. still disordered? not quite .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on October 14, 2012

Hey guys! Happy Satur Sunday :D

Man, miss one day of blogging and my whole week is thrown right off… I missed you yesterday! It was the first nice day that we’ve had in like a week, though, and I wanted to spend as much time as I could outside – a fact that my mom completely took advantage of by asking me to come over to help rake leaves in the afternoon. Let’s just say that by the time I got home, all I could think about was passing out on the couch with a big bowl of honeyed popcorn in my lap…

Not the most exciting night by any stretch of the imagination, but the extra rest was very much needed – at least now I have enough strength back in my abused arms to type up a post and thank you guys for all of the insightful comments and advice that you left on my anxiety post. It’s not always easy to admit to any kind of struggle or mistake, especially because there are those who are quick to judge you as “still disordered” from even the slightest slip up.

Plain Greek yogurt – banana – nectarine – Kashi Cinnamon Harvest – Puffins – roasted almond butter.

That kind of judgement is actually one of the only reasons that I’d ever hide the fact that I had an eating disorder from someone who didn’t already know. I’m not ashamed of what I went through, nor do I have a problem talking openly about any of my experiences, but after having fought so hard to recover, someone trying to convince me that I’m still sick when in my heart of hearts I can feel that I’m not is like a big old slap in the face.

I know the prognosis of eating disorders; I’m well aware of the fact that the recovery rate is extremely low and the relapse rate is extremely high. Life sentence and all that – I get it. But I also know that buying in to stats like those is like shooting yourself in the foot… How can you honestly hope to fully recover if you don’t even believe it’s possible?

Needed a coffee break and some cookies… Enjoy Life sugar crisp cookies to be more exact.

I think one of the main reasons that I’ve been able to come so far in recovery is because I stopped identifying myself as sick. I let go of the expectations that come along with the “anorexic identity,” and essentially stopped playing the part of the sick girl. I wasn’t anorexic – I was simply Amanda and I was dealing with some food issues. Yes, I know that food issues don’t even begin to capture the severity of the disease, but I think that downplaying my affliction really helped me stop seeing it as something that was an essential part of who I was.

For years my life completely revolved around my eating disorder and recovery. Every thought I had or action I took was either because of, or in reaction to, my eating disorder; and that kind of focus simply reinforced the idea that I was sick. By continuously identifying my thoughts and actions as being the result of my eating disorder, I was essentially continuously telling myself (and believing) that my sickness was a big part of my identity, thus preventing me from fully letting it go. Of course recovery is a lot more complicated than simply telling yourself that you’re better, but it helps. I don’t believe that relentlessly obsessing over the slightest hint of illness does anyone any good.

Time to relax…

That’s why I refuse to do it anymore. I may slip up every once in a while, but who doesn’t? Even people who never struggled with an eating disorder do goofy things sometimes. It doesn’t mean that I’m “still disordered,” but that I made an honest mistake and want to correct it. Believe me when I say that relapsing isn’t an option – I kind of fell in love with my health and have absolutely no desire to relive the hell that I called life back then.

Gah! Sorry about the rant… I didn’t sit down with the intention of letting things go that way, but sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. And sorry if you’re a new[ish] reader and have absolutely no idea what I’m going on about… I think it’s time I finally buckled down and got to sharing my story, so that will probably be on the agenda for tomorrow’s post. I hope you guys are enjoying a relaxing Sunday evening (or whenever you happen to be reading this).

. – . – . – .

