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:


Monday, October 31, 2016

"Who am I?" - finding yourself

One of the important things (amongst many!) in recovery is finding who YOU are. Letting go of your eating disorder or mental illness and finding yourself. Because your identity is not your eating disorder or your mental illness, even if you become known as the "sick person" or the "fragile person" or the "depressed person", that is not who you are. You may have an illness but that is not who you are, you are so much more.

Part of recovery is letting go and trying to find yourself and also learning to be and love yourself. A mental illness is also a form of an escape, an escape from life but also sometimes an escape from yourself. If you have low self esteem or low confidence you just sort of accept those, or you accept your illness as you... or you think, "i will always be sick", "I am the sick person", but that is not the case. You can choose freedom and recovery and to be who you are.

But also to not label yourself. One thing i hate is labels... I am not a recovered anorexic. I am not a gym rat. I am not a vegan. I am not a feminist. I am not depressed. I am not my cystic fibrosis. Of course, i am all of those things... but i dont want to label myself. Because i am more than labels... i am a happy girl who loves to be positive, who loves to see others happy and loves to listen to music and podcasts, loves to laugh, loves to workout, loves to learn and help others. I love to colour and love seeing colourful things, i love being motivational, i love seeing people reach their goals, i love being positive and enthusiastic in life, i love caring for others and animals and thinking about everyone. I love exercising, i love happiness, i love adventures and exploring, i love travelling, i love tattoos and animals and social media. ALL OF THOSE THINGS are who i am. I am my interests and my hobbies, i am my personality, my mind and my behaviours.

A good thing to ask yourself is.... "who am i if i dont have an eating disorder/mental illness". "Who am i if i dont exercise or if i amnt known as the 'gymrat/runner'?".

One of the things ive done in my life is to ask myself, who would i be if i didnt workout? Ive been known as the runner or the gymrat in my group od friends and my family. But you know what, i am more than that... and i dont want that label on me. So for example say if you are known as the dancer or the runner or the swimmer or the gamer.... think about what you would be without those things? And ask yourself whether those labels define you or not?

You need to find yourself and a good way to do that is to ask yourself what you enjoy doing. Do things you enjoy, look at your personality and your behaviours and who you are. But also learn to LOVE who you are.

Sure there are things i would like to change in my personality, such as i can be impatient and i dont often share my emotions or thoughts, but they make me who i am. Just like my positive thinking and positive outlook make me who i am.

You are not your illness and you need to learn to find and be yourself!

Its hard to get my point and my thoughts out correctly, but i hope that this post is somewhat coherent and maybe makes you think. Stop labelling yourself and instead find yourself. Or CREATE yourself. For example if you have been sick for many years its like you lose yourself in your illness, but then you can create yourself again by trying new things, exploring, finding what you enjoy and your personality outside of the illness and the sadness and routines!

New week and new positive thinking

It's Monday, 12.30pm and i am finally home again after having 1) had a short morning workout, 2) Written my test, 3) gone food shopping for the week and 4) made myself a delicious lunch which i will now eat once this post is written!

Today i am feeling positive and more like myself again. A week of negativity and stomach pain and overwhelming anxiety, but this week i am focusing on the positives! My test is written and it feels ok. I wish i was one of the people who could feel confident after or before a test, feel like all the studying was enough and that the test went well... but i never really feel like ive done enough until i see on paper that i have passed. But i can say that all my hours of studying and focusing solely on my work hopefully paid off! It definitely feels like a weight has lifted off of my shoulders now, however its just 14 days until my next test.... hahahaha. But instead of thinking about that, i can focus on the fact that in 30 days its my birthday and i get to see my mum again and also my dad and younger brother!! 
I am going to make November a great month, and finish the last two months of this year in a positive way!! I want to atleast get 2 months of positivity out of the year, hahahah?

Of course depression isnt just about thinking positive and putting on a smile - there is a chemical imbalance in the brain which requires some form of treatment, i am aware of this. But i guess mindset plays its role as well!

