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, January 21, 2017

Answering questions


Great post Izzy!
I was just wondering - have you learnt how to drive? I'm just curious, as you were suffering from anorexia when most people start learning (at least, here in Australia), and I've heard that heaps of people in Europe don't drive because of the public transport. (Public transport is a lot better for the environment anyway!)

Hope you have a great day!

Hello:)
   No I haven't learnt to drive yet.  I'm not so motivated to actually learn either, I know that it's a great thing to have but I'm rather scared of cars and driving.  It's most probably because driving and how it works is so unknown to me,I've never tested and never had that control over a car so I don't know how it works or feels. I had the goal to start driving theory last summer but then I worked so much that I never got around to it, and this summer I might start with the theory depending on time and if I can invest in it :) I don't personally want to drive but having and drivers license has so many benefits and also means I can go on road trips without being the person who just sits in the back seat ^-^ it's just about me facing my fear and actually doing it!!

Have you found you are less hungry since following the vegan diet? ie not wanting to eat so often because the amount of vegetables and fibre fill you up for longer? I have found this myself and was wondering if this was normal?

Hmmm, it depends and is different from day to day. In the past I used to eat 5-7 meals per day and that worked well for me and my lifestyle and I felt hungry every 3 hours but now I just eat 4 times per day and my meals are very huge and that works best for me. And of course days I'm extra hungry I eat more often or eat less days I'm not so hungry.
  Vegan food often has more fiber if you cook the food yourself  and if you use alot of vegetables and potatoes, beans and lentils it will make you feel full and bloated. But I find that for the majority of the time I get hungry every 4-5 hours, but of course if I just eat example a salad and some fake meat then I get hungry within 69 minutes.  Or if I just eat one portion of oatmeal and some nuts that doesn't fill me up at all.... so I eat rather big portions and make sure that I am satisfied after every meal :) the important thing is that you are getting in enough energy. For example when I ate a bunch of fruit I wasn't getting enough energy and the fruit filled me up which meant I wasn't eating enough and didn't feel so hungry.  So if you aren't getting the right energy because you feel too full then you need to try to eat more energy dense food or add seeds, nuts, oils, avocado etc to your meals.

Hey, do you maybe have any of the food that you really don't like and it's vegan? Do you have any kind of food that you don't like because you had to eat in hospital very often? I for example started to hate apples because I had to eat it every day in hospital!!

Of course, there are plenty of vegan and non vegan foods I don't like. Example sausage I don't like the vegan or non vegan version and I don't eat it. And like I've written before, I couldn't eat potatoes for roughly 2-3 years after my time at Mando because I had to eat boiled potatoes 1-2 times a day for almost 1,5 years (of course Somedays I got rice or pasta instead but it was mostly potatoes). But eventually I began eating potatoes again and love them, but can still not eat or like boiled potatoes ^-^ if you find that you are getting tired of apples then eat another fruit, you might like apples again after some time of not eating them! When you eat too much of something or eat it too often it's easy to get bored or dislike the food for a while.
   For example I eat food in phases, sometimes I find a combo which I love and eat it all the time until I get tired of it and find another combo I like and it continues like that :)

hello, Izzy, when you next do vegan Q&A, maybe one on veganism & menstruation? and veganism & metabolism?

I haven't read so many studies or done research about these topics but first off I want to say is that you shouldn't lose your period even if you change to a vegan diet. If you lose your period that's a sign that something is right in your body and you need to get it checked out. It could be that you aren't eating enough or you aren't getting enough healthy fats in your diet, but if you notice your period is gone then you need to get that checked up so that it doesn't lead to long term consequences.

And with vegan diet and metabolism, I have many people write to me and say they want to eat vegan just so that they can eat alot and increase their metabolism.  It doesn't work that way and veganism isn't a diet... then you just want to eat plant based for health reasons and can't call yourself a vegan, but also I personally think that type of question is disordered. The whole "eat 30 bananas a day" and you can eat as much as you want when you're a vegan isn't accurate. A person can eat plant based and gain weight and you can eat plant based and lose weight - I've personally done both.  I.e i lost weight and also regained about 3-5kg on a vegan diet. Sure plant based food has more fiber and can leave you feeling more full but that can be both positive and negative. It doesn't increase your metabolism and you can't go from eating X calories to y calories just because it's vegan.  Of course you shouldn't be scared of eating more or enough but I don't think you should eat plant based just to try to increase metabolism, but also if you are just eating lots of salad and fruit and thinking "I can eat as much as I want, I'm never hungry" you might not be getting the energy or nutrients you need eating such low calorie foods.

I needed this today, thank you so much! I have a question, I've felt like I'm avoiding a lot of interactions with friends and even people in general. I know I feel better when I'm around others, it just can be difficult, with limited places to go in my area, and anxiety when talking/talking over the phone. Any ideas or experiences would be helpful. Thank you Izzy

Hmmm, it's easy to isolate yourself and not realise you are doing it, but I would recommend maybe a study date with friends or a work date? Or just suggesting going for a coffee. It may be scary but the best thing you can do is ask.... sometimes friends don't even realise that you have been isolating yourself or they have noticed and stop inviting you to things because you never join, so then the best thing is to just be the first one to ask. Take the initiative!!! And things you can do.... cinema, study, go for coffee/to a cafe, go for a walk, maybe suggest they come to your house and you can bake something or make dinner, watch a movie at your place etc maybe not the best ideas but just a few suggestions.  Know that the more you isolate and avoid people the worse you will feel. Maybe set the goal to meet someone at least once a week so that you do something and meet someone, it's just to do it. There are times I've wanted to cancel plans because I have anxiety or just don't feel like being social but I make myself go anyway and often have a good time,or if I'm not enjoying myself I leave early and can at least be proud that I did go!! :)p

