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:


Sunday, April 30, 2017

What eating habits were you taught as a child? - Eating habits i was taught as a child

I thought i would do a little experiment... sort of! As i got asked about what eating habits i was taught as a child and if they might have in some way affected me getting an eating disorder. (Actual comment below!)

The way your parents talk about food has a huge impact - i believe - on your relationship with food when you are older. No, i dont think that parents give their children eating disorders but i think that if parents talk about food or their body in a negative way that can definitely impact the child and maybe be the catalyst to a child developing an eating disorder. I know some parents talk about food as good and bad, food they can and cant eat and talk about their body image and food ina negative way... that in turn is how the child will think about food. But also if a child is taught that they can eat chocolate, burgers and pizza all the time that is what they will learn and believe in and that can affect them negatively in the future and affect their weight negatively.
Its not easy being a parent - i dont know from personal experience (hahah) - but i am guessing its hard anyway. You need to be a role model and teach your child good eating habits and learn them to see food as nutritious and something they need to eat and that certain foods can be eaten and enjoyed but in moderation!

So, how did my parents talk about food/teach me how to eat when i was younger?

I had two different sides/opinions on food when i was younger. My mum... a yoga teacher who was very holistic with her view on food. It was nothing extreme but my sister and i grew up eating alot of whole foods, lots of lentils, vegetables, brown bread etc with our mum and then on Saturdays or Fridays we would have a treat day where we would buy some junk food and watch movies. So it was nothing extreme, it was moderation and a good balance in my opinon. My mum is also a pescetarian so we mostly ate vegetarian and sometimes fish, but as i did like chicken my mum would buy that for me (my siser turned vegetarian when she was around 12/13 i think... or earlier).

My dad on the other side is a big meat eater and eats alot of sandwiches, however he never ate "bad" either. It was just alot of standard irish meals... lots of potatoe, lots of meat, vegetables... irish roast dinners and such and dessert after dinner.

I dont think my parents ever talked about food as good or bad, however i was always told i needed to eat more. I was always the one who got the extra food and last serving as i was underweight/low weight when i was a child and always told to eat more and more.... which when i got older began to annoy me alot as i realised most other kids arent told to eat more, but are infact told to eat less.

I was a very picky eater as a child and if people said things about food i couldnt eat it... there were plenty of times i refused to eat because my sister or someone else would talk about something disgusting while eating or would say things such as your food looks like X or Y. Luckily i have grown out of this now, but when i was child things such as that could easily make me lose my appetite and not want to eat.

When i began with treatment for my eating disorder the doctors were quick to blame my mum for my eating disorder however i think that is silly. She taught me to eat my veggies and to eat wholesome food first and foremost and then chocolate and crisps as a treat and neither of my parents affected my view on food negatively.. instead my eating disorder developed from wanting control.

However i do remember that being told to eat more all the time was very annoying and made me feel different and instead made me refuse to eat the last serving even if i wanted it, just because i was told i had to eat it or that I was the only one who was allowed to take more, i didnt like the special treatment.

I believe that compared to other children i was taught rather good eating habits... many children never learn to eat vegetables or like whole foods, instead they grow up eating lots of processed food and become addicted to salt and sugar at a young age which can be negative in the future. I was taught a good relationship with food and a balance and i thank my parents for that!! Of course, i have my opinons on the food we ate i.e it was ALOT of meat and dairy, but thats what was normal back then.... if i were to have children in the future i would raise them with moderation and balance and first and foremost a vegan/vegetarian diet, but they would of course be allowed to choose whether they wanted to eat meat or dairy or not, as that is a choice they get to make when they are old enough.

Anyway... i would like to know what eating habits YOU were taught when you were younger and do you think they have had a positive or negative impact on your relationship with food.

A little semi experiment to see......

*The real comment asking about this below:

This is not particularly important so please don't worry if you don't have time to answer, but I have been wondering about how "normal" people teach their children normal/healthy eating habits. I think that as a child the eating habits I was taught were, in retrospect, not especially normal, and I have read that many people with eating disorders later on did have a few oddities in the way they were brought up around food. I don't think it "caused" my eating disorder at all, but it has made it harder and more strange to work out what normal or sensible eating patterns are -- if I think back to before the ED, I just realise "other children can't have been taught like that!" and I wonder how they were taught. 
I'm curious to know what other people's experiences were. However, it is not a problem so please don't worry if it's a question too many!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Vegan meal ideas - recipes

Its been a long time since ive done this, but i thought it might be some good inspiration not only for myself but for you as well :) So here are some vegan recipe ideas... time to get creative and try new foods, making eating fun and exciting!!!

