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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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Learning about eating disorders in class - after being recovered

As a few of you were interested in the topic i thought i would try to write this post before my feelings and thoughts about the topic disappear.

So last week as part of my current university course, where we are learning about different illnesses and what nutrition advice should be given to people with those illnesses. Eating disorders was one of them. However the course didn't go so deep into eating disorders or even the nutrition advice given as eating disorders is such a broad topic and the advice given depends on the eating disorder as well as the individual. Though we talked a little about refeeding syndrome as well as the fact that eating disorders are mental illnesses (which i like that the teacher mentioned i.e many are quick to just say... oh its young girls who are insecure and go on a diet and end up with an eating disorder). I also like that the teacher mentioned that many people with an eating disorder do end up switching eating disorder i.e from anorexia to bulimia/binge eating or vice versa and that it is far more common than you think, and this is somethig i have written alot about on here as well. Because many people email or message me regularly telling me that they have gone from anorexia to binge eating and feel so ashamed and out of control,  and you have to realise that binge eating/bulimia also requires help and isnt something you should feel ashamed about, its more common thank you think and it just makes recovery even harder and longer if you dont reach out for help.



Anyway, what were my thoughts during that lecture about eating disorders? Well first off i didnt learn anything new as we just talked about symptoms, help, what recovery might entail i.e the different forms of therapy for the eating disorders and also some of the criteria to be diagnosed for the different eating disorders. No new information, if anything i could have gotten up there in the lecture hall and had my own lecture where i could have added so much more advice and information..... but thats for the future i guess!

My thoughts and feelings? I must admit at first i felt very strange, a little panicked in a sense.... "like i didnt want to be there". I think during the whole lecture it felt like 90% of the people were sitting on needles... it was a weird and tense vibe in the room and i think that is because eating disorders are such a sensitive topic not to mention a huge topic which does effect many. I think almost everyone in the room either knows someone who has suffered with an eating disorder in someway or has suffered themselves.

I am guessing i amnt the only one who has had an eating disorder in the class... i know a few who have mentioned that they have had different eating problems in the past and 1 or 2 who still suffer in some form but are "functional sufferers" so to say. Healthy enough to function almost properly and go to school but still very much controlled with their eating and exercise. During the lecture i began to wonder how many people in the room actually had or have had an eating disorder im pretty sure that its more than i think.... after all many people who have or have had an eating disorder are drawn to programs and courses about nutrition or exercise. I know some people in my class have found me on social media so they know that i have had an eating disorder though whether they have looked on my blog or scrolled through my social media very far, i dont know..... but i felt like i had a few eyes on me during the lecture, HOWEVER i think that was just me being paranoid and not actually the case.

It was weird to sit in the lecture when talking about eating disorders, mostly because i just wanted to add so much more information. I used to be embarrassed about the fact that i struggled but as the years pass i am less embarrassed and can imagine doing lectures in the future where i can help to inspire and motivate and give information about eating disorders... not being ashamed about my past.

I also noticed that the teacher was being very aware and cautious as it is such a sensitive topic but he did a good job nonetheless i guess!

I dont really know what more to add.... but it did bring back old memories. When we began talking about the treatment forms i almost wanted to hide under my seat when the memories about inpatient, tube feeding, day patient, daily blood checks and sitting across from a nurse forcing me to eat - began to flow into my mind. .... it almost felt like i had a huge red finger pointing at me showing everyone that in the past i had been through those things, however that once again was just me being paranoid haha.

Anyway, i felt strange after the lecture and glad that it was just a short one and now im wondering if i actually want to take further courses in eating disorders or whether that would be a little to hard/sensitive for me, with my own experience and research i doubt i would learn anything new. However it would be fun to learn more about the psychology behind eating disorders...... in future classes however we will talk more about nutrition advice to people with eating disorders as well as how to talk to people who are sick and how to give advice without upsetting them as well as a more health promotion way of giving advice and inspiring patients rather than just giving 100 pieces of advice and wishing the patient well - instead inspiring and motivating!

