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, October 3, 2016

Lifestyle change - exercising less, feeling more hungry - answer

Hi izzy can you help please? I've just restarted college so i can't exercise like i used to as theres no time and when i get home I'm too tired so my weight has been shooting up which is extremely frightening and also I've been feeling so so hungry too that I've had to up my diet despite the weight gain but as I'm doing this alone i don't know what to do to stop the hunger. I've just forced my self to have a second sachet of porridge to my normal snack of 1 sachet but I've also had to eat an extra slice of toast before bed too. i feel so out of control. i can't concentrate on my work and don't know what to do to stop the hunger. i am very near my target weight, thou i set this, so now I'm scared cos ill have to reduce my food soon but what about the hunger? i just feel I'm always in pain and only to the point of agony do i give in and allow myself to have something extra but I'm often taking it out of my meal allowance so its all messy and i just feel a big fat greedy pig. i just want to be free. i can't go on like this. does extreme hunger make you put on loads of weight? also what do i need in my diet to help with the hunger? i have a fear of fats so my diet is pretty much fat free, is this why?



Hello,
   It doesnt sound like your mindset is so healthy at all, and there are many thoghts and fears you need to challenge. Exercise shouldnt be done "just so that you can eat" or to compensate for eating - exercise should be done because you enjoy it, but also you can eat even if you dont exercise, you dont need to compensate or eat less. The reason you might be feeling so hungry is 1) When you are studying your brain uses alot of energy to concentrate and focus and you feel more hungry, 2) You feel more stressed which can increase hunger, 3) Your body so desperatly wants more food and calories and to reach its healthy weight (DONT focus on numbers, Jjust because you have set your goal weight at X kg doesnt mean that your body will settle there. So allow your body to settle where it wants and dont focus on a number). 4) Exercise can actually surpress appetite, so now when you exercise less your true hunger is coming and you should listen to that hunger.

You shouldnt walk around feeling super hungry, then you wont be able to study or concentrate or do anything because you will just think about food and how hungry you are. So my best suggestion is to make sure you are satisfied after every meal. DOESNT MATTER how much you need to eat... doesnt matter if you need to eat 3 portions of oatmeal in the morning or 3 portions of pasta in the evening - eat until you are full. Also healthy fats are essential in your diet but also they help fill you up. Fats dont make you fat. You need healthy fats in your diet and i can assure you that if you add fat into your daily intake it will help keep you fuller and more satisfied! Add some nuts or nut butter to your oatmeal, add oil to your food or avocado on toast or to your salad, add seeds and nuts to your snacks. Your fear of fats is something you need to overcome and face, whether you do it this week, next month or 3 years from now you cant fully recover unless you face that fear as it is holding you back in life. Ask yourself,  why do fats scare you and are those thoughts logical? What will happen if you eat healthy fats? What are you scared will happen? Slowly add them back into your diet, maybe start with adding 1 tablespoon of nut butter to your oatmeal in the morning or adding butter on your bread. .Small steps will make a difference.

And eat. Eat until you are satisfied, forget about numbers. Your body is giving you signs that it wants more food and then you need to listen to those signs. Restricting wont help and can lead to binge eating in the future if you keep trying to go against your bodies signs.

The only way you can overcome your fears and feel more balanced is by facing your fears - no one else can do it for you. All these things holding you back, you need to overcome them.

Dont step on the scale for a few weeks. Instead allow yourself to eat and focus on your studies but also on having a social life/meeting friends. Dont hide away and suffer in silence. By trying to live life and be around normal and healthy people it can help alot in recovery when you arent just stuck with your own thoughts and fears, but instead out living life and trying to be as healthy or normal as you can - i.e eat lunch with friends or go for a coffee and bun if friends ask you to join. And dont worry about exercise, you dont need to exercise and if you dont have time for it, its ok. Right now i think you should just focus on trying to face your fears, trying to fight the voice in your head and also cope with your school work.

I would also suggest seeking some type of proffessional help if you can - it is very helpful and can help you to cope with stress or just someone to talk to.

You are not lazy for not exercise and you are not greedy for being hungry. Also with the "meal allowances" maybe the best thing is to disregard that meal plan for a while and just eat... it can help take away the guilt if you see food as "extra" when its not extra, its just more because you are hungry. If that makes sense.... the meal plan can be a good base line to follow i.e with your meals everyday, but if you are extra hungry then you should eat more and not see it as "extra" or "greedy".

You need to face your fears and deal with the anxiety and know that it will get easier. But a life with an eating disorder isnt a life, its just surviving. You are strong enough to get through this!! You just need to dare to make a change in your life and in your eating and dare to go against your ED thoughts. Nothing bad will happen and weight gain isnt the end of the world... there are far worse things than gaining weight.
  Dont focus on a number - not on weight, not on calories, not on minutes of exercise done. Instead focus on being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself. The hunger will fade when you eat more and increase healthy fats in your diet and you will be able to focus and concentrate and sleep better when you eat more and not feel so hungry.

Focus on the healthiest and happiest version of yourself - and that means fighting free from the ED thoughts! :)


6 comments:

  1. Hey Izzy,
    I didn't ask this question, but thank you for this post. I just started university as well, and finding time to exercise has not been a priority. It made me really anxious. But now that I'm finding a routine, I'm starting to find times to exercise, but only when I feel like it!! This transition to uni life has been really stressful, but it's definitely been beneficial. I'm challenging my fear foods, forcing myself to rest, and able to focus on my studies.
    Thank you for all of your suggestions and advice.
    Good luck with school!

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    Replies
    1. That is so great to hear :) I have found now with university that i have less time and motivation to go to the gym and that is ok, life goes on and i exercise when i want to and have energy and thats the best thing! :) I hope everything goes well for you in university and that you feel more settled and find your routines and habits again :)

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    2. hello Izzy,
      i need help as this is confusing me. you keep saying its ok to eat and eat because hunger is the body calling for food. but all i want to do is eat and i KNOW that once i start i wont be able to stop and surely that will lead to weight gain to the extreme? it will cause the opposite to what i am now - from starved to obese especially as my metabolism is ruined due to 21 years of suffering anorexia. i dont know what to do :( if i eat when i am hungry then i will be eating all of the time, lose control and end up fat. please help me i am so alone. thank YOU so very kindly ♥

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    3. in addition to Izzy's blog, these links might help you:
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hunger-artist/201603/how-does-metabolic-rate-really-change-after-anorexia-part-1
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hunger-artist/201603/how-does-metabolic-rate-really-change-after-anorexia-part-2

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    4. I'm not the above but thanks so much for these links its really interesting x

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  2. Thank izzy for replying to my question i really appreciate all ur help and suggestions i am going to take on board what you say. I've just made myself a bowl of porridge cos i was starving - trying to fight the fear and get on with my homework. ill try make steps with the fats too like you said maybe marg on my toast. thank you again for taking the time to help me thanku x

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