Link to recipe and creater of the recipe is below each picture!

mushroom kale pesto penne

Green Curry with Potatoes and Chickpeas

Vegan Protein Burrito

Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Summer Rolls / Recipe

sweet potato burgers | recipe

Dealing with physical problems from your eating disoder - answer

Has anyone on here, either Izzy or her readers experienced physical health problems alongside their ED? And if so do they resolve themselves/get better as recovery progresses or are you left with lasting, long term problems?
I ask because this is my second attempt at recovery from my Ed. The first time even though I had ED I was generally well in myself, apart from thinning hair problems and sleep problems - but I had energy to get on with things. When I was almost weight restored I relapsed back down to my pre - recovery weight due to I believe just not being mentally "restored", I wasn't prepared or expecting that side of recovery, I was so busy concentrating on refeeding and getting weight restored that I neglected the physcological side. This time round, thanks mainly to this blog and more further reading I am more prepared and determined this time to do it "properly". The thing is its so much harder this time as I feel so sick and unwell. This saps my spirit somewhat as I thought recovery was when you began to feel better, not worse! And I have a stack of health problems to cope with too which I didn't have before. It would be nice to know if others have experienced problems too and whether or not they lasted post-recovery. Such a lot is written about how to recover but very little when it comes to physical effects of ED.
I would be so grateful for any advice given. Thank you xxx

First off, i am so glad that you are choosing to recover and to focus on both the physical and mental side of recovery! Its not easy, but it is worth it.

And recovery DOES get easier over time... and recovery does make life better even if life wont always be positive and wonderful, it will at least be better than if you went through the same situations but having to deal with your eating disorder as well. Even if recovery does make life easier there will still be tough times and recovery definitely isn't always easy, there will be times you wonder why you are even trying when things seem to feel worse with the anxiety, guilt or just hormonal imbalance or other problems, but over time many of those problems can get better.

When you have an eating disorder you end up breaking down your body when you aren't eating properly and that has consequences. And of course the longer you are sick the more damage you do to your body... and its damage you don't always see until its too late. I was told when i was in recovery that i was in a risk for osteoporosis because i had eaten so little, however with proper nutrition i was able to reverse that and now i have strong and healthy bones. I also had electrolyte imbalance where i was at a risk for a heart attack because i had so little potassium as well as purging so often, but once i began eating regularly and not purging that was able to fix itself.

But then there are other problems such as constant heart burn, slight incontinence, hip, back and knee problems from over exercising which still affect me today.  Not to mention all the hormonal imbalance i had... mood swings, irritation, extreme tiredness, couldn't always trust my bodies signals and my period was irregular for a very long time (i.e 1 year +) where i would either get it once every 2 months or 2 times in a month, and that was rather difficult to deal with. But that's better now and also my hormones are more under control now as well!

During recovery i had other problems such as lots of bloating, indigestion, rumination syndrome (i.e food would automatically come back up without even trying and this lasted quite a long time to be honest but over time it stopped when i didn't purge anymore),thin hair and even swelling... at one time when i was in inpatient care my feet began to swell like crazy... I'm pretty sure the pictures are on another hard drive but it was crazy. I was accused of exercising or doing something wrong, but i think it was just something in my diet and the warm weather at the time and the lack of movement i was doing so the doctor wanted me to start doing leg movements and walking to get rid of the water but instead i just had to try to keep my legs elevated and over time the swelling passed... but i was rather swelled and bloated in recovery - which eventually passed. 

I know it can seem awful when you are eating better and trying to face fears and really recover and you just end up with bloating pain, more tiredness, maybe hair that still falls out or indigestion issues but SOME problems do get better over time. With regular eating and the right nutrition then digestion problems and nutrient deficiency problems can get better, even if it doesn't automatically get better. Other problems are more long lasting and unfortunately that's just the way it is.... you have to remember that an eating disorder breaks down your body... inner damage is done and some damage is irreversible, but at times when that gets you down you have to remember that if you stay sick the damage will be worse. Instead by recovering and feeding your body right and taking care of your body maybe you can stop the damage from getting worse and in some cases the problems can go away/get better as well.

You have to remember all the positives about recovery and why you want to recover, and also remember that if you are stuck with long lasting consequences (i sure am) then that's just a reminder of why you don't want to go back and why taking care of your body is so important!! Give recovery time, it does take longer for things to get better than you think but in a years time you will look back and realise how far you have come and how things have gotten much better - hopefully!

And don't forget that if you do have different problems you can go to doctors  or specialists for advice and maybe if they cant fix the problem they can at least give advice on how to make it better!

Recovery is worth it, never forget that!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Eating for optimal nutrition

Whenever i say i am a vegan who is studying nutrition 2 thoughts seem to pop into peoples minds.

1) I eat super healthy, lots of raw food and i only give out vegan nutrition advice.
2) I eat optimally healthy and never eat junk food. 

Both thoughts are wrong... or well, they are sort of true but not really.

Yes im vegan, yes i study nutrition but that doesnt mean i eat optimally healthy or only for nutrition. I also eat foods just because im craving them, i eat extra food just because it tastes delicious. I dont always think about what is nutritionally best or think about food combining for best uptake and absorption. Of course i am aware about food combining and what to think about when it comes to calcium, iron, zink, essential fatty acids on a vegan diet, but i dont always follow those facts, infact rarely... i just eat.

Sometimes i think i should follow my own nutrition knowledge a little better than i do. I should think more about adding whole grains when i eat beans, add something with C vitamin with my iron rich meals, think about eating foods with extra zink or calcium. But i dont eat because of optimal nutrition, i eat the foods i like, enjoy and crave.