Now when i think about it.... i wonder how i would feel if we had a lecture about depression or anxiety... we most likely wont as those are mental illnesses and we are doing physical illnesses and nutrition. But i am pretty sure i would feel sort of triggered and very sensitive during a lecture about those topics.... it would be far too soon for me if i am honest, and i dont even know why i think its just that too many memories come back and suddenly i dont feel "Normal" anymore... suddenly all i remember is the illness and its something i cant push to the back of my mind, i think thats one of the reasons i dont like the lectures about things such as eating disorders or depression....


If you have any questions about this topic or have any other questions or topic suggestions comment below :)




7 comments:

  1. I can imagine that must have been tough, when hearing people say this and that is done and then actually having been through it yourself is completely different and really personal. You did well for getting through the whole lecture <3 I remember once a teacher just briefly mentioned eating disorders in the context of the media and my face just felt so hot and I was just like omg can they tell I had one? And just kind of didn't know how I felt but it was a bit panicky haha

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    1. Oh exactly thats how i felt.... it's very strange and I wonder if it will ever pass but I think it's because it's such a personal thing.

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  2. Hi Izzy, thanks for this post. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the link between gut health/nutrition and mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. Recently there have been a lot of studies showing that nutrition can play an important role in recovery, or even promote the recovery of people suffering from anxiety and depression. In particular, there has been a focus on good gut bacteria and its its role in brain function. I was wondering if you'd come across this in all your research and what your thoughts on this topic were. Also, you mentioned that you'd probably feel uncomfortable in a leture about anxiety/depression at this stage but it was unlikely that you'd have to sit through one given that your course is about physical illnesses. Given the new insights being gained into the link between nutrition and mental illness I was also wondering what the prospects of studying this in the future were for you and how you'd feel about it. Sorry for the long comment and if my questions aren't very clear, I just wanted to write out some of my thoughts.
    Thanks xx

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  3. thank you for this - it was interesting to read. it sounds like it went well, overall - in the circumstances... ?! :)

    As for suggestions and questions about topics...
    I was searching back through your blog for advice on healthy vegan eating, vitamins and all that.... You already have lots of informative posts on it so I don't know if there is really a new question I can ask, but I did start eating plantbased and it is not that I don't like eating that way, it is just that I do wonder about whether it is really healthy when I don't actually have any idea what I am doing, I am not a nutritionist and I don't plan it all and I am not well aware of what I need or where to get it, I just eat what I like. I noticed that my memory is worse than it used to be and I started thinking about b12, and then reading things and the things I was reading mentioned so many other nutrients that the body needs, that you CAN get on a vegan diet, but it sounds like you need to be aware to get them that way. I used to eat vegetarian, and I have no idea whether going back to that would solve the problem, or whether there even is a problem. I just felt unsettled by reading vegan websites about all sorts of vitamins and sources for them that I don't know about and don't routinely eat. I feel a bit sceptical about the notion that one's body just lets one know that one needs something -- the body is so adaptable that I imagine it can get used to a deficiency in one or more areas, and not just point one to the right places through instincts.

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  4. Recently on biology class someone held a presentation about eds, and I felt rather similar... I fixed my eyes on the desk, I couldnt look up and I felt a bit embarrased, and like I didnt want to hear all that, and at the same time I wanted to add so many things, haha, though I had known that this topic was coming...

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  5. I feel like you did when something comes on the tv about eating disorders. I`m ok if I`m sat there on my own but if others are with me I feel like all eyes are upon me and I`m just waiting for them to comment - but they never do. I think its because EDs are so deeply personal to oneself then to talk about it touches a raw nerve. I think you did remarkably well to get through the lecture and I`m sure you were not the only person in the room to feel uncomfortable. Your background knowledge of EDs/recovery is going to stand you in good stead for when/if it ever comes up during your career. That's why I think you will make an excellent nutritionist - because you have been there and done it, and know from your own experiences what you are talking about.
    Draw comfort from that and be proud of what you have overcome, not ashamed.

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  6. I have recently seen my doctor who is running tests because she thinks I may be suffering from vitamin malabsorption. I have never heard of this before and was wondering if you could write a post on the importance of vitamins and what happens if you are deficient in some way? Also, how hard is it when following a vegan diet to meet your bodies vitamin needs? Do you take a supplement?

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