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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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Almost recovered - eating disorder behaviours and comfort zone - answer

I can really support this post! If someone doesn't want to get the help in order to get healthy, even the best therapists, doctors and so on won't make a real and lasting (!) change. However, there is something that irritates me a bit. 

To keep it short: I am not 100% recovered, as I have still some disordered thoughts and behaviours. The most "important" one: I don't eat before a certain time in the evening, this gives me a feeling of control, helps to deal with anxiety, ... some days I have to eat earlier (birthday for example) and then I am okay with it and don't struggle very much. So I could change this behaviour, but I don't want to, because the negative impacts/effects are not that bad, so I am kind of not motivated enough to change something. But what if this is also just the "sick part" of me, that tells me I don't want to? Its hard to explain, I mean I could, but it's like I get comfortable with this behaviour and arrange with. Should I overthink my "comfort-zone", should I find more arguments against this behaviour..? I'm confused.


Hello,
  I am so sorry it has taken so long to reply and that i missed your comment in my previous post. Regarding those habits, if they are habits due to your eating disorder and they make you hold onto your eating disorder then i would try my best to get rid of them. Because even if they might feel like just habit, if they hold you back. You shouldnt need that sense of control regarding food and eating times, instead it should be more natural and not so controlled. For example if you usually eat dinner at 6pm but are hungry at 5pm, you shouldnt just sit and wait until 6pm because you think you can't eat before that time. If that is the case for you, then it is still your eating disorder controlling you and something you should work to get rid of.

Things you do when you have an eating disorder often become like a habit or ritual and at times you might not even think they are disordered. For example i had habits such as - always had to have vegetables on my plate for dinner and lunch and preferably as much as possible. I could NOT eat a dinner or lunch without vegetables, that made me feel panicked. (Sure this might just sound healthy, but it wasnt because i literally couldnt eat just chicken and sweet potatoe, it felt so wrong. And if i ever went out to eat and i didnt get vegetables i would feel alittle panicked.) SO i had to work to get rid of that habit - that i could infact eat breakfast and lunch without vegetables on my plate.

It is easy to get comfortable and not question your actions or behaviours and think "they don't interfere with my life so much" and not change them. But if they are part of your eating disorder, and it is you controlling food then i would try to get rid of them. I also had problems with eating at certain times and would never want to eat before my regular meal times, but that was something i worked at getting rid of - and intutive eating helped. I.e somedays i ate lunch at 11am and other days at 3pm, i didnt eat according to the clock but according to hunger and fullness. 

Dont get stuck in that comfortable stage. Ask yourself why you do things - whether you have habits that make you hold onto your eating disorder or whether your rituals or habits are helping you or holding you back.  For example, if you do get anxiety by eating before a certain time then that means you need to deal with that anxiety and ask yourself why you get the anxiety because feeling that way just because you eat earlier isnt a healthy sign.

If a person is half recovered they can have many eating disorder behaviours which just feel like habits and they do them just because. But you need to think over your own behaviours and ask yourself why you do them and whether they need to change... do some self analysis over yourself and be honest about whether certain habits or behaviours you have are just because of your eating disorder. Full recovery is about letting go of all those eating disorder habits and behaviours.



6 comments:

  1. Ever since I was a child I had it drummed in to me the importance of set regular mealtimes - lunch was at 12.00, tea was at 5.30 etc so now as an adult I have tended to carry that on. We eat our evening meal at 6.00pm every night, mainly because that's the time my partner gets in from work and it just seems the obvious time to have it. It has been that way for as long as I can remember.
    What I`m confused about now is whether I am doing the right thing by having "structured" mealtimes? I will admit I find it difficult to eat outside my normal times and will wait for the clock to say the right time rather than eat regardless. I guess eating outside my normal times would cause anxiety if I`m honest too, not to mention indigestion!
    So whats best to do - carry on as I am, doing what I have always done or change my eating pattern? At the moment I`m still following a meal plan so mealtimes aren't that flexible but knowing what I can change for the future when I`m not following it so strictly would be helpful.
    I really didn't think I was doing anything wrong by having regualar set mealtimes and its unsettled me that my ED is doing things to me that I`m not aware of.

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    1. maybe Izzy will reply to this...
      my view would be that mealtimes are probably sensible till you are very nearly recovered, they are not something to mess with early in the process or until you are WR or nearly WR. But when nearly better (both mentally and physically), then they can become a constraint that is artificial and traps you in ED patterns of thought, and then it is important to develop greater flexibility. That's just my perspective :) Good luck.

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  2. Right now I'm kind of similar with your vegetable thing. I have to eat things with fiber at every meal or else I feel panicked. When I was deep into my ed, I was severely constipated. I tried to eat a lot of fiber then but even though I tried to get a lot, I still wasn't eating enough in general let alone fiber to not be constipated. Now I suffer from ibs and am typically constipated to some extreme. its not super bad, but enough for me to still count how many grams of fiber I get per day. So basically i'm a fiber counter??? haha instead of calorie (well I still do that too but that's beside the point and a whole different issue!) I was just wondering if you've heard of this before, like being addicted to fiber?? It's kind of for a reason but it still causes me a lot of anxiety if I don't get enough and I don't really want to take fiber suppliments

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    1. I suffer badly from constipation no matter how much fibre I eat, and I also have ibs. My doctor prescribed me a wonderful mediction to take for constipation called Movicol. You just mix a sachet or 2 with water and drink it at night. You take it everyday as needs be and it has really sorted my problem out. No cramps or diararer either like you get with some forms of laxative, its a very gentle "softner". You can buy it over the counter too.

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    2. You don't need to eat only meals high in fiber. If there are one or two meals, that are really low in fiber, it's not that bad, as long you have enough fiber at the end of the day. Before you go to bed, you can i.e. drink a glass of water with psyllium husk, to make up for the missing amount of fiber. So you don't need to stress the whole day with every meal you eat.

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  3. I feel like that I need structured eating, otherwise I eat uncontrollably every other minute throughout the whole day and it feels like I cannot stop until I finally go to sleep. It's like anytime I don't EAT, I instead THINK about food. Is it more disordered to try to structure my eating or to just eat and maybe eat more than I actually need to? How can I stop thinking about food all the time? I try to distract myself, but the thoughts about food are always there.

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