Anyway, this afternoon i am going to take some time off but then i need to start working on a group report as well as start reading for my chemistry class which begins tomorrow. But i can take a few hours of "freedom" anyway :)

Also want to tips you about my delicious lunch:
1) Boil lentils and if you want add soy meat (i dont like the texture of just lentils so i always add chickpeas or potatoes or vegetables or soy meat to my lentils!) and add some salt. Add paprika or other vegetables near the end of the cook time.
2) Pour in some oat cream/cream/tomatoe sauce.
3) Cut open the "lid" of a paprika, put in the filling.
4) If you have more time, then add cheese ontop of the filling and bake in the oven for 3-7 minutes (or more) so that the cheese melts and the paprika becomes more soft!

= super delicious meal. And of course to get more energy add bread, potatoes, nuts, (vegan) sour cream etc

It feels so good to eat wholesome meals like this and to take some time to just cook food and not just heat up food in the microwave like ive been doing the past while.

My food for the week, and it cost 30 euro which really isnt alot. However i will of course buy more vegetables throughout the week and other small things like sweet potatoe!

I hope you all have a lovely day. Think positive, and comment your positives of the day below :)

Also do you want me to post more food pictures/recipes? I just eat simple, quick and cheap meals but maybe that can be helpful to some of you?
(Also things like combining lentils with potatoes = full protein source) :)

Body love and bloating

Yesterday i began thinking about how i havent been writing so many posts about body love or bloating recently, and the many reason for that is that i dont think about those things. I remember when bloating was the worst thing i knew, it would ruin my day completely. If i was bloated i would hate myself, feel fat and not feel good at all. Now if i am bloated, it just doesnt matter.... i know it will pass. Sometimes it takes a few hours to pass, other times it takes 5 days to pass but in the end it does.... and i also know that it will be back again sooner or later. Everyone bloats in the evening due to food and water consumption and that is just something to accept. But also that certain foods cause more bloating or if you are stressed or you are on/about to have your period that can all cause bloating... so basically its just something to accept.

Of course if the bloating is accompanied with lots of pain or cramps (that arent because of your menstruation), then it can be good to get it checked out - just in case. You never know if you could have something like IBS or other stomach issues which are the cause of bloating... because even if bloating to some extent is normal, if it is accompanied by pain and a constant or frequent thing, then it can be good to get it checked out.

Anyway, i get so many questions wondering how to deal with bloating or how to make it go away, or how to love yourself after weight gain and my honest answer is just "you will eventually if you change your thoughts". Its all in your mind and like my previous post said, its not your stomach you need to change, its your thoughts.

When im bloated it doesnt steer my day. My focus is not on my appearance as there are far more important things in life than how my body looks. Its something you come to just accept when you begin to focus more on life and less on how you look. When you realise that your appearance really isnt that big of a deal, and of course hygien and some sort of standard is always a good idea, but spending hours of your day trying to shape your body or think about your body will just take energy from other things in your life. It is not much of a life if you cancel all your plans just because you are bloated, or if you restrict yourself just so that you dont bloat..... its better to just accept it and learn to love your body.

And when it comes to body love, that is just a process of accepting and changing your thoughts. Saying positive things about yourself, realizing that you are more than a clothes size, more than the reflection in the mirror, more than your body. Find things that make you happy, create a  life that gives you joy and do things that you like. When you begin to emmerse yourself into study or work or friends or a hobby you begin to care less about your physical appearance because you realise that there is more to life than that, but also that focusing all your thoughts on your body takes time from other things that are more important.

Accepting and changing mindset is the best way. Be kind to yourself. Create a  life you enjoy. Find hobbies you are good at or hobbies you like. Less time spent infront of the mirror, change thoughts and if you workout to change your body then try a different form of exercise or stop exercising to break that negative habit. Also less time spent infront of mirrors and less time spent staring at accounts that might trigger you make you feel bad. More focus on positivity and self love!!

Its a process and takes time, but it is possible. The less you focus on it, the less you care!

Image result for body love
Image result for body love tumblr
Image result for body love tumblr

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Your stomach is not the problem, your head is

Having a flat stomach or a toned stomach has become an obsession for many. Their goal and dream in life is the day that they have a toned stomach or 6 pack abs or the day they never bloat again. But those types of thoughts and goals wont get you far, it will just lead to sadness. Because everybody bloats - at some point anyway. Some people bloat more then others and that can be due to different things such as intolerance's, hard to digest food, stress, hormones, water retention etc You cant really escape the bloating - or maybe you can, there are certainly things you can do to help.

