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:


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Feeling like you need to eat less than others - going home to eat more because you aren't satisfied

I think we've all had times when we've felt embarrassed about the way we eat. Feel like you need to defend yourself or you've gotten comments about the amount you eat. Those comments can be off putting and make you feel like you shouldn't eat the amount you want because you will be judged. You feel like you need to eat a tiny amount so that people won't judge the amount you eat or just because that makes you feel better about yourself (according to your eating disorder) because you ate less than everyone else.

Some people judge you or make a comment when you eat what is deemed like "alot" in their eyes,but they are just stupid and it's those types of comments you should just disregard completely. For me, one of the catalyst factors for my eating disorder was getting a comment about my food intake and it's been one of the things I have struggled alot with during and after recovery.  But can now mostly shake those off and not care about them. Eat the amount I want because I don't care what others think.  Everyone is different and we all have days we are extra hungry and you need 3 portions before you feel full. And there is nothing wrong with that, what is wrong is eating little because you are scared of being judged and then going home and eating lots because you weren't filly satisfied. That is not normal!!!! I have done this alot in my life because I have been too scared to eat the amount I wanted, of course at times it happens when you just can't eat the amount you want because there is not enough food or the food you got served was very little.  So that's different,but purposely only eating half your plate so that it seems like you don't eat alot is just silly. ....  you don't need to deny yourself food.  You don't need to be ashamed of eating, your body needs food. And don't  care what people think about you or your intake. 

Unfortunately, there will be people who judge. ... but they shouldn't matter.  It takes time to learn to not care about other people's opinions. To learn to feel relaxed around food and eat the amount you need. You are NOT a better person or  a stronger person for eating less. If anything you are being silly and/or stupid for only eating a small amount and then eating more secret.  That is not healthy behaviour.... and  don't take that as being mean, but I'm being honest... I've done it myself,  far too often in my life. But it's not a healthy behaviour or mindset. Dealing with food comments is hard, it takes time but learn to shrug them off and not care, because unless they are comments to help you then they are irrelevant. Focus on what your body needs  not what some people think of your food intake. 

Below are some more helpful posts:

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Following a meal plan, how much to eat at night, posting body photos

Hi, when should we stop following a meal plan? Do you think than se can be happy following a meal plan forever? Because when we follow a meal plan we are not normal, is be sick, no?

Everyone is different but i think that the goal should be to eat more intuitievely eventually. Having a meal plan is safety and comfort however it doesnt give much variety or freedom, and then you never really test intuitive eating. Also following a meal plan can be hard if you are on holiday or out with friends or just if their are changes in your life or you dont have access to all the food that is on your meal plan. In recovery and when you are learning to eat normally again and to get your hunger and fullness feelings back, then its good to follow a meal plan. But you should eventually try to eat without a meal plan. However you can still have the structure of a meal plan, for example that you still eat 5-6times a day and still have roughly the same portion sizes, but maybe that you change food and you dont measure or weigh any food. And that you also feel ok to eat more the days you are more hungry or if you are sick and lose an appetite, instead you try to eat alot more high calorie foods and you might eat differently for a day or few days until your appetite is back.

Everyone feels best eating in different ways, some people always need structure, others can be healthy and have less structure with their meals. But always eating the same thing and at the same time and the same amount each day isnt something you should do forever - in the end you should listen to your body if the signals are working as they should :)

How full do you think a person should be when they go to bed? I know I have a problem with late-night snacking... But it is a question when to stop....

Its hard to explain but i would say comfortably full. Not so that you feel sick or like you feel a clump is sitting in your stomach, but so that you are satisfied... so that your stomach isnt rumbling or you arent thinking about food. Of course how full you should feel is also relative to what you have eaten the rest of the day. I mean if you only eat half of your daily energy intake before 8pm and you need to eat the other half within the 2 hours before you go to bed (macrohoarding as some people call it - i would not say its a healthy habit/mindset), then you will feel alot more full compared to if you just have a snack.

I have a post about hunger and fullness which might help as well: HERE

Hey Izzy! Did your parents teach you english AND swedish when you were little? I know that you have lived in Ireland and then in Sweden but how did you learn both languages? :)'
I was born in Ireland but Swedish was my first language as we moved to Sweden when i was 6 months. And then when we moved back to Ireland when i was 4,5 years old i started school and couldnt write or read or speak english so well - so i would whisper swedish to my sister and she would translate as she knew both languages :) And then of course i learnt english in school and then when we moved back to Sweden and i started school - eventually, i couldnt write in Swedish so well, but i could read somewhat (some words and phrases were hard to read and sometimes i didnt understand what people said or old swedish phrases.)  In the past i was very embarrased about writing in Swedish as i knew i made so many spelling and grammatical mistakes, and i still do to some extent but its not a problem anymore luckily!

