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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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.

11 comments:

  1. Since I took away the pressure of working out, ive been enjoying it sooooo much more! Hopefully also getting stronger.

    Please visit my recovery/life blog and leave comments if you read it! xx

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    1. It's so wonderful when there is no pressure or "must" about working out. But just doing it because it's fun!!!

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  2. I stopped exercising back in June to focus on my recovery-eating more and getting my period. I'm up 10 pounds but still have a BMI of 14 (I eat 4500 calories a day) I'm itching to work out again because it's my anxiety relief. It never was obsessive for me, I could take rest days and be fine. WHen do you think I could start up again? I know I"m not at my "happy weight" but at the same time its almost doing more damage being so bored and having such anxiety all of the time

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    1. You still have a very low bmi so exercise is not recommended. Remmeber that you have the rest of your life to workout so right now you need to focus on resting and letting your body recover. Find a calm hobby or interest you can do :) wait until you reach a healthy bmi and healthy mindset before you begin exercising. You will do more damage than good if you begin exercising now.

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  3. Hi Izzy, I hope you won't mind me asking a question. I have an injury and haven't been able to exercise in 5 months, at first I could maintain my weight, but because of some circumstances I've begun to eat emotionally (I am seeing the right people to help me with this). Over the years I have followed a low calorie diet, not extremely low, like 1300 to 1500, sometimes more sometimes less, but I knew that for myself and my level of activity, it was low to constantly try to keep it under a certain number. I'm just scared that I messed up my metabolism. In the future I'd like to start exercising again when my injury is healed. I excersied because I liked it, not for weight loss, but weight is an issue for me. I'd just like to know if I completely messed up my metabolism and if I'm doomed to eat 1500 calories a day or gain weight. (Note, I am at a healthy weight, I've been to a dieticain etc,).

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    1. I can't tell you whether you have messed up your metabolisb or not. But I would recommend that you maybe increase with 100 kcal every 1-2 weeks... I. E eat 1600 kcal a day everyday for 1-2 weeks then maybe eat 1700kcal etc however I don't know how great it is to focus on calorie counting.... maybe just try eating without counting calories for a few weeks and see how you feel? Who cares if you gain weight...m a few kilo up or down isn't a huge deal. But focusing less on calories and more on wholesome and nutritious food.

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  4. Dear Izzy,

    My tears are following down as I'm writing this. I have gained 15 kg in one month and a few days. I weighted roughly 52-53 kg the weekend of 23-25 September... and now I weigh approximately 67 kg. And I'm 168 cm tall. I got an eating disorder the autumn of 2014 and I have been at a healthy weight since the late spring 2015. I have kept my weigh at 53-55kg ever since (with one expectation, I will tell u soon). I haven't had my period since August 2014, but otherwise I'm physically healthy. I left my ED treatment in February this year so they kept me for 8 months after reaching normal weight(which I think is good and unusual).

    I have been feeling so healthy lately. I have got new friends, school is going good, workouts as well and I'm enjoying life. I have even started thinking about boys, which I haven't done before. Which I think is a healthy sign and that my hormones are good ;). It felt like my life was going back to normal after being paused for 2 years. Which made me so, so happy. But in mid-September I got this extreme hunger. I couldn't stop eating, and it was not bingeing (I have never binged). Initially I didn't gain a single gram but the weekend of 23-25 September I started gaining. And I gained fast, very fast.

    I haven't eaten a single "unhealthy food" during this month and a few days. Fish, eggs, oats, avocados, nuts, potatoes, lentils, beans, veggies etc. I'm not excluding any nutrient. I know I had a low BMI even though it was a "healthy/normal" BMI, but still. Why have I gained this fast? I'm actually 2-3kg from overweigh... As I said before, I have gained once before. And that was this spring, I gained until 58-60kg but I lost it very fast again.

    It feels like someone stole my healthy life right in front of my life. I have hit rock bottom again. My friends are supportive but they don't really understand. But my family had turned their backs at me. And they are usually supportive. They say they are so tired of me and my food problem.

    I have been googling "gained 15 kg in one month" etc but I can't find ANYONE ELSE??? I feel so lonely. Am I the only one who has gained this much?

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    1. I mean... if I have gained 15kg "real weigh" that means I have been eating 112.500 EXTRA calories on top of my usual 93.600 calories for this period (2800calories*36 days). Which is more than double the amount of food....... I can see the weigh gain, like my stomach is softer and flabby haha, I no longer have my thigh gap(lol.. idgaf but still), I can't do chins anymore, I'm breathing louder etc.

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    2. I can't really tell you why you have gained weight. But I would go to the doctor and get your thyroid checked and get blood tests to see if there is a medical problem? Otherwise it might be that you are eating more than you think? Unfortunately I can't say which it is, but I would go to the doctor none the less and maybe go to a dietician and write a food diary for a few days and see? The weight gain could be for numerous reqasons and there is no way for me to know. However you aren't alone, I've had other people write to me about the same problems and for some it's due to binges, other it's medical reasons. You can get through this, but go to a doctor:)

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    3. Thank you for answering! I can just add that I'm extremely hungry all the time. I can't concentrate in school nor sleep at night because of this hunger. But I'm going to the hospital on Monday because of an ultrasound (no I'm not pregnant, it's for my liver and stomach problems hehe) and they will weigh me so they see that I have gained 15kg since my last appointment in September. Hopefully they will contact my "head doctor" so she can help me. Thank you for answering Izzy, and also to Lena Doert :)

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  5. Hey, I can totally feel your anxiety about this rapid weight gain and that you're really concerned. But, you should have in mind that the recovery process can last up until 24 month and that your body and setpoint BMI can still change during that time. An overshoot in weight is quite common during recovery and it seems from what you wrote that you were at a "lower but healthy BMI" the whole time. So maybe your is happening right now? It's really just a guess, but I found this here http://youreatopia.squarespace.com/normal/post/2018768 which might apply to you as well.
    Also, as Izzy wrote, it could be your thyroid or maybe edema/water weight. You should go to a doctor anyway to get his opinion on the rapid weight gain. But don't panic, there will be an answer and it won't last forever, I'm sure!!

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