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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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sending nondiet messages to children



Ii saw this picture and i love it because it is such a great reminder for parents or parents to be. But even siblings and other family members or even teachers.... everyone basically.

I remember when i was younger i was always told to eat lots and take an extra portion whereas my sister who was bigger then me was always told to eat less by family members. (My parents never told my sister to eat less, it was just older family members such as grandparents and aunts).
My mum has always had a very healthy relationship with food where we grew up eating mostly whole foods - alot of fruit, vegetables, oats, lentils, beans and then on Fridays or Saturdays we would get to buy some treats such as chocolate or ice cream. My dad on the other hand is a big meat eater and we would eat meat while we stayed at his place and lots of white bread and ice cream with apple pie. But we had a healthy relationship with food, it was a balance.

But i believe that it can be very different in many other households where parents are very diet focused and that affects the children. The parents might talk badly about their own body or be on a diet or talk about good and bad food... or maybe they give food to children as a reward or feed the child lots of mcdonalds or processed food which isnt healthy either.  I dont have kids myself so i can only imagine how hard it is to raise children and the struggle of just getting them to eat or to be silent, so im guessing at times its easier to just give them some pasta and meat balls or give them a bag of crisps to keep them silent - but it is so important for children to get the right nutrition and all the vitamins and minerals they need!

Children often do what parents do, they hear their parents talking negatively about food or their body and that affects the children either consciously or sub consciously. Of course i understand that some people need to be on diets or eat in a certain way to lose weight even hwen they have children, but i am sure you can do it in a way that isnt so obvious, just eat smaller portions. But also not to label food as good or bad or have food as rewards, but that food should be something delicious and seen as fuel. Predominatly whole foods and then "treats" occasionaly. No good or bad food, just about moderation.

There is so much more i could write about this and i think it is an important topic which many need to consider. Sending diet messages or talking negatively about your own appearance can influence children who are near you. For example i believe that teachers play a huge roll in this as well, they can set a good example regarding food and body image if they send the right messages and teach good nutrition as well as positive body image from a young age!!

8 comments:

  1. This is so strange to read; I've thought this my whole life! Recently I remembered being 9 and my mum taking me to her weight watchers group... and my older sisters dieting as I grew up, and telling me I have no willpower over eating certain foods. It's crazy how much sense everything makes.... and realising that has made it clearer how to get better - go against everything I learned as a child. Because you learn how to perceive the world, and yourself, as a child. So if it is damaged in some way, of course you'll struggle with that stuff when your older!

    Parents need to be made aware of this!!

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  2. This might be a bit off topic but have you ever heard of EDs being inheritable? I came across several (scientific) articles saying that this might actually be true and that children of former ED suffere rare more likely to get to suffer from an ED later in live (like children of alcohol addicts are more likely to struggle with an unhealthy relationship to acohol as well).Of course, social context also plays a huge role, but I think this is a very interesting point, considering that genetics could play a role here. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mr-personality/201204/are-eating-disorders-heritable

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    1. I've read about this before (and i might have posted about it before? ) and i think there is some truth to it, i.e that it is possible. Just like alcoholism and depression can be genetic. Ii think that some people might be more susceptible to developing mental illnesses or addictions due to genetics, but that the environment you are in is what is the catalyst and can cause the person to develop the illness or addiction. Just like some people are more susceptible to being overweight or underweight due to their genetics, but in the end its also about what they eat and their environment that causes their overweight or underweight problems even if their genes also play a role.

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    2. I' m still doubting if this is a nurture or nature case. I actually think it' s nurture more than nature! Speaking from my own experience growing up with an alcoholic dad with a smoking and coffee addiction as well and an anorexic mom (yes, I am so lucky..sarcasm). I did develop an ED and my older brother has been very addicted to smoking from a young age on. So indeed Izzy it's more about your environment I believe.

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    3. personal experience: my grandmother developed AN in later life. As a small child there was nothing remotely attractive about a skeletal grandmother. Her children (my parents' generation) did not have EDs, but in my generation two cousins of different genders, growing up in different families, both developed AN as teenagers. Moreover, the two cousins who developed it were the firstborn children of identical twins, i.e. AN in grandmother's generation skipped the identical twins, but appeared in the firstborn of each of them, unbeknown to the other until it had developed. That is not socialisation, that is genes... There were other undiagnosed conditions that might plausibly have been EDs in the 2nd generation -- SED and Orthorexia. I really do think there is a genetic element.... at least to making people strongly susceptible. But of course it is more than genes too.

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    4. It is both nature and nurture. You're predisposed to an eating disorder if someone in your family has one. If you have a trigger, ie. Abusive family member, rape, anxiety, depression, etc., you will be more likely to trigger the behavior.

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  3. Hey Izzy! I eat too little, roughly about 800 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!!

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  4. A child will definitely pick up on a parents attitude towards food so its important for the parents to give a balanced approach to all food stuffs and send the child the right messages. Just lately there has been a lot of stuff going on regarding school dinners and a celebrity chef has managed to get the schools to ditch the junk they were serving in favour of healthy whole foods. Also the Government have introduced the sugar tax on high sugar soft drinks in the hope that parents will stop buying them for their children. Schools also run breakfast clubs for children who would otherwise be coming to school without having eaten breakfast. There seems to be a whole emphasis on teaching children a healthy lifestyle and diet at the moment, which is good but sadly not all parents follow it up at home.
    I think childhood shapes your attitude towards food and eating for life and it is very hard to change that. What we grow up with becomes the norm in adulthood too.
    It is so important that we get it right for our children and try to give them a healthy and balanced approach to food.
    This topic is so interesting - thanks for highlighting it Izzy!

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