Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

I am a generally happy girl who loves running, going to the gym and eating food!! Though my life has been very different.
I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia & purging tendencies & over exercising. I was depressed and self harmed. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
After alot of struggles, lots of ups and downs, suicide attempts, tears, anxiety, panic and never thinking i would be healthy.
I am now declared healthy from anorexia nervosia.

I have been blogging for 4 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 am happy and healthy and living my life. Going to school, meeting friends and trying to find myself in this world.

I write about my daily life, but also try to write posts about how it was when i was sick, advice and tips.
I am open and friendly, so dont be scared about writing a post or sending me an email at:


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Learning hunger and fullness feelings - always feeling the need to eat

Learning to listen to your bodies signals and learning fullness and hunger isnt always easy. Hormones control your actual hunger and fullness feelings, however different things can affect those hormones such as stress or different hormons in the body (example when you are on your period you feel more hungry). But then there is also the mental hunger or hunger due to emotions, or stress... stress CAN increase your actual hunger by messing up your hormones, or stress can just lead to a mental/emotional hunger which isnt *real* hunger. Its all rather complicated really, and you can think "how will i ever learn to know what is true hunger or not"? And all i can say is... it takes time and its a process.

These tips are mostly aimed at you who are HEALTHY. Who have a healthy weight or close to a healthy weight and are aimed at eating more intuitive/listening to your body. If you are following a meal plan or need to gain weight, then you need to eat more than your body needs and eat even if you arent hungry.  However if you are trying to maintain your weight or eat more intuitively, then you listen more to your body and dont eat "just because", but because your body is telling you that you are hungry. Also these tips are aimed for you who have a somewhat/mostly healthy relationship with food, i.e not binging or restricting, because then your hormones can be mssed up and it can be hard to follow your bodies signals/they can be messed up, and then its best to follow a meal plan and structure up your eating and so you eat at the right time and get enough energy into you. Whereas intuitive eating can mean that you eat differently each day and different amounts each day.

Image result for hunger and fullness scale

I'll start off with myself and say that 1) Stress can make me eat more but it can also make me lose my appetite so i eat less. Also 2) I can eat more just because food is delicious or just because i can i.e not actual hunger 3) I can boredom eat.

I am only human and even if i listen to my bodies signals 90% of the time, i still sometimes eat just because or just because i am bored - though im pretty sure the majority of people do this as well. And as long as its not a huge problem and i choose nutrious food during my "boredom" eating then its not so much a problem.

My best tips for listening to your body is to 1) disregard the clock. I used to be so rigourous with eating at certain times, but now i just eat when im hungry... doesnt matter what time it is. Somedays i eat lunch at 10.30am, other times at 3pm... depends when the hunger kicks in. For example if i eat a huge breakfast i might not be hungry again until 1 or 2pm, but otherdays when im not hungry in the morning and only eat a little or nothing then i might eat lunch earlier. Or somedays i eat dinner at 5pm when i get home from school and other days i eat dinner at 8pm because i eat a snack at 5pm and then dinner later on.

Having things to do is also a factor to keep away from boredom eating. For example, the days i am in school or doing things, those days i eat more structured. But if i am just at home with no studying or nothing i "Have to" do, then i can easily boredom/mindlessly eat the whole day if i dont actively choose to structure up my day. So i would say that if you are the type of person who boredom eats or just mindlessly eats throughout the day, then it can be good to structure up your eating and have certain times you eat.

Have things to do. If you study, clean, spend time with others you wont boredom eat as you wont feel that "mindless" hunger. (Of course, be honest with yourself... if you are doing things but cant stop thinking about food or your stomach is making noises, then EAT. Dont use distractions as a way to not eat. But by having things to do it makes you less likely to boredom eat.)

Boredom eating/mindless eating = not actually feeling hungry, but eating for the sake of it, or just because the food is there.
Actual hunger = you feel hunger in your stomach. You could eat anything just to satisfy the hunger feelings. The hunger doesnt go away/gets worse if you ignore it. (boredom/mindless eating often is specific cravings and something specific you want. Often those go away when you do things/stop thinking about food.)

Allow yourself to feel full/satisfied after each meal you eat. Also wait 20-30 minutes after eating before going back for more. Because the satisfied feelings dont hit your brain until that amount of time... so sometimes you think you want more when in actuality its just that the fullness feelings havent been registered yet. HOWEVER if you are still hungry after 20-30 minutes, eat more!
  ALSO... make sure that your portions are normal portions. i.e if you just eat one potatoe and a little vegetable and a little protein source - no, that most likely wont fill you up. So eat a GOOD portion, dont drink an excess amount of water to fill you up, and also combining sweet/salty food can make you feel more satisfied and so you dont have cravings afterwards.
For me personally, if i eat a savoury meal i usually eat something sweet like a fruit, dried fruit or even some chocolate afterwards and then i feel 100% satisfied. Or vice versa (i.e if i eat a sweet meal i'll eat something with salt afterwards).