However the obsession with having a flat stomach, having no fat on your body or your stomach is not a healthy one. Media and social media is constantly throwing pictures of photoshopped models made to look perfect like the current social 'ideal' . But those pictures most often make people feel bad about themselves, Make them feel like they arent good enough, dont look good enough and need to change every detail on their body to look better and more like societies standards. But you know what, YOU dont need to change, society does. Being stick thin or having 8%body fat, thats not healthy. Even those who compete in bikini fitness who are usually very lean and have muscles, they have a far too low body fat procent and the way they look on the stage is not how they look for the rest of the year. There is lighting, oil, lots of fake tan, lots and lots of water to suddenly barely any water at all.... and many go on starvation diets just to look like that, then they mess up their metabolism and their body goes all out of whack afterwards. However i am NOT dissing those who choose to compete, it is a sport and if a person finds it fun, then thats their choice.  I dont judge them as its none of my business and like i said, its considered a sport.
   However, what i do want to bring up is how many people think that how a person looks on a magazine cover or on stage or on a photoshopped picture is not how they look in real life.

You compare your everyday, your bloating, looking down at your feet and your belly sticking out, you see every inch and detail of your body and then you look at pictures of other people, even friends and family and think they look so perfect whilst there are 101 things wrong with you. But we all have insecurities and when people post pictures they are most often the best pictures.... nobody likes posting bad pictures. People stand taller, suck in everything possible, smile, look for the best angle and light and suddenly they look very different in the picture than in real life.

What you also need to realise is that having fat on your body, on your stomach is necessary. It helps protect your organs and is there to keep you warm. Fat is not something bad. Having stomach rolls when you sit down - that is normal. Everyone gets that. Realise that the problem is NOT your stomach, but its your head. Its the way you think of your body and your stomach. If you focus less on your body, less on the way you look and instead immerse your thoughts into something else. Something productive and beneficial to you or your goals then you will realise that you feel so much better and happier.
  Stop body checking, stop constantly looking in the mirror and looking at your body, stop seeing your flaws and instead focus on good things and positive things about yourself. Start with being kinder to yourself, saying nice things about yourself and distract yourself when you begin wanting to do body checks or thinking negative thoughts about yourself or your body. Because You are so much more than your body!!! You are your personality, your hobbies, your interests, your brain etc

Also HERE is a post about how normal stomachs look, not those photoshopped ones you see elsewhere.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Life update

   I am sorry that there hasnt been so many posts lately, i just havent felt great at all. I havent feel motivated to write and just felt like "if i have nothing positive to write, then dont write at all". This past week i have been filled with constant anxiety, and its weighed heavy on me. Its been impossible to get up in the morning, ive been consumed with anxiety from morning to evening, dealing with sleeping problems again, feeling constantly tired and have this knot in my stomach that has made it hard to eat. Not to mention that i have so much school work to do and i am so tired of studying - i just want my test over with now.
   Then today i went to look at an apartment and i dont think i will say yes to the room, as it didnt feel right for me but also the person renting the room wants me to move in next week and i dont think i can do that. After looking at the apartment i had so much anxiety and just wanted to break down and cry on the way home... the uncertaintity. Having to move again, having to find new routines, relocalizing myself. The pressure and stress weighing on my shoulders of having to find a new place to live and dealing with lots of school studies and just not feeling mentally so great or stable and it just felt like too much. I just wanted to break down and cry, wondered whether i should just give up studies, move back to Stockholm and have the safety of my parents and my home. But of course that is only my "last option", because i love Gothenburg and i love what i am studying. But i must admit that the change in weather and temperature is affecting me, the huge amount of studies is affecting me and i just want comfort and reassurance. I want somewhere i can live for a minimum of a year and not feel like i have to pack my things and move all the time... i mean change and change of routine is good, but sometimes i just want to settle somewhere and feel comfortable. But i guess this is just part of my life.

