Sunday, 31 May 2015

what I ate today

peanut butter on toast, 1 sachet of caramel oats and 1 small banana

2 salted caramel Monte Carlo biscuits, 1 apple and 1 banana up and go

1 vegemite and cheese sandwhich, 1 Cup of grapes and 1 raspberry and white chocolate yoghurt

1 apple juice, dried apricots and sultanas and 1 Mars Bar

Cheesy chicken schnitzel, baked tomato and onion, 1 large corn cob, pumpkin, peas and carrots
Hot apple pie with vanilla icecream

1 honeycomb hot chocolate with extra milk

Day 28: what do you feel is your greatest strength?

I think one of my greatest strengths is my determination and will power to do what I believe it right. This will power and determination has not always had a positive effect on my life however. In a way, my will power and determination was a part of the reason I was able to become anorexic and underweight in the first place.
As much as I hate comments like these, I do believe eating disorders require will power and determination

While I was developing my illness and starving myself, My anorexia started using my will power and determination for its own selfish use. My anorexia made me believe that I needed to lose weight and be thinner, so that is exactely what I did. No matter how hungry I felt or how loudly my parents screamed, I didnt give in and eat. I was determined to do what my anorexia told me was right.
Since deciding I needed to change my ways and that I wanted to recover, I have started to use my great will power and determination positively. While I have always been a very determined person, I believe that my will power and determination has only become as strong as it now is, since I have been sick.

Now I always use my will power and determination to fight my anorexia, instead of to do what it wants me to do. No matter how hard things get, I never give into my anorexia or give up. No matter how loudly my anorexia screams at me, I scream back louder. This is why I know I am going to recover, because of my determination and willingness too push myself through when things are hard.

Anorexia and clumsiness

Ever since I developed anorexia, I have become incredibely clumsy. I have scars all over my arms and hands from accidently burning myself. Even at the moment I have fresh burn marks on my arms and hands from my wood fire, the iron and my oven. Besides burning myself, I am also prone to accidently cutting myself while using knives to prepare meals. Something else I frequently do is run into things as I am trying to walk past them which results in large bruises on my legs, hips, knees and arms. Has anyone else experienced this type of thing with anorexia or starvation?

I suppose it is only natural that my concentration levels have decreased and I have become more clumsy as I know my brain has been so badly damaged. this damage has come from starving my emtire body, including my brain for so long, meaning that it is no longer able to function optimally.

While I was unable to find much information about whether or not there is a relationship between anorexia and clumsiness on line, I did find the following information about how starvation effects the brain. I was quite happy to read that as I recover, my brain should recover too, which should mean my clumsiness will be gone when I am recovered. Perhaps this is an indicator I can use to make sure I am physically repaired internally, when I appear to be physically repaired externally.

The Effects of Starvation on the Human Brain

During starvation the body does everything possible to preserve the brain. The brain has highest priority when it comes to gaining access to essential nutrients and fuel. The brain is, therefore, the last area to suffer from a shortage of food. There is even some evidence that short periods of starvation may be healthy for the brain. However, even the brain must eventually metabolize its own neurons to keep the rest of the brain alive.

Breakdown of Muscle and Neurons

When starvation is allowed to continue for an extended time period, most of the body's stored fat has been used up and the shortage of vitamins and minerals becomes significant. At this point, the body's only chance of survival is to metabolize its own muscles and connective tissue. The brain too lacks essential nutrients and begins to break down its own neurons to keep the rest alive.

Reduced Brain Volume

When the brain starts to break down its own neurons, the brain literally shrinks. This shrinkage, however, is reversible if starvation is ended. A study published in the May 2010 issue of "International Journal of Eating Disorders" showed reduced brain volume in people with anorexia nervosa. When anorexics starve themselves to lose weight, their brain starts metabolizing its own gray matter. However, those subjects who regained weight also regained brain volume.

What is going on?

I was incrediebely shocked when I weighed myself this morning as my scales told me I had lost 500g since my last weigh in only 4 days ago. This makes no sence at all to me. Over the last few weeks, I have been consistantly gaining atleast 100g per day so to now start losing weight is a huge mystery. I have been eating the exact same amount and have not been doing any extra exercise so I really cant explain this dip in my weight. I know that I should not feel dissappointed in myself for this result as I havent done anything wrong and had no way of knowing it was happening.

It would have made more sense to me if I had started maintaining my weight, but to suddenly start losing weight, at the same rate I was previously gaining it is very strange. While I cant explain this weight loss, it still does not change the fact that it has happened and I therefore need to make some changes accordingly. Something we need to remember is that our bodies are not calculators or machines. We can never determine exactly what weight our bodies will gain or lose by consuming a certain amount of calories.

My anorexia is screaming at me that I dont need to make any changes as it must be some kind of mistake. It is telling me that perhaps the weightloss is only due to fluctuating water and fluid levels in my body. Or perhaps my scales are giving an innacurate reading as they occasionally have done in the past (although considering I got the same reading 10+ times, I doubt this very much). My anorexia could be right but by making no changes at all to my calorie intake, this would mean giving into my anorexia, which is something I know I cant do. Every time you give into one of your anorexic thoughts or demands, no matter how small it is, you are giving your anorexia strength.