I’m not entirely sure what kind of a question I can ask about a topic like this… so any of your thoughts or experiences would be appreciated :)

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alex @ therunwithin October 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

wow. just wow. I can relate so much to this post. I am so open about talking about my past BUT i don’t mention it to lots of people because of the stigmas behind it. I hate identifying with the sick girl and I hate the stats that are there. It is like fighting an already uphill battle. I give you credit for breaking from that. You girl, are kind of freaking awesome.
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2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

Right back at ya ;)

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3 Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness October 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Great post! I always hated the stigma that was associated with an “eating disorder”. Even now I feel like if I tell someone I used to have an eating disorder they look at me like I have ten heads! I will admit that I do still struggle sometimes but I think what gets me through it is I know that no one has 100% normal eating habits…what is normal exactly?! I just do the best I can and no matter what I still going to be me!
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4 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:20 am

Exactly! I don’t think we can attach a definition to “normal eating” because everyone is so different. I think that as long as food isn’t getting in the way of you living and enjoying your life, then it’s all good. I’m pretty sure that everyone I’ve ever met has experienced some sort of guilt/uncertainty around food, but not letting it become the central focus of your life is what’s really important.

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5 Aimee October 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I started to finally recover too when I stopped labeling myself as having an eating disorder – I felt like that was my only identity – it was only when I started to trust myself and break away from that identity that I considered myself in recovery. I must admit though I feel like it is an ongoing process but I too feel that relapse is never an option. My life is soooo much better now – I can’t imagine going back and I think that what drives me to keep going. I must say I totally admire your honesty and I really believe that your blog not only helps me but millions of others!! :)

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6 Leslie October 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Beautifully articulated post. :) And I love that cereal bowl. You are making me crave Kashi cinnamon harvest!

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7 Debbie (accidently delish) October 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm

It’s good to hear that you don’t identify yourself as Amanda having an eating disorder. I actually was able to step away quickly from the identity and not blame all my “slip ups” on my eating disorder. What I struggle with is others judging every decision I make as an eating disorder decision. My fiancé who I know has the best intentions judges every food choice I make. How am I suppose to recover and separate myself if I have Others continuously reminding me of my disease. Yes I know he is scared but sometimes I don’t feel like Debbie the fiancé to him I feel like Debbie with an eating disorder. Grr. Recovery is a life long battle I know but I hope for the day myself and others can just see me as Debbie. And I’m so glad you can just see yourself as Amanda. Love ya girl stay strong <3

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8 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:23 am

Oh I can definitely relate – it seemed like a lot of people were walking on eggshells around me and raising their eyebrows at a lot of my choices for a long time, but I guess we can’t honestly blame them for being wary. Thankfully, I think the suspicion starts to fade with time, as long as you keep proving that there’s no going back :)

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9 Miss Polkadot October 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm

You amazed me once again with this beautifully written post hitting the nail right on the head. Thanks, Amanda!

I’m intrigued to try your way of “just letting go” and not being the anorexic girl anymore but the one with “food issues” only. Is it really as easy as it sounds? Did you just get up one day telling yourself you didn’t have an ED anymore and did/ate whatever you wanted? Sorry about these questions – I’d just love to try it because it sounds like an approach worth giving a chance.

Hope you have a great Sunday evening, too!
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10 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:31 am

I wouldn’t say it was all that easy – changing your perspective on things never is – but it definitely started to sink in over time. I think the main thing that motivated me to change was frustration… I just got so fed up with feeling sick, tired, and not in control of my thoughts. I’d try to remember how I was before I got sick and really did my best to go back to that. So, yeah I guess in a way I kind of woke up one day and just decided to start telling myself that I wasn’t sick… and I think that sort of helped shape my thoughts in a different way and push the ED out of my life.

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11 Nicole October 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

If I could just add something here…. and I’m no expert with many of my own shortfalls and challenges, but I do recall going to support groups at the beginning of my recovery and feeling like I was the only person there who actually WANTED to get better. Everyone else seemed to be moping about their current state but seemingly content with remaining that way because “that’s who they are.”

So I agree, you have to literally wake up one day and be COMPLETELY sick of feeling weak and tired and exhausted, enough so that you are willing to gain the weight necessary to function normally. For pretty much everyone, gaining the weight is the hardest part! It’s like all of that hard work and miserable-ness you put yourself through was for nothing. Well, in a way, yeah, it was for nothing because you DO have to gain weight back to feel better!