You used to post alot of body photos before and ab pictures what do you think about people who do that? Do they do it for attention? Do you think it's unhealthy to post flex and ab photos everyday? :s

I wasnt so sure if i wanted to answer this question or not - mostly because i dont want to judge anyone. In the past i did post more body photos and all i can say is that that was what i wanted to do. I didnt think so much about it, but now i dont see the point in posting body photos... unless its a random "im at the gym flexing snapchat" which will disappear in 24 hours so i dont mind. But i personally find it a  little strange with all the ab-photos and body photos floating around online. Of course i am not being judgemental or critical, i did it in the past. And i do think people do it for attention, to some extent.... but if it makes them happy, then go for it i guess.

However i find that with quite a high following and many who are struggling with body image and an eating disorder, it doesnt help for me to post a bunch of body photos. Not to mention that i get nothing out of it... and i just find it a little strange. Of course in summer there are usually more "summer" pictures from beaches and such and i guess that could be called attention seeking as well, but thats more like "this is what i did today" type of photo. Though whether i post those types of photos anymore or not i dont know - i do need to think about that my blog isnt anonymous and there have been many times where people have stolen my pictures so i do need to start double thinking before i post something online.

Is posting a bunch of ab and flexing photos everyday healthy or not.... i think its very individual. If someone just does it because they find it fun or are measuring progress or something then its not necessarily bad. .But if someone is doing it to get alot of attention or they feed off of likes and attention and put their self worth in the amount of likes they get - or they *know* that their body isnt healthy or they have an extreme body but feed off of people complimenting them, then i dont think its healthy. But i guess it all depends on the mindset of the person and intention of the image. But i dont want to judge because its none of my business and in the end - i didnt want to be judged or critiqued for it in the past, just like i dont personally feel like being judged or critiqued for posting food photos, but that could be seen as sick and unhealthy as well.

Monday, February 27, 2017

NEDA week - 2017

This week, February 26 - March 4 2017, its eating disorder awareness week. I have so many posts already so i thought, why not have YOU ask me questions/recovery questions you might have and i can make posts about them this week?

Whether its questions about recovery, binging, restricting, motivation, relapse or anything else you might have :)

Of course i am not a proffessional and it is ALWAYS recommended to seek professional care, but i can try my best to give advice from my own knowledge or experience. But maybe you have some questions or thoughts. Or maybe you just want to share something about your own recovery or progress and you can either do that via comment or email (but then title the email as guest post or recovery progress so i will know!).

Remember that recovery is possible and worth it. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it!! Dont give up, just keep moving forward each day and know that you always have a choice. You can choose recovery or to stay sick. You may not have choosen to be sick, but you can always choose to recover!!
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Start of a new course & busy being an adult

Hello and good evening everyone :)

I'll start off by saying that today has been far from a good day. Its been one of those days where i have just wanted to go back to bed and pull the cover over my head and just sleep until its a new day.

This morning i woke up with lasting stomach pain from yesterday, and it has yet to subside. The stomach pain also comes along with bloating and a nauseous feeling and just a general "i dont want to go outside, i dont want to be around people" type of mood. And no amount of painkillers lessens the stomach pain either, so its just to try to get through the day nonetheless.

I started my day off with going to the gym, though 10 minutes into the gym session i realised that it just wasnt going to work. Today wasnt one of those days where stomach pain lessens and goes away when i workout, if anything it got worse and there was no way i could tighten my core which is necessary during strength training. So not only did the exercise make me feel like getting sick, it also increased the risk of injury from not having the right form or technique during the exercise. So it was just to grab a mat and do some stretching before heading to school and waiting until my lecture began.

Today its the start of a new course which im both looking forward to but also feel a little irritated over the structure of the course. It will be alot of work and long days so i apologize in advance if blog posts lessen the next few weeks as there will be alot of school work. But there will also be alot of cooking - which is fun, but also means that i will have to cook and prepare food with meat, eggs, dairy which i dont feel like doing. Or i am "ok" with eggs and dairy but not with meat.... Though maybe i wont have to actually cut or prepare the meat, maybe i can just do the side dishes instead. I am also a little irritated because one of our mandatory cooking sessions is sponsored by a dairy business who will provide a whole bunch of dairy products for us to use and cook with - and then taste the recipes that they have provided. Part of me wants to skip this class in protest, as i did ask if i could do all the recipes but use alternative products (and buy them myself), but that was not allowed. I find it a little strange how a class can be "sponsored" by a company? Of course i wont be made to taste the recipes, but i will have to cook and make the recipes and it just puts me in a confusing situation and a situation i would much rather not be in.
But im not going to complain about it... atleast i get to go to school, but i cant say that i am excited about cooking with meat :(

However i am excited that i get to influence others and come with suggestions about vegan recipes so that is something positive anyway! Its a group project where we will choose 5 recipes and do a lecture about vegetables/beans which i find fun, and if im honest... i wish i could do the whole project on my own! I would have no problem standing infront of the class for 60-90 minutes holding a lecture about vegetables, beans, vegan diet and the benefits, the nutritional positives and negatives, what to think about, how to cook them, how they affect the climate and also how to combine and cook with vegetables and beans etc etc If you cant tell, im rather excited about it and wish i could just start right away instead of having to wait until we ´meet as a group!!

Aside from the stomach pain and start of a new course today has been a day of "adulting" - phone calls, emails, documents, applying for jobs, studying. Doing the laundry, cleaning, soon about to do my weekly food shopping and later finally get the chance to wash my hair, hahaha!