One of my best tips though when it comes to being vegan is to eat fortified foods. Drink oat/soy milk which is enriched with vitamins, and spread which has omega 3 & 6 (from a vegetable source), eat lots of nuts and seeds and try to eat something with C vitamin with your main meals. But also a vegan diet doesnt have b12 and can be low on D vitamin (and at times iron because the iron doest get absorbed as well as iron from animal sources, but also a low D vitamin status can mea lower absorbtion of calcium. It all goes together!! Too much of something isnt good but too little isnt good either.) So taking a multivitamin can be beneficial, HOWEVER it can be good to get blood tests done before you start taking a multivitamin with too high percent of different vitamins just incase - you dont want to overdose on certain vitamins! But also, your nutrition SHOULD come from food first... just like taking antioxidant pills wont do as good (and can infact turn into oxidants in the body and do harm) as just eating fruit and vegetables which will actually have an antioxidant effect in the body.

When you are vegan it is important to be a little bit more aware about what you eat i.e make sure to eat varied and ENOUGH. But also not just a bunch of raw food.... i have my judgements against fruitarians and raw food fanatics because they can lack all the macro and micronutrients and raw food isnt always absorbed best so you think your getting enough iron or calcium or zink or vitamin A but infact those vitamins/minerals arent even being absorbed because of inhibtory factors in the meal/food. If you eat enough and eat varied the chances of lacking certain vitamins or minerals lessens unless you have an illness or something that can affect your absorption of different vitamins/minerals, but generally the more you eat, the more vitamins and minerals you get,

However eating doesnt always have to be for health, it can be just for enjoyment. Such as oreos might not give me any nutritional health, but it gives me satisfaction and enjoyment and that is enough reason for me to eat them but of course oreos will never be something that replaces other things in my diet, instead its just an extra.... just like chocolate, ice cream, cookies, cakes etc they should be an extra to your diet, but not replace snacks or meals.

Not every meal has to be super nutritionally dense or eaten for optimal health, some meals can be eaten just for enjoyment!!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Answering your comments - nutrition/food related

It has been FAR too long since i have replied to comments and i apologize for that, but i will try do these weekly posts when i can just answer in a post if i dont get around to answering in the comment section!!

If you go too long without food/between meals why do you loose that feeling of hunger? What causes the body to give out the signal that you don`t want to eat, when the truth of it is that you do and you need to? 
One of the bodies curiosities and I really wondered about this!

I am not fully sure about the answer to this question but i read an article before that it might have something to do with survival in the past. For example when you are so hungry it can be hard to concentrate on anything else, all you think about is food and wanting to eat... but in the past that might have inhibited them from actually finding food (??) so instead to function properly other hormones kick in and the hunger goes away so that you can actually do something else rather than just think about food and unable to do anything due to the hunger. Something like this, but im not fully sure.... But i think its also like with pain receptors in the body, when they get too strong they can almost shut off so you dont feel the pain anymore. Or for example say you hit your little toe and it really hurts but then you end up banging your elbow 5 minutes later, then suddenly your toe doesnt ache anymore and instead you just feel the pain from your elbow. Something like this... but if anyone knows the actual answer just comment below :)

Hi Izzy - have you any recommended recipes for making vegan burgers? I`d like to try making my own - if you make your own could you post how you do it or if theres a tried and tested recipe post the link?

There are lots of ways to make vegan burgers and you can use all different types of ingredients such as black bean burgers, sweet potatoe burgers, chickpea burgers, quinoa burgers, lentil burgers etc The important ingredients are the actual taste/main ingredients such as what type of bean or grain you want to use, then some form of flour, chiaseed egg/flaxseed egg/no egg replacement/corn flour as a binding agent, some form of milk or aquafaba. I never really follow recipes when i make food so its mostly trial and error so i dont have any recipes to share but you can just be creative and mix together ingredients.  But HERE is a link to 16 different veggie burger recipes .

This is such sound advice. When I was well, before my ED began my weight was more or less stable and what I ate reflected on how hungry I was at the time and what I fancied! Now though it feels that I have to re learn the whole eating thing over again. Will this have happened by the time I am weight restored or does it really start when you are off the meal plan and begin eating intuitively? At the moment my body hasn't a clue what it wants or needs and eating is somewhat "robotic"
When you are in recovery and when you have either been restricting, binging, purging or all of them then your hugner hormones are all over the place and cant really be trusted, so it is a relearning process. That is why a meal plan is recommended in recovery because you cant really trust your bodies signals not to mention portion sizes can be off. Eventually your body will adapt to your meal plan and you should start feeling hunger around your meal times as well as feeling full after your meal and that makes it easier to eventually start eating more intuitvely when you have regular meal times and start feeling hunger and fullness again, so then you can start to eat more freely and trust your body that somedays you might feel extra hungry and other times you feel less hunger - but it balances itself out. Just trying to listen to your body in recovery is not the best idea because your signals are all over the place, so give it time and you should be able to trust your body again.