It’s all about the state of mind. If you’re still somewhat comfortable with an ED lifestyle then there’s no way you can fully embrace recovery. You have to truly be sick of it to be able to change. I really think it’s about reaching some sort of breaking point and using that as motivation to leave behind a crappy, exhausting life.

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12 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers October 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Oh girl, slip ups happen. But you’ve taken so many more forward steps that a slight slip back every now and again won’t throw you off your game. Stay strong ~ Love ya!
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13 Stephanie October 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Hi Amanda! I have been a silent reader for a long time and I just wanted to finally tell you how much I appreciate your blog. Your honesty and advice literally helped me get through some really rough times and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see you as a role model. It’s really wonderful how you are willing to share your struggles with us because it helps to be able to relate to someone. So thank you for that.
I agree that it’s really important not to overemphasize the disorder. The less I analyze my thoughts the better. I think it helps me let go.
By the way, I loveee that candle! :) It smells amazing!

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14 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

Thank you for your sweet comment, Stephanie :D

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15 Brittany October 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I loved the “rant” talking about it no matter how long ago it was is always beneficial! I think your late night snacking is totally normal and having anxiety about it is too! You know you’re safe here in the bloggy world because many people will be able to relate and give you a hand. Enjoy those nice days while you can, it’s been so gloomy in Washington..but I’ll take it!
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16 Becky Przy October 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Hi I am new to reading your blog (love it!) I struggled w/anorexia for 10 years and I survived and am recovered! Yes, I may have ‘slip-ups’ or bad ‘mental health days’ but as you said, ‘who doesn’t?!’ Anorexia no longer defines who I am or rules my life. I am healthy, happy and NO ONE has the right to critize my choices or say I am still ‘disordered’. If they knew the hell I put up w/in my brain or body for those 10 years…they would be shocked to see the strides I have made to be the happy, healthy person I am today. It sounds like you are in a wonderful place:-)

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17 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks for sharing, Becky! And that’s so amazing to hear that you were able to recover after a 10 year battle. You rock, girl! :D

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18 lisa fine October 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I think removing eating disorder from your identity would help a lot. Since it was such a big part of your life, I’m sure it’s a big way to move on (and continue to stay moved on).

On another note…what kind of Puffins do you usually get?
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19 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

I get the cinnamon kind… because I always need more cinnamon in my life ;)

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20 Shannon October 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

You just put recovery into words beautifully! You are living recovery. I totally believe that letting go and not letting the ED define your life is the final step in a long recovery. Anorexia is not a life sentence, it can be overcome and let go of because one day there will be something more important that anorexia.
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21 jen October 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm

amanda :) you likely don’t know or remember me but i read your old (old?) blog i think, ‘seek’ a while back when i started to blog, and im still sort of blogging…ehh, sort of but reading yours when i can. so all the time if im lucky ;P i never comment though because i just don’t know what to say or see all the messages and have nothing unique to share. today isn’t different i guess but i’ve always loved to read about your eats and stories, and know that i have a bit in common with you (well besides the eating disorder aspect, past or present)…like we’re canadian, emetophobic aha, but im probably much more than you are. but this post just made me smile and i wanted to write a little note. and i do want to learn more about you, so if you do share more i’d be happy to read. i feel like in the past few years or what not, so many girls that i have met and become close to through blogging don’t write on their originals anymore (but are so talented and likely write elsewhere) but you’re still writing on here, which is a comfort. i don’t do well with change, that could be a contributor to my issues and severe anxieties and troubles, but either way i’m happy that i can still read your blog :) hope you have a lovely night, and relax ;P autumn is so pretty though! xoxox lots of love

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22 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

I do remember you, Jen, and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to leave a comment :) You never have to feel like you don’t have anything unique to share, because you do! Like, your comment totally made me smile because I couldn’t believe that you’ve been with me since way back when I first started blogging. Thanks again, girlie, and I hope you’re having a beautiful day <3

