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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Friday, January 13, 2017

Eating fear foods / having foods you dont like

Hi Izzy, I'm currently kinda half way recovered, 5 kg gained and 5 kg until I get to BMI x (and have kinda been stuck here for 6 + months), my question is, i havent challenged any "junk" fear foods mostly because it is not appitiseing - not because of calories or anything ED related (i think?) - but because i dont like lollies, chocolate, cakes, oily take away, cheese, soft drinks - even if its no calories!! etc... even artifical zero calorie sweeteners i dont like - i would much rather REAL sugar or fruit. I guess i just like the taste of food but not man made food!!

i had a taste of a "healthy" whilegrain cereal the other week and it was too artifically sweet for me! (i do like sweet things like bananas and berries) Its hard as i want to challenge my ED but i dont like any of the foods that are seen as challenging for NON ED reasons - should i force myself to eat it if i dont want it/wont have it in the future/if i was healthy i wouldnt ever choose it?

My fear foods are quite healthy so i dont know why theyre fears but everyone seems to not take them as serious fears even though its very challenging for ME. As well as being a vegetarian no one thinks im trying to recover :(

Fear foods - xxx

Sorry for long and confusing question - basically im asking - Should you eat food you TRULEY (NON ED) do not like to challenge the ED/recover properly?????


Hello,
  I understand what you mean, not know which foods are really fear foods and which foods you dont actualy like, sometimes they are intertwined. I know i had foods which i generally didnt like and then i had fear foods, however there were also foods which i had been scared of for so long and hadnt eaten and just said i didnt like them so that i wouldnt have to eat them. And it even went so long that i said i was allergic to eggs so that i wouldnt have to eat anything that had eggs in them because i was scared of eggs and mainly egg yolks. 

Tastebuds change over time and food preferances change over time as well so my suggestion to anyone in recovery is to try all foods... no foods are off limits. (Also why i dont promote veganism in recovery, of course i think veganism is awesome and more people should eat plant based HOWEVER i think that in recovery from an eating disorder no foods should be off limits... if you want something, allow yourself to eat it and later on when more mentally healthy you can make different choices regarding food and intake).

I think you should try all foods and have an open mind. That is the most important thing, because if you already decide that you dont like a food whether its because in the past you didnt like it or because you scared of it, then channces are you wont like it when you actually try it. I dont know how many foods i wouldnt eat now if i had just decided i didnt like them, or if i hadnt tried them again. For example potatoes, after my time at Mando i went roughly 3 years where i ate potatoes roughly 5-10 times during those 3 years because i just couldnt stand them but now i eat potatoes daily (however i still dont like boiled potatoes and that is an actual dislike, but i like potatoes in other cooked forms). So that is another advice, maybe you dont like food in one form but you like them in another.

Also you wrote that you dont like sweet stuff or processed stuff. Often people with eating disorder or who have orthorexia are very focused on "natural" or unprocessed food and the fact is that processed food doesnt have to be bad - everything in moderation. Of course i dont personally promote eating a bunch of processed food, however i do promote balance whatever that may be for a person. Everyone has a different balance with food, but i dont think anything should be off limits, everything can be eaten in moderation.  For example, i dont like crisps - and that is a dislike - however i can eat them now and aain just because they are "there" or because i get a random craving for them. However when they were a fear food i ddnt ever allow myself to eat them even if i craved them because they were so scary and too much anxiety involved with the food.

Which brings me to... 1) only you can know honestly whether you like a food or not, and the best thing is to try the food several times and to be honest with yourself and 2) if there is anxiety involved with the food then its a fear food and food you need to face and overcome so that no food gives you anxiety.  Everyone has different fear foods and the only way to overcome them is to eat them and keep eating them (in moderation) until they no longer give you anxiety... to take the fear and guilt away from the food and realise that there is no "good" or "bad" food. No one single food will make you gain weight, no single food will make you unhealthy - you can eat all types of food no matter size or weight, its just about personal balance. 

Allow yourself to eat different foods, you might not like chocolate or ice cream but if you get cravings for them or maybe just because of a social situation - you need to allow yourself to eat it. If you cant do that then maybe you do need to force yourself to eat the food just to prove to yourself that you can. 

At times in social situations i forced myself to eat foods i didnt like just because the situation called for it or to be polite, or just to prove to myself that i could. Once again, another reason why veganism might not be the best in recovery because there are times you say no to foods or dont eat food in social situations because there are animal products in it and that can be too restrictive and unhealthy if you have an eating disorder.