What is the best way of getting more calcium into your diet? A calcium supplement or food? If its through diet, which foods are best for calcium?
Im not sure if you mean calcium through a vegan diet or through a mixed diet?

Calcium on a vegan diet comes from beans, green leafy vegetables,  almonds, tofu, fortified oat/soy milk,  soy products, edamamde etc However it is also important to have an adequate D vitamin status/intake, but also to eat enough calcium as its not absorbed as well as non vegan sources. 

And in a mixed diet you can get calcium through milk, cheese, yoghurt etc 
Image result for calcium vegan

I have been getting problems with my blood sugar levels and I was wondering what I am doing wrong with regards to my diet and what I can do to prevent the nasty "dips" that I have been getting. In between meals I have started feeling very headachey,nauseous and really quite unwell but I am reluctant to eat anything because its almost time for my next meal and I don`t want to ruin my appetite. I always find though that by the time I have eaten my meal I feel 100% better, all the symptoms disappear for a few hours. I don`t know what to do. I am drinking enough fluids and don`t tend to eat many sweet things so I`m guessing its not a "sugar crash" like you get after eating something like a chocolate bar. But I am so fed up with feeling like this as its having a huge impact on my daily life.
Any ideas?

I would suggest you eat when you feel that way... either you move your meal times so that you eat earlier (you might be going too long between meals) and you eat more meals throughout the day, or you add in a snack such as a handful of nuts, some rice cakes/sandwich, some fruit etc to get your energy up until it is your meal time. When you feel that dizzy, headachy dip it is most likely due to needing food, so eat!! Dont wait until your meal time... thats not how a healthy diet looks - you should eat when your hungry, not just when the clock says its time to eat.
It can also be due to caffeine if you are someone who drinks alot of caffeine? Then it can be a dip from that... but it does sound alot  like it is food related and that maybe you are a little too strict with your food intake?

Eat more frequently/add snacks or move your meal times earlier to avoid that dip!! Try it, see if it works :) 

Hi Izzy - when you make baked jacket potatoes can you re heat them and have them another day? I ask because I make baked potatoes in the oven and they take ages, so I was wondering if I could batch cook some and keep them for later? Also if this is possible how long do they keep for?
Thank you!

It depends what type of potatoe you cook... some potatoes work ok for reheating, but i generally find that potatoes dont work so well for reheating. .So when i make potatoes in the oven i make a whole batch and they last me 1-3 days and i just eat them cold usually. And even if potatoes might not have alot of bacteria such as meat does, i wouldnt reheat and then cool and reheat again just incase, haha. But like mentioned potatoes can last 1-3 days in the fridge, but somepotatoes dont work well being kept cool after being cooked they can turn a little floury and dry.

Do you eat sweets everyday ?
Not everyday :) Just when i feel like it... but usually i like having something sweet everyday whether its a square of dark chocolate, some oreos, some raisins or raw food bars etc :) 

Creative cooking and struggling with a chronic illness - my thoughts/update

I had set a challenge for myself to try to be more creative with my food, to make some different each week such as make a pie or lasagna or chilli or something different from my roasted veggies or lentil soup which is my standard food at the moment. So far that challenge hasnt gone so well, ive just eaten the same food over and over... though this week and last week hasnt been the best week to be creative and spend time in the kitchen because ive spent my days studying 6-8 hours and in school so the last thing i want to do then is start cooking - even if i love it. However my room mates inspire me so much because they are both vegan but they cook a whole range of different food and inspires me to do the same thing. They make burritos, sushi, wok, marinated TVP, marinated aubergine in the oven, pizza etc etc Of course its more fun to make food when two people are eating as well as easier to have a wider range of ingredients and foods when two people are paying for it, but still.... once a week i should manage to make some new type of food whether its quesadillas, coconut veggie soup, falafels or sweet potatoe burgers etc its not so hard  and maybe i can inspire you as well!

Recently ive been struggling to take my CF health care routine seriously... i just havent priortized it. Ive gone back to that 12 year old me who wants to just say "im normal, i dont want to do this, i dont have CF." Of course the consequences of this showed when i was at the hospital yesterday... not to mention that i can notice it myself with my breathing. But its like i feel tired.... i dont want to do it anymore and thinking that i need to do that routine 1-2 times daily for the rest of my life just makes me want to go "no... i dont want to anymore." I'm sure everyone with a chronic illness feels this way at times, ive sure had my periods feeling this way, because IT IS tiring to have an illness. Whether you need to do rehab, take injections, do inhalers, take a whole bunch of medication daily and all other recovery routines, it can feel hard and annoying at times.
So when i was at the hospital i mentioned this... i just said that i was finding it difficult to priortize my CF routine, i was finding it difficult to take my medication and that of course showed when the tests were done. And instead of guilt shaming me - telling me that i need to do it, i need to think about my health, it will have consequences or putting me on antibiotics directly - the doctor just started mentioning different ways that might help me solve this problem, ways that would make it easier for me and not make it so time craving or energy craving. And it was kind of nice to just say it out loud.... of course there is a therapist i can also go to as many people with CF can have times they struggle with their mental health due to their illness or the hinders in life because of their illness, and sure maybe it would be good to talk to someone and just get all my thoughts out. But for now i havent booked a time, maybe in the future.