At the moment i have alot of things weighing on my shoulders. And just focusing on keeping myself happy and trying to do things that make me happy and keep me thinking positive. Its not always easy but im trying my best.

I am not replying to emails at the moment, i just dont have the time for it. I have so much university studies to do and i am just focusing on my own health and mental health at the moment. So even if i wish i could help you all, it just isnt possible - so hopefully you can all respect and understand that :)

Life isnt always easy, but hopefully this is just a little "phase" and not something long and outdrawn like last time.

Current reminders/relatables

Concept: It gets better. Your mind quiets down considerably. There are still days when it manages to shout its lies, but you make it past those days every time. Death no longer seems as attractive as before because life has a beauty you never really noticed. The idea of loving yourself is no longer just a thought, it’s reality, and you’re loved too, in whatever way you wish to be. You are worth it, and unlike all of those times in the past, you actually believe it.
— Maxwell Diawuoh, Once A Day (296/366)

"I hate glamorizing over-working. It’s not healthy. The fact that there are so many people going without sleep, food, personal hygiene (not to mention time for relaxation, personal time, and socialization, which are very necessary for mental health) just to stay afloat is not something to be celebrated or applauded. It’s a problem, not a goal that all good employees should aspire to, or a norm everyone should be expected to perform."

"do you ever just want to shout like… it’s because i’m sad! like yes i didn’t do my homework, yes i didn’t text you back, yes i’ve been hiding in my room! i’m sorry! but i haven’t killed myself so honestly where is my badge!"

"Your mental and physical health comes before anything. Exams can be redone. Your life can’t.
— (via aizea)"

"It doesn’t matter if it’s a relationship, a lifestyle, or a job. If it doesn’t make you happy let it go.
William Chapman"

  • depression: just skip today’s lectures and stay in bed all day and cry a bit
  • anxiety: you can’t skip any classes, don’t even miss a second, or you’ll fail and amount to nothing
  • me: can you AT LEAST not talk at the same time"

"please don’t forget
 that health is a state of being, not a body type"

As a young adult I’ve recently started struggling with some of the mental effects of cystic fibrosis coupling with pressures and stress from being in school, and now it’s harder for me to keep fighting now than it’s ever been, even just to keep doing basic things to keep myself healthy. I love being in college but sometimes I just want to drop out. I’m starting to watch my grades drop again and it makes me feel like such a failure.
— Share Your Secret | These Resources May Help

"Hey, adults of the world
How about instead of making kids terrified to ever fuck up
You teach them how to cope with the aftermath of fucking up and fix it as best they can
That way they’re not so overwhelmed with anxiety every time there’s even so much as a chance of making mistakes that they never try anything and dread making decisions because of it"

Friday, October 28, 2016

Reasons to workout that arent for physical appearance

Exercise can change the body, there is no one denying that. But i think exercising just to change your body wont get your far... you wont enjoy working out, you will feel sad because you dont see results and you will never feel good enough. There are far better reasons to workout than just to have abs... because in the end, what good are visible abs? Like honestly... if you think having visible abs is the best thing ever, comment below 5 reasons that are so great about visible abs or a thigh gap`?

Because in all honesty, from having both visible abs and thigh gap in the past... they did not bring me happiness. I did not feel pretty or happy, i didnt enjoy exercise, it was an obsession for me. Something i did to not feel anxiety or guilt. Something i did to burn calories, to change my body, to become small and most of all wanted to be invisible. I didnt want the guilt or anxiety over not exercising. Even if i had the body which had once been a goal, it didnt bring me happiness because i was never satisifed. The weight needed to be lower, the bones more visible and more of myself had to dispapear. Exercising because you hate yourself wont get you far.

For me, exercise isnt about physical appearance but so much more. .Woking out has lead me to be stronger, more confident, find something i love and enjoy and am good at. It challenges me, calms me and destresses me. Its a place for me to think and to just be, it helps me to breathe better and to be healther. Working out means that my body is strong and healthy ,i can carry heavy grocery bags home. I can walk many flights of stairs, i can walk long distances and run when i need to or want to. I can punch hard if necessary. My body can cope with different situations in life, for example because my body is healthy and strong it can fight off infections, it can "survive" if i go a few days with less or little food. My body can recover from injury and my body can function and work long hours such as when i was active for 8-12 hours daily during my summer job. My body is capable and functions. Who cares about abs or visible muscles if your body wants to give up after a 2km run or if you cant even carry grocery homes or your body collapses after one work day because its so exhausted. Working out should make you stronger, healthier and more capable and functioning in life... not make you weaker, more tired and less functioning. 