A long day with non stop stomach pain, but thats life.... sometimes you just have to do things and make the best of the day even if you would much rather just lie in bed and refuse to do anything.

I hope you have all had a good day and make the best of this week!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday evening thoughts/reminders

Important things I've learned in the last 6 months.
  • Always say yes to seeing friends
  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Recognize that positive change rarely happens overnight
  • Accept the fuck-ups, but try not to let them happen again
  • There is a song to remedy every situation on the planet
  • Appreciate the people in your life
  • Look for the good in everything
  • Try new things and try them often
  • Treat yourself as well as you treat others


Maintaining a positive mindset is something you need to work on every day. You have to keep reminding yourself that everything will be okay.
— Bryan Kobayashi

Befriending my body the way it actually is, and not the way I wanted it to be, was the most important act of self-love. I stopped being overly critical with myself and learned seeing my body for all its miraculous functions and abilities, and in exchange I was blessed to experience the most precious love story. This love story isn’t relying on outer influences and factors. It’s a love story between me and the only person I will spend the rest of my life with for sure: myself. I will continue to work on deepening this loving relationship for the rest of my life. When I stopped hating my body, I was rewarded with a peace of mind that I wish everyone around me to experience as well.

 (via anna-learns-to-love-herself)

Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.
— Eric Thomas

Healing is a choice. It’s not an easy one because it takes work to turn around your habits. But keep making the choice and shifts will happen.
— Yehuda Berg

Sunday - Full day of eating

Today was a day where i actually remember everything i have eaten and have taken a picture of it all (for other social media), so i thought why not share on here as i often get asked to write more food diaries or what i eat in a day posts.

I dont really understand why people are so interested in knowing how a person eats from morning to evening - because in the end, everyone needs different amounts. Not to mention that people eat different from day to day.

So just because i ate like this today doesnt mean i eat like this everyday. How i ate was based on 1) The food i have at home & 2) what i was craving based on what i had at home and 3) I have felt sick and had stomach pain all day so havent eaten as much as i would other days.

But i feel like i repeat this each time i make food diaries and i hoping you are all smart enough to 1) not compare your eating to me, 2) realise people need different energy amounts, 3) it doesnt matter how much/little someone else may eat in a day because people eat differently. I mean if i had all the time and money in the world and had access to lots of different food i would eat differently, and if i hadnt had stomach pain today i would have eaten differently today as well!


Breakfast: 1 whole mashed sweet potatoe with blueberries, cashew nuts & 1 cheesecake bite & 1 vanilla protein shake which i mixed and poured into the bowl and mixed everything together.

Lunch:  10 spring rolls filled with "oumph", salad and vegetables. Dip sauce made out of 3 tbs peanut butter, soya yoghurt, sweet chilli sauce and some water.

Snack 1: Left over box of vegetables.

Snack 2: 2 cheesecake bites & handful of peanuts.

Dinner: c.a 2dl total of red and green lentils mixed together. Fried vegetables. total of 5 panfried bread. Handful of peanuts.

Night snack: c.a 450g soya yoghurt (i.e i ate the whole yoghurt pot today with the sauce as well)

There you see one full day of eating for me. Alot of nuts - as per usual. But usually there is alot more potatoes and a bigger night snack, but thats how today was :)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Positives about choosing recovery - life without an eating disorder will always be better than life with an eating disorder

Recovery... its about getting your life back, its about regaining control, its about being able to live life and make choices that will make you happy and healthy.

Of course recovery from an eating disorder doesnt make everything better, for example you might struggle with other illnesses or other mental illnesses or maybe you have low self esteem, or you have bad relationship with your parents or family, or you have economic problems or you feel lonely or have no friends etc, those things dont automatically get better just because you recover from your eating disorder. Of course that shouldnt deter you from choosing recovery because it gets easier to deal with other things in your life when you arent struggling with an eating disorder at the same time. For example, i will always have CF, a chronic illness whReich affects alot of areas in my life but its easier to just deal with one illness than to deal with both CF and an eating disorder. And when i suffered from depression it was "easier" to just struggle with depression and not both an eating disorder and depression.

But also with recovery from an eating disorder i learnt to become more confident in myself, working with my self esteem and self confidence. Finding balance in life. Learning more about myself and getting stronger in myself and not being ashamed of who i am or what i like or what my opinons and thoughts are.  With recovery from an eating disorder i learnt to love myself, i learnt what health and balance is, i learnt to take care of myself and want to take care of myself. I learnt to be confident, to grow my self esteem, to be stronger mentally and physically. Learnt to make friends and not be so shy or always in my comfort zone. I learnt to cope with anxiety and negative thoughts, i learnt to cope with guilt and how to deal with tough times. Recovery taught me so much and made me grow as a person, and i am still growing and changing and becoming more mature.

For some, recovery also entails weight gain, but not for everyone. However for everyone who needs to recover from an eating disorder, it means changing thoughts and habits. Self evaluating and making the changes necessary to become healthy and free from your eating disorder.

