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, May 20, 2016

Body adapted to certain times of eating and sensitive to weight fluctuations - after an eating disorder

Hi Izzy,
Do you think a long-term consequence of having had anorexia is really struggling strength / fitness-wise if your weight dips? Before I was ill I could easily go long periods without having food without thinking about it. Then I developed anorexia and am now at a much healthier weight again but I absolutely can't manage going without food! I eat regularly or I feel really rough - no energy, excessively hungry etc. I do a lot of exercise now and stand no chance if I don't keep on top of the food. The same goes for if my weight dips by even a couple of pounds. I feel really out-of-energy as a result.
I wondered about your thoughts on it? Is this a feature of having recovered from anorexia do you think? I know you have cf too so your nutritional needs are different anyway but maybe its a bit of a thing for people who have once been at such a low weight / starved for a long period of time?
Thanks :-)

Hello :)

This is something i have thought about/noticed as well, how as soon as i lose weight i notice it but also how unbelievably tired i get and how working out just seems pointless because i feel tired and weak. Of course this isnt so strange because weightloss happens because your body isnt getting the right amount of energy, so even if you think you are eating enough you actually arent if you lose weight. So then it is natural to feel tired, weak, unmotivated and if you have unconsciouly lost weight and might already be at the low side of a healthy weight then the weight loss isnt going to add to "motivation and energy" as it does to those who are overweight and have actively choosen to loseweight and that helps improve their health, but instead it will make you feel more tired and less energetic as the body tells you that you need more rest and fuel. So basically its natural to feel that way if you have lost weight/been eating less than your body needs for a period of time. 

But i also think it is that after an eating disorder your body is more sensitive to those types of changes, for example in the past if i lost just a little weight i wouldnt get my period for a few months as it was like my body autmatically went to an energy saving mode, even if it shouldnt happen that quickly. But i also think it is about routine/habit what the body is used to.

In the past i was always hungry at the same time and i had to eat then or i would get low blood sugar and well, those around me would have to deal with that anger and irritation. I couldnt go without food, so always had to make sure i had snacks or something with me so that i could prevent myself reaching that low blood sugar stage. Also because i realised that if i didnt eat when i was hungry either because i couldnt or thought i would "test myself" i realised that after a while the ravenous hunger passed and was instead replaced with thoughts of "good job that youdidnt eat, now dont eat dinner either".... so i quickly realised that eating all my meals was important for both mental and physical health. Now however i dont get those extreme dips if i havent eaten and i can cope with not eating at the same time, and i think it has alot to do with the body being used to eat at certain times.

Most normal people eat at different times and sometimes forget to eat or just eat a bag of crisps for lunch or grab a flapjack bar on the way for a snack etc but while in recovery you have your certain meal times and certain meals and the body adapts to that. So it is just normal that you feel hungry at the same time and want a certain amount of food when the body is used to that. But i also believe that after having an eating disorder you are more "in tune" with your hunger and fullness, you wouldnt skip a meal just because you dont have the energy to cook, or you wouldnt just grab a banana for breakfast or just not eat. Instead you have learnt to feed your body and listen to those signals as well as eating several times a day is a routine and something your body has adapted to.

It takes very little time for your body to adapt to other habits/routines though, for example if you were to decide to just eat 3 huge meals instead of 6 small meals it might just take 1-2 weeks (for some peopple longer) before your body is hungry at those times instead and has adapted to the new way of eating.

Also when it comes to exercising you will naturally be more hungry than those who dont exercise as well as often when a person is dedicated to health/exercise routine they want to eat a certain way and at certain times which then adds to the "if i dont eat at this time my body starts screaming for food - which is natural".

Its all about listening to your body. If you are hungry, eat. If you are tired, rest. I.e if you feel very tired/havent eaten/lost weight, then dont workout. And if you feel very hungry, then eat! And i think that the reason those who have recovered from an eating disorder can feel this way is 1) out of routine/habit, 2) More in tune with their body and 3) Lifestyle and the body has adapted to certain eating times as well as being more sensitive to weight fluctuations.


  1. I responded to this comment a few pages back before I realized you made a post about it (good idea, BTW, as I think a LOT of people with a history of EDs can relate to this). I'm going to copy/paste my comment here just because it probably fits better here. Although it looks like you basically had the same thoughts as me, Izzy, so we must be on the right track :)

    For what it's worth, I have noticed this same thing thing in my own life. I have been recovered for maybe 8 years, and I definitely feel differently post-ED than I did pre-ED. Particularly in the first six years, I had zero tolerance for hunger. Zero. Any amount of undereating resulted in weakness and food preoccupation. Llike if I was at work and had to eat on their schedule instead of my own, I would notice big-time my energy flagging. A busy few days where I accidentally ate less, and I would feel very depleted. I didn't know if something had physiologically/biologically changed within myself, or if it was due to my ED simply leaving me very mentally attuned to my body. Either way, it was often uncomfortable and I resented it because, since I was recovered, I wanted to be completely done with food/body awareness, but my body and brain wouldn't let me. Now that I am writing this, though, I am realizing that this has changed. So given enough time, it might change for you, too. I don't worry about having access to food, and even if I'm hungry I'm able to continue with my activities until I get the chance to eat. I feel my attitude toward eating is mostly like what "normal" people are like now. I think my body and brain have finally come to a place where they know that food IS always coming, eventually. Before, hunger could mean the oncoming of potential starvation. My body would react to that, with physical memory. Now, hunger is just a signal that I should get some food at some point. I don't carry snacks with me anymore (I used to have emergency nuts or a bar or whatever, just in case, because I hated that feeling of hunger and the weakness that could come from it), and I think my body and brain are just, finally, over it :). Now, I was sick for ten years, and then other issues caused food scarcity for several years more, so your times may vary in regards to how long it takes to normalize. There's nothing inherently wrong with being super-attuned to your body, but I personally found it really, well, inconvenient and sometimes a source of stress, so I'm glad it's over. I am now probably more attuned to my body than most people just due to the journey I've taken to get to today, but it's no longer intrusive, it's an asset :)

  2. Hi again Izzy and Liz,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. You both have described what I experience to a tee there! I find it so interesting that it may be a long term feature and that others experience it in just the way I have (including the blood sugar crashes which were awful for a while but have really settled now!) As you said,I think my body is coming to trust that it will get food again so the blood sugar dips are much less but definitely the no tolerance for hunger and lack of energy as a result remains a thing!
    Thank you both for the insight and reassurance though ��