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

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Do i have a food obsession? My self analysis

Every now and then i think its good to stop and take a moment and do a bit of a self analysis over your life and yourself or your behaviours. Just take a moment and ask yourself why you do certain things, are you happy, can you change anything in your life, or just take a look at habits and daily routines and do a little self analysis.

For me my self analysis is whether i have a food obsession or not. This post will be writing my thoughts as i think them, and self reflecting... so no filter, but hopefully it will be readable, but i am also writing this for my sake as well :)

So.... food is a rather big deal in my life compared to others. For some the amount of time they think about food is basically when they are hungry or get strong cravings... but even then some dont even eat when they are hungry because 1) they dont want to cook or buy food so rather not eat or 2) think they dont have time to eat so just skip eating... and thats about as far as their food thoughts go.

And then there is those who are obsessed with food... their whole life revolves around food, calories, recipes, what they can eat or cant eat. Baking and making food for others, constantly watching food programs and walking around in food stores.... food controls their life and their thoughts and they cant get anything else done in life because their thoughts are on food and they dont get their work or study done.

And then there is those who work with food, either baking food, cooking food, having to count calories or create meal plans for people or create recipes or meals for events, organisations etc They spend most of their working hours with thoughts on food, but the other time of their life/thinking time is not spent on food... or their thoughts are on what they will make for dinner, or maybe they have already meal prepped so that they dont have to think about what they will eat later and their food is already prepared, just waiting to be heated up.


Me... i am somewhere inbetween all of that.

To the outside and especially through my social media i can look food obsessed.... quotes about food, pictures about food, trying new recipes? Just shouts obsession from the outside, or so i am told.

I dont see myself as food obsessed, but then again maybe i am? A little anyway... but the thing is that food DOESNT control me, and thats the difference compared with someone who is sick/has a complete food obsession due to an eating disorder.


I do take pictures of my food but that is for social media, because it has been requested on my blog to show pictures of what i eat or do "what i ate" posts, and even been requested to make "what i eat in a day" vlogs... which i dont know if i will ever do, hahaha. I have even been requested to film while i bake and show how i cook food or bake my cakes.

And then i have an instagram which is basically just food, and that is because that is the theme of my IG. I have choosen the food theme, and now even more with my veganism i want to inspire others that vegan food isnt boring or bland, but infact can be so delicious and there are so many alternatives!!

But i am not going to say that social media or food pictures is a chore, because it ISNT. I love creating delicious food, plating it somewhat appetzingly and sharing how delicious the food is... once again, trying to share my love for food and delicious food! But i do like taking food photos, but then i cant deny that if i didnt have my social media i wouldnt actually take pictures either, because what is the point? Why have food photos on my phone if there is nothing to do with them? hahaha. And then of course, i dont picture all my food... THAT would be obsessive. I dont track what i eat or count calories or macros, so the total for the day i have no idea... but some meals i choose to share online. And compared to some, that might seem as food obsessed.

And then there is the whole "food prepping, saving recipes and baking and cooking food"... that takes alot of time. But i love it!! I love making food and baking, at the moment anyway. This goes in phases... sometimes i live off of frozen vegetables and soy products, and other times its full on meal prep for the week with different bean burgers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, soups and other dishes and the whole thing takes 5 hours to do XD And i do love baking because there is nothing i love more than freshly made home made bread or scones, or having home made dessert in the fridge or pantry just waiting to be eaten. I dont mind spending the time baking or making food when the end result is so delicious and then you know that for the rest of the week you DONT have to spend time cooking... all you have to do is make snacks and breakfast, but lunch and dinner are already prepared (and if i choose to then plate it up in a certain way and take a photo depends on how i feel). But spending 1-2 days a week where i meal prep and then have my food ready... that can seem food obsessed because then my food is "planned" but at the same time it takes away the food thoughts as well because you know when you are hungry you just heat up a food box instead of having to decide what to eat, buy the ingredients and then cook it as well....


And also... the working with food. During my coure at university i had to count calories, count energy expenditure, write a meal plan for another person, calculate another persons calorie intake from what they had written after a 24 hour food diary as well as calculate my own intake after a 3 day food diary and then write a report about that. Also i learnt about the macronutrients, how they are digested, absorbed and then used as energy.... its all about food, nutrition and macronutrients. And food is something i want to work with. I want to write meal plans, i want to help people find balance with food... and well when i want to work with food it will also mean thinking about food.