Life may not be perfect or exactly as you thought even when you recover from an eating disorder. It can take months and years to feel at peace and healthy and balanced. It can take months to years to begin to love yourself and to feel truly free from your eating disorder, but it is not impossible. It is not just about settling either, but about making the changes until you know that you are not held back by an eating disorder, when you dont just compromise or think "Im healthier than i have been before, but maybe not where i want to be"... then you need to keep fighting.

Life without an eating disorder means freedom and feeling at balance and peace with yourself and with food and body image. You dont feel the need to harm yourself or compensate for food. You dont hate yourself or spend every moment wishing you looked like someone else. You dont spend hours trying to change your appearance or trying to be someone else. You dont worry about food or spend hours thinking about food and you dont feel guilty for eating differently or more. You dont spend your days thinking or planning or obsessing or worrying about food, its just a part of your life. You can live the life you want without being held back by an eating disorder.

Things happen in life that can make times tough and stressful, but life without an eating disorder will ALWAYS be better than life with an eating disorder. Because either way you go through tough times in life, but it will always be easier when you dont have an eating disorder controlling you or having to deal with one or more mental illnesses/illnesses at the same time.

Think about the positives of recovery and all the things you can and will be able to do and all the reasons why you can, should and want to recover!!!

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Image result for reasons to recover anorexia

Having more energy and working out more while eating less ?

Yesterday while listening to a podcast one of the guests on the pod talked some something which i could relate to, or something i have thought about and i think some of you might be able to relate as well.

The guest talked about how in the past she could run for hours each day and ate less than she did in the present, though she now runs and works out a lot less. She talked about how crazy she was in the past to run such long distances, but also wondered about how she even had the energy.... how could she workout so often and for so many hours but still eat so little. Whereas in her current life she eats more and works out less (though she of course mentioned that she is happier, healthier and more balanced now as well as weight stable and eating a healthy amount.)

This is something i have thought about before as well and have recieved questions and emails from people wondering the same thing.  Where did all that energy come from? People feeling like they are a failure because they just cant workout to the same extent they did in the past even though they are eating more.

At times i have wondered.... how could i workout so much in the past, when i would exercise from morning to evening and stand all the time, i never sat down unless i was forced to sit. However sometimes when i was so mentally and physically tired i would lie on the ground because i wasnt worth lying on a bed.... and there i would just lie, wishing more than ever that i could just go a day without exercising, but that never happened.  Where did the energy to exercise come from... because it sure wasnt coming from food? It came from obsession, it came from fear, it came from anxiety, it came from thinking i had to exercise. The energy to workout so many hours didnt come from food anyway, it was a mental energy and a drive and not a healthy one.

Now i could never workout to the same extent that i did in the past because my workouts arent driven due to fear or anxiety. They arent completed because i think i have to. I dont mind skipping workouts, i dont mind doing less exercise if i am more tired, i dont go out running even though im tired or just want to lie down, i dont stand all day long because im scared to sit down. My energy for exercise comes from food (so when the food energy is gone then i get tired and dont want to exercise anymore... until i eat and fuel myself again and have more energy.), but also workouts are affected by life and stress. If i havent slept enough or if i am very stressed then i will adapt the workout to my energy levels - or not workout at all.

What i wanted to say is that you are not a failure for working out less or for eating more. Life changes and you change. But also your workouts shouldnt be completed out of fear or anxiety, but they should be done because you enjoy them and want to workout.

Also a note, maybe you workout 5-6days a week and its done out of fun and enjoyment (yes thats possible), but maybe life changes and you need to cut down to 2-3 times a week instead, and thats ok as well. Exercise can be part of life but not your whole life, and like mentioned already... life changes and sometimes you cant workout as much as you would like to even if you enjoy it.

When i think back to the past i also realise that back then i had little else to do during the days apart from exercise, i wasnt in school or didnt have as much homework/school work when i was in school and i didnt have friends to meet and didnt have much else in my life apart from exercise, so that was all i did as well. Now i have alot more going on in my life so even if i wanted to workout more, that would mean spending less time on something else in my life and that is not something i am willing to do in my life right now.

Anyway, just some morning thoughts i had.... maybe you can relate or have felt the same way?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday - Nutrition test, pizza evening and thoughts

Hello and good evening everyone :)

8pm and the first time that im sitting down infront of the computer to blog and write an update. But thats the way life should be in all honesty - less time infront of the computer and more time spent living life :)

Yesterday was a day filled with study at home, and its funny how everything else seems like so much more fun when you need to study. For example i cleaned the house, changed the covers and sheets on my bed, took time to make a snack and take photos of it, drank too much coffee and reread the same notes over and over. Not the most productive day, but i got some last minute studying done nonetheless! And then i ended the evening with strawberries and cream with my housemate.

Yesterdays lunch - sweet potatoe baked in the oven with a green lentil and spinch mix, guacamole on top and garlic roasted brussel sprouts and vegetables.
Yesterdays post study snack. 1 banana with peanut butter, cashews, blueberries and oreos!

