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, August 7, 2016

The way we talk about food - giving food the power to control our emotions - needing a reason to eat certain food

In todays society it feels like many people have a weird relationship to food whether it is controlling food, avoiding food, counting calories and macros etc and then of course there are those who have absaloutly no thought about food and can forget to eat and eat way too much because of emotions or just not having any idea over the amount they eat. Of course i can't generalize, but i guess from what i see in my daily both in real life and in the circle of online accounts/groups i am in/follow there seems to be alot of people with too many thoughts/absolutely no thoughts about food.

Onto the actual topic of this post though... and i hope that this post doesnt become too hard to read as it might be a little "jumpy", but it is my trail of thoughts at the moment, so hopefully it is comprehensible.

Yesterday i read a post in a facebook group i am in, which wrote how many people use certain terms when writing about food that can sort of "shame/add guilt to certain foods" for example "I am sick, so i can eat this...." "Oh no i ate a burger, i cant go to the beach now...", " I have just gone for a 10km run, so it is fine to eat this chocolate now" etc etc And the person who wrote the post basically said it was unnecessary to write those things with foods as it adds guilt and emotions to food. Writing and justifying your chocolate intake just because you ran, as if you couldnt eat chocolate if you hadnt ran. And of course.... amounts of food are different based on different circumstances and lifestyles, but in the end... you can eat all types of food but just in the right amount.

That post got me thinking about myself and what i write... and in the past i did alot of this. And i feel so ashamed because it is so incredibly unnecessary. For example i wrote a post, "You can still have abs and eat ice cream" - Just thinking about the fact that i wrote a post like that makes me embarrassed, but what i wanted to show i guess was that you shouldnt panic and think your body will change just because you eat some ice cream. But the post title can also insiuate that "dont eat ice cream if you don't have abs"/"that only skinny people can eat ice cream". That is of course if you want to analyze the title a little more and find a different meaning to it, but still... it was a silly title.

And then i am sure i have written things like, "it's ok to eat a whole pint of ben and jerrys because i have a race tonight", or "im sick so going to enjoy lots of X and Y", or "Treating myself to this because i am sick/just worked out etc" Writing things like this is just unnecessary. Because 1) You can eat a whole pint of ben and jerrys without working out, yes you can eat whatever food you like even if you dont have a cold. Yes you can eat chocolate and burgers and pizzas even if dont need to gain weight - but once again it is all about the amount/balance.

There are also many recipe titles with the words "guilt free" and "skinny" and those irritate me like crazy, because those definitely insinuate that the normal foods should make you feel guilt or that normal brownies make you fat and the skinny brownies make you skinny. But i have written many posts about this so won't get into it further on this post, but can we all just collectively agree to not call food "guilt free or skinny" and even "low kcal X or fat, carb, gluten, sugar, salt free X" food.... i mean what is left in the food if all of those things are gone from it ?

Food is not something you need to earn. Food is not something you need to feel ashamed about eating or feel guilty about. Foods can be eaten whenever and doesnt need a "right time" i.e only when you are sick/only when you have worked out/only when you havent eaten enough during the day etc etc  Of course certain foods and drinks you dont eat on a daily and so they are more of a treat food. Or maybe certain food you only like when you have a cold, for example when i have a stomach illness i resort to white bread with butter and pringles which usually wouldnt be a part of my daily diet. But its not a "i am eating this because i am sick and deserve it"... but a "this is the only thing i want" - if you can understand the difference?
 Just like when i eat ice cream or chocolate before races it isnt because "i am going to run so i deserve ice cream" but "this ice cream will give me the energy i need so that i can run". Changing the way you think and view food will be so beneficial for your mindset and relationship with food. Dont add emotions or guilt to food or certain foods, instead try to be more free about food.

And to end this post, at times i will write "treating myself to this food" and when i write that i mean 1) It is a treat because it is food that isnt eat regularly  but also 2) because the food is most likely expensive. For example when i buy "Oupmh" that is my treat food and food i only buy after a rough day because it is expensive and not part of my daily or weekly diet. So certain foods are treat foods due to how expensive they are, just like some see champagne as a treat and not a weekly thing. So in that sense i think it is ok to write "treating myself to this food/drink". But if you write or think "treating myself to this food because i havent eaten enough today/because i have worked out/because i have a cold" that also sort of means that you dont think you can eat those foods otherwise, that the food/drink is only ok because of that reasoning?

