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, June 12, 2016

Master post - binging and purging answer

Hello Izzy,

I have been following you since the beginning of your blog. Thanks for all your encouraging messages.

Could you please give me some advises, how to handle whith binge-purge triggering foods while in recovery process? I have quite a lot of kilos to gain (something like X) and i have real issues with (whole) starchy foods (I try to eat nutritius dense whole food and processed foods): bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, bulgur, quinoa....and so time I eat some during the course of my meals, they end up being a binge purging meal.
And i am exhausted.
The only secure food I can 100% keep are fruits exept bananas and dried fruits, veggies (raw sweet potatoes), all king of nuts (peanut, cashew, almond crazy), all kind of l├ęgumes, eggs, and meat are at issue.

I am lost and tired of the binge-purge and therefore bad sleep....

What should I do? Put aside for a while all the triggering foods ? Until I feel safe enough to eat them again or still eat them?


first off i am glad to hear that my blog has been helpful to you :)

I would say that the reason for your "binges" is that maybe you arent eating enough, that your body so desperatly wants more food and more carboydrates but if they might be a fear of yours you feel that you eat 'too much' even if that isnt actually the case. Even if you eat 1,2 or 3 portions of potatoes, rice, pasta, bread that doesnt mean it is too much, but what your body needs. But then also if you have gotten into the habit of purging after meals to compensate or because you feel you ate too much then you continue to eat more because you know you will compensate afterwards. So the first thing is to take the compensation - i.e purging or exercise away, and then overtime the binges lessen as you dont compensate and you dont feel the need to binge, but also your body will get the energy it needs and that will stop the binges as well if it is due to needing more energy. 

So first step stop the compensation i.e trying to stop the binges before stopping the compensation can be very hard to do.

Second: Realise that carbohydrates are needed and super important. They are not to feared, and you can't eat too much in recovery. Your body needs all the energy it can get and from all the macronutrients. It is not enough to just eat safe food or to just get your carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables, that is not enough. And that can be the reason for your 'binges' on carbohydrates, because that is exactly what your body needs, and when you eat them and compensate your body will be even more desperate for carbohydrates. So try to see carbohydrates as your friend, something your body needs. And even if you eat 3 portions of potatoe or 5 pieces of bread, it isnt too much. Of course when it gets to the stages of eating a whole loaf of bread - which i did while i struggled with binging and purging - then it isnt so good. But if you dont compensate the chances of that happening lessen over time.

There is alot of anxiety and guilt involved in trying to not purge and compensate after meals and at the same time INCREASE your carbohydrate intake and face your fear foods.  Find distractions you can do, try to eat with other people and not be alone after meals. When i struggled with binging and purging and was trying to stop i did alot of writing afterwards, sometimes went for short walks just to get out of the house so that i didnt purge, or i planned to do laundry after meals that i knew i would struggle with or sat with family or watched youtube tutorials. It was tough but it got easier.

With binging and trigger foods, there were certain foods i couldnt have at home at all as i just couldnt eat a normal portion didnt matter if i didnt purge or if i ate enough, i just couldnt control myself. So things such as bread, raisins and granola i made sure my mum didnt buy and over time i reintroduced them into my diet and i learnt to eat them in normal portions. But to eliminate those foods for a while helped however i made sure to increase my intake of other carbohydrate rich foods and eat enough in overall and to not compensate. 

I would also talk to someone about your binging and purging, talk to people and let them know that you are struggling, but also ti will be easier for them to help you not purge after meals if they know. It can be a tough step to talk about it, but it will help you! Also try to follow a meal plan, that was what eventually helped me recover from my binging and purging - to follow a meal plan so that i ate enough calories everyday and if i did eat more either because it was delicious, i was more hungry or just a mental all or nothing thinking that made me eat more than i knew was normal. But i learnt to be ok with that and not compensate, i learnt that its ok to eat more somedays, but that purging was not worth it.

Do talk to someone and remember that your body needs alot of food and energy at the moment and you most likely need to increase your overall intake and increase your carbohydrate intake and not just via fruit. But with bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, bulgur etc Your body needs carbohydrates as well as healthy fats and protein. So keep trying to eat those foods and try to not purge - it will get easier over time, i promise you. And one day you will look back and see how far you have come.

I have some posts below about binging which might help:

Also important to note that at times it can feel like you ate too much and binged, but in reality you arent binging it is just that you feel you ate too much.