Today, Friday 24th and it was time for my test in nutrition. Its the first test that i havent felt worried or stressed about - mostly because its repetition and sort of "basic" for me, it was no new information i had to learn, just repeating small details and facts. So it was nice to go to the test and feel ok about it and to not stress so much prior to the test... and its always nice to finish within 90 minutes instead of the 3 hours alotted time!!

My lunch today: Tip... put potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes beforehand to wash away the starch, and then add oil (& garlic powder) and some potatoeflour or cornstarch ontop and then into the oven - they turn out perfect that way!

After my test i sat in the sun for a while and wandered around gothenburg before returning home, taking a short walk in the sun and then it was pizza making time with my housemates. 

Something i have been thinking about recently is how happy i am with my living arrangement and how things turned out so well for me. My housemates are so so sweet and kind and it feels like this is the first time since moving away from home (2016) that i feel like i am living somewhere i feel comfortable. I feel like i can be myself, i can talk with my housemates, eat dinner with them, just hang around in the living room. All the other places i have lived at i have just been in my room, and i still do that 80% of the time because thats what i want and how i feel best, but the other 20-25% of the time i am out in the kitchen or living room and dont feel like im in the way or feel uncomfortable. Its hard to explain, but if you have lived with others maybe you understand... sometimes you just click with people and feel like you can be yourself, that you dont have to hide away or feel like you can only be in your room. Of course im sure there will be "problems" sometime such as cleaning routines or something like that.... or maybe not. But it feels like right now we have good communication, or i feel like i do anyway - i do hope they mention or talk to me if there is anything i do that bothers them or can be fixed. Because that is key to living with others (or if you are in a relationship!), to have communication and not let things become problems... but to talk about them and fix them before something small becomes something big.

I guess most of all i just wanted to write that i am happy. After all the moving and house problems i have had its nice to feel at peace and feel happy. 2016 me would NOT have thought that within a year my life could change completely. So strange to think that the version of me in February 2016 was completly hopeless and ready to jump infront of a train - could barely get up in the mornings. And here i am, my life change and my mindset changed. Feeling happy and free and like i am living life to the best i can at this stage in my life. Its really wonderful and amazing. 365days might feel like forever when you are struggling, but now when i think about it, a year passed by so quickly and so much has changed, almost scary how different i think and feel now compared to just a year ago.

But that just shows... you may want to give up now, feel like there is no way out or things will never get better. .But tell yourself... 1 year. You can make it... one more year, and each day for the next 365days you do everything you can to make things better. You wake up each day and make a choice and a change, even if that means changing everything in your life maybe thats what you need. But if everyday for the next year you do your best to feel happy and healthy, then see how you feel and how you think this time next year. Never give up is all i say.

There are still down days, but life can always get better!

My housemates know that i take pictures of food so they just accept it, hahaha. It felt strange at first but now im just like "why hide it or feel ashamed?". They might have googled me and know about my blog, im not so sure but im not ashamed about that either!

Thinking the past was better and comparing yourself with the past

Could you write something about comparing yourself to when you were sick. I am doing this and I don't know why or how to stop. I compare my meals, my body etc. I look back and actually miss the days I spend eating large amounts of food and not looking fat. I miss being the skinny one. I just look past how aweful I felt and how sick I was and think of all the 'positive'. Allthough there wasn't much positive really!? I have curently a healthy weight, declared healthy, but not living my life fully the way I should :/ I worry about my weight... An eating disorder is all in the head, right? Well, then I think people that are supposed to help anorexics should consider that before they declare someone like me healthy. I am maintaining my weight, but I feel aweful.


The brain is funny in the way that it can make the past look a little better than it actually was. It takes away the pain and emotions and all the awfulness and instead paints up a picture of "it was great in the past". In the past i struggled with the same comparison as you i.e my mind told me that weighing 10kg less wouldnt be so bad, because i was still functioning and happy (?) when i had weighed that little before.... my mind tried to paint the picture that things were fine in the past. But then i had to remind myself that there was a reason i had gained the weight, the reason i had fought to try to recover and a reason that i had made and wanted changes. The past had been filled with anxiety, guilt, self hatred and i hadnt liked my body when i was so underweight i still had the fat feelings and hated myself and my body. When i thought rationally and logically i realised that the past wasnt better than the present and that the problems i was dealing with in the present were problems i could deal with and not resort to old behaviours.

Nostalgia is a liar - something i have learned in life. That the past always seems to have a rosy taint to it and makes everything seem better than it was, especially when times are tough in the present. The important thing is to try to focus on the now and not look into the past, unless you are trying to learn from past mistakes or to see how far you have come. Staying in the present and making the present time good is the important thing, not looking into the past and thinking the past was better as it often wasnt, and even if it was... you can't go back.

As you wrote, eating disorders are mental illnesses and often the body heals before the mind. And to truly recover mentally can take a long time, but it is not impossible. If you find that you are still struggling i would suggest maybe seeking help such as therapy, or just consling in someone? I find it strange how doctors and people in health care just focus on weight and the physical aspects of eating disorder recovery and not so much on the mental side, despite eating disorders actually being a mental illness. So many are "declared healthy" or no longer recieve treatment despite that they still struggle but have a healthy weight. 

