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, December 29, 2016

Changes of exercising less - mentally

Could you maybe do a post on doing less exercise, and changes you may feel mentally/physically, and how you feel?

When it comes to exercise the amount that is right and what is balanced depends on the person, but also at what stage of their life they are in.... for example when i was in recovery from anorexia no exercise was the best exercise, then at a stage in my life i could workout 6 days a week and that was balanced for me, i wasnt tipping over any edge... but then that 6 days a week got to much when i had other things to balance in my life. And now the amount of times i workout in a week varies and in all honesty, i dont actually keep track of how often i workout. Its not important to me how often i am at the gym, but of course walking and running is also exercise and working out - so those count as well. But i just wanted to start off by reminding you all that life changes and what was balanced before might not be balanced later on in life because sometimes you have more things to juggle and other times less things to divide your time amongst. 

Also, when it comes to exercise addiction my best advice is to stop completely with exercise. I dont believe in the "workout a few times a week" recovery from exercise addiction. Maybe i am just biased, but for ME i had to stop completely with exercise to learn to be ok with resting. I had to learn that it was ok to rest completely, to take naps during the day if i needed them, learn that i could eat all the energy my body needed and not do anything and not necessarily gain weight. Later on when i was a healthier weight and mindset i was allowed to  begin going for walks with my dog and later on shorter runs, but it was still a struggle because i so badly wanted to do more...  and also there was a time a few months after being allowed to exercise where i began to do alot more cardio than what was necessary and it did become a sort of "Must/have to". I have written about this before, but at the time in 2012 i didnt necessarily realise what i was doing, but afterwards i realised that the mindset i had started to have wasnt the healthiest. So its important to be aware of your own thoughts and know why you exercise. But also one of the key things i notice if i do too much exercise is that 1) normal workouts feel alot tougher, 2) i dont feel positive or energetic after a workout, instead i just feel tired, 3) i would workout and then have no energy for the rest of the day.  And that is not how it should be if you are just a normal, healthy person who workouts to be healthy. The workouts should give you energy and make you feel positive but also it shouldnt take so much energy that you are left lying on the sofa the rest of the day.

So.... how does exercising less help/change you physically? I can only talk about my own experience (and lets be clear, i know i still workout often compared to others, so no need to comment about that.).

1) I notice that when i do workout i have more strength compared to when i would workout daily
2) I get more sleep now, and sleep is so so important which i dont think i have fully understood until now
3) Weight doesnt just automatically shoot up and you dont just lose muscle because you workout less. 
4) Your body recovers better
5) You have more time for other things whether its friends, family, hobbies, studying, work
6) Mentally - more rested, more focused on other things in life, different priorties
7) More relaxed and less stressed. Exercise does stress the body, and if you combine lots of exercise with a rather stressful life then it just becomes too much stress and too much cortisol and if you dont rest properly it will just be too much for your body - sooner or later.

Just some of the changes i could think of now. But also when i was on complete rest during recovery, i realised that the body was pretty amazing and that it tries to keep itself in balance/homeostasis all the time and it adapts. 

You have to remember that exercise IS healthy and good to do, but how much depends on the person. .So dont compare your exercise to anyone elses, everyone has different lifestyles and different bodies. I mean people who are PT's can spend their whole day at the gym and other people who have "fitness" or are elite and spend all day working out. Whereas just a normal person with work, hobbies, friends etc might just workout 3-4 times a week and thats ok. Exercise does have positive benefits on the mind and it has been proven to help people with depression (of course exercise is no cure for depression and the positive benefits happen over 6+ months), but if you suffer from exercise addiction you dont get the positive rush of endorphines as exercise is just connected with anxiety and compulsion, so you need to break that connection and learn to rest and be ok with resting before you get back into exercising - and maybe find a new form of exercise!

I dont really know if i answered your question or not, but maybe others have experiences of their own to share or other comments :)
Remember life comes first, and rest is super super important!!!

1 comment:

  1. It was hard for me to get used to not being able to do the things I wanted to do ie I enjoyed going for a morning walk so not being able to go was difficult at first. But I got used to it and filled my time with other things. Now things are improving and I have found I can manage very short distances but instead of going out everyday as I used to I only walk about 3 times a week. But I am happy with this and just thankful that I can at least do this.

    Hope you are well Izzy and enjoying what is left of 2016 - are you going to do a review of the year this year?