When we start to recover my advice is to eat whatever foods you feel comfortable with. Don’t worry about how healthy or unhealthy they are. The goal is to get the volume of food and drinks up and to increase your appetite. In the case of someone who binges, I would focus the binge urges on high fibre foods. Over eating foods such as fruits will only add vitamins and minerals to your body, the fibre content will fill you faster making your binges smaller until you learn to stop. Once you become comfortable eating again, that is when you can start adding in foods that you feel uncomfortable with. One at a time as not to stress yourself out.
Here comes a little harsh truth, during this phase you will gain weight. There is no way around it. Whatever you have been suffering from, you have damaged your metabolism. It is going to need time to recover. I gained over a stone. I had to stop looking in the mirror and I kept myself covered in baggy clothes. I didn’t feel like me for a while, but I trusted the process. You see any dieting, skipping meals, anorexia, bulimia or any unhealthy eating behaviour effects our metabolism. Your body’s number one function is to keep you alive. If you have been starving for a long time and you finally start eating, your body still thinks that a famine will come again, so it holds onto everything you eat and your weight will go up. Once your body knows it wont be starved again, it will let go of excess weight. As I said I gained over a stone, but once my body knew, it dropped almost half the weight without me changing what I was eating. Now is the perfect time to start adding some structure to your eating habits and focusing on healthier foods.
You do not have to eat a specific diet to be healthy. The only people who need a specific diet are people suffering with a health problem such as diabetes or someone who needs a certain physique such as marathon runners and body builders. This brings me to the next topic which is exercise. Again, like food unless you have a specific goal, the best exercise is the one you enjoy doing. You have to enjoy exercise or you will never stick to it. Consistency is key. If you don’t like the gym, don’t go to the gym. You could try swimming, rock climbing, walking, dancing, any sport. Do what makes you happy! Don’t worry about what all your friends are doing or what the latest trend is. Even if you must go to classes alone, you will end up meeting new people, making new friends and / or maybe even finding a partner. Sometimes it is also nice to have something that is just your own. It can be your break from reality and the people you know. 100% you time. You need to look after you or you can’t be there for anyone else. I have always loved the gym. Anorexia made me so weak that there were actual days during winter when I was walking to the shop and the wind would blow me forward and throw me off balance. I couldn’t carry very much and when I started to recover, I used canned fruit as weights. My arms were killing me the next day! Now I can Rack Pull 72.5kgs (as shown in the picture). Every morning I walk into that gym, it is my place, my space. It is the best part of my day and I hate when it is over. That is how it should feel for all of you too. When it becomes your lifestyle, your passion, your happy place, then it isn’t a punishment. Health and fitness is your gift yourself. A gift of self-love and peace.
I haven’t gone into meal plans or training structure because there simply is no need. Otherwise this post would be exactly like those magazines I was talking about on Wednesday. These were the steps I used. There is no time frame, do each stage as you feel comfortable with. Take everything one meal and one workout at a time. xXx
Thank you all for following me this week. Your support has been amazing and heart warming. Tomorrow is the last day of Eating Disorder Awareness Week and I will discuss how to be there for someone who is suffering. How to be a support to them and not make them feel pressured to recover, because that pressure can lead them to pushing you away and becoming more engrossed in their disorder. I hope I have shone some light on the realities of what an eating disorder actually is. Until tomorrow, Keep talking, keep breaking the silence ~ Love Roxy.