But food isnt always on my mind, even if it seems like that after this post as well as through my social media. But that is because i choose to post about those things. During my 24 hours i have each day i think about other things such as, what to wear, what i will do during the day, what do i have to do during the day, wonder what new Youtube videos will be uploaded, wonder how many people will be at the gym when i am there, wonder how many more days i can get away with not washing my hair or shaving my legs, wonder how many cups of coffee i can drink before my mum tells me to stop, wonder what my dog thinks about when she just lies there staring at me, wonder whether i should go for a walk or continue lying in bed, wonder how many hours i have spent infront of the computer during the day etc etc And all of those thoughts take up most of my time and then of course i do a whole bunch of things during the day.

But there is of course some food focus during the day such as each time i get hungry and decided to eat - and unless i have had a particular craving i just eat what is available in the fridge/cupboards.


I think i might have a slight food obsession compared to some, i cant deny that. But then again it is part of my life with my social media and with my interest actually being nutrition and food and i do watch documentaries about food and articles about the latest nutritional studies etc but that is due to my INTEREST and not obsession. But it is a very fine line, and i think if food starts to become something that controls me and controls me in a negative way THEN it would become a full on food obsession. But now it is just interest and what i like to do rather than something i continuously obsess about.


A long post, with some sort of self analysis. But i felt it was needed, and i know that i can come across as food obsessed through social media but that is because i only write about a few things online as well as food actually being requested as posts... But i think it is great with all feedback and constructive critisizm on how i can improve so that i can limit or increase posts depending on what you want to read :)




12 comments:

  1. In reading & looking at your social media, I have never felt you had an obsession with food. It is something you care about, but basically in healthy ways, and as part of your sense of calling in where you can help others also.
    I guess I would ask about "now even more with my veganism i want to inspire others that vegan food ...". That's where I get stuck: if veganism is about so much more than food, why not make it a veganism IG? I think food would be the easiest thing for me to change if I became vegan; clothes etc would be much harder. And then there are just so many other ethical issues involved in all this, eg where I live, the vegetables and fruit are mostly imported, so are the clothes, and many if not most household utensils. Even if you go to a special organic shop, much of it is imported, and the prices rocket. The import/export trade raises a host of issues of its own, not just environmental but also social and political. It gets more complicated than I could possibly keep up with. I think in the end one has to compromise somewhere with what is practical and appropriate in the society one happens to live in. But if veganism is so much more than just food, and if you want to inspire people about veganism, why not make that the theme?
    That is in no way meant to be a criticism. Nor even a challenge to be honest. I don't mind, I think you should do whatever helps you feel happy and whole, and not take strangers' comments seriously when they aren't helpful. If you enjoy food, and you're healthy about it, and you are helping lots of people ... well, you are streets ahead of most people! :) Take care, and enjoy XX And do look after yourself, and don't stress :) I hope that in writing about the ways veganism would stress me I'm not making it stressful for you too? My fear would be that it could become extreme, obsessive, impractical, and ultimately set up barriers in relating to people ... but I'm sure it doesn't have to be that way?

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    1. These are some very good points. I still dont call myself a vegan, maybe in a few years if i still keep with the vegan lifestyle, but for now i guess its just plant based eating even if i am making sure that future clothes and products will all be free from animal testing as well as i am going to do my best to make sure that the clothes i buy wont come from slaave work/factories. But of course things like imported food i cant avoid...if i want to eat anything other than just swedish potatoes and typically grown and produced swedish things i dont think eating would be so fun. Because the fun part about eating foood is trying new foods and that does involve imported food, even if i can limit my consumption of it.

