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:


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Recovery is about change of mindset and behaviours

It's easy to think that as soon as you begin to eat normally/regularly or begin to gain weight, then all your problems will be gone. However there is more to recovery than just eating or recovering physically, and I wish that more doctors and therapists etc would remember this.

A person can eat regularly or eat like "others " but still struggle emwith an eating disorder.  Only be half recovered or as I say "a functional sufferer", where you can sort of live life, sort of fuel your body but still struggle alot in silence.

It's up to you to be honest with yourself. Sure maybe you can eat normally with others but once you are alone maybe you restrict or binge? Or maybe you eat... but only certain foods and only the foods you deem as good or healthy and you never eat at restaurants or still count calories and macros.

You need to ask yourself whether your way of eating is holding you back in life or  whether it's a maintainable way of eating.

But also to be honest to yourself and others if you are still struggling. Ask yourself what behaviours you still use or whether any behaviours or habits you have are ones that are done out of guilt and anxiety ? Recovery is about changing your mindset, thoughts and behaviours.  It's a continual progress where you need to reflect upon yourself.

Just because you can eat doesn't mean you are recovered.  Just because you are a normal or almost normal weight doesn't mean you are recovered. Just because you can go to school or work doesn't mean you are recovered. Recovery comes from the inside... and YOU will know when you are recovered.  You don't need to prove that you are recovered, instead you need to feel it and know within yourself that you are free.

Some behaviours take longer to change and some thoughts still last a long time. But you can be free, as long as you don't just accept half recovery instead work on the actual problems.

Remember that recovery isn't for your family, it's not for your partner, it's not for your dog or for that trip you wanted to go to. Recovery is for YOU. Recovery is for your health, your life and your happiness.  You have to want to recover, you have to want to change... not just pretend to be healthy but live a sad life and struggle in silence. Recovery isn't just the exterior,it's all about the interior... about your thoughts and why you do things and how you think about yourself.

You have to want to recover and have to want to change even if change can be tough at times, it is worth it in the end!

Think about your habits.  Ask yourself why you do things in life.... I constantly have the habit  (or well on a 3 month basis), of asking myself why I do things in life and whether they are helping me towards my goals or holding me back or if I ever unconsciously form habits that are negative to myself or my goals, then I need to change them.  But also it makes you more mindful to do this. Can make you more aware of why you do things or why you have different routines or habits!!


  1. Say in the last perhaps 2 years, have you ever noticed any "hidden" ED behaviour ?

    1. No... but of course things like self esteem need to improve, and of course over the years my exercise habits have changed, such as back in 2012 i did alot more exercise compared to now and it wasnt always because of it being fun. But also things like when i went vegan i also realised that my super high protein intake had become a habit and i ate lots of quark when maybe what my body actually needed was more carbs. As well as at times i get into the habit of drinking coffee without milk and then i question why i do that... but i do love black coffee so sometimes i drink black, sometimes with soy milk. But just asking myself questions such as that... questioning my habits or routines and it gets me thinking. Which is why i also love when i get comments on my blod and people question my actions or what i write so that i can be critical about it! But of course i dont write everything on my blog so when people comment things i always take it with a "pinch of salt" as there is so much unwritten and unseen and i cant always express myself the way i want to.
      But i grow and progress all the time and questioning my actions and behaviours is a good way to do that :)

    2. This is a really good thing to do, asking yourself questions and play the 'role of the devil' (it' s a Dutch saying haha) by doing so. I.e. confronting yourself with things you might feel a tad bit uncomfortable about. Then again one of the reasons why I love following your blog is your honesty and your self criticism. Btw I also often feel like ' normal' people can behave so strangely around food. Some even as if they have an actual ED. When I know for sure they don't! Not in the meaning of it affecting their life, health or mental state in any form if you get me. But I do also think that when one is recovered from an ed it's critical to be aware of little things to prevent yourself from slipping back into habits that might become severe.

