anorexiarecovery

Recovery is a lot of remembering

Remembering portion sizes, what time to eat, how much to eat, when to stop eating, when to eat more, when to eat less, to not over exercise, to feel comfortable when you don’t exercise, to order the item you want instead of the item with the lowest calories, to allow yourself food which isn’t considered ‘healthy’, to not just eat something because someone else is, to know that drinks with calories in are okay to have, to eat even if you’re alone or feel sad, to not look up calorie contents, to not weigh yourself everyday…to remember how you lived before your eating disorder.

This whole ‘recovery thing’ is so confusing. It’s like I’m learning how to swim but the only way to learn is to throw myself into the water and start drowning. To get over my anxiety is to feel it and I find myself running towards what’s safe (my eating disorder). You see recovery isn’t safe–it’s scary but that’s okay because at least I’m feeling something. At least I’m learning how to swim even if I feel like I’m drowning.
—  recovery is drowning but that’s okay

Being in remission, when you’re not at the beginning but you’re not “recovered” either, feels exceptionally nebulous.
I remember Marya Hornbacher detailing it in Wasted–the boring aftermath. Sometimes, I feel that way.
But mostly, it’s just strange. I’m no longer driven by a negative energy balance. I’m no longer frenetic and obsessive–traits I’d attributed to my temperament that proved to be malnutrition-induced. I’m less numerical and more fluid. I am not a perfectionist by nature, so my non-specific anxiety has mostly dissipated, and can more clearly identify trauma-related anxiety. I don’t wake up in hunger and wander to the gym at odd hours of the night. I sometimes find myself missing that discipline, though I recognize now it was compulsion.
For so long, my life was governed by anorexia, then controlled entirely by professionals. Now, I call the shots. I eat because I choose to, though it now feels non-negotiable like the eating disorder once did. It almost feels like I know too much, now. Like my desire to have an unrecognized, ineffectual eating disorder is so painfully unrealistic that even skipping a meal is so tinged with redundancy–I’ve gotten where it lead me before and it was never where I wanted it to lead, so why bother now?
It’s a complete paradigm shift so I’m trying not to over-analyze it, but I can’t help it. It’s so odd. My drive is my own, and the autonomy feels good between my fingers. Now I just have to learn to equate the autonomy with the fuller hips, the sturdier presence, and the body that clearly has been built up from its time of being torn down. I’ve been growing for so long; it’s time I learn to be grown.

  1. DON’T hold onto clothes that fit your sick body but no longer fit your healthy body. That’s like holding onto your tricycle and periodically trying to switch back to it from the bike you ride every day. If you think it won’t trigger you, trust me - in a moment of weakness, it will and it’s just a matter of time so don’t even risk it.

  2. DON’T hold onto friendships that are can potentially be triggering or toxic to you in any way. Unfortunately, this often includes people you’ve befriended in treatment but isn’t limited to it. This is a very important albeit difficult step to take but it’s time for you to think about YOUR health and wellbeing here. If it’s not part of the solution, then it’s a part of the problem. It’s not you being mean or cruel, it’s you making sure that you can live the ed-free and full life that you deserve.

  3. DON’T hold onto your scale - food scales included! Your weight will fluctuate from day to day (as will the amount of food you eat) depending on a variety of factors and let’s face it - whether you’re just starting to recover or are almost there, having an ED-past and owning a scale just doesn’t add up to anything productive and can potentially be a trigger for a downward spiral in the future. I haven’t owned a scale in 5 years and my life hasn’t been negatively affected in the least - toss it and forget about it guys!

  4. DON’T hold onto ED mementos (photos, diaries etc.) if they’ve ever served as a trigger for you in the past. If you have days when you’re feeling off balance and you tend to reach for your thigh gap pics from way back when to motivate unhealthy behavior - you need to get rid of them NOW. If when you feel sad you tend to re-read journal entries outlining your minuscule intake of ED-past and dwell on eating like a normal human being now - you need to toss out these journals and not look back. Clinging to the past is a direct link to potentially ending up right where you started so don’t go there.

