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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Monday, July 11, 2016

Thinking the past was better and comparing to your past with an eating disorder.

Could you write something about comparing yourself to when you were sick. I am doing this and I don't know why or how to stop. I compare my meals, my body etc. I look back and actually miss the days I spend eating large amounts of food and not looking fat. I miss being the skinny one. I just look past how aweful I felt and how sick I was and think of all the 'positive'. Allthough there wasn't much positive really!? I have curently a healthy weight, declared healthy, but not living my life fully the way I should :/ I worry about my weight... An eating disorder is all in the head, right? Well, then I think people that are supposed to help anorexics should consider that before they declare someone like me healthy. I am maintaining my weight, but I feel aweful.



The brain is funny in the way that it can make the past look a little better than it actually was. It takes away the pain and emotions and all the awfulness and instead paints up a picture of "it was great in the past". In the past i struggled with the same comparison as you i.e my mind told me that weighing 10kg less wouldnt be so bad, because i was still functioning and happy (?) when i had weighed that little before.... my mind tried to paint the picture that things were fine in the past. But then i had to remind myself that there was a reason i had gained the weight, the reason i had fought to try to recover and a reason that i had made and wanted changes. The past had been filled with anxiety, guilt, self hatred and i hadnt liked my body when i was so underweight i still had the fat feelings and hated myself and my body. When i thought rationally and logically i realised that the past wasnt better than the present and that the problems i was dealing with in the present were problems i could deal with and not resort to old behaviours.


Nostalgia is a liar - something i have learned in life. That the past always seems to have a rosy taint to it and makes everything seem better than it was, especially when times are tough in the present. The important thing is to try to focus on the now and not look into the past, unless you are trying to learn from past mistakes or to see how far you have come. Staying in the present and making the present time good is the important thing, not looking into the past and thinking the past was better as it often wasnt, and even if it was... you can't go back.


As you wrote, eating disorders are mental illnesses and often the body heals before the mind. And to truly recover mentally can take a long time, but it is not impossible. If you find that you are still struggling i would suggest maybe seeking help such as therapy, or just consling in someone? I find it strange how doctors and people in health care just focus on weight and the physical aspects of eating disorder recovery and not so much on the mental side, despite eating disorders actually being a mental illness. So many are "declared healthy" or no longer recieve treatment despite that they still struggle but have a healthy weight. 

The first thing i would suggest is 1) maybe seek help again? and 2) Focus on what YOU can do to change your thoughts and things in your life to make your life better. And these changes don't include going back into the past or relapsing or changing your body. Instead they should include changing your thoughts, facing the fears you have, getting ride of a scale if you weigh yourself as well as maybe starting a new hobby or finding a new interest - something to get you out of the house and doing something fun. Try to create a life now that you enjoy, a life which makes you want to live life and appreciate how far you have come and how awesome life can be. But if you just sit at home and do nothing and "feel fat" and think 'life was better when i was skinny', then the present wont feel so great. But if you create an awesome life now and focus on the present and happiness then going back into the past doesnt feel tempting at all.

I would also suggest getting rid of old photos or clothes or anything that makes you hold onto the past or could be triggering for you. Things such as too small clothes or triggering pictures aren't things you need in your life anymore, instead focus on the healthy and present you.

Also remember that just because you have a healthy weight does not mean that you are fat, and i am sure that you can still eat plenty - if recovery is done right then you should be able to eat enough and not have to restrict to maintain your weight, if that is the case then you might not be at your healthy set point.  Try to focus on self love and the positive things about yourself. Focus on the positives about who you are, how you look and your life... each day try to say 5 positive things about yourself. It might seem fake or cheesy in the beginning but it gets easier and it feels awesome when you can begin to love yourself and look in the mirror and feel at peace - and it all begins in your mind and your thoughts. Self love and happiness comes from the inside and wont happen from staying in the past or hating yourself or constantly trying to change your body.

Focus on dreams and goals and the future, what can you do in your life NOW to make it good - and make it a place you want to be? What can you do now that you couldnt do when you were sick? Try to appreciate your body for what it can do and not how it looks. But also try to set up goals and dreams - both long term and short term, that can make you excited to live life and be healthy enough to achieve them.

Life wont get better unless you make it better, and if your thoughts are stuck in the past and with an eating disorder then you wont feel better. But if you instead make a list of all the reasons why an eating disorder is aweful and why you dont want to go back to it and all the reasons why losing weight is a terrible idea, and then look at that list each time nostalgia tries to convince you that your eating disorder wasnt so bad.

It gets easier and life is awesome if you make it awesome! And i know its easy to get stuck in the mindset of "life is aweful now, why be "fat" and feel aweful when i could lose all the weight again and be skinny and feel aweful", but trust me... it doesnt work that way. And a healthy weight does not equal fat, and an underweight does not equal healthy. Focus on self love and making your present life great!!



7 comments:

  1. Good post.
    well I have a problem too. I began to listen my body and eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full but I lost 1 kg in one week. what I should do now?

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    1. This is very individual - it could just be that your body weight fluctuates, i.e generally a persons weight goes up and down 1-3kg and that your body is still sort of settling. So i would wait another week maybe and see how your weight is then but maybe make a conscious decisions to eat a little more, even if you are eating intuitive it wont harm you to eat a bit more - i mean i am sure you can fit in a handful of nuts and seeds or some chocolate or some extra muslie or a glass of juice without being "too full". And if you are too scared of doing something like that then rethink your relationship with food. Because even if intuitive eating is the goal, if you arent eating enough to maintain your weight then you need ot make the conscious decision to eat a little more than what you want so that you maintain weight and you will adapt to that food intake :)

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  2. Hi Izzy, I wonder whether you know anything about the connection between being underweight and having high colesterol level?

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    1. Being underweight or skinny doesnt mean that you are healthy or that a persons insides are healthy. I.e the term skinny fat - a person can be skinny or even underweight but have alot of visceral fat i.e fat on the inside and around their organs. And if a person eats alot of animal fats which have alot of LDL cholesterol then their cholesterol levels can raise. However, usually a "high" cholesterol intake isnt so dangerous for young people and that cholesterol isnt as bad as people once made it out to seem (what i learned in my university course), however if someone does have high cholesterol they might want to look at what they eat and then adjust - like said, alot of dairy and animal products have cholesterol.

      But i have never have a connection between underweight and high cholesterol, it would just be then if the body doesnt have enough of the proteins to transport the cholesterol eaten to the liver, and so the cholesterol gets "stuck" in the veins and body - but also, it might just be what the person is eating and that its too much cholesterol.

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  3. Dear Izzy, I am very nearly weight restored (have about 1 kg or something to go), but I am currently doing alot of cycling to get around as my parents are away and I dont drive, also have been feeling hungrier too and i thought i might try and eat more than my meal plan. my question is, what foods would it be good to eat more of? i find it very easy to eat chooclate and peanut butter and bananas and other foods like that, but i already eat lot of these so I wondered would it be better if I try to eat more protein, carbs, or something else. or does it truly not matter? xxxx

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    1. The important thing is to eat what you enjoy and like. If you want peanut butter and bananas then eat that :) it's delicious and lots of nutrients! And if you are doing more exercise then you need more food :)

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  4. Thank you for this post i really need to read this as im struggling with making the decision to up my intake when i dont want to put more weight on. But i have just added a big mug of milk so i did it but now im worried im gonna gain lots of weight esp as i will be adding a glass of milk to bfast too. I am also trying to widen my variety of foods but i feel v trapped with numbers as i know foods have more calories than others and so i feel i cant eat them but i want to

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