7 comments:

  1. hi izzy I'm so anxious and upset, my weigh is continually going up I've now put on 30kg in total and don't think i can take much more. I've never ever been this big before. I'm also 5kg over the weight the max the hospital would've stipulated (i got better on my own cos they gave up on me). I am exercising body pump and swimming and some yoga as this is what i enjoy. i look 9mths pregnant and I'm worried I'm gonna become obese. I'm always hungry too. I've had bloods done so the drs don't want to know as they can't see whats wrong and are only concerned if i lose. but I'm so scared I'm researching diets everyday and can't seem to do anything to get my wet to stop going up. I'm not even eating tons of food neither and my food is all over the place so I'm just besides myself. i also haven't had a period for over 22 yrs so it can't be that. do you have any advice ?

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    1. I really sympathise with this. I am so sorry you are struggling, and I am also so proud of you for managing so far, with so little hospital support. Don't give up now! Have you read about "overshoot" and about "extreme hunger"? Emily Troscianko's blogsite (A Hunger Artist, on Psychology Today) is good on this. She experienced it herself, and she has readers who write in with similar stories, and the conversations there tend to involve people at the older end of all this.
      Your body will adjust in the end; your task is to respect it. (Caveat: I am not a qualified medical health professional, but everything I have to go on from reading and from experiencing things suggests this.) Another older person who actually posts on the bloating characteristic of this phase of recovery is Tabitha Farrar on her blogsite. The things you are experiencing are things other people experience too, and everything based on what you say and what else I have read or encountered suggests you are on the right road -- just don't lose confidence! Again, I am not a medical professional, and I only know of you what you say here; I am writing what I believe and think, but I don't *know*. (From a reader who wishes you well :-) )

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    2. Hey, I agree 100% on what's posted above. Emily Troscianko's blog on psychology today is awesome and I'm sure it will help you a lot with your current weight struggle. Overshoot and extreme hunger is a very common side effect in recovery from a restrictive ED but your body will adjust eventually,you just need to trust amaa give it some time!your weight gain will NOT go on forever,is just that your body needs to overshoot a little after being suppressed to stay underweight for a long time. Your also wrote that you've never been this big on your life. I don't know for how long you suffered from your ED but you should keep in mind that age plays an important role here. Weight gain with age is very common and nothing abnormal at all, even if you would have never suffered from an ED you'd most probably been "at you biggest" now, simply because metabolism changes with age. I'm not a nutrionist and /or medicine /health coach,b but experienced similar things in my own recovery and read a lot about it,too. Good luck, just stay calm, keep recovering and give your body and mind some time to adapt ☺️

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    3. bless you lena and anon thanks so much for your support just having someone there means a lot to me thanks and thank you for your advice and links to people to look in to. in response to your q lena, I'm 36 and have suffered with AN for practically as long as i can remember. i have had countless hospital admissions but as above they gave up on me saying i was a chronic anorexic and i would never recover so i had to recover myself but now I've put on 30kg i just feel a heifer. i only planned to put on 15 but it just kept going and going at a rapid rate. I just feel like I'm never going to get a handle on this xx

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    4. I'm glad that you could get a response from lena and anon, and like they said weight can overshoot the "target healthy weight" before it settles. Don't focus on diets or restricting that is the wrong mind set and can just lead to binge-restrict cycle. I don't know how much or how often you eat but regular meal times and eat until you are full as well as making sure to eat carbs,healthy fats and protein with your meals. Try not to weigh yourself and just stick with regular meals and also making sure to not over exercise and stress your body too much. When you have an eating disorder the body is under alot of stress, and normal body functions might not work as they do. Remember that recovery is about mindset change as well. So I would recommend not weighting yourself for a while and trying to change your mindset ando face those fears that hold you back. And like lena said, weight changes with age... you can't expect to weigh the same as you did before you became sick, both because of metabolism and age difference. Give your body time to recover!!

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    5. I'm also in my 30s and I most definitely experienced this. I PANICKED and fought it and spent way too long going back and forth with it. I feared it would never stop, I'd never feel full and satisfied, I'd never stop gaining. Fighting it stretched the process out interminably. If I had relaxed into it and let the process happen, it would have settled itself much sooner. As it was, I only stopped fighting when I basically admitted defeat. What I was doing (fighting) wasn't working, and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I gave up. Paradoxically, this is when I found freedom. As soon as I surrendered to the process, I started seeing change. As my body learned to trust that I was going to continue nourishing it, the extreme hunger began fading. Within a couple months, I realised that my appetite had regulated, my food obsessions had all but stopped, my weight had settled, the bloating was gone, and I actually felt healthy, strong, and even slim. I wish heartily that I had trusted the process from the get-go, as I could have saved myself years of torment and yo-yo-ing in my recovery. Letting go was the best thing I could have done. It was a tough lesson to learn, but one I'll never forget now. Fighting prolongs pain. Acceptance and letting go brings peace.

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    6. ^this is beautiful. Thank you so much for posting.

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