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23 Irina @ Chocolatea Time October 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I just read your previous post, and instead of commenting both there and here I’ll just combine both comments into one :) While I can’t exactly explain how I feel when I’m too hungry, I certainly experience some distress if I don’t eat for too long. It’s actually something that has been worrying me lately because I experience a noticeable change in my mood. I’m not sure if it’s a blood sugar thing, but the feeling is anxiety mixed with anger. Until I eat of course…then I’m a happy camper :) Anyway, I hope you figure it out! And with that said, no one…NO ONE has a right to “diagnose” you. Only you know how you feel and that is ultimately what matters. I guess that’s the risk we all take when exposing our thoughts on the internet, but you’re strong enough to not let it get to you!
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24 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:49 am

I’m pretty sure a lot of people experience a big shift in their mood when they get hungry…. I call it “hangry.” I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily anything to worry about, just another reason to always keep snacks on hand :D

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25 kris October 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm

lovee how your posts are always so honest! – i think what you write and talk about really hits home to everyone no matter if we have, used to have, or even never have had eating disorders.
Enjoy the rest of your sunday!! :o)
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26 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles October 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Beautifully written!

I think that’s one of the issues with eating disorders – even if you do recover, people almost don’t trust you. If you have a bad day, then both the people around you (and I start doing it to myself too) start questioning whether or not it’s a sign of a possible relapse.

I found that was one of the hardest parts in my recovery…letting go of “Sam the sick girl, Sam the skinny girl, Sam the anorexic girl”, and just being Sam. The ED becomes so ingrained in you that it’s tough letting go of that. While it doesn’t define who I am anymore, I know that having recovered from an ED and being anorexic at one point is part of who I am now. I don’t run around advertising that part of my life, but I am comfortable talking about it and it does come up often (I mean, when you blog about it, clearly it’s going to be a topic of conversation).

But being able to move on and treat minor indiscretions as such and NOT as an ED slipup is definitely essential in taking back your identity. Nobody eats a perfect diet everyday – everybody overeats some days, and everybody undereats once in a while! It’s not something that’s special just to eating disorders and it’s not necessarily a sign of relapse – it’s a sign of being human.

Jesus, speaking of rants, I left you quite a long one here, didn’t I? But yes, this post is amazing and so are you <3

P.S. Game of Thrones is amazing – I hope you're enjoying it!
P.P.S. I really want that candle. :-D
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27 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 9:54 am

You should have warned me that you were going to write a novel – I would have grabbed a snack beforehand! Kidding, kidding ;) Loved your comments, especially the part about overeating/undereating/goofing up just being a sign of being human. So true. It happens to everyone, so there’s no use overanalyzing it.

And yes, GoT is amazing. And even bigger yes, you have to get this candle! Either that or Frosted Cupcake. Both are just to die for.

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28 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie October 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I definitely still struggle with deciding whether to tell people about my ED or not. I feel like I’m still in recovery, not quite recovered, so it’s hard to open up to friends about my past struggles when I feel like they’re still fresh memories in my mind. The only people that really know about my eating disordered past are my immediate family and it’s still hard for me to tell them when I’m struggling. But I think if you feel far enough removed from your ED past, then you should feel free to drop it from your identity and just live your life label-free!
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29 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate October 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I think its awesome that you don’t let comments like that get you down and that you are able to consciously acknowledge that you are in fact recovered. I love what you said about falling in your love with your health, that’s such a great way to put it. No one is perfect at everything, eating or otherwise, so I think it is important to give ourselves a break. :-)
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30 Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli October 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm

“By continuously identifying my thoughts and actions as being the result of my eating disorder, I was essentially continuously telling myself (and believing) that my sickness was a big part of my identity…” <- Wow! I love this…so honest…so raw. And something I've never thought of before, but it makes so much sense. That's kind of how I felt after my divorce…I had been labeled "Heather the wife" for so long, I didn't know what to do when I was just "Heather…period." It definitely took a while before I realized my TRUE identity…which is something that is still an ongoing process.