 Wanting to exercise and enjoying exercise is great, just make sure that the reasons you exercise arent just to change your body. Because you wont ever feel happy in your body if you always want to change it. Instead, find an exercise form ou enjoy and dot hat because you like it. Dont feel like it is a chore each day.

Each time i go to the gym, or run or walk or do boxing i go there with a smile on my face. I enjoy each moment even if at times it is tough, i do it because i enjoy it. And that is a reason why many dont workout, because they dont enjoy it.... when instead they could find some of exercise they actually enjoy, or can eventually enjoy anyway. Because exercising isnt just something you do for 4 weeks to change your body and never do it again... it should be part of a helathy lifestyle WITH a healthy mindset as well. Because if your mind isnt healthy then exercising isnt healthy either.  That is important as well, your mental health should be healthy while exercising as well... even if exercise CAN help with anxiety, guilt and stress... it shouldnt be causing those feelings, or not exercising shouldnt cause those feelings. But i know for me, exercising helps me relieve stress and anxiety.. but it doesnt cause me stress or anxiety. I dont feel guilty if i am too tired, dont have time or motivation to exercise... those things dont affect me. I also know that a few days of not working out wont make me lose progress, it doesnt work that way... then there wouldnt be so many fit people because if they were to lose progress after a week or two, then nobody could get injured, nobody could go on holiday for 2 weeks, because they would just everything they have worked for... but it doesnt work like that.

Think... how long did it take you to reach the stage you are at now? Why would all of that disappear in a week? Just like eating a pizza wont make you gain weight and eating a salad wont make you lose weight... its about what you do most of the time compared to sometimes. 

Anyway, this post took a turn.. but i felt i needed to write about this, as i get so many comments and emails each day about people worried about losing their progress while on holiday. Or only exercising because they want to have 5% body fat and have visible muscles and abs... but that is still too focused on appearance and even food and exercise (which doesnt have to be a bad thing, but it is still something you dont want to have too much attention on).

Anyway, this post is getting too long and off topic.... but atleast i wrote a few of my thoughts out, and maybe it can help someone.

Small repetitive recovery steps everyday

Recovering from an eating disorder is about small progresses all the time... taking baby steps forward all the time. Trying to not stand in the same place far too long, because it is easy to get comfortable. To make your habits seem normal, to rationalize your behaviours, to think that you are ok and dont need to keep going. But also to keep repeating the same steps and progresses.

I mean it is great when you try a fear food for the first time, that is a great progress, but its not over there. You dont eat pizza or chocolate or ice cream etc once and think... ive faced a fear food, i dont need to eat it again. Because that is not the case... you need to keep eating that fear food until you no longer fear having to eat it again. Until that food becaomes a normal and ok food to eat. So that if someone suggests you go for pizza or you crave biscuits or want a big bowl of pasta, that is ok. You also need to realise that YOU need to face your fears, overcome your behaviours. It is not enough for someone to tell you that you can do it and that things will be ok, but you need to try it and realise yourself that things will be ok.

I tell all my readers that things will get better, that you wont get fat from not exercising, that you wont get fat from eating chocolate, that it is ok to eat more some dae days... but that isnt enough. It can help you to calm down, but you need to actually try it and realise for yourself. I get alot of emails of people telling me that what i told them was the truth, that the bloating went away, that they learnt ot rest and it didnt kill them or making them gain loads of weight, or that increasing their calories wasnt the end of the world. It might have taken them a while to get the courage to make the change and to try, but once they did they realised that it was ok. And that is what YOU need to do as well, to gather the courage to try and to realise yourself that things will be ok. Or that your fear is not a rational fear.