Drink enough water throughout the day. Eat varied food and also eat carbs, fat, protein, fiber at each meal - this will make you feel more satisfied and full compared to if you just eat protein or just eat fats or just eat carbs... your body wants all the food groups for optimal satiety!!

Also if you dont feel hungry, then you dont have to eat. Just like if you feel extra hungry, eat more. It balances itself out - thats the whole thing about intuitive eating, that your body tells you how to eat and how much. Thats the best way to find balance with your intake!

Also remember that during that time of month (i.e your period) or if you are very stressed or depressed, then the hormones in your body can act differently and your hunger and fullness feelings can be affected, so be aware of this i.e you can feel more or less hungry. Try to listen to your body and eat more if that is what your body signals for!

I hope this helps some of you! :)
Image result for emotional vs physical hunger
Image result for hunger and fullness scale

A post that might help as well:

Hunger, Appetite and Satiety


  1. Izzy, thank you for both of today's posts, and for keeping up your amazing blog even with all the other things you do in your life. You really are extraodinary in a beautiful way.

  2. This post is very helpful :)

  3. I don't want to spam, but it seems that my comment just won't appear as published. Maybe it is too long, so I will split it to several parts..

    1. Dear Izzy,
      Sorry for bothering you with my problems, but I am in a desperate need of help. I know that you do not have enough time studying at university, but maybe some another reader will be able to provide some advice.
      I have suffered from anorexia for 3 years but I have gained weight since then rapidly. And that is the problem. My dietician recommends me to lose some weight due to health issues. I jumped from the one extreme to another. Now my BMI index is too high – and yes, I am aware of that the BMI is not an accurate source of information whether your body is at a healthy set-point or not – but my dietician says if I do not lose weight, it would cause me big health troubles. Another thing is that I am not allowed to exercise (again, same health reasons), so the only solution for me is to reduce the energy intake and eat less.

    2. I am 100% sure that in several posts you have written that after having weight set on a healthy point (for you, regarding daily activities) and then you gain some more which causes you uncomfortable feelings or troubles, you will be able to lose it easily because you know darn well how to do it. You were used to it in the past.
      The reality? I cannot! I got so used to eat extreme amounts of food, huge meal portions, sometimes even overeating and my stomach is so stretched out that I can’t eat smaller portions now. Whenever I eat less or at a times different from my typical schedule, my stomach starts to rumble, I cannot focus and sometimes I even start to shake due to low level of blood sugar. When I am hungry I can’t pay attention to my tasks and all I can think of is food, food, food! This is unacceptable because I am a working woman/girl and I need to focus on my responsibilities.

    3. Is there a solution how to solve this matter? What would you recommend? How to proceed? Should I assemble a strict meal plan and follow it no matter what even if I will suffer terribly? I know that there is a possibility to decrease the intake gradually, day by day, kJoul after kJoul, but I am afraid I lost all the strong determination and conviction I had had before, when suffering from anorexia (apparently, it was the illness itself that drove me forward). I know almost certainly that I will break the meal plan and will be cheating on it (and what’s even worse, cheat on myself). Also, eating 5 or 6 times a day is not possible because at work we are not allowed to snack on during work time (office full of computers and devices – we cannot make a mess – scattered crumbs, spilled liquids..).

    4. I am so sorry for this long and unstructured post. It is rather incomprehensible but I hope you will understand what I was trying to say. I know that I am reaching for help to an exactly opposite issue that you are used to deal with on your blog. So once again, I would be grateful if you or one of your readers could give an advice or recommendation what to do. Maybe I am not the only one dealing with this type of problem. There are too many people on this planet and some of us will need to lose weight which is beneficial for us. Thank you in advance for any reaction. Your blog is awesome and I scroll through it every single morning. Looking forward for the reply, best wishes and have a wonderful day.

    5. P.S. To explain it a little bit more: I am so much afraid of being hungry, it is like I do not want to experience that awful feeling back then of extreme hunger, empty stomach and times of serious deression that my mind automatically refuses to stop eating less and wants more. It is not an intention, I do it subconsciously - hence that statement that I certainly will break the resolutions and meal plan.

    6. Hello,
      I understand your situation and well i am a little apprehensive to answer in my comments as it could be triggering for others, but also i am not ahealth proffessional. I think it is best that you talk to your dietician about how you feel but also maybe you can talk to a psychologist/therapist about how you feel. Because that feeling about being scared of being hungry - ive been through that as well. When i just ate and didnt ever want to feel hungry, as well as being extremly hangry if i ever missed a meal. But the truth is, that its ok to feel hunger and if you have been extreme eating - overeating, your body has adapted to that and yes, your stomach size has most probably increased and your body wants the normal huge portions. I dont know how much or how you are eating now - whether you are binging or what types of food you are eating? But i would say... think about what foods you eat. Try to aim for lots of low calorie foods that give you lots of volume (It feels so wrong to write this - but of coruse everyone is in different situations.)