But i just wanted to write and say it was nice to not feel ashamed or embarrassed or guilt shamed by the doctor, because tha is what previous doctors have done to me. Its not easy to have a chronic illness there are times you want to scream "I dont want this anymore, i dont want to take my medication anymore" and just hope the illness goes away, but it doesnt work like that. I KNOW i need to do my CF routine and take my medication, i feel it almost instantly if i dont and THAT makes life difficult.... its not CF that makes my life so difficult, its when i stop with my medication and inhalers that life gets difficult, so then i only have myself to blame in a way. Anyway... now im just trying to motivate myself and get myself to take my CF seriously and not just pretend im normal and like everyone else when im not - and im not the only one with an illness that requires medication or different daily routines.

I dont normally buy materialistic things to motivate myself but recently i did. I bought a stamped spoon and a stamped fork which ive wanted for a while but never thought it was necessary to buy... but now i felt like, i need to buy myself a little gift just because ive had it tough and ive told myself i can only open the package (when it arrives) if ive gotten back into my routines hahah... it will take 1-2 weeks for the package to arrive, so i have 2 weeks to get my act together. But also noticing that breathing gets easier and that i dont feel like im struggling for air each time i walk up a flight of stairs or when i lie on my side - that is definitely motivation to take care of my health!

Also... i know this post is super long already - i apologize!
But i was recently asked at the gym what my tattoo on my leg said - which is strange, most people dont ask, they just stare. Though a few times ive had people ask me what my ribcage tattoo says in the changing room (weird!!) or people who said they've admired my dream catcher tattoo. But when the people asked what my tattoo said i just told her "no one is coming to save you" which is what is written, her look was a little skeptical hahah. But at that moment i realised that my tattoo has another meaning than just the original one... The original meaning was about my depression and anxiety - that no one is coming to save me, that i need to change my thoughts, i need to want to get better for myself and that it is ME who needs to make the changes. Many think the tattoo is something negative, like im some type of princess longing for her prince to come save her (hahah), but it just means that i need to save myself even if there ARE people who can support and help me. But in that moment i realised it also stands for my CF. That there is no cure (maybe in the future), but i need to take care of my CF health, i need to take my medication and i need to follow my CF health care routine because no one else can do it for me. No one can "save me" from my CF, it is something i live with and something i need to deal with, even if there are amazing doctors and nurses and physiotherapists and even reserachers/scientists trying to find a cure, not to mention all the amazing people foundraising for CF reserach and health care, so there are always people out there trying to help but in the end its me who has to save myself and take care of my health and CF!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Learn what triggers you

Learning what triggers you in life/recovery is one of the things that will make it much easier to cope and stay healthy.

Triggers dont have to be eating disorder related, triggers can be anything... maybe something that makes you feel sad or gives you anxiety or makes you feel bad or just irritates you. I know i have some things which just irritate me and then i know that it is something that triggers that feeling and i try to avoid those triggers as much as possible. But ALSO know how to deal with the irritation when i do get triggered, which is also important. Not just to now what triggers you, but also know how to deal with the response because you cant avoid all triggers in life even if you can try to limit them.

I know for example that if i dont sleep enough that triggers my anxiety and negative thoughts/feelings. But also too much caffeine can trigger panic and anxiety attacks (and when you combine too much caffeine and too little sleep then its an awful result). I also know certain online accounts or different FB groups trigger me to get very irritated so i unfollow them so that i dont have to feel that irritation. Too much stress can also trigger a whole bunch of negative feelings, anxiety, lonliness etc and stress isnt something i can avoid but it is something i have/am learning to deal with to limit the negative response.

Life isnt trigger free even if you can limit them such as if magazines, social media, tv shows or different people can trigger you, then you can limit your access to them or try to avoid the person/people who evoke the negative response. However sometimes it is family members or friends or just things people say without thinking that can upset/anger/irritate (etc) you, then its not so easy to just limit that... you cant control what other people say or their actions, but also sometimes you cant just cut people from your life even if they have a negative impact on you. So then the best thing is to learn to deal with the trigger and learn to cope with your negative response/emotions so that you dont resort to a negative coping mechanism.

Things such as dieting, weightloss, calories, people exercising, people exercising too much, people trying to tell you what to eat, people commenting on your food, people commenting negatively about their body image, people commenting about your body, people spreading false information etc arent things you can avoid... you can try to change the conversation or tell the person to stop but it will still happen sometime or another and if those types of conversations trigger you, then its best to learn to deal with them because you cant control what others say or do.

For example having mantras or mottos to help keep you grounded and not get triggered, trying to change the conversation, trying to leave the room/area if possible. Writing, talking to someone, painting or drawing, taking deep breaths, listening to music, reminding yourself of your goals or why you shouldnt get triggered/bothered.