Make a list of all your fears and your weird behaviour and decide to face 2 (or more) of them each week and keep facing them until they are no longer fears or habits. Try it for yourself, because what is the worst thing that could happen? Try to think rationally.... because the eating disorder thoughts are very irrational.... telling you that eating a pizza will ruin your body or will cause lots of problems, that is not the truth. So try to think rationally and TRY, that is the best thing you can do. Because without trying nothing will change and you wont even know what its like to change if you dont atleast try.

Keep making progress and dont give up or stand still.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Answers from questions in the comment section

Hi Izzy! Can you please tell me what a good nice cream recipe I can have for breakfast everyday is? I need it to satiate me but also not make me feel too sick with too much fruit? I want to eat it everyday so it's important. Thanks!
   For nice cream reipes you can use all types of flavourings such as nut butter or powdered nut butter, dates, agave syrup, acai powder and sweetner, cocoa powder and coconut shreds, vanilla sugar/powder, chocolate chip flavour, matcha flavour,  berries, mango etc The combinations are endless so try different flavourings all the time :) Dont get stuck eating the same breakfast all the time - vary!
   But also i would recommend using maybe 3-4 frozen bananas as well as toppings/flavourings such as dates, peanut butter, cacao and cereal or berries on top, to make it more substantial. I.e just 2 bananas and some cocoa powder isnt really enough for a breakfast.

HERE is a link to some different flavouring ideas
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Izzy, How are you going to deal with christmas lunches or diners now that you are Vegan? What are your family thoughts about it? And what about going to friends that are not vegan? Do you advise them in advance that you do not eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy are whatever so that they can preparer something at your attention or will you bring some of your own food?
Usulaly I would mention my way of living, but sometime they do not want to make any efforts ... and they just tell me "Come by us but sorry there will be no vegan food so bring your own food"...I find it not very friendly especialy if they invite you but know that there will be nothing for you. Sometime it hurts me a little, I tell myself that well my attendance is not that important after all and hesitate to go...if I decide to go i would bring my own food of prepare a vegan dish that everybody can eat to show tham what it looks like and that a vegan way of eating is not boring bland .......

I dont really know what i am going to do this Christmas but i am guessing that i will make my own foood and bring it with me. Thats what i did during midsummer - my family made their versions of food and i made vegan versions. I did ask if we could just make vegan versions so that there wouldnt be double of everything but they said they wanted their normal versions. My parents are lacto-ovo-vegetarians so there will be soy versions of sausages or meat balls but typical christmas dinners in Sweden is often egg, salmon, meat balls, herring, chicken and of course lots of sauces using egg and butter and cream. But i will buy and make my own versions of the foods i want and of course share with the rest of my family :)
  When visiting friends i tell them that i am vegan and will bring my own food with me just in case. I dont actually expect them to make vegan food for me if i come over.... sure there might be a vegetarian option which is great, but with plant based food my friends might not realise that by frying soy meat in butter or using mayonnaise in a sauce makes it not vegan. When visiting friends i do it more for being social and not the food and i wont allow my lifestyle or being a vegan effekt that. Sure if i go to a birthday party and there is absaloutly nothing i can eat, sure its a little frustrating but as long as i have something with me then it doesnt matter. If i invite friends over for dinner i dont think i would cook meat for them, i would make vegan options and then its just for them to eat ...  But of course true friends should take consideration into your way of eating especially if they have personally invited you over for dinner - then its not your job to make your own food. Its one thing if its a party/social gathering, another thing if its dinner for 5 people and they havent taken you into consideration.
  However, if you feel that you arent being invited to events because you are a vegan and your "friends" dont want to make vegan food for you, then maybe you can suggest that you can join as well but bring your own food. Though if your friends dont invite you just because you are vegan, then i dont know what type of friends they are. 

Does Christmas stress you out Izzy? How do others cope with everything that has to be done and organised? Or do you think its just one of those things that has to be got through?
I dont find christmas stressful, i like christmas and find it cosy :) I think people find christmas sressful if they put a huge pressure on themselves to decorate the house, find the perfect tree, buy lots of presents, bake lots, make lots of food etc But for me Christmas is about being with my family. I dont care about the decorations, i dont care about the tree, i dont care about presents... and i will only buy presents if its something that i know my family will love or something that they need, and i dont ask for anything for christmas unless it is something i really need and maybe cant afford myself or wont buy for myself. But i think christmas has become so commercial and so overhyped and so much focus on buying and spending that by the time its actually christmas people are so exhausted that they just want to lie on the sofa, drink beer and eat chocolate hahaha.  But if you try to limit all the stress and the pressure around christmas and see the nice things about it then its easier to feel more calm. You dont have to decorate, you dont have to buy presents, you dont even have to celebrate christmas.

