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:


Sunday, April 24, 2016

There needs to be better treatment for post weight gain recovery from an eating disorder

Something which i think needs to develop is the follow up treatment of an eating disorder. Because its not just gain weight, reach a healthy weight and live a healthy life. That is not how it works, recovery is so much about the mental progress and reaching a healthy mental stage but also about making lifestyle changes. Weight gain is just a small part of recovery and not everyone who has an eating disorder needs to gain weight, but its the thoughts that need to change.

The treatment i went to - Mando in Stockholm they have a 5 year follow up program which i am still going to, but its just one visit each year and i have one visit sometime in autumn and that is either my last visit or second last visit and then i am no longer a patient for them. However that follow up treatment is more for their statistics rather than to actually help, or that is how i feel anyway. I mean sure you fill out some questionnaires and you eat a meal there and you get weighed, but even when i struggled with depression i never felt like i could talk to my case manager there because i just wanted to be free and i didnt want to go back to treatment so its easy to say that you are fine and everything is fine and then after 2 hours you leave there and know that you dont need to go back for another 6 months. However many treatment programs dont even have that follow up treatment so i do think its good, because if someone has lost alot of weight they cant really hide that when they go back and have to get weighed, so it is good that they have the follow up treatment. Though what i wish is that in treatment they talked more about post recovery and going back to school, going back to living life and socializing. Dealing with stress, dealing with life....

Just because you recover doesnt mean that all your problems are gone. Its just like when people try to lose weight and they still hate themselves even after the weightloss or all their problems are there, and that is because you need to work on the actual problem, and that is part of recovery. You need to work on the actual problem but that often needs help as well, such as therapy to realise what the problem is and to get advice about how to fix that problem or overcome that problem.

It is hard to talk about and give advice about life after recovery because it is so different for everyone and whether you are truly mentally recovered or not. But while i was in treatment nobody ever talked to me about how i should eat when i was recovered, whether i needed to decrease my calories, whether i should exercise lots or not exercise at all, nobody talked to me about how to love my body or how to cope with stress, nobody helped me to get back into life... instead it was basically just going from being an inpatient for a year and struggling to even eat an apple on my own to suddenly being back in school and having to eat all my food mostly on my own and still struggling with all my problems such as hating my body, having low self esteem, not able to cope with emotions... all of that was still there and i had to learn to cope with those things on my own. I have grown from that and learnt alot and become stronger, but in a way i wish that i had gotten help with it as well.

I wish someone had talked to me about the fact that finding balance with food is hard, finding balance with exercise is hard, that if you have struggled with restrictive eating it is not uncommon to end up struggling with binge eating.  But no one did help me with that, they focused on giving me a meal plan and making me gain wright and the rest was up to me.... I managed, but it was a struggle.

With my blog though i try my best to help all of YOU to answer some of those questions about after recovery. Because it is scary, it is unknown... you want to know how your metabolism will work, whether you will keep gaining weight, how you should eat, how you should exercise, how to love your body, how to cope with school, how to socialize... so many questions and nobody really gives you the answers, but i try my best to help. Because i know how it feels to be in the dark and scared and you just want someone to give you advice. But then again i guess thats life, nobody really has the answers and we all just have to keep going and do stuff even if we have no idea what the results will be. But it usually turns out ok at the end!!!

But back to the start, i hope that treatment programs begin to develop to offer better treatment, care and help even for those who dont need to gain weight or those who have reached a healthy weight. And also get better at answering questions and giving advice and not just saying "eat this, rest and eventually go back to school or work", because that doesnt help so much.

In general i think treatment needs to improve for eating disorders, i was lucky that i got to go to a specialized treatment for eating disorders and was also put on the priority list, as well as health care being free for those under 18 here in Sweden, so i am very lucky and thankful. Because i know how it is very different in other countries as well as waiting time for eating disorder treatment being long (At mando there was a waiting list of around 6 months, but as i came from treatment from Ireland and everything had been arranged and i was in a critical stage i only had to wait 2 weeks before i was admitted. But one thing which i noted when i have talked to others at Mando is that some waited several months before they recieved treatment - after doing the tests at Mando - and they were also in critical stages, but there just wasnt enough staff for them to recieve help, or there were enough beds for them to be inpatient, and that is scary. Because in just a matter of a few weeks health can deteriorate. ) So in the future i hope that treatment improves and also treatment to help people truly recover and not just let them go because they are a healthy weight!!