As mentioned above too little sleep, too much  caffeine, too much stress etc can trigger me. Even going too many hours without food can have a negative effect on me... when i pass the stage of "super hungry" and end up just feeling sick, then i can get this "i dont want to eat..." feeling because i dont feel hungry, but infact i am super hungry and i know i need to eat because i am in a stage of 'hangry' and it wont get better if i dont eat. But its like this barrier and this little trigger.... of course this may not sound good and sound like something disordered, but i know my sister and others can feel this way as well when hunger passes to sick feeling because its gone too long and you just get angry and irritated and everything feels awful (hahah.). So then i do eat it all goes away and i feel fine. But i know that happens if i go too long without food so i always make sure to never get to that stage and have snacks with me to avoid feeling that way. And when i get bouts of anxiety or lonliness or panic then i write or i talk to someone in my family and that helps me cope. Sometimes listening to a podcast and going for a walk or doing baking or cooking also helps me cope, depends on what the trigger was and how strong the response was.

Anyway, this was just a little reminder for you all..... you can try to limit what triggers you, but if you KNOW what triggers you then you can also learn to cope with it when they do happen!!

Never stop learning or being curious

I may not show it on here or even in real life, but i am someone who has alot of questions but i don't often say them out loud.

I've always been someone who loves taking things apart to figure out how they work. When i was younger i just couldn't understand how tv's, computers or mobiles worked, they were so fascinating to and it happened on more than one occasion where my mum would come into the living room and see me trying to take those things apart to see what was on the inside. The one thing i did manage to take apart was the TV remote but it didnt make me any smarter in understanding how it worked.

I have alot of "how and what and why" questions in my mind. And it feels like the more i learn the less i feel i know because i just have more questions. I want to understand. I want to know. If i could, i would want to know alot about everything, but that isnt possible (or who knows, if i were to dedicate my life and every moment to it it might be, haha. Never say never!)

I began thinking about my curiosity and realised that it is one of the things that i love about life... learning new things. Being curious about life and how things work, and the best feeling is when you get a better understanding of something. While i was depressed or had no life motivation i didn't have much curiosity either... i didn't care. What did it matter how things worked or why, nothing really mattered and learning more or being curious didn't appeal to me either.

And i began thinking about how dull and boring life is if you don't keep learning and growing? If you aren't interested in something? If you don't have questions and curiosities... if there is no life motivation.

One of the things that helped me in both recovery from an eating disorder and depressions is learning more... being curious. How does the body work, how does the brain work. What does food do in the body, how does exercise impact the body, how do different medications work on the brain, what is depression and why does it happen, what is an eating disorder and why does it happen? There was alot of googling and reading books to help answer my questions. Of course with most questions and answers there are 2 sides and you need to be critical of the source of the information and not just believe the first thing you see. But in recovery it helped to learn more and to get a better understanding as to why i needed to recover and what was happening in my body.

Of course when you have 101 questions to be answered, sometimes the best thing is to do your own research but as i mentioned earlier, its important to be critical of the source!!

I know this might be a strange post, but it was something i thought about and how it can be annoying to have so many questions and feel like i don't understand some things, but at the same time that is one of the amazing things about life that i CAN learn and can get a better understanding. I much rather have 101 questions about life and different things in life than have no interest or curiosity in life at all!!

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

15 lessons learned in college - how to surive college

I found these tips online and i know i have written about them before in previous post but i love how simple and summarized this list is and it might just be a good reminder for some... even if its only a month or two left of school, maybe for those starting university next year you can look back on this if you need advice or a reminder!!
Do YOU have any tips or advice to share about going to university or what has worked for you? :)

1. it’s really easy to get behind on your textbook reading, and it’s really easy to not catch back up, just read it 
2. sometimes you will start to nod off in class and your notes become illegible, when this happens, voice record the lecture on your phone, but do not do this all the time 
3. do not skip class to study for another class, it will just come to bite you in the butt later 
4. online assignments are really hard to keep up with, therefore having some type of journal, agenda, or list is crucial 
5. you either benefit from studying with other people or you get absolutely nothing done, figure this out as soon as possible 
6. a quiz in high school may have meant 5-10 questions, but in college a lot of the times it’s just one 
7. reading your notes right after class allows you to review quickly what you learned, so you don’t immediately forget 
8. you cannot study the day before an exam and get the results you want, it doesn’t work like that 
9. making friends in your classes is crucial especially if your notes aren’t as detailed as needed or you want a study partner 
10. do not waste time between classes, it is usually the most productive parts of my day and most of the time prevents me from staying up all night doing homework 
11. keep your laptop with you all the time, along with anything you might even plan on studying 
12. learn how you like to take notes, and learn it quickly, drop/add week is the best time for this 
13. do not underestimate a class or it will no doubt overwhelm you 
15. remember that your academic goals are self-defined and that you need not compete or compare to others 

Life and updates

Hello and good afternoon everyone :)

After writing the post this morning im feeling a little bit more motivated to blog. I was feeling rather down and not "good enough" about blogging. However i have alot of other things going on in life at the moment as well which is taking up alot of my time so blogging isnt a priority. I am choosing to keep my private life private and wont be writing much about it as that is what feels best right now.... i dont feel the need to share my life so much online.