I love how open you are and how unafraid you are to be completely honest about your feelings…even if they are confusing and hard to understand. Oh I wish I could just reach through the computer and give you a hug! xoxo
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31 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

Maybe someday they’ll make an app for that ;) xox

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32 Khushboo October 15, 2012 at 12:57 am

Even just reading some comments on your previous posts about people accusing you of still being disordered surprised me. There are times which I wonder if I am eating too many carbs, feel like maybe I should amp up the exercise, etc but I definitely would not consider myself disordered…no matter if you’ve suffered an eating disorder in the past not, these kinds of thoughts are bound to creep up! It’s the way you handle them which makes all the difference, and it’s clear that you are over it. I love that you said that the eating disorder doesn’t define you. The more you focus on it, the more it becomes part of who you are and we both sure as hell know that is not the road you want to go down. In fact the only reason that I know you had an eating disorder at one point is because I am a long-time reader.
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33 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 10:21 am

Awwr thanks so much, girl. Really appreciate it :)

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34 Briony October 15, 2012 at 1:32 am

I love this post, and the comments- really interesting! I don’t identify myself as disordered anymore, but I do still brand certain thoughts as eating disordered, if that makes sense. I eat more normally than most of the people I know- I refuse to identify foods as bad or make hateful comments about my body, and I pretty much eat what I want when I’m hungry. But if I end up letting myself get too hungry/my blood sugar gets too low/I’m really stressed, then all of a sudden I begin to freak out at the thought of eating anything at all- I’ve learnt to just label those thoughts as an eating disorder symptom rather than actually me, and force myself to eat anyway. I’m not sure whether or not I can ever expect to lose that part of the eating disorder, but that doesn’t mean that I still have to see myself as disordered because it only happens occasionally.

My family and my boyfriend both saw me in the worst parts of my disorder, and still don’t really trust me (although they are beginning to). With other people, I won’t bring it up but I won’t lie either- I’ve lived in different student houses every year and this is the first time I haven’t done something weird enough to have someone bring it up, so I guess that’s an achievement of sorts!

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35 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

I’m pretty sure that thoughts like those creep into most people’s heads at some point or another, and while I hesitate to call them “normal” I don’t think they’re necessarily a sign that your still disordered. I know I still get hit by pesky thoughts once in a while, but they definitely get a whole lot easier to ignore as time goes on :)

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36 Jessie October 15, 2012 at 3:18 am

wow hunnie, i am so happy you shared this post with all of us. just reading your view on what you went through shows such beauty & strengthen within you. i’m 100% positive that anyone who suffered or is suffering from food issues would agree with each and every statement you made.

continue being you because you do brighten peoples lives xo
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37 Danielle October 15, 2012 at 4:24 am

Cuddos to you Amanda! You’re always so honest and I pride you for that. Don’t let anyone bring you down! I don’t think a woman without any form of “disordered thinking” when in comes to food, exersize, body image, etc. exists in this world. Whether you have an eating disorder or not.
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38 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 15, 2012 at 6:16 am

Ugh yes you made such a good point in this post! Just because we turn down dessert once or we get anxious about a certain eating situation, it doesn’t mean we’re not recovered. Everyone does stuff like that! That’s why I hate revealing my ED past because then I think people are going to dissect every little thing I do and if I slip up, then they’ll think “Oh she must still be disordered.”

And I know what you mean about distancing yourself from the ED label. I found that once I stopped writing about my recovery on my blog and started focusing more on food and general healthy living, I actually became so much more recovered because I wasn’t constantly thinking of myself as being “in recovery”.
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39 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

Oh dessert. I feel like I’m not even allowed to turn it down because of the eyebrows it’ll raise if I do. I think the most frustrating thing about recovery is almost being expected to be unhealthy just to prove that you’re healthy.