  2. Such a good and important subject to point out Izzy! I feel like it's really hard to see when someone is recovered. Because indeed, only the person him/herself really knows how healthy his/her mindset is. It's also a matter of being okay with a certain stage of recovery or not. I knnow someone who is very anorexic her whole life already (i can tell you some time but not sure if she wants me to put that out on the internet you know) but she is okay with the way it is. It annoys me a lot, personally, but in the end it's not up to me to judge or even give advice on the matter. I did before but she got so offensive then :( Which is sad i think. Why settle for half recvoery? Fully recovered life is SO MUCH better and different than the half recovered life (whatever that may enhance, it's all different for everybody of course).

    1. Exactly, i find it so sad when people just "accept" to be sick... they just make it their way of life and odnt even try to recover because they can still function i.e can still work or study and eat "something" even if it isnt alot. And its sad, but you cant force someone to recover, that choice has to come from them.

    2. It really is! Though so sad when it' s one of your loved ones. I find it hard not to try to help :(

  3. I think questioning your behaviours is a really useful thing to do - something I think I will begin to do periodically.
    You know when I first started recovery I had no idea of the mental side of things - I was purely focused on eating and gaining weight. I now know differently and this time round knowing this will make a difference to me, so thankyou so much for your blog highlighting this and for this recent post you have written. I don`t know why it didn't occur to me, it just didn't and sounds so silly now.
    Somehow I need to make changes to my mindset, to view myself in a different way because the slippery slope I managed to go back down is no way to live. You are so right.
    Thankyou for all your help and advice you give on here, it is truly valuable to me.

    1. I am glad that you like my posts and i got you thinking :) Its so easy to believe that recovery is just about eating and reaching a healthy weight, but it is so much more than that. Food and eating is just a little part of recovery, but changing mindset and habits so that you can be long term recovered/free, and not just be half recovered because you hold onto habits or try to convince yourself or others that you are recovered even when you arent. The more you let go of your eating disorder, the more you challenge habits and thoughts, the more free you will feel!

  4. I can relate to this post so much! I came out of hospital 2.5 years ago and since then have been convincing myself, and others, that, because I was a semi-healthy weight and had dropped half the behaviours that got me in to hospital, I was recovered. But I was scared to do things such as exercising because I knew that it may become unhelpful... and then I got a job in a hospital and did my exams etc. I felt so desperate to be recovered and move on with my life that I forced myself to believe I was recovered despite quite obviously struggling (internally). i had a couple of weeks recently where I semi-relapsed into restrictive/purging behaviours... and kept it a secret and beat myself up about it. Then I really thought about it and the fact that this has been a habit for years - and that I don't want to live like this anymore. So I did what I think the "adult" thing to do was and asked for help. But this meant I had to admit to those I love and care about, and to health professionals, what I was so scared of admitting. It was bloody hard but now I feel like I can truly start to challenge the last few parts of the ED that had been ingrained into me and hopefully beat it forever. And then I won't have to wish to be recovered! I was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and realised I need to look after my body otherwise I'll regret it so much in the future. And I've started exercising again, but I don't feel the kind of desperate/guilt urges to exercise... i feel like I want to be stronger and healthier in myself, for myself, not for other people. I think people with a history of ED need to have that sense of control over their lifestyle forever... it's just about channeling it into something else, like looking after yourself as a whole (not what you look like) and making sure you have control over your own thoughts by being self-compassionate. Not focussing on good/bad foods and attaching guilt to what you eat. It's the hardest thing, learning to accept that your own perspective of yourself may be wrong/harsh/tainted, because we create our worlds, but it's true and it's something you just have to do to get better?

    I dunno, just a few thoughts. It's funny because the posts you do are always on cue for something I'm thinking about at the time!! Thanks Izzy:)

    1. I am so happy to hear that you have been able to open up and ask for help, and hopefully now you will be honest with yourself and fight these thoughts and behaviours so that you can be fully free! You deserve a life where you know you are free and healthy and can take care of yourself, not just wish to be free or healthy :) But its all about one step at a time and being honest to yourself!!
      And like you said, its about learning to take care of yourself and use the control you might feel you want/need, and control your life in a positive way and control your future and not just try to control your body or your food. Its never fun to be diagnosed with an illness, but hopefully with the right form of exercise you wont be in too much pain or the illness wont affect you too much :)