^^I know which lifestyle i prefer ;););)


  1. I was just thinking of the same thing!! I had anorexia for three years, and then once I started gaining weight, everyone was suddenly so happy and just thought it was going fine. But not at all. I still suffer from binge eating and purging tendancies, and I have so much trouble with anxiety, depression, and body image. I was looking for places for treatment, but they are either too expensive - which is another problem (people considering mental health less important) - or just for underweight/emergency patients. And people think that because I am a normal weight, I can't have an eating disorder, although that's obviously not true. So, yes, I definitely agree that there need to be more centers or help for people recovering and gaining weight.

  2. I agree completely, and I wish I could think of practical ways to help people too!
    Your blog is super, and so are you

  3. great post izzy - and this something i feel really strongly about too. When I finished my inpatient treatment, the hospital services offered me nothing which would help me to cope with the weight gain. I hated my new body and it wasn't long before I had relapsed. It feels as if I achieved nothing by going into hospital, the emphasis was all on the weight gain..and when I finally did come out, because I was at a "healthy" weight people would look at me and think I was cured, but of course, I wasn't. And I completely agree with the comment above..treatment is so, so dear and this makes it so hard to seek proper

  4. I've been wishing and worrying both about the same things... I'm technically out of recover, at a "healthy" weight, and am exercising again, but those are all physical things. People who have experienced an eating disorder themselves understand, but otherwise, it is only the outside stuff that other people consider. The biggest problem for us going through recovery, in my opinion, is getting a grasp of our mental state. Most of us have also had to deal with the eating disorder for so long, that we're so used to it we don't understand the separation point between rational, healthy thinking, and still being in the eating disorders for of "good" thinking.
    ALL THAT TO SAY, that I totally agree with you Izzy. I read your post regularly and you've really helped me to get where I am now. There really does need to be a change in the way that people after physical recovery are treated afterwards, so that there is a smaller chance of relapsing -in any way possible. Its all a mental thing, unfortunately, the physical stuff is the side effects. I'm still coming to terms with all that...

  5. This post is so true. I think that, in general, there is a lot lacking in the after-care of mental illness treatment. I think this is largely due to funding issues, as most every professional does know that real recovery requires a long and intensive process of treating the roots of mental illness. Most treatment facilities just provide short, intensive treatment of symptoms, and then release you to the wolves. Getting better within the safe bubble of a facility is really the easy part - it is STAYING better outside that is the true challenge. This is a major reason why relapse rates are so high, and also why people become "institutionalized". It is simply easier to stay inside. In my experience, aftercare has been just a cursory plan set up before treatment ends, with zero follow-up or follow-through. True recovery, post-treatment, was an arduous, largely independent, painful, confusing, and fearful journey, full of missteps, mistakes, backslides, and blind groping.

    Anyone truly seeking recovery should do the work to prepare themselves for the reality of "life after". Set up a strong recovery program for yourself, or with the help of a professional. Some ideas include support groups, individual counseling, CBT/DBT counselling, 12 step groups (or similar), independent workbooks, online recovery forums (careful with this one though!), aftercare helplines, and accountability with family or friends. These are just some ideas off the top of my head, there are many more out there. you often need to search these out for yourself, advocate for yourself, and assert what you need. Real recovery is addressing more than just the symptoms - it is not weight gain, or weight stabilization, or abstinence, or what-have-you. It is the changing of your basic thought processes that feed into your obsessive and compulsive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It takes more than a few weeks or months of supervision to accomplish this. These self-destructive tendencies were not developed within a few weeks - they were built over a lifetime. They will take time to undo, and it takes times to learn new ways of thinking and living. DON'T SETTLE FOR HALFWAY RECOVERY! Don't settle for only symptom remission. Demand a full recovery from yourself, and be willing to do the footwork to achieve this. Find joy in the journey of learning about yourself and discovering a new and better way to live. Have faith in the process, but make sure there IS a process!! Recovery doesn't stop when active or intensive treatment stops. Recovery is not based on a number. Continue working, continue seeking, because the results can blow your mind :) Don't let the unfortunate limitations of our current mental health systems hold you back from the true beauty of what's out there. It's scary, and hard, but we need to do the work. GET YOUR AFTERCARE IN ORDER, IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE!

    Thanks for this important post, Izzy :)

    1. ^^oops, sorry for my uber-long comment there. I'm just very passionate about the topic, and I'm happy to see some of your other readers are, too!

    2. Thank you very much to this anonymous commenter too :)
      This stuff cannot be said too often... :)