I am not such a fan of seasonal celebrations such as easter, midsummer, halloween even on New years eve or January the 1st etc I would gladly work all of those days and celebrations and earn extra money, hahaha. But Christmas is a day i wuld not want to work because its a day of family time for me.... the only day of the year i actually want time with my family, hahah.

Christmas morning breakfast... of course im stnading on a chair in sports clothes and taking pictures of the food.

Have you any uni social plans for Halloween?
Not really, i dont really celebrate or see the point of Halloween, hahaha. This halloween weekend i am just studying as i have a test on Monday, but the following weekend i might go to a halloween party depending on if i find an outfit and decide whether i want to go or not.

Hey Izzy! I eat too little, roughly about X kcal per day. I know this is not good for my body, i actually feel tired and i lost my period again(i am recovering). My parents don't find this a problem so i don't know what to do, i also stopped exercising because i am afraid i will lose weight again:( i want to eat more but i am afraid. Do you think that working out more and eating larger amounts of food will help to get out of that hell? You are inspiring me and i want to recover!!! But it's so difficult!!

   With the very little that you are eating, your body just needs rest and food. You should not be working out while eating so little, but also as long as exercise is something negative and just about burning calories, you shouldnt be doing it. Your body needs fuel and energy daily... most people burn 1300-1500kcal just being alive, and then by actually moving and doing things their energy burn is around 1800-2300 and then if you exercise its even more you burn... and if you want to maintain or gian weight you need to eat even more.
 If your parents arent supportive i would try to find someone who IS supportive and will help you. Maybe you can go to a dietician who will help you with a meal plan, because then you will know how much to eat and when to eat and you just follow that meal plan. Or maybe a therapist who you can talk to and who can give you advice?
But most of all, you need to make a change for YOURSELF and for your body and health. You can eat little and lose weight, but that wont help you. It will just make your life worse and your health worse, so you need to want to make a change for yourself so that things can get better. I know its scary, i know its tough but you need to fight those fears and need to want to make a change! You need to challenge your fears and not let your eating disorder control you or ruin your life. Right down all the reasons to recover and make a meal plan for yourself and try to follow that everyday, however i recommend you go to a dietician so that you dont eat too little or if you increase too fast and end up with refreeding syndrome. But what you are eating isnt enough at the moment and your body is taking the consequences of it. Also dont workout until exercise is something healthy and not something you do to compensate or punish yourself.

You are stronger than your eating disorder!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How to deal with christmas - eating disorder recovery - answer

I got an ask via email - and decided to publish my answer on here (but not the question for personal reasons and could be triggering)

The first thing i think you should ask yourself is why you cant eat the food? Its only you who is telling yourself that you cant eat the food or you cant allow yourself the food. But the truth is, you need to begin sometime. Sometime you need to eat more food, face your fears, eat more than you are doing now, eat fear foods etc so why not now?
 Its only you who is saying that you cant eat the food that the others are eating. I know this isnt what you want to hear... but you have to decide that you can, want to and will do it. If you keep telling yourself no, i cant do it, i wont do it etc then you cant and wont do it.

But you need to realise that the anxiety you may feel before/during/after, that wont kill you, and the food wont harm you or make you fat or anything like. Food is energy which your body so desperately needs.... how many Christmases, days, weeks, months, years do you want to waste and struggle and throw your life away? Do you want this to be your last christmas because your body cant handle with the stress and starvation and abuse it is experiencing?

The best way to deal with christmas and food is to eat... of course, its not as simple as that, i do know that. But set up aplan. Tell yourself that you WILL eat christmas lunch/dinner with your family etc and you will ALSO eat your other meals ASWELLas your supplement drinks. What is the worst thing that will happen by eating your fear foods or eating with others or eating more than usual?