The first thing i would suggest is 1) maybe seek help again? and 2) Focus on what YOU can do to change your thoughts and things in your life to make your life better. And these changes don't include going back into the past or relapsing or changing your body. Instead they should include changing your thoughts, facing the fears you have, getting ride of a scale if you weigh yourself as well as maybe starting a new hobby or finding a new interest - something to get you out of the house and doing something fun. Try to create a life now that you enjoy, a life which makes you want to live life and appreciate how far you have come and how awesome life can be. But if you just sit at home and do nothing and "feel fat" and think 'life was better when i was skinny', then the present wont feel so great. But if you create an awesome life now and focus on the present and happiness then going back into the past doesnt feel tempting at all.

I would also suggest getting rid of old photos or clothes or anything that makes you hold onto the past or could be triggering for you. Things such as too small clothes or triggering pictures aren't things you need in your life anymore, instead focus on the healthy and present you.

Also remember that just because you have a healthy weight does not mean that you are fat, and i am sure that you can still eat plenty - if recovery is done right then you should be able to eat enough and not have to restrict to maintain your weight, if that is the case then you might not be at your healthy set point.  Try to focus on self love and the positive things about yourself. Focus on the positives about who you are, how you look and your life... each day try to say 5 positive things about yourself. It might seem fake or cheesy in the beginning but it gets easier and it feels awesome when you can begin to love yourself and look in the mirror and feel at peace - and it all begins in your mind and your thoughts. Self love and happiness comes from the inside and wont happen from staying in the past or hating yourself or constantly trying to change your body.

Focus on dreams and goals and the future, what can you do in your life NOW to make it good - and make it a place you want to be? What can you do now that you couldnt do when you were sick? Try to appreciate your body for what it can do and not how it looks. But also try to set up goals and dreams - both long term and short term, that can make you excited to live life and be healthy enough to achieve them.

Life wont get better unless you make it better, and if your thoughts are stuck in the past and with an eating disorder then you wont feel better. But if you instead make a list of all the reasons why an eating disorder is aweful and why you dont want to go back to it and all the reasons why losing weight is a terrible idea, and then look at that list each time nostalgia tries to convince you that your eating disorder wasnt so bad.

It gets easier and life is awesome if you make it awesome! And i know its easy to get stuck in the mindset of "life is aweful now, why be "fat" and feel aweful when i could lose all the weight again and be skinny and feel aweful", but trust me... it doesnt work that way. And a healthy weight does not equal fat, and an underweight does not equal healthy. Focus on self love and making your present life great!!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Following a meal plan and not cheating with food - eating disorder recovery

Hi, Izzy! I am on the road of recovery currently and really want to recover. However, I find so hard to follow my meal plan that the urges to manipulate and eat less keep controlling me. What can I do to stop those behaviors?

Hello, its great to hear that you want to recover - that is the first step. However its not enough to just want to recover, you have to make the changes necessary to recover. You have to face your fears and fight your eating disorder to fully recover.

When it come to following a meal plan and not cheating, its up to you to make the decision to actually follow the meal plan. I know its easy to think that it doesnt matter or that cheating here or there is ok or skipping meals sometimes isnt so bad, but that is compensating and comprimising with your eating disorder which is not what you should do.  

My suggestion also is that if you live with someone else, tell them the ways that you cheat with your meal plan. It might not be easy and it might feel shameful but in the long term it will help you. If your parents or family or friends know what you should be eating for your meals or know about the ways you cheat with your meal plan then they can keep an eye on you. Of course they cant force you to eat, but you might not want to cheat when you know that someone else knows what you are doing... or when you are kept accountable for your actions. 

You also have to remember that food is fuel and in the end, you arent cheating anybody but yourself. In the end its YOU who has to deal with the consequences. You can keep eating less, keep skipping meals or not eating what you should but in the end its you who still has the eating disorder, its you who still has fear foods, its you who still has guilt and anxiety around food. The only way to break free from that is to face the fears, to follow your meal plan, to eat what your body needs and to fight your eating disorder, otherwise you will be stuck with the fears and the guilt around food. 

I know its not easy, but in the end you have to realise that food isnt bad, and your meal plan isnt "too much", the food on your meal plan is what your body needs. Food isnt shameful or something that should give you guilt, its what your body needs and the only way to recover is to face your fears and to do the things that scare you. It does get easier i promise. However it is easier to follow your meal plan when you 1) know why you want to recover and 2) actually want to recover and 3) have someone else to eat your meals with and make sure that you are eating what you should. Of course if you dont have anyone to eat your meals with, then you just need to be extra strict with yourself and each time you feel like cheating with your meal plan ask yourself what it will lead to... what good will come from cheating on your meal plan? Sure you might have less anxiety for the moment, but it makes your eating disoder stronger and it just keeps you sicker for longer. 

Each meal time you have a choice and you can either choose to stay sick or choose to go against your eating disorder and eat what you should be eating. Its up to you to make that choice, no one else can make it for you. But its your life and you have to take control of your life and not let your eating disorder control you anymore.