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40 Kat October 15, 2012 at 7:43 am

Screw those who say you’ve relapsed or are still stuck in disordered ways. JUST SCREW THEM!! You know your body, and you know your heart. You know where you WERE, and where you are NOW. You should be so so proud of the accomplishments and improvements you have made over the years with your ED, and I know you are. Us broken, damaged eating disorder chicks need to stick together. Cause I think we can change how girls and women view food. In my opinion, we are the only ones with the strength to do it ;)
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41 Laura Agar Wilson (@keephealthstyle) October 15, 2012 at 7:44 am

I think you are spot on about this – for me the trouble is that even completely healthy people will display some disordered actions / thoughts around food, but when you’ve had an ‘official’ disorder, then any kind of behaviour is suddenly labelled as being you falling back into old habits or something. For me its the thing with weight loss – statistically most people that lose weight will regain it within 5 years. I’m 3 years in and going strong!

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42 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 11:31 am

That’s really awesome Laura! And I’m pretty sure that you’ll still be going strong in another 3 years… and another… and another :D

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43 Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) October 15, 2012 at 10:59 am

HELL YES to this post, Amanda. I hate it when people dwell on scary statistics and say that people who suffered from eating disorders will never fully get better. That’s a negative state of mind. I like to say that I’ve come so far (and I know how far you’ve come to, and I’m proud of and inspired by you!) and I now have the strength to fight ever going back. That’s the way to do it. I’ve been relapse-free for a year and I plan on continuing that and will be conscious in doing so. Eating disorders should never define a person.

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44 Marie-Sophie October 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

I actually only tell people that I once was eating disordered when I feel that it makes absolute sense. Like when I was talking to one of my colleague, we talked about dessert, food and exercise – and it suddenly hit me real hard that she was so knee deep in an eating disorder. And instead of trying the clichee stuff like “just relax about eating chocolate” etc, I just honestly told her WHY I get how she’s thinking and why I know that life can be different. I feel that the least I can do is to show her that the other side is there. It takes time but it’s so worth it.

that little ED voice will always kind of be there but I’ve learned to equip it with little alarm bells. And I am really thankful that now, that I’ve shot my adrenal glands with years of stress (law school, terrible family stuff, awful start in the job world as a lawyer) and NEED to rest (which excludes almost all types of exercise that I once deemed the only “real” exercise as they were pushing me and burning cals), sleep, be gentle and give my body five star nutrition … that I am able to listen to my body and myself. So so thankful.

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45 Lisa October 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

I understand. I dealt with anorexia in high school (I am now 37). I have a completely healthy relationship with food and am probably much LESS “disordered” than most of my friends (who have never had a true eating disorder). I think it is because I worked so hard to fight it.

I have been completely free of this disorder for almost 20 years. Full recovery IS possible! (((hugs)))

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46 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm

That’s really inspiring Lisa. Thank you for sharing :)

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47 Jessica October 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm

This whole does recovery exist debate is something I really struggle to decide on. I agree that you need that concept of recovery to even have a shot at getting better and I think it’s important. On the other hand, as with the majority of mental illnesses, they cannot be cured. You learn to manage them and have bad points occasionally, that’s the reality of living with them. They will always be there to some extent.
Yet, I don’t think that means we should hand our hats to eating disorders and say there can’t be a type of recovery for eating disorders. I don’t think it can be a black and white thing. The whole disease is a grey area and recovery should be treated that way too.
I think recovered is being that person who can handle a bad day for what it is and wipe the slate clean the next morning. Recovered is recognising your thoughts and actions as disordered and fighting them. I don’t think it’s as simple as drawing a line and saying that’s it, I’m recovered. We’re all a work in progress in all aspects of life and having had an eating disorder adds a dimension to that. It’s there but that doesn’t mean it defines who we are, were or will be.