At the moment there is alot of school work... alot of essay writing, alot of article reading, alot of numbers and percentages to keep track of as well as studying for my test and working on group projects at the same time. So that is taking up alot of mental energy and most of my time.

But also i now have a part time job which i start next week, ill be working at different stores - and thats about all i will say about my work. Both because i have nothing to write and dont want to write about my work but also due to my contract.

Otherwise there isnt much else in my life... school, working out, online work, work, friends.... thats about how my life is at the moment. Ups and downs, somedays filled with hopes and dreams for the future and other days worrying myself sick about the future. But all in all im good and happy and hopeful!! Trying to manage everything and not get too overwhelmed about everything i have going on in life!!

Since being at home over easter and filling up on my herbal remedies ive felt alot better anxiety wise and sleep wise. Finally able to sleep at 10pm again and not lie awake until 1 or 2am. As well as coping with stress and anxiety alot better with my herbal remedies.  All the years ive been critical of my mother and just taken what she has given me but been skeptical i can finally tell the difference, or the past year ive noticed that the herbal remedies she gives me makes a huge difference. However i have never taken any other "official" medication apart from medication for anxiety relief but all they did was make me fall asleep and when i woke up id still have the anxiety so they were only really helpful when i was overwhelmed with anxiety and needed to stop myself from doing something compulsive or stupid and would take the anxiety relief pills which made me sleep. Of course everyone is different and i believe that "official" medication also works and is important when needed!!

Anyway, this was my little life update. Not so active on here unfortunatly but focusing foremost on school work but ill try get better at answering comments i know i havent done that for a while :( There is only so much apologizing i can do before you start getting mad or irritated at me, hahah!!!

Comparing myself and feeling like im not good enough

The past few days or even longer ive gotten into this bad habit of negative thinking and comparing myself to others.... mostly others online.

How many posts have i made about this saying how comparison is the thief of joy (because it really is!), and how many posts about advice on how to not compare yourself to others, yet here i am doing that exact same thing. But by writing this post i am making an active choice to stop with that... to remind myself why i shouldnt compare myself to others and especially not others online where i know nothing about them or their lives. Just like you shouldnt compare yourself with me or what i show online, because what is posted online is just what the author/creater wants you to see.

Ive gotten into this negative thinking where i feel like i am not good enough at what i do. Always someone better, always someone smarter and more creative. Someone younger who has already achieved my goals. Feeling like what i do isnt good enough ,i need to do more but dont know what... feeling held back by my own insecurities and fears and one thing holding me back is this voice telling me im not good enough, why would anyone be interested or care about what i do. There will always be others who write better than me, who take better pictures than me, who are more inspiring, who have a more inspirational journey, who are prettier, who are happier and more flawless and the list goes on. And the truth is that YES, there will always be someone who is better at different things than me and THATS OK. Thats what i need to remind myself, its ok to be different and its ok to be at different levels of things in life. People are good at different things and thats just the way life is... some people win the genetic jackpot and are good at many things, but i like to think that practise is key. .That if you arent good at something, with some practise you can atleast get better!!

I find that these thoughts hold me back in life... i think, whats the point in making my own business when someone else out there will be doing it better than me. When someone else out there can do everything better than me already. Why blog or take pictures when others are better at it than me and i should just give up. But when i think logically and rationally those thoughts are very silly and its just insecurities getting in my way and getting me down.

Instead of thinking im not good enough - which i feel like i have done all my life. Ive never really felt im good at something, always felt like i have no talent and everyone else is better at everything than me... that im just "ok" at something things but not truly good at everything. This of course is a lie and i know that i am good at different things and with practise i can get better as well!

I am choosing to see the things i am good at. Choosing to lift up my positives and think positively about myself because these comparison thoughts have gotten me down alot recently. Ive felt unmotivated and felt that negativity in my mind... that worthless feeling which drains you of energy and makes you sit and feel worthless. But thats not how i want to live my life and i dont want those thoughts in my head.

WE ARE ALL GOOD AT SOMETHING. AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMEONE WHO IS BETTER AND SOMEONE WHO IS WORSE. There are very few people who are the best at something and even then there can always end up being someone who is better over time. So its best to just focus on what you are good at or want to get better at and instead of feeling jealous, feel inspired.... feel inspired and motivated by those who are better and get tips from them. DOnt hold yourself back, instead keep going and decide to get better and not just give up.

I want you all to comment below something you are good at or more things... boast about yourself and compliment yourself! No comparison or jealousy!!

Stop overthinking, you’re only creating problems that aren’t there.

Amazing quotes for fighting comparison blues.:

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Being told that you are "good" for exercising

This post will be a sort of rant post with some thoughts i need to get out of my mind.

Ive grown up with a family where exercising is just part of daily life and a normal habit we all have. All my life ive done regular exercise in some form or another and its just the way i've been brought up. Ive never been complimented or told that i am "good" for exercising, instead just been encouraged to keep it up and bee.n reminded that its healthy for me.

Not even when i was sick was exercise something i did because i thought i was being "good" or "perfect". Instead it was just something i loved that soon become an obsession and somehing i did just to burn calories and to compensate, but never because i felt "good" or thought i was being good, it was just a way to ease anxiety and to feel a little bit ok with actually eating.