      With my IG, that is only food related for now i want to show that vegan food can be easy to make, delicious and not restrictive. Because many think (and i thought before as well) that vegan food was restrictive and i would never be able to eat the right amount, but it is possible. Of course veganism is the whole lifestyle and at the moment i am not going to write about the other things regarding veganism, however i am going to mention when i buy new products and brands that arent tested on animals to share teh awareness about those :)

      I am not someone who thinks that veganism is for everyone and i dont have the belief that everyone will be vegan in the future, even if that would be great. But in our society and in the world i dont think that will ever happen, because like you say food is expensive and sure you can buy lentils and potatoes cheaply, but can you live just eating those... however veganism doesnt necessarily have to be expensive. I know online its all about fresh fruit and dates and spirulina and super expensive fancy ingredients, but that isnt what veganism is about ... veganism is the ethical change and you can live off of lentils, potatoes and locally grown vegetables if you want to and that can be very cheap. But also if the demand for vegan products grows and less meat and dairy is consumed or asked for hopefully the prices will begin to represent that... because now in Sweden the vegan sortiment has grown alot and the price isnt unreasonable, even if some of the products are expensive... but some vegan products i.e processed products are actually cheaper than buying meat. I would hope that everyone tries to eat as little dairy and meat as possible for the sake of the animals and all the cruelty behind the meat and dairy industry, but at the same time i know that people will always eat meat or dairy somewhere and to some extent. But if everyone tried to atleast eat some vegan meals or vegan weeks it would make a difference... but also if people begin to recycle more, use less cars and planes and throw in compost as well as turn off electricity when not used all of that makes a difference to the planet. So even if a person cant change their diet for example economical reasons, health reasons or example in recovery or not allowed, then atleast they can make other changes to help the animals or the planet :) And that is what i believe in and hope for... that everyone can atleast make some type of change or difference even if they choose to not do everything 100% but a little makes a difference!

      Veganism and plant based doesnt have to be complicated... i mean if people just become more aware and maybe make an effort to try to eat less meat and dairy and that if they can buy products and clothes that havent been animal tested and not go to circuses or aquariums or things like that! hahah, what a long comment i wrote. But i guess i could make a whole video/long post about this, but i think it is so great when a discussion gets going and you get different opinions and such and can learn things from others and see other sides of things :)

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  2. In response to the above... import/ export does not destroy the environment as much as just breeding billions of animals for slaughter. If they weren't forcefully bred, more land and money would be saved than we can imagine so food could be grown locally on a much bigger scale. A very short and simplified version :)
    Nonetheless, perhaps there are things that are harder to control/change but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't change what we can for the better :)

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  3. I've never thought of you as food obsessed in recovery. I mean, it's an ED related blog, so obviously the focus of your posts is going to skew toward food and body topics. I do not think this blog is representative of your whole life, and you periodically remind your readers of this. I do think individuals who have had EDs are left with an increased awareness of food and health and the like, but I think this is a natural side effect of past obsession and not necessarily indicative of an ongoing problem. I think we know in our hearts what our true motives are behind our actions, and we each need to decide what is healthy and what is obsessive for ourselves.

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  4. I think you are food obsessed, and saying 'that's what people asked me for' simply does not make sense to non-food obsessed, recovered people like myself. When I see your instagram it bores me, my eyes glaze over, because all I see is food, food, food, and it does not look appealing to me.

    HOWEVER, and this is the key point: When I was sick, I would spend hours pouring over your food pictures and wondering how you made your food. Izzy, do you see the difference? You are posting food, for those who require it, who are mentally starved. You're advertising food to the eating disordered mind, and they love it. They crave all your food, mentally. And they ask you to post it because they live vicariously through your food and eating, of which they deprive themselves.

    If you disagree, I understand you might be trying to defend your popularity, but all those likes on your food photos are from a starved community. No normal person posts pictures of food. What happened to posting photos of our pets, family, sunsets, favourite places, drawings, ambitions and news items? All this food I see on social media just makes me feel saddened for those in the starved, deprived world I was once part of, but have escaped from. Please, start to ask yourself what your real intention on social media is. You're so much more than just a pretty picture of food. Express your true self!

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    1. In response to the one above ... when I first found Izzy's blog, I was struggling with binging (without purging). I was scared of her food photos because I was scared of being triggered. In practice, seeing someone able to enjoy food without experiencing it as triggering was really helpful. Izzy helped me to a much stronger and healthier way of being.
      I'm not as interested in food as Izzy is, but I think that's a personality difference and a difference in calling. Obsession is a bad thing, but having a vocation to help people in a particular way with a particular focus is something lots of people experience, whether it is photography, cancer research, or nutrition or whatever else. That's not obsession, that's vocation? That is as close to a person's "true self" as it is possible to get?