Definition of an objective Binge
According to the DSM-IV-TR, a binge eating episode has two defining characteristics.  The first is that more food is consumed in a discrete period of time than would typically be consumed by others in that same period within the same context.  A discrete period of time is, admittedly, a fairly broad term, although the DSM further specifies that a single episode should last less than two hours.  The second defining characteristic is that the individual experiences a perceived loss of control during the episode.
Definition of a Subjective 
Subjective binge episodes, on the other hand, involve perceptions on the part of individuals that they binge ate when, in fact, they did not eat enough food to qualify for an objective binge.  Oftentimes, individuals who have eating disorder or who are dieting have a “banned foods” list.  For some individuals, eating even a single item off of this list constitutes a binge, regardless of the caloric intake.  Interestingly, there is some evidence that the perceived lack of control is more important than the actual size of the episode. (Keel, Mayer, & Harnden-Fischer, 2001)

Binge eating recovery plan:
Ok, so you just binge ate. Feeling pretty crappy now yeah? Sad? Angry? Disappointed? You are not alone. While it is important to address the reasons why we binge, I’ve written here a Binge Eating Recovery Plan on what I used to do when I use to binge and the things I did to help me not only recover after a binge, but to beat it.

1.       STOP! That’s right, you heard me. STOP! If you catch yourself early enough, put that food down and stop eating. Let’s not make a bad situation worse.

2.       Removed yourself to a calm environment. Basically get away from the food. This removes further temptation to continue binging.

3.       Calm yourself down. While-ever your worked up, no matter what sense you try and make of things everything will be muddled. Sit for a few moments, take some calming breaths and actively calm yourself down.

4.       Accept that you binged. We all have weaknesses and we are all human. Beating yourself up or self hating on yourself won’t make progress in beating the binge. You need to take ownership for your actions and accept your poor/impulsive choice.

5.       Learn from the mistake/impulse. Think about what triggered the binge to begin with. Maybe it was someone else’s comment or a memory. Maybe you say something that upset you. Whatever it was, you need to identify the trigger so you know to look out for it next time.

6.       Forgive yourself. I’d personally say this is the most important step. You need to forgive yourself for binging. You need to not punish yourself for this poor act but take the time to calmly recover.

7.       Keep a journal. After you’ve gone through the above process, make a little note in a notebook or journal (hell even start a password journal on here if it’s more convenient) and write down exactly what you were feeling before the binge, during and after. Write down what you think triggered you and keep a record of your progress in your journey to beat binge eating. When you have a day where you beat the binge, write it in. Then on bad days look back and see how well you’ve been doing. By writing it down you’ll be able to better identify your triggers and any trends to your Binge Eating Habits. Also by actually expelling your feelings, you’ll be less likely to eat them instead.

8.       Brush your teeth. Oddly enough I found during the worst of my binge eating, after brushing my teeth I only ever continued to binge eat once, because my teeth were all clean and the taste of the food was gone. An odd but very good tip to prevent further binging.

9.       Give yourself the time to recover. Spend half an hour doing something you enjoy to boost your mood back up. Have a bath, meditate, do some yoga, call a friend, spend some time with a loved one, read a book, paint a picture: do something you enjoy!

10.   Move forward. You need to leave the negative feelings behind and keep moving forward. Don’t hang on to the bad stuff because you’ll never have time to focus on the good!

Things to not do when trying to recover from a binge!

1.       Workout like a mad woman. Chances are you’ll burn yourself out and make yourself feel even worse if you don’t reach the level you might set for yourself (which if your upset will most likely be WAY too high up the bar and therefore when you fail make you feel worse). Take it light. A walk well spent that calms you down and gives you a light boost in endorphins is much better than slogging yourself to death in the gym and possibly hurting yourself.
2.       Don’t excessively restrict to compensate your binge!! This completely depends on the time of day, but don’t deny yourself food for the rest of the day if you binge at say, 10am. Doing this will actually double your chances of binging again as you’re starving your body! Just be sensible. Eat healthy and in smaller than normal portions. If its evening when you binge then by all means stop. But be responsible and care for your body. Not eating for 16 hours is not good for you!
3.       Don’t keep putting yourself down about the binge. You need to let go of the self hate and self loathing after a binge and move forward. No good will be gained from constantly telling yourself you’re a failure except to make you inevitably binge again. Instead of begrudging yourself for the past, try and be positive and learn from it.

1 comment:

  1. it was not me who asked for this - but thank you for it! x