Of course, its easier said than done, but its not impossible - you just have to be stronger than your eating disorder and know that following your meal plan will HELP you! :)

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Is it necessary to take vitamin supplements?

Is taking vitamin supplements necessary?

I often get asked from whether they should take vitamin supplements or not, whether they should buy more or add more supplements into their diet. And i am always wary of answering, because when it comes to supplements more isnt always better. I.e sure 1 vitamin C tablet has its benefits but if you take 3 a day, all you are going to do is pee out the excess vitamin C. Of course with the water soluble vitamins, C and B, you pee the excess out (apart from b12 which gets stored in the body). And the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K get stored in the body so its worse to have an over consumption of those. (Even if toxic level would require extreme doses).

Usually taking a multivitamin a day isnt so dangerous and most people do it, and now a days most people seem to take magnesium and calcium tablets which i dont see too much of a problem for even if isnt always necessary and that all you are really getting is a placebo effect and wasted money.

Vitamin supplements are necessary for some, but not for everyone. If you dont have a deficiency or on a low level for a vitamin or mineral, there really is no need to take a supplement. Your first choice however should always be food and to look at what you are eating. I've followed people online - on Youtube - who were eating a diet plan and mostly ate chicken, potatoes, rice, broccoli and so werent getting alot of vitamins or minerals into their diet due to lack of variety as well as not enough food. So they relied on tablets to make up for the lack of variation and energy into their diet - which of course works to some extent - but the first thing you should do is to change your diet. Eat more vegetables, more nutritionally dense food and not just take tablets and think everything is fine. Food should be the first way of getting all your vitamins and minerals, and then supplements are just that... supplements.

Also just adding into supplements isnt always the best or just guessing that you have deficiencies. Sometimes you can tell that you have all the symptoms of a certain vitamin deficiency, but my recommendation is always to get blood tests done and not just guess. It might be that you have more deficiencies than one, or it might be that you dont lack any vitamin and all you need to do is sleep more and eat more vegetables, for example.

Balance is best and multivitamins usually have very high doses of vitamins and sometimes it can be too much, especially if you are mixing supplements. For example i know people who have taken 2 multivitamins, D vitamin, calcium, magnesium, extra B vitamins per day and then when i looked at the multivitamin package i saw that there was pretty much 100%+ of everything and the other supplements werent necessary.

So to sum it up, get blood tests done if you suspect a deficiency. Your diet should be the first thing you change before supplements.

Also remember that some supplements such as multivitamins or B12 supplements as well as vitamin A, D, E, K should be consumed with food (most often, but it varies). This is because 1) multivitamins can have very high doses and concentration and can cause some nausea/illness feelings if taken on an empty stomach and 2) the fat soluble vitamins are best absorbed with some form of fat. For example eat a few nuts or seeds or drink some milk(vegan or not vegan) at the same time.

And lastly... a link to a fact sheet about vitamins and minerals so you can do your own research. The fact sheet is from the USA so recommendations vary in each country, for example in the nordic countries the recommendation for vitamin D is different due to less sunlight during winter times.

And some questions to ask yourself before taking vitamins or supplements.

Also note, in recovery and after having messed up eating habits (whether its starvation, binge/purge, binging etc) your vitamin,mineral and electrolyte levels can be off and can be low. And some people end up with digestion problems and they dont absorb food as well as they used to, so in those cases supplements can help you, also if you havent or arent eating enough calories there is less chance that you are getting enough of the vitamins and minerals you need. But like mentioned above, eating enough and varied is the most important... dont just eat little food and take supplements and think its fine - the goal should be to get almost all the energy and nutrients you need from your diet and then just supplements as extra if necessary.

(Also note, if you are eating enough and varied on a vegan diet it is possible to get all the vitamins you need apart from b12, which all vegans need to take a supplement of. You also dont get any omega 3 from a vegan diet, however you can get EPA and DHA fatty acids from oils, nuts, seeds. But i have THIS post which has more information which can be useful if you are wondering about vitamins and minerals on a vegan diet.)

Just a little information post on this Thursday morning as it is something i have been thinking about and wanting to make a post about.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Strange study day and 3 meals from today

Hello and good evening everyone :)

Today has been a rather strange day for me... Not that strange or weird things have happened, but that i have felt rather strange today. A little bit out of it and nothing has gone as planned or thought out and my routines and habits have been completely off today, which always makes me feel a little strange.

It started off by sleeping past my alarm and waking up alot later than planned. And usually i am out the door and on my way to school or the gym within 60 minutes of waking up, or 90-120 minutes if i blog in the morning. Today however i ended up getting stuck infront of the computer and had different things to do at home so didnt leave the house until almost 3 hours after waking up which is STRANGE for me. I have usually left the house within 2 hours of waking up, if it isnt that i am sick.

However i packed with me lunch and headed to school and ate my lunch there and did some studying on my own while i waited for my friends to join me. Usually i workout before school  though as we had planned a certain time to study together and i had woken up so late and done other things in the morning i thought i would work out after school. Though as the hours passed by i felt myself getting very tired and got an awful headache as well as getting low blood sugar/hangry, so instead i headed home and made myself a quick 5 minute snack before having to lie down and rest and let the headache pass.

