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:


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Physical pain/stomach pain due to mental reasons?

Only a few months ago and last year i had so much stomach pain, almost all the time it felt like. Even if that wasnt the case, i actually had a few days or even a week without stomach pain and it would feel great again, but often i had alot of discomfort in my stomach and often it left me lying on the bed unable to move and that doesnt happen as i have such a high pain tolerance and pretty much push through anything.

The stomach pain can of course be linked to numerous things - The diet i ate back then and eating foods my body couldnt break down so well due to my CF, but also i knew that my body didnt tolerate lactose so well but i kept eating quark and cottage cheese and cream cheese anyway and other foods. My CF also causes stomach pain due to not absorbing/breaking down fat so well, so certain foods i cant eat without stomach pain even if i take enzymes to help break down the food. But also according to a doctor i have gastritis... with lots of heartburn - but there was no official diagnosis of this and i dont even know if i have it anyway.

But more and more of the past weeks, when the stomach pain has decreased signifcantly (the last time i had so much pain was a few weeks ago when i ended up lying in bed instead of joining the dinner party we were hosting). But otherwise i have been stomach pain free for 80% of the time it feels like and i think i can thank that to 1) diet changes and 2) less stress (stress plays a HUGE roll on stomach pain and sometimes you can get different physical pain or discomfort and its actually just due to stress whether it be mental or physical stress) and 3) less anxiety and feeling better mentally.

Yesterday i began thinking about how a part of my stomach pain could definitely have been due to mental reasons - of course this is something i already thought about previously. But at times of stress and anxiety and with lots of guilt or fear my stomach pain would be worse, but then at times with less of that it is  better, even if not completely gone.

It reminds me of the past when i was trying to recover from my eating disorder (or when i was still just sick and no motivation to recover) and i knew i would have to eat and i would have so much anxiety and fear over it that i would feel so sick and like a knot in my stomach. And it was just the fear and anxiety causing those nauesous feelings in my stomach. Because my body was hungry, my body wanted food but my mental anxiety was making me feel sick and like i couldnt fit a single morsel into my body. And other times when i have been stressed or anxious about something i generally feel more nauesous and ill.

I think it is a good thing to connect the dots with things such as this. To see that maybe your physical pain or discomfort can actually be stemming from your mental state? Because often when a person is calm and at peace they have less pain... unless there are "actual" reasons for the pain. For example if i were to eat a bowl of whipped cream or a stir fry with lots of oil i would end up with lots of stomach pain and then it has nothing to do with mental state, but all to do with the physical problem that my body cant digest or break down the fat and it leaves me with extreme stomach pain.

It can be good to think about this. But also to connect the dots of guilt with stomach pain... because while i was recovering, whenever i felt guilty or stressed about a meal or had lots of anxiety then i would experience physical discomfort and pain. But over time had to learn to not be anxious around food or eating and then i wouldnt feel that physical discomfort before meals.

(Of course, while gaining weight there can be alot of stomach pain, bloating and physical discomfort due to your body adapting to the food intake, but part of it can also be mental!)

Long post, trying to write out my thoughts... but maybe others have noticed similar things?


  1. I have definitely noticed a connection between stomach pain and stress. Also being busy or going on longer car journeys triggers it. My IBS also gets worse when I am stressed or have a change in routine, especially not eating at the usual times - I have tried eating at different times but this just induces pain for hours afterwards. When I am stressed or busy the last thing I feel like is eating, and making myself eat regardless just causes immense pain.
    I have identified trigger foods reasonably well and know what to avoid, but when it comes to your daily life causing pain that's not so easy to control. I find having hot baths and trying to relax with a book or a relaxation cd helps somewhat although once the pain is there often there is nothing that can be done except see it through as best you can. The annoying thing is sometimes you can identify a trigger but sometimes it just happens for no apparent reason - that's what I find hardest to handle.
    I take medication for gastritis and this has helped a lot - if I am late taking it or forget a dose I certainly know about it. Like you I also have problems digesting fatty foods so avoid them, also citrus fruits and some vegetables trigger pains - broccoli is the worst culprit for me.
    I found it useful to keep a food diary for a few weeks and noted when I got the pains, what I had eaten and generally how I was feeling at time. That helped me identify my trigger foods as a pattern emerged.
    Good to hear that you are having more time pain free - you are obviously doing all the right things!

  2. I once read about someone who used self-hypnosis videos/cassettes to get over anxiety that was preventing her from eating -- and it worked!
    (The site will only be live until next spring.)

  3. Izzy,
    As you said stress, upsets has a lot to do with stomach pain or discomfort. You have been stressed and depressed these times. I hope that you feel better now.

    Maybe your CF medication interfers also in your gastritis and heartburns...and some of the food you eat.

    I also have such stomach pain and discomfort 90% of the time, but I have decided to hold a food diary to identify food or feelings that causes this.
    Lactose and Gluten are my main triggers.
    A few days ago I had huge pain after eating a creme brulée, It lasted 3 days, i couldn't eat.
    But I have noticed that eating bananas would relieve my heartburns, pain....
    Bananas are terrific to coat stomach and restore PH + bacterial balance stomach....and my GP encourages natural remedies, but I have medication in case it is unbearable.

  4. In early refeeding from your ED, did you struggle with lack of an appetite? I'm on a 3200 cal meal plan right now (discharged from inpatient) and literally i never feel hunger. I constantly feel full, bloated, nauseous. During my ED I would be able to binge and not even feel this full! I aalso always felt hunger when I restricted, so how come now that I'm eating every 2-3 hours I literally have no appetite for food and always feel nauseous? i'm not scared or anxious about food, i want to eat it and want to gain weight but my body is rebelling. how long did it take for your stomach to 'stretch' and get used to this much food??? it's been about a week and a half and it may be a tad better but still i feel constant nausea (is that normal??) and constantly bloated/huge/retaining water/force feeding myself