What is it that you are so scared of happening? And what is so scary about that? DO you want to live your life with this anxiety and fear forever? What will happen if you eat, if you eat more, eat your fear foods?

And remember, its ok to cry, to panic but you have to pick yourself back up and be strong and try again. To eat, no matter how aawful it may seem. No matter what your ED is telling you. Things wont get better if you dont eat or you compensate etc until you begin doing the opposite of what your ED wants and being stronger than your ED, it wont get better.

Think, this Christmas could be the starting point of your actual recovery.... think how Christmas next year could be? You could be fully healthy, have a smile on your face, look forward to the Christmas lunch, the after lunch chocolate, the family time and delicious food that this season entails.

I know its tough, but compensating with the voice in your head isnt the answer.... telling yourself that you will only eat little during christmas lunch and nothing else, just to make the anxiety a little less, thats not how it works. Infact, as i like to see it... if you are getting anxiety you are doing soemthing right because you are doing the opposite of what your ED wants. And the anxiety wont kill you.... you just need a good coping mechanism. A mantra/motto, coping and calming skill you can use. 
Decide that you WILL eat. That you will try your hardest, no matter how hard it may be. Decide that you will do it, you will fight.

(this is a repost from 2014)

Studying while struggling with depression or other mental illnesses

When you are struggling with depression, or another mental illness it can be incredibly hard to study. Hard to focus on your books or notes or hard to concentrate and remember while sitting in class,not to mention the lack of motivation when it comes to actually starting an assignment or getting the work done. If you combine anxiety and depression, where you have no energy or motivation to do anything with perfectionism where you want everything to be perfect.  The smallest details have to be perfect, but never feeling like you've done enough or its good enough.... it's an awful combination and that's what I deal with at times. Not wanting to study or work at all but at the same time spending hours each day studying and still not feeling like it's enough, it takes a huge mental toll along with other things that evoke anxiety and guilt and the extreme tiredness.

When you struggle with a mental illness, you have to be kind to yourself. Sometimes that means taking a nap after 30 minutes of studying and sometimes that means forcing yourself to just do an assignment because in the end it's better to just get it don't so that you don't suffer the anxiety of a looming deadline or unfinished assignment.

Also talking to teachers and getting support.  If you have a diagnoses it's easier to get some extra time with assignments or extra help from teachers, but whether you have a diagnoses or not you should talk with a teacher or councillor to get help or so that they understand.  They are only humans and you won't be the only one who might need extra time for assignments or need to explain why you aren't in school some days.

Also set up plans and organise.  Don't keep saying "tomorrow " because that tomorrow never really happens. Instead make a plan and decide to may do 30 minutes of work each day. Maybe read over your notes each day or read a few pages. Also do the most important thing /closest deadline first.  I have a habit of first doing the small unnecessary things for just to get them out of the way even if I have 8 weeks to get them done, I hate having an assignment looming over my shoulder.  But the best thing is to work on the assignment with the closest deadline.

Ask for help. If you need extra help or don't understand or can't get started with an assignment, ask for help.

Take breaks and fuel yourself properly. It's impossible to study if your brain doesn't have the fuel it needs.  So eat enough and drink enough water. Don't just rely on caffeine and sugar. And take breaks and rest and get enough sleep.  But don't take so many breaks that you never get work done because in the long term that won't help you.

You don't need to get top grades, but my personal opinion is that either you decide that your mental health comes first and you can't study and recover at the same time, so you take a study break. Or you decide to put you work in AND stay healthy. I.e don't force yourself to go through school if your mental health is declining all the time. Either you can balance the two or you can't.  And there is no shame in needing a study break. Taking a break or working can be very beneficial.

At the moment I am definitely feeling that studying a little harder. Less motivation, my thoughts are on other things and much more tiredness. So I am doing the best I can. Studying a little everyday.  Looking at my notes, studying with others and just doing my best. Not going to stress myself over top grades or being perfect in school.  Instead taking the breaks I need and also writing down my thoughts that interfere when trying to concentrate on my school notes.

Be kind to yourself and don't overdo yourself. Hard work does pay off, but if you lose your mental health on the way it's not really worth it.