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:


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hunger and fullness? Overthinking eating - answer

Izzy, do you have any advice on being sort of denial about hunger. Like, this is a REALLY complex mental issue of mine, but to explein it in short:
1) Hunger can cause feeling low and sad, right. That's biochemicaly correct
2) One can feel hungry without actually needing more food/energy (ie emotional hunger or lack of sleep)
3) One can feel full even WHEN actually needing more food/energy (ie, having eaten too volumous foods without adequate energy)
4) One can sometimes have energy when hungry AND sometimes not have energy when full
5) One can have little energy without it having to do with lack of food.

Combine all these "theories" and you have my messed up mind regarding hunger. When in school I always feel like "I have energy, I can't be hungry, I don't wanna eat because wouldn't it be considered emotional eating to eat if not physically hungry?". And when my stomach is empty: "Why is my stomach growling, I have enough energy, I don't feel like eating even". This leads to me having a panick attack and suicide impulses because of what I think is actual hunger (or lack of food). However, if I'm bored at home I am the other way around. Using all these "excuses" or explainations to eat. Like, "my stomach is growling, so i can eat now" and eat even if I am not physically hungry or even actually want food. 

My whole day revolves around this thinking where nothing ever feels "just right" in terms of either energy, hunger/fullness, apetite/loss of apetite, etc etc. Like, all these rules about hunger and energy don't add up in "real life". It is like I am looking for a "one size fits all"-solution. 

And the emotional part about hunger causing feeling low makes it hard for me to know weather I eat to soothe my emotions or because of hunger. 

I am always expecting something to "happen" when I eat or don't eat, that "just right"-feeling :( 

This thinking is a major stressor for me, as I always fear the panick attacks that can come because of hunger - AND for no reason at all. The sheer feeling of hunger is something I have to go through every day like normal people. But it upsets me that it is something I cannot control and predict and reason with. 

I have also lost weight due to this, which makes me underweight, and I know that would worsen the thought chaos. However, when I was above "normal weight" I stil had these obsessive thoughs. 

Don't know why I'm sharing this... Just wanted some relief I guess

Hello,  I understand completely what you write, because as you mentioned in the  points all of those statements are right and hunger and fullness is very confusing because it can be both mental and physical reasonings but also if you dont have a very good relationship with food it can be hard to know actual hunger and hunger due to other reasons. But it sounds very much like you are overthinking food and hunger and fullness far too much. There is no "one right way", and when you overthink hunger and fullness and obsess about food you lose balance completely. And the more you try to focus on when to eat or not eat the harder it is to find balance because there is no "right" time really.

My best advice would be to try to start with a meal plan with 5-6 meals per day. This is because when your body and mind are out of tune and hormones arent working as they should (i.e what controls actual hunger and fullness), then its hard to listen to your body. So the best thing then is to just eat regular meals throughout the day and let your body adapt to that instead of overthinking when to eat and what.  As your body then adapts to the regular eating you will also begin to feel hungry during those times that you eat - it can take a few weeks for your body to normalize and to feel hunger and certain times but with regular meal times it will help. But also it will keep you from getting those low blood sugar dips which can lead to anxiety, moodiness and negative thoughts. Not to mention that if you go so long without eating it makes it even harder to eat because it is like the ED voice gets stronger the longer you go without eating - hence why regular eating is so important in recovery as well as it keeps you from getting to that stage where you are VERY HANGRY and eating is harder than it should be.

I wouldnt overthink food so much, instead follow a meal plan and regular meals (the best would be to go to a dietician who can help you so that you eat enough. .Because even if you eat regular meals but arent getting enough energy your body will adapt to that but you wont be getting the right energy and wont be helping yourself 100%). And when you have a plan to follow then you eat your food whether you are hungry or not and there should be no second thought to it. Because once you begin thinking "should i eat, shouldnt i eat. Am i hungry or should i wait" then you will just make it even harder to eat because your eating disorder will always convince you to not eat if you have the chance.

So taking the thinking and planning away from food can help to normalize your eating and make it more regular and also gives your body the fuel it needs so that it can recover and hormones and bodily functions can start to become more normal again.

Once your body has become more balanced then it is easier to try to eat intuitively where you can just listen to your bodies signals i.e somedays you eat more, somedays less but there is a balance. However some people are more sensitive to things such as stress, emotional eating, anxiety that makes them lose appetite or just forgetting to eat which means that intuitive eating isnt for them and they need a meal plan to follow otherwise they end up not eating enough or eating too much. So some people just need some form of meal plan to keep them on track and get enough energy and that is ok as well!!

I know this isnt the best answer or advice but food shouldnt be so much mental instead it should be physical - however when you have an eating disorder both the physical and mental sides of hunger and food are messed up and then its best to just follow a plan!! :)

1 comment:

  1. My dietician encouraged me to write meal plans for the last 2 weeks, and it helped me sooooo much. I had so much more time to think about things other than food, instead of worrying about my next meal. IT also helped me recognize patterns in my eating habits (i.e.. plenty of fruits and veggies, too few carbs).
    It also helps me choose when I will eat 'scary' foods. Sure, I start get anxiety that day when I have to eat something different and I try to make excuses as to why I can't eat it, but at least I'm trying.