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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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Before and after photos - thoughts


For quite a long time i have thought about all the before and after pictures online.... all the before and after pictures i have posted as well. Pictures that have been stolen and used on other websites and people have used the photos and pretended to be me. They've been used as thinspo and on pro-ana accounts, and my before and after photos have been used in many articles over the years and not to mention in many different news articles and news paper when i share my story.
I didnt think about it back then.... all i wanted to do was share my progress. Share that i had gained 25kg, share that i had not only gained weight but gained happiness and health and strength. However, while i also shared those things i also unconsciously shared "Look at me, i was so sick. I was so skinny and my bones and ribcages were visible. I had a thigh gap and was so underweight". Of course that was how i looked... i cant deny or erase the fact that the photos show how i looked when i was sick, and it was not a pretty look according to me. I can look at the photos from when i was sick and see how truly sick i was, how i looked far from healthy or happy or fat - like i told myself i did back then. However when someone is sick i dont think they can see that. 

Ive had people email me and tell me i looked fine when i had a very low BMI/close to dying, i have been told that i looked best physically when i had a BMI of 16/17, ive been told that i am fat now when i have a healthy BMI. But also i have been emailed by many thinking that they arent sick because they arent underweight, or that they arent recieving help because they dont look physically sick. Or people who gain weight in treatment and then dont recieve anymore treatment despite still struggling just because they are a healthy weight.

Posting before and afters is a way of seeing progress, but i also think it can be harmful. It adds to idea that eating disorders are just about weight and appearance. That only those who are underweight have an eating disorder and struggle. It adds to comparison and can be triggering.
Of course people should be proud over their weight gain, be proud over their recovery, but i dont know whether those photos need to be shared or not.

I can understand both sides i.e sharing before and aafter photos (ive done it plenty of times, and i am sure i will do it again in the future. So i am not being hypocritical or judgemental, just sharing my thoughts AT THE MOMENT.) but also not wanting to share them because they might be triggering or harmful to others.

If you think about it, its only people who have made an extreme physical difference that end up in the news or sharing their story. Its always those who have been extremely obese or extremely underweight that end up getting the attention and sharing their story. And that once again just adds to the stigma that eating disorders are just about weight. Though also i cant deny the fact that to be diagnosed with anorexia there is a weight/BMI criteria and that a person is physically underweight to get the diagnosis, but the weightloss is just a consequence and symptom of the eating disorder.

I have mixed feelings about before and after photos. Because i understand they can be inspiring to yourself and maybe to others but it also has a bunch of negatives which i dont think should be disregarded either.

But i would love to hear your opinion and thoughts on this...?

What do you think about recovery before and afters? Are they helpful or triggering? Do you find them inspiring or harmful? Do they lead you to compare yourself or you just dont care?

Personally before and after pictures dont inspire or trigger me. I see them and mostly i feel HAPPY for the person, i feel happy that they have changed their life and are hopefully healthy and happy as well. I love when i can see that the happiness and life in the "after" photo. 

1 comment:

  1. I find before and after photos inspiring in the sense that its proof that a person can change, can change from being sick to healthy and looking well again. I never find them triggering ie see a picture of an underweight person and compare myself to them - that's not what its about. I don`t read accounts of recovery and compare mine to them, or read them to see if I am "sick enough", I read them to learn how others coped and managed to overcome their ED.
    I do however realise that some people may find such photos triggering but I believe it is up to the person to decide whether they are going to allow themselves to be influenced. I do not then see the harm in posting before and after photos as long as they are realistically portrayed, ie not glamorising the sickness or weightloss because then it is harmful and wrong. Many magazines do this already by sensationalising a celebreties weight loss/gain.
    Before and after photos can be useful and inspiring when received in the manner they were intended - to chart someones progress from illness to health and to celebrate the fact that they are now able to live life again,well and healthy.

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