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I don’t know if anyone active still follows me or even cares, but I came back on here and realised I haven’t actually posted since the dark time in my life. A small message to tell anyone that reads this and saw that latte post from freakin years ago that I’m no longer that person and I’m beyond glad not to be! To everyone that used to hate on me, tell me I was selfish, tell me I was fat, tell me I was horrible… I did it in the end. And to anyone suffering from an ED, if I can do it then so can you 🌟

Fuck Special K

“Start your morning off right with 115 nourishing calories!”
What. Tha. fuCK??
That’s not even enough for a snack. It makes me sick hearing these diet commercials promoting their extremely low-cal products and posing them as “nutritious” or “healthy”. It’s absolute bullshit. Calories are the energy you use to walk, talk, read, go to school, do your job etc etc. I say the more calories the better! Fuck Special K and their breakfast for ants

Annoying recovery/hypermetabolism rant

So my dietitian added a 10 pm snack. So now, I have all my meals, three boost plus, and FOUR snacks. I have dinner, HS snack, and 10 pm snack that SHE made and portioned for me and I have to eat it and ~spoiler alert~ it’s highly calorically dense. This is all fine and dandy since I haven’t been maintaining on my meal plan but what they don’t understand is IM A NURSE. My work day meal plan is altered already, I don’t get home until past 8 pm so that is when I have dinner, and then after dinner I’m supposed to have TWO MORE SNACKS. Like I did it tonight and I honestly feel like I’m going to explode. I tried to just kind of consolidate HS with the 10 pm but it’s still so much food, and all my other snacks are just as much as meals and I just feel like breaking down. Like not only is all of this physically hard I STILL HAVE AN EATING DISORDER. THIS IS STILL HARD TO EMOTIONALLY CONVINCE MYSELF THIS AMOUNT OF FOOD IS OKAY but tbh it feels like binging but supposedly it’s not because it’s my “body’s needs” and “not compulsive,” which true but still the AMOUNT feels like that. Like I have purging urges simply from being that full, and I haven’t struggled with that behavior in almost five years.
Holy shit this is already so much longer than I intended but I’m just frustrated because I don’t feel heard by my team which is IMPORTANT especially right now as I am doing everything they say and I KNOW they hear me it just doesn’t emotionally feel that way

Permission

For those of you in recovery who feel they need permission…Here it is.

You have permission to eat . You have permission to be happy. You have permission to be healthy. You have permission to be bigger. You have permission to love yourself no matter what. You have permission to be free.

( Now it’s time for you to give yourself permission because it has always been available to you all you have to do is believe)

You should never substitute anything for food. If your hungry eat, do not suppress your hunger with activity, coffee, or anything else that you have done in the past. You have to honor your hunger not ignore it. Hunger is your bodies way of telling you it needs nutrients. Maybe it’s trying to fight of a cold you’re not even aware of, or trying to rebuild your organs from years of starvation. The point is your body knows what it’s doing more than we ever will and telling it no I won’t feed you is like saying to your doctor no I won’t take my medicine that will help get me better. Food is our medicine, it’s our fuel, its the building blocks to being the healthiest human being we can be. So the next time you are hungry eat no matter what. Start to trust your body, it nows what it’s doing.

The day I recovered

just a small reminder that recovery is worth it 

The day I recovered, I went out with my friends without having to check out the menu or find a ‘safe’ restaurant nearby on my laptop the day before. I just went out: had ice cream, pasta and pizza just like my friends and I had an amazing time. 

The day I recovered, I decided to workout with a smile across my face laughing at the challenges I met along the way. I felt the joy of being both mentally and physically stronger. There was no dizziness, sleepiness or tears of pain. I paused my workout video to rest and I was able to continue when I was ready again. 

The day I recovered, I went out to restaurants and was not the last one to order because I did not have to spend more time ordering my meal: asking for alternatives because I did not ‘like’ it or because I had ‘restrictions’ 

The day I recovered, I didn’t need to bug my mom about calling the airline for a low-salt meal because I was able to, without being anxious, spontaneously decide on what to eat when the flight attendant asked me. I chose what I wanted and did not spend hours searching and guess what might be on my plate during the flight. 

The day I recovered, I spend my money on the things I liked and not just on food: clothes, make up and others. I did not spend hundreds buying ‘clean’ ‘healthy’ food just because there were nutritional labels or because it was healthier or lower in calorie. I could buy local foods without knowing the calories and did not solely rely my cravings on the numbers on the nutrition label. 

The day I recovered, I felt the pain of being a women again. The cramps and the change of pads. The joys of eating massive portions and laugh at myself after. My body was able to use the food and did not need to eat away my muscles to survive. I could join in conversations with other girls/women about periods without having to fake that I was going through the exact same problem. 

The day I recovered, I did not have to go to the hospital for check-ups: ultrasounds, gynecologist, psychologist, blood testing and weigh-ins. I could use the time to enjoy doing my hobbies and spend time with family and friends.

The day I recovered, I was not embarrassed in ordering something healthier or something different to other people. Instead, I stood up to myself and told the world that, 

“I’m a recovered anorexic. I climbed mountains and failed. I wanted to die but I decided not to. I starved myself, I was scared of food. I went through tremendous pain both physically and mentally. But I’m proud of myself because today, the food on my plate, was what I wanted and not the demon inside my head.”