And then it was just to shower an make dinner which i am now going to eat! This day has just flown by and ive felt very strange, also the fact that i never (or rarely) get headaches but i think it might be due to some neck pain/strain. This evening i plan to continue just lying in bed and watching documentaries and tomorrow the plan is to just sit and study at home and try to focus, because when i study with friends its usually just 50% study and 50% sit and talk about other things and begin planning different upcoming events and such, haha, so not the most productive. But atleast its fun to meet friends and be social and get some type of studying done nonetheless!

(Dinner, pretty much the same as lunch! Just eating leftovers for dinner usually.)

How has your day been? Have you eaten anything yummy today? :)

Enjoying food again

Hey Izzy! I've really appreciated all of your uplifting posts lately, they're very encouraging as I'm in a tough stage of recovery and trying to motivate myself to push through. I have a quick question. When did you start to actually enjoy eating again? It seems you really enjoy cooking and eating now, was it like that throughout your recovery or did it come later? I have made a lot of progress in terms of eating enough calories, spacing my meals throughout the day, eating a wide variety of foods, and eating all my "challenge" foods (had some Mac and cheese yesterday!). But I still find little pleasure in eating. Instead, I view it as a chore that I just have to do to be healthy. So, do you have any tips on how to make eating pleasureable again? What worked for you? Thanks

Hello, first off you have made amazing progress which you should be very proud of :) And even if you may still be struggling you have come a long way, and you can get through this as well.

Food is something i love and it does make me happy, however its not always like that. Sometimes i get bored of eating, especially if i just have the same foods at home. And at times cooking and eating just seem like a "get it over with" and then i rely on meal prep so that i have food ready to just eat. For the majority of the time food does make me happy - i like finding new foods, new recipes, new flavours, new combinations. I love eating and knowing i am nourishing my body but also love eating chocolate and cake and dessert because that is delicious as well. It has definitely not always been this way though.

In recovery i ate because i had to, because it was on my meal plan. And i longed for the day when i knew i didnt have to eat according to a meal plan or thought i could eat less calories. I also found it very strange to think that people just sat down and ate when they were hungry - as i still didnt have any hunger feelings, i was just constantly full and never really wanted to eat. I did enjoy food, but not in the same way i enjoy it now. Ii enjoyed food in a sort of obsessed way where food was numbers and i enjoyed feeding others as well, but i didnt enjoy food that was high fat or high carb... i enjoyed food only if it was low calorie or if i knew what was in it. There was still alot of fear and anxiety involved with food.

Then later on when i had faced fear foods, ate balanced and intuitively i enjoyed food alot and loved eating. It was part of my life, not my whole life... just like it is now as well. However i feel like i enjoy food more now when im vegan because there are more flavours, more vegetables, more colours, more creativity. I get inspired by different accounts online and i love finding the new vegan products that are being sold. Of course with that said, food is something i enjoy alot... i enjoy buying food, i enjoy making food (somedays), and i enjoy eating food (mostly), but food is still just part of my life and only 5-10% of my day is spent eating or making or thinking about food.

What are my tips on enjoying food?

Its easier to enjoy food when you are actually hungry, but if you have a meal plan to follow then stick with that.

Eating with other people is a good way to make food more enjoyable again. Or maybe go to restaurants or cafes and try food there, try somthing new and different. Go to a dessert cafe and order 3 or 4 different cakes and try them all, just for the sake of it? 

Go to the food store and try something you wouldnt think of trying? Or maybe have a food theme for the week. Maybe one week eat lots of thai food, another week make indien food, the next week try chinese food etc 

Add oil, butter, cream... it can make a whole lot of difference in taste wise. For example, potatoes in the oven with no oil or salt are ok... but once you add oil and seasoning its like a whole new thing! 

Add seasoning and flavourings to your food.

Try plant based food... it often gets you to be more creative and when food looks good or smells good it can often taste better.

Try to not see food as a chore or something you need to just get over with. Its easy then to begin skipping meals or just not eating as you dont see the point of it. 

Its hard to give tips on how to make food enjoyable again or how to enjoy food, as its a mental thing. But its also so easy for food to become an obsession and that isnt good either. But trying varying food, new foods, eating with others.. Maybe eat 3 big meals instead of 6 small (for example?), or try making smoothies or oat cookies instead of oatmeal, or make mashed potatoes instead of boiled potatoes. Maybe meal prep so that you have food ready? Vary food... or maybe just eat your all time favourite foods for a while?

Of course sometimes food is just boring and a chore, i think it happens to most people where they just eat because they have to. But it shouldnt be that way forever, food is something that is delicious and should be enjoyed. A balance with food, i.e it shouldnt control or take over your life where food is your only happiness in life, but it shouldnt be a "force feed/chore" thing either. 

If anyone else has any tips/advice please comment below. All i know is that when i went through a phase where food was boring i just kept eating and eventually when life felt more balanced, when i was less stressed and when i felt happier, food also became more delicious again. So if you are depressed or stressed or just unbalanced then that can affect eating as well.