-fear-food.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/09/facing-fears-and-restrictions.html

What do other people think when see u eat, your body changing. 

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/01/worrying-about-what-others-think-about.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/07/eating-in-public.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/03/eating-even-though-others-arent-hungry.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/12/dealing-with-food-and-body-comments.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/05/dealing-with-comments-being-told-you.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/12/getting-comments-about-your-appearance.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/02/getting-food-comments.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2014/03/how-to-deal-with-unsupportivemean.html

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2016/02/seeing-your-body-change-eating-disorder.html

How to cope with losing your identity, who am:

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2016/02/you-are-not-your-eating-disorder.html
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/10/finding-your-identity.html




You can also check out this post:
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/2015/05/helpful-posts-for-eating-disorder.html

Or my FAQ:
http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/p/faq.html





I know this post is just a bunch of links to old posts, but i thought it might be more helpful rather than me writing answers to all those questions again :):) But of course, never be scared to ask questions. Sometimes it takes a while for me to answer or i need to be reminded of the question 3 times, but i try my best to help you all :)