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48 Lisa October 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Awesome post as usual Amanda! I definitely felt the judgement from people when I told them about my ED, and I’m always hesitant to bring it up because of the judgement from others. I think what is tough for me is being able to notice any sort of disordered eating and thinking well if they are healthy, why can’t I still believe in x statement. I sometimes feel like my family always wants to see me indulge in things or they will never see me as recovered and think I am slipping up, when sometimes I am full and don’t want anymore.
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49 Missy October 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Amanda,

I LOVEloveLOVEloveLOVE (that’s five count ‘em five but could go on) this post. I can’t wait to read everyone’s comments, too. (Do you know you have an amazing set of readers…I have found so many blogs here and of course most of my favorite bloggers comment here as well)
The power of the mind and changing the way you think is a something that so often we overlook…because of the “yeahyeahyeah heard it all before – that and green tea – whatever – not possible” factor.

BUT as with your experience…I am finding this to be a vital VITAL instrument in my recovery. I am – by no means- where you are but once I started walking around saying “I am a healthy woman” in my head <– (which is SO far from the truth) on advice from my therapist something just…clicked?

And yes you HAVE to believe it is possible — not just for others but for YOU. That was another game changer.
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50 Tessa @ Amazing Asset October 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I resonate so much with this Amanda… especially the part about sick being pretty much a normal thing for you. I don’t think I am as far as you are in recovery, but you inspire me to keep on going with this! Sadly, so many of my decisions are because of or related to the eating disorder… just like you said. Working on it though, because we both know the alternative and it is simply nothing good at all
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51 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm

You’ve already come so far Tessa, and recovery is such a slow process so don’t beat yourself up for not already being where you want to be. It took me years to get to this point and I still notice my thoughts improving so I guess I’ve still got a ways to go myself too.

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52 Cait the Arty Runnerchick October 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm

WONDERFUL post!! and i can completely relate to not really shouting from the rooftops that u’ve had an ED before. it’s not that i’m trying to ‘hide’ anything or that i’m ashamed in any way but i’ve worked SO hard to not be thought solely as ‘the one with an ED.’ and plus i’d like to be proud that new people that i meet wouldn’t know or notice that i’ve ever had issues around food.
the other thing i wanted to say is that having the courage to recognize that u’ve had more anxiety and admit to that is as much a testament to how u’ve recovered…ED thoughts may not ever totally vanish, but it’s how u react and stop them that marks recovery…great job and i know this post is helpful to lots of readers! :)
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53 Marykate October 15, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I can SO relate. I’ve been recovered for three years this past September and I still question myself almost daily. I was glad to have read your post about anxiety because I had (what I thought was) a panic attack yesterday and it was actually low blood sugar. I thought I’d eaten more than enough but all I’d eaten was carbs and my body was reminding me in a major way. When I got it together I slowwwwly ate a big spoonful of peanut butter and just like that, the “anxiety” was gone! Though I ate more than on an average day, I was so glad I did because I was paying attention. Listening to my body has been one of the toughest things to do so I think it’s good to get a reminder now and then.

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54 Carli October 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Hi Amanda,

I’ve been creeping on your blog for awhile now (I read your old blog as well), but I never commented before. I felt the need to comment on this post though because it speaks to me on so many levels. I am struggling right now with breaking free of my eating disorder as my identity. Even though I know that I am not defined by an illness, it is so difficult to separate from something that has been the center of my life for the past six years. This post was so eye-opening for me. I never thought of myself as reinforcing my own connection to the disorder, but I now realize that I am definitely doing just that.

Thank you for opening up my eyes to something that I haven’t really even realized I was doing. It gives me hope to see you living a life that is not defined by an eating disorder. I know you have fought long and hard, but your strength is truly admirable, Amanda. Thank you for being an inspiration to me and to so many others as well. Take care.
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55 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Thank you for your sweet comment, Carli!

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56 L October 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm

This right here is a prime example why your blog is such a pleasure to read :) thanks for being so honest and sharing all that you do with us readers of yours! Xo

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