      I dont know how your mental state is... how much you suffer with an eating disorder or restrictive thoughts? So you dont want the weightloss to trigger you, but also you have to realise that you can lose weight without restricting massively. Maybe you can increase daily exercise such as walking more throughout the day or maybe beginning yoga - that can be so helpful both mentally and physically. And maybe have hobbies and things you can do in the evenings - if you are the type of person who overeats during the evenings?
      But also talk to someone... talk to a therapist, talk to your dietician. And following a meal plan is a good idea. No huge restricting or tiny portions, but yes... you will feel hungry and the portion sizes will be different. But its ok to feel hunger and your body will adapt - if you follow a meal plan with the correct energy amount within 3-4 weeks your body will have adapted. Dont try to do the weightloss on your own as it can be very triggering or you might do it wrong - but also dont put a huge pressure on yourself to lose weight even if it is for medical reasons. Because you know what, if you keep thinking "You have to lose weight" but you dont lose weight, that can just stress you out and makes you eat more, feel guilty and anxious and that makes you eat more etc etc and it turns into a negative cycle.

      Ttry to curb your cravings. Make sure to get all your macro and micronutrients. Check your blood levels to see if you are missing any nutrients or vitamins or minerals, and also make sure you arent stressing too much. Because stress = your body holds onto weight. Also drink enough water, sleeep enough hours. I dont know how extreme your weight gain has been, but maybe now you just need to focus on not gaining weight and trying to balance your intake so that you maintain weight for a while... just focus on balanced eating - some form of daily movement, trying to love yourself and be HEALTHY. Disregard weight, just focus on balance and maybe in a few weeks or months time you can focus on changing your diet to lose weight or able to increase exercise or maybe your body settles and naturally loses weight, or maybe you just dont need to lose weight at all unless it is an actual serious risk of an illness.

      Dont stress yourself out or feel anxious or guilty, that will make you feel worse and wont help you find balanced eating.

      I dont know how helpful my comment is. You can email me if you want, however i have very little time to answer emails at the moment so its almost better to comment... though commenting can be triggering as well, hahah. But email if you want/need more advice, or just comment below.

    7. Also this page: might be helpful.

      You have another challenge to face now, but know that you can overcome it. Also consider CBT training as that can help with your mental fears about ebing hungry. Ask yourself why it scares you and why it is irrational. You might need to chew gum or dirnk extra water, but you DONT need to starve yourself.. but of course decreased portions will mean you wont feel 100% satisfied... but its all mental. But like mentioned above, maybe just diregard weightloss and just focus on health and balance and maintaining weight and dealing with the psychological problems before you try to alter your weight as that can just make things harder and more complicated. Eating disorders are mental disorders and so you need to focus on mentally recovering and the weight is something you can focus on later, but fully mentally recovering.

    8. Hi Izzy, thank you very much for your advice. I am no that type of person that binge eats, it was just that in the beginning I was forced to eat, therefore I got used to huge portions. In fact, I eat very healthy food - no sugar, no sweets (I do not ceave them). In fact, I eat primarily vegetables only, once a day a fruit option, tons of yogurt (unsweetened) and cheese (not low fat though, but I think that the low fat versions have more chemicals in it) and maybe once a 1-2 weeks some meat. So I think my meals are pretty balanced and contain lots of vitamins and minerals. The only problem is the amount.
      But as you said, I aparently do not have a halthy relationship with food and my mental state is not ideal right now. As you pointed out, I am under pressure, stressed from work and it does no good to me.
      Nevertheless, thank you SO SO MUCH for your comment, I will try my best to get comfortable with some hunger feeling and try to follow a mealplan, even if I know it will be hard. But deep inside I will remember your kind words and know that what am I doing is right.
      Have a wonderful day!

  4. Hi, your problem is actually not that uncommon about former anorexics, as I have read several articles on that before. I would highly suggest to talk to a therapist! Obviously, you still have an unhealthy relationship to food. You need to find a balanced and healthy way to cope with food without fear in any sense and hence need to go to the root of the problem. But give your body and mind time to adapt - it's a process which can take years, but as long as you're taking babysteps towards a healthy body and mindset it WILL WORK in the end. I wish you all the best and good luck!! :)

    1. Dear Lena, thank you very much for your reaction, I really appreciate it. I am aware that my relationship to food is rather unhealthy and I am trying my best to fix that. It surprises me a little that this problem appears among "ex-anorectics" frequently. But that only means there certainly is a solution to this situation and it is only a matter of time to get out of it. So thank you again for the reply and for the wishes. Have a wonderful day!

  5. it was not me who wrote the query/comment, but thank you Lena and Izzy, and to the person who did write it x.