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    2. Yes, she helped me as well! Seeing her food photos made me want to eat, sometimes checking her blog/instagram helped me to stick to my meal plan.
      I am recovered know, but love food! I used to starve myself and I remember only guessing the taste of different kinds of foods.. now I feel so free, I eat whatever I want to... so I guess I am a bit obsessed with food as well. When I make my meals, I see the beauty behind them, I like making my plate look nice... but of course my life is not evolving around food in a bad way. :)
      I was glad that she posted food pictures and food diaries.. and I am also glad that she still does it since I know that it is an inspiration to many!!!

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    3. Her food photos helped me realize how much food you can actually eat. When I was sick I taught that 1 dl yogurt, 2 cups of tea and 1,5 dl vegetable soup a day was enough for me. Seeing her pictures of chocolate and potatoes and other foods showed me that variety is the key of healthy eating habits. Therefore I can't see anything wrong with her food pictures.

      In my opinion, she is a huge inspiration and I can't thank her enough. <3

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    4. I would like to point out that most "normal people" don't blog about EDs, either. Izzy's blog and related sites are necessarily different than what so-called normals are posting because she is catering to a niche audience. I do think there are some people who see her food pics and have sick, starved thoughts and reactions, but I also think for others it is a normalizing presence. It is impossible to write ED content without ever mentioning food or body. I think that if you are experiencing boredom, or your eyes are glazing over, then that merely means that YOU have progressed beyond the need for places like this. Kudos to you. But your experience and opinions are not universal. I am recovered too, and don't have much interest in food posts - so I just skim over them to posts that do interest me. I don't think izzy contributes to that disordered "food porn" environment that feeds the illnesses of othes. And I do think her food posts have a place here even if it is not relevant to me. It's up to us as readers to judge our motives behind reading here, and to know if it is feeding the helpful or harmful part within us. This is a discussion that seems to pop up frequently here with no real resolution, ever. It is what it is.

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    5. There is someone who posts under Anonymous quite often accusing Izzy of not being recovered, being hypocritical etc etc. It seems to be the same person from the tone of the posts, and I wonder why they keep coming back if it is so triggering / unhelpful? Just don't read her blog. Simple. She is clearly honest and self-aware and has expressed many times that this blog is one of her main outlets, and as with many many others, Izzy's blog has helped me out more than I can say. I can't tell you how many times I have felt unable to eat or triggered etc and have come to her blog and found something helpful or inspiring, which is very often her posts and pictures of food which have many times helped me be able to eat, or be able to reach out to someone, or simply be able to carry on with my day when I didn't feel that I could. I also skim posts that don't necessarily interest me, but nobody is making you read anything. Izzy, you are very inspiring and I hope you know how many you help, and that the majority of them know you are human and have bad days, and do your best, and that is what is so inspiring. :)

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    6. I agree so much with the above posts. Seeing pictures and accounts of food has helped me in the past and continues to do so. They have shown me what a healthy relationship with food is like and that is what one day I hope to achieve. Good point about portion sizes - that has also helped me to see that I was getting it very wrong. Izzy`s pictures have shown me that it is ok to eat a variety of foods, to experiment.
      Please don`t be disheartened Izzy by the comment above - there are many people out here who love and appreciate your work and value the amount of time ,thought and commitment you put into them. You have helped me so much over these past months I really don`t know how I could have got through some days without your blog.
      You are an inspiration - please believe that.

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  5. I don`t think you are food obsessed either. Your accounts of food you have eaten/brought/baked are always relevant and not done for the sake of doing it. I love seeing your food pictures because they give me inspiration to try new things or prepare food in different ways. And as for your time spent on food prep, many people cook ahead and freeze to save time during the week when they are busier, there is nothing wrong with that.
    I hope you won`t be put off and think twice before writing further posts about food or posting pictures. You have shown me that it is possible to have a healthy relationship/attitude towards food and I value that so much.
    You enjoy food, you intend to make working with food (nutrition) your career, what I s wrong with that? And spreading the word about Vegan eating is a good thing too.
    I say carry on with your food posts and pictures and don`t berate yourself. You know yourself that you have only a healthy interest with food so don`t listen to those who think otherwise.

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