It is very hard to write and explain these thoughts, but i hope that it can spark some sort of self analysis about how you think/write about food. But also maybe how you see others write about food online? Many do is unconsciously and dont even realise that when they write "eating a salad because going to the beach later" can also mean... "I can only eat salad because i will be in a bikini and if i eat anything else i will look 'fat'"

Or maybe it is just me who is too critical and thinks too much? I personally dont get bothered by this online or what people write (apart from the skinny and guilt free food recipes!). But i thought it would be appropriate to write about this here, so that maybe some of YOU - my readers - can think about the way you write/think about food and whether you are justifying certain foods for the wrong reasons?


  1. I think food and emotion are very closely linked - yet when you stop to think about it you have to wonder why exactly, I mean food is just food, right? Ever since I can remember food has been connected to feelings, like my mum cooking my favourite meal because it was my Birthday, or going out to eat somewhere special because there was an occasion to celebrate. And the feeling that you want to indulge in a takeaway or chocolate after a hard day, and feeling as though that is "allowed" because you have had a hard day and are "justified". When my aunt writes to me she often says she is going to have a "naughty tea" because she has been hard at work in the garden all day - again justifying her choice.
    I agree it shouldn't be like this but it is, society has determined this way of thinking. Food should be just food, but its not. Its a complex thing tied up with taste, emotion and feeling. I mean when you are angry or very upset do you really feel like eating dinner? I know I don`t. And who hasn't tried to "justify" that packet of crisps or cream cake? And when you are feeling happy and positive you are more likely to cook and try new foods, have friends round to share a meal etc.
    This was a very interesting post but at the same time it points out how uneccessary it is attaching so much emotion to food. I wish the "guilt free" labels were not so and we weren't living in a society where you feel you have to "earn" certain foods, but that's the way it is.
    I guess the responsibility lies within ourselves to change our mindset about food and see it for what it is, not an extension of our emotions. I wonder if that is realistically possible? I know I get days when I really feel like eating a certain food whereas on other days I do not. I wonder if feelings and food can be seperated? what do others think?

  2. I love the way you continue to increase your own self-awareness and have the humility to own up to past mistakes instead of deleting old posts or whatever. I think it's a heAlthy attitude to show your readers. I think also, though, that you should keep in mind that we only live to the best of our ability given the information we have at that time. Years ago, your "information " told you you were fat and needed to lose weight. More recently, you made comments like the ice cream/ab ones. As you learned more, you changed. But the ice cream/ab type of stuff were things you said when you "knew less." It's part of growing and the human condition. Forgive yourself for the stuff you said and did when your information/awareness base was smaller. Humility is a great trait to have, one that is shockingly rare on the internet. Kudos to you for finding it so young. Some people never do :)

    1. P.S - I HATE the terms "guilt-free", "sinfully good" and the like. Food has the power to make me feel PHYSICALLY good or bad, but it should not have the same power over my emotions. The food industry makes billions on our emotional attachments and reactions to food. Food is an inanimate object. It is completely neutral. There is no reason it should hold any emotional power, and yet we hand that power over every day.

  3. I'd differentiate between emotions and values.
    Food is more than just a physical necessity: properly, it is also a gift to be enjoyed, and enjoyment to be shared in commensality. It is right and good and nice that for some people, it is as simple as that. It is lovely when people can enjoy it in its proper place.
    The problem is when the values get distorted, and I agree that the values are systematically distorted in the marketing materials of the food industry, just as they are systematically distorted in a different way through eating disorders.
    Every living creature deserves the gift of enough good food, and good company at table. It is so sad that so many don't get it.

  4. Food is not only for our physical, but also emotional health, due to its effect on neurotransmitters etc. So emotional eating can go hand in hand with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, as stress increases our need of certain nutrients and a lack of certain nutrients increases stress.
    If we have the feeling we can't control our eating behaviour, we should consider that it's an imbalance in our brain chemistry and seek other ways to 'medicate' our mood.
    I guess that most eating disorders start this way, with an imbalance in brain chemistry and the wrong 'use' of food (and other factors like commercials add to it). If you're just tired after a long working day, a good meal is the right thing you need. But mental health issues are not just a current mood, so you need to search for better treatment than just eating or not eating certain food or not eating at all. This way we can get a healthy relationship to food again, and naturally won't associate feelings of guilt to food, because then we eat for the right reasons again, without expecting too much from it (positive or negative).

    1. Interesting. I think when I was deep in AN I had separated food from emotion too much ... part of getting better was learning to reconnect the two, and then learning to do it in the right way. The latter has taken/took much too long, but it does get better.
      Thank you, Izzy, for the posts, and good luck for all the readers.

    2. you and your blog helped me to survive and beat anorexia! love from germany