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

Friday, May 6, 2016

Focusing too much on food

Did you know that thinking about food all the time, dreaming about food, spending hours planing and thinking about food, collecting recipes obsessively, always making food for others, always baking and cooking but rarely eating it, isnt a healthy mindset? Focusing too much on food, where all your thoughts and time is spent on food is not healthy.

A problem which can make recovery harder is when there is too much focus on food. Of course when you have an eating disorder there is ALOT of focus on food and as well when you are in recovery. Then you think about your next meal, the fear foods you have to eat, the foods you want to eat, the foods you want to bake/eat, the foods you might not allow yourself to eat etc etc
   But the problem is when all your focus is on food.

Now i am going to start off by saying that i might not be the best example here... because Yes, i take food photos, no thats maybe not the healthiest. I am aware of this. Though the reason i take photos is because of my blog - my family know this. Though if you are in recovery or even just a normal person taking pictures of all your food might not be the best idea. It can create this sort of.....i need appraise because i just ate. Especially when it comes to fear foods - and yes, i have been there where i post when i ate a fear food and its like you want to get comments, where people tell you its ok. You want people to tell you that you are strong for eating ice cream or pizza because you might not feel it yourself. But it sort of denormalizes food when you need to start getting appraisal for eating. It makes food a much bigger deal than it is.

Because lets be honest... we need food to live. The quote ' Eat to live. Dont live to eat' is quite accurate. Because food is for survival.

In recovery, eating should become something normal to you... you need to make it no longer a big deal. Like grabbing an apple after lunch should feel ok if thats what you want, or taking some extra potatoes or going for cake with friends... those should just be normal things, nothing that needs approval or you need to photo or tell everyone.

Your day shouldnt circle around your next meal, or what you are going to eat for breakfast tomorrow, or you shouldnt worry about the christmas buffet a week from now or worry about what you are going to eat at a friends party 2 weeks from now. Instead, food should be something you make when you are hungry and eat because you know you need it and want it. (Though remember in recovery, you often need to eat even though you arent hungry!!).

In the first stages of recovery life does circle around food and your next meal time, especially if you are an inpatient. There is not much you can do about that, but i do recommend that once you can you begin finding things to do with your time..... like writing or drawing, painting, writing songs, playing an instrument, making collages, doing puzzles, doing research, making jewellery, watching youtube tutorials etc
   Food should become something normal.. you go and eat with your family at dinner time, you eat your snacks at roughly the same time, you eat your breakfast when you wake up... its not something you should over think. It should become something natural.

Of course eating wtih some awareness is recommended, otherwise it can lead to mindless eating or binging, but you dont need to be so aware that you end up analyzing everything and wondering about grams and fat and calories etc

If you have siblings or friends it can help to look at them .- if they arent on a diet or struggling with an eating disorder as well - because then you can see the naturalness of how, when and what they eat. They dont analyze or overthink (or not that others are aware of?) how and what they put on their plate, they eat and they take more if they want or stop when they are full and then eat again when they are hungry.... or say take an extra biscuit just because its soo good.
  It is natural and that is what YOU need to find in your life as well.

Its a balance with food and food isnt the main focus in a persons life.

And like mentioned above, i am not the best example of what i am writing about in this post. But the photos are for the blog, and eating is what i do because im hungry and want food. I dont sit around and think about my next meal or plan my food for the day or week... i just eat what im craving. And that is intuitive and healthy eating!!

5 comments:

  1. Those food thoughts and counting down until my next meal (even _while_ eating a meal) was the hardest part of my illness. It was just so exhausting. I actually thought there was something wrong with me (other than the obvious), like this was some OCD-thoughs that was going to last forever even though I got healthy. Luckily it is all over now! I am so happy and grateful that I am out of that mess!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It always feels amazing to look back and see how far you have come, but also to realise that something that once seemed so impossible to ever be free from, you managed to break free from!! :)

      Delete
  2. i think the cut-out illustration summarises normal eating really well. I'd add that it is also trusting your body when it does unpredictable things like bloating or changing over the course of the month -- it took ages before I realised that the menstrual cycle isn't necessarily just a few days once a month, but actually there are changes in the body across the whole month that are linked to those changes, and at some parts of the month the body is different from others. Eventually one gets used to the fact that the body is pretty clever and it knows what it's doing and you don't have to think it through or get it all perfect, because your body will make it work as best it can.
    Also, the "am I really hungry?" question changes when one actually has a healthy, functioning body. If you're underweight, you are basically always hungry even if it doesn't always feel like it because you aren't used to treating your hunger properly. Then one expects something really dramatic to happen when one is properly hungry. When the body is healthier and more stable, "hunger" is not so dramatic. It's just a niggle that one deals with like an itch or something. It's not nearly as intense a feeling as I think I used to imagine it should be when I was underweight. I think it is really hard to explain or describe without just getting used to eating healthily ... and then it comes naturally .... It sounds so simple, doesn't it?! Sigh! Wishing everyone on this blog the very best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is really good. I have forgotten what it is like to eat normally and have hunger feelings, so your description of what it is like to feel hungry when recovered was useful. Hopefully those feelings will return one day :)

      Delete
    2. Exactly!

      And to Carol, it takes time and trusting your body and signals (be patient, and try to follow some type of meal plan to begin with) but hopefully one day you will be able to trust your body and eat intuitivaely, even if it takes time :) When you have struggled with an eating disorder the body, metabolism and hormones are all a little meesed up and they dont just solve themselves in a day, it can take months/years, but ddont give up hope :) Keep nourishing your body and treating your body right and it will thank you :)

      Delete