At the moment i also go a program where my friends all exercise in some form or another, some more serious than others and we all have different goals with our workouts but it is a regular thing for most of us. If we start lectures at 9am and some have already worked out before class they arent praised for it or told that they are good because we all workout in some form. Just like when we finish school at 10am or 12pm somedays and we all head off to our different gyms its just something we do and nothing strange about it. HOWEVER i do go a nutrition/health program so i know i am surrounded by people who have the same interests as me and if i went a different program then im sure i would be seen as strange or would be praised for my 7am workouts as that is something most normal people dont do.

But what i wanted to get to is that for me exercising regularly is normal for me its a part of my daily life and exercising doesnt just mean gym sessions, its also going for walks, running, stretching etc

I often find though that i get praised from "outside" people for working out.... and believe it or not, i dont like being praised for it. Sure if i do something incredible or lift a new heavy weight or run a long distance then a little praise doesnt hurt but as i exercise for health, happiness and therapy its not something i need to be praised for.

I know that some people like that praise, they get encouragement and motivation from it - i understand that! But i also dont think that exercise should be seen as something extra special or strange.... i think it should just be a normal thing for people. That going to the gym, going for walks, going for a run, going to a sport or any form of exercise is just normal.

It is so hard to formulate myself because this is just MY OPINION and from my own perspective. I know some people like praise.... i mean for example if i painted everyday and painting was my hobby im sure i would like some praise about my art every now and again. But i get a little irritated over that exercise is seen as something good, when it should just be seen as something normal... though i know that isnt the case.

And before i end this post, i guess i should also say that as mentioned in the beginning ive grown up with a family where exercising is normal and something ive always done, so for me its not strange to workout daily and move my body. .For others that is very strange and anyone who works out more than 2 times a week is seen as sick... according to some people who email me. But its important to remember that everyone is different and a healthy/balanced amount to exercise is different for everyone. I no longer write about my workouts on here as it seemed far too triggering for people and readers were far too quick to judge and send me messages, but also it just isnt necessary to write on here. This is a recovery blog and if you have an exercise addiction its hard to read about others exercising and i understand that, but also i feel no need to write about my exercise as its something i do for myself and it makes me happy and nothing i need to share online anyway.

Moving on... this was just some thoughts i needed to write out. Ive spent the day writing an essay so this isnt formulated very well as i am far too tired to think straight.

But maybe you have some thoughts about this topic... do you see exercise as something "good" and something you get praise over or want to get praised for doing?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

People have different eating habits

One of the hardest questions to answer is "what is normal eating". I get asked by so many different people both online and real life to tell them what is normal eating, but thats just like asking me "whats the meaning of life" or another deep question. You cant answer it straight up, instead it is very individual.

What is normal or healthy eating depends on the person asking, not to mention that normal eating depends on culture, family upbringing and even economy. Its not a straight up answer.

Of course i can tell you what theoretical healthy eating is.... what dieticians recommend as normal and healthy eating. However not as many people actually follow that advice even if they may know it. I know the recommendations and what is recommended as normal eating but i dont follow those recommendations, instead i know what is best for me and eating according to my bodies needs.

Normal eating is affected by many different things and social media has a huge effect.... all the diet tips, all the focus on weight loss and low calorie foods, all the food labelled as "good" and "bad" food. Normal eating for some doesnt have to be healthy eating either.

Some people eat no breakfast and instead eat lots at night. Some people eat very little portions and it can  be hard to imagine that they feel full after tiny portions. Some people eat LCHF others eat HCLF. Some people follow weight watchers or atkins, others follow paleo or a raw food diet. Some people eat gluten free or lactose free or sugar free etc Not that these ways of eating have to be healthy but they can be normal for some. For example some people follow intermittent fasting and eat 1-2 big meals per day, and others eat 6-8 small meals per day. Basically.... its all so different and the only thing you can do is focus on what is best for you.

If your family are counting calories or points or macros, or your friends are following a LCHF diet or maybe they dont eat breakfast and just eat chocolate for lunch, it may be triggering but all you can do is focus on what is best for you. You cant change someone elses way of eating - unless you are a proffessional or know alot about nutrirtion and can give good advice, but you still cant change unless the person wants to change their way of eating.

People will eat differently from you, no one eats the exact same and thats ok, you dont need to eat the same as others. People need different portions sizes and like different foods.

Normal eating is different so you cant compare how you eat to someone else. Not to mention that unless you eat all your meals with someone you cant know what someone else eats in a whole day (and you dont need to either!!!). One meal doesnt say how a person eats the whole day or whole week.

Instead of getting triggered or annoyed by how others eat, focus on what is best for you. All you can do is know that how you are eating works for you and is what is healthiest and best for you!!

Try to not let other peoples way of eating effect you, because in the end it doesnt matter, but also dont focus too much on what is "normal" eating, but more what is normal and what works for YOU. Of course the standard 5-6 meals per day and a balance of carbs, protein and fat are good guidelines to follow but what is ultimately normal and best for you may be a little different!!

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Image result for normal eating