Be honest with yourself, try different foods, be open to foods and dont have restrictitions thats my best advice. We all have foods we dont like and thats ok, but its just to know yourself why you dont like the food and whether it is connected with guilt or anxiety or just a general food preferance.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with everything Izzy posted and just want to add that if you don't like Fast Food from McDonalds or whatever chain, you should try a more "authentic" and "natural" burger/fast food place. For example, where I live, there are pleeeenty of burger restaurants which acutally make handmade burgers with avocado, goat cheese and other delicious ingridients and sweet potatoe fries etc and OF COURSE it tastes way better than McDonalds :D Or you could try to bake your own sweets at home when you don't necessarily want to eat too much processed sweets/don't like the artificial taste. I just want to point out that there are sooo many options out there (for vegetarians as well!) and "fast food" doesn't always mean mushy cardboard burgers from McD ;) Although I eat them like once a year myself :D

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    1. Yesss So true. I mean I've eaten at mc Donald's before to prove to myself that I could and it wasn't a fear food, but it's really not something I like and much prefer burgers and pizza either home made or from fancier restaurants hahah! Also making your own or going to better restaurants will also give better tasting food! And like you wrote, there are plenty of different alternatives for vegans and vegetarians so that shouldn't mean restricting or just eating salad!

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  2. Hi Izzy! I have a problem regarding stomach issues. I'm recovering from anorexia and orthorexia on my own and though I've come a long way and I'm weight-restored, my mindset towards food isn't compeletely healthy yet. I still have a lot of fear foods and I sometimes feel the urge to relapse. Lately I've started to have really bad stomach issues, including diarrhea, bloating, gas and abdominal pain that makes it hard for me to even sleep at night. This is clearly caused by what I eat, when I eat certain (raw) vegetables and fruits, it gets a lot worse and I can be sure to have diarrhea next morning. Beans, lentils, cabbage and apple are the worst, but also foods like pepper, tomato, eggplant cause a lot of pain. And list goes on. Also chewing gum and coffee are not good. This upsets me particularly because I've tried to reduce eating meat and focusing on plant-based eating instead, but this is making it very very hard. Also, I am aware that while I'm still recovering, I shouldn't be completely deleting anything from my diet and because of that I've still eaten meat etc.
    Now I've done a lot of research about my stomach issues and come to a conclusion that it could possibly be IBS as the symptons match very accurately. The solution would of course be to eliminate these foods from my diet (FODMAP-diet) and let my digestion settle down and I will have to do this because I can't stand my stomach being like this all the time. I'm already sad because this means eliminating a lot of foods that I like and mostly vegetables and fruits that I especially love. And what makes it worse is the fact that I'm still recovering and I'm really concerned now to eliminate this many foods at this point. These foods also contain some fear foods and I can feel the "ED-side" of me is kind of happy about this because it gives me an excuse not to eat milk products, wheat etc that I have been scared to eat.
    If you could give any kind of advice with this situation, I'd be soo grateful! Love your blog xx

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    Replies
    1. Hello,
      I dont know alot about IBS (i plan to my research and read more about it in the future), but there are certain foods and foods wiht alot of fiber which you should eliminate to help you with the dicomfort. For now focus on the foods you can eat and dont eat food with too much fiber as that can cause dicomfort - since going vegan i have very little stomach discomfort, the only times i do is when i eat far too much ffiber in the form of lentils, beans, cabbage. And then i need to go 1-3 days with low fiber intake to feel better again, but also i can only eat few fruits a day because too much leads to stomach pain (and primarily apples). You learn how your body functions over time and you might not have to cut those foods out completely or forever, after a sort of "reset" you might be able to incorporate those into your diet again. I dont know which foods are your fear foods, but i would suggest maybe finding dairy alternatives if the dairy is causing you problems? Instead of thinking "i cant eat this, i wont eat this etc" focus on what you can eat and eat enough from the foods your stomach does tolerate. I dont know how many foods you have to eliminate, but i would suggest overtime incorporating them into your diet again if you cut them out... just to see. For example i know people who had to cut gluten out of their diet for a few weeks due to stomach pain and later reintroduced it and there stomach was fine with small amounts of gluten.

      Also remember that chewing gum = more air in your stomach and coffee = more acidity which can lead to alot of stomach pain.

      ALso know that when you are recovering from an eating disorder you can have alot of stomach problems... i sure did, constantly bloated but it got better over time as my body and stomach adapted and adjusted to my intake and to different foods. The body has been understress and when restricting it does mess up the digestion and stomach which can take time to heal and recover. If possible, maybe you can visit a nutritionist or dietician to help you?

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