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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Saturday, June 3, 2017

2 answers - supplement drinks in recovery, how much to eat when you no longer need to gain weight

Dear Izzy,
In recovery what is best? Food or supplement drinks? I personally am thinking its got to be food - in that surely it is better that you get eating regularly again and your body gets used to dealing with food? I am also thinking that by taking supplement drinks - namely Ensure and Fortijuce - you are putting off having "proper food" and its going to be harder to replace them with food once you are weight restored, because your body has got used to these and therefore not got used to eating again. I realise that these drinks are supposed to be taken with food as well but I can`t help thinking having extra actual food would be better in the long run? I would really like your advice on this. I am in the early stages of recovery and have quite a lot of weight to gain but I can`t help thinking I want to gain it by learning how to eat normally again, not through drinking liquid calories. But at the same time I don`t want to be making as awful mistake. Thank you so much if you have the time to reply to this.


Hello,
When it comes to supplement drinks they are just that... supplements. Whether its to supplement/compensate an actual meal or to help reach the required energy in a meal/in a day. First off i think beginning to eat real food is the best as that helps your digestive system to start working again and to begin digesting and breaking down food as well as beginning to chew and taste different foods, figure out what you like and dont like but also to get used to the "full feeling". I know at Mando some people refused to eat the food and just drank supplement drinks instead of meals (as often as possible) as they wanted to avoid feeling full as well as found that supplement drinks felt more "safe" compared to food, but in the long run that is not healthy or a good option as you need to learn to eat and be ok with eating.
Supplement drinks in my opinion should be drank when 1) you need more calories but you cant quite reach that calorie goal with just food because of the quantitiy amount you would have to eat, 2) sometimes it is just easier to drink 1-2 supplement drinks to get the energy. So maybe you start off with a meal plan and keep following that and successively add more food but then you might reach a point where you need more calories but cant fit the extra food into you, then supplement drinks are good :)
I drank 2-3 supplement drinks a day  (or 1 scandishake and 1 ensure drink) as well as a meal plan with alot of food when i was in recovery and i would have wanted to eat food instead of the supplement drinks and when i was at home i was allowed to eat real food instead of the drinks. But it did also mean eating ALOT of food which was tough at times, so the supplement drinks are beneficial in the sense that you dont have to feel sick from being so full.
Start off with food and have the supplement drinks as extra when needed, i remember when i began working out again i was told to drink an extra ensure each day or eat 2 extra sandwiches and it was easier to just drink the ensure sometimes.





I have a question I would be so thankful if you answered.
I have a mealplan for 2500 calories which I'm not sure when I should start to cut down on or if the body ever just maintain a normal weight without gaining on this mealplan and I instead of cutting down, should keep following the mealplan until it does? Every recommendation for a girl in my age is 2000-2200 so I have hard to believe I could continue eating 2500 without gaining...


When it comes to after recovery/maintaining weight i dont often recommend cutting out food or loweirng your calories because then you can end up getting stuck in the mindset of i need to only eat X amount of calories otherwise i will gain when that isnt the case. If you have gained weight by resting and following your meal plan, then when you are weight restored you might begin living life more and going to school or work, going into town or just being more "active" in a sense that you werent before and that usually leads to balance. But otherwise things such as cutting out juice (when i was in recovery i drank 3 or 4 glasses of 300ml juice a day, so just by cutting out one or two of those glasses i would have made a "balance" however as i began eating intuitively before i reached my goal weight i never had to think about cutting out food, instead just finding balance), or maybe changing a high calorie snack to something a little less calorie dense. HOWEVER i find it very wrong to right about how to cut out food because your goal when you reach your healthy weight is to find balance with food and eat intuitive.... maybe when you get closer to your healthy weight you begin eating breakfast and snacks more freely... i.e whatever you feel like and somedays the breakfast or snacks might be bigger or smaller than the previous day. And then eventually eating more freely with lunch and dinner such as that the portion sizes or what food you eat doesnt have to be exactly the right amount. This is both to get comfortable with food, listening to your body and finding balance with food. More towards intutive eating and listening to your body compared to following a meal plan where you have to cut down on food because your body should adapt and you will feel hungry at the times you eat as well as for the portion sizes, so it doesnt make sense to suddenly take away a snack if you are hungry for that snack.
Its a learning process and takes time, but your body should stabilize itself and like i said, usually after gaining weight you begin to do more - even if its not everyday - you are still more active in some sense and that can usually lead to a balance, but let it take time.



2 comments:

  1. The worst thing in recovery is coping with the damage you imposed on your body.. I started eating well but because I had damaged my hormonal balance, I would keep on gaining and gaining weight despite returning to exercise and eating healthily.. that unfortunately made me relapse until I found out that I had hupothyroidism and it was the main culprit behind everything. So yeah, it takes time to listen to your body and see how it reacts to different stimuli.. it's a beautiful process nevertheless, because you develop this really intimate relationship with your organism and it gets easier to fulfill its needs later on when you're fully recovered and healthy.

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  2. Thanks for this answer!

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