So now I just need to decide on what changes I will make. Afternoon tea is probably the meal I feel as though I could increase as some of my calories are only made up from a drink. Perhaps instead of eating a medium piece of fresh fruit, Instead I can have a portion of dried fruit as dried fruit is something I enjoy and it is also much more calorie dense so I would not feel as though I was eating more. I will see how I go over the next 3 days and if I go back to gaining the same amount I was, (approximately 100g per day) I will keep eating this new intake amount. If I start gaining weight at an even faster rate, I may consider cutting back to my regular meal plan (without the driedfruit). Of course if I fail to gain enough weight or lose weight again I will know I need to make a more dramatic change to my intake.

What do you think about the weight loss I have experieced and the change I have decided to make?

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Day 27: tell us a story about yourself in the midst of your eating disorder. It can be positive or negative.

I have been thinking really hard about what story to share with you all but I honestly had no idea about what I should write. I have already talked a lot about both negative and positive moments from throughout my anorexia journey so I have decided to talk about the first time I ate pizza after developing anorexia, since it is what I had for tea tonight with Amy (as you can see in the photos below).

It was not long after I had my first breakthrough (almost two years ago) and decided that I needed to change the way I was living if I wanted to survive. I had only eaten vegetables every night for about 6 months, so was looking forward to eating something different but I was obviously also completely terrified. I dont know what made me tackle such a terrifying food so early on in my recovery, but I am glad I did it anyway as it showed me that I could eat fear foods without anything extremely terrible happening.

I remember waiting by the oven as my mini pizza cooked. It was a round frozen mccains supreme flavoured pizza and I remember everything about it as if I only ate it yesterday.  I remember feeling extremely guilty for thinking about how good it smelt but I was convinced I was going to let myself eat it and I did. It tasted delicious after all of the boring and tasteless food I had been eating but I couldnt really enjoy what I was eating as I felt so guilty.

I dont even know if I got any sleep that night as my anorexia was screaming at me so loudly but I had done all I needed to do. I had eaten pizza, something I believed I would never be able to do again. Once I showed myself I could do it once, I knew that I could do it again. Since then I have eaten pizza many times and now I can actually enjoy it, without feeling very much guilt at all.

Amys pizza is on the left, mine (on the right) was the same but I added some extra toppings
Amy trying her hardest to 'photo bomb' the picture

Guest Post

As you will be able to see from this guest post, Anna is an incredibely strong and amazing person who I have started talking too since she found my blog a little while ago. Anna and I have had similar experiences of anorexia and are also both at similar stages in our recoveries. We therefore relate very well to one another and have been able to help one another through our recoveries a lot. We both have the same types of dreams for the future and I feel truly fortunate to be recovering alongside such a wonderful person. Anna has started her own blog in the last few days so it would be great if you could check it out. Please click on the following link and show Anna some encouragement and support.

My blog is called 'Ice cream can save your life', because, for me the day I choice to eat ice cream again really did save me from the deep and dark hole of Anorexia. My name is Anna and I’ve been battling with Anorexia since I was 18. I am now 24 and although the battle has been a long and tiring one, I finally believe that I am on my way to full recovery. My experience has been rather intense at times. I’ve battled my way through a uni degree, despite not being always well enough. I’ve spent six weeks in hospital on a nasal-gastic tube and being confined to a wheel-chair. I’ve had to cope with my mum being diagnosed with breast cancer and looking after her during her treatment, cope with my sister moving away to another city and cope with the recent death of my grandpa, all of which have made my recovery journey a rather bumpy ride. But now, here I am fighting every day. Eating a full proper meal plan,   ignoring the destructive thought in my head and moving away from Anorexia once and for all. Like Karly I also live in Tasmania, Australia. I have to thank Karly a thousand times for her inspiring and motivational blog, for her support and help, and unfailing optimism. She has really helped me to feel less alone along the recovery path. My blog is about all things recovery. It is about positivity, motivation and hope. it is about finding the good things in life and about understanding the difficult times. I truly believe that these hard times will makes us stronger in the end. All we have to do is keep fighting <3 

Growing up with an alcoholic parent

While everything I have ever written on my blog is absolutely true, there is a part of my life that I have not shared with you all up until now. I have not felt comfortable talking about this particular issue on my blog before but now I feel as though I need to in order to be able to fully express my thoughts and feelings. Afterall, one of the main reasons I started my blog was so that I could let everything out that I have had to bottle up for years.

For the last decade or so my mum has been an Alcoholic which has put a huge strain on our entire family. I was probably 11 or 12 when I started to realise that mum drank a lot and while I didnt like her drinking all the time, it didnt bother me that much as she was still a really good mum. In 2007 I went on a one month roadtrip around Australia with my family and I noticed that mum and dad drank every single night we were away. Dad would have a few beers after a long hot day driving and mum would drink too. When we got back from our holiday, dad stopped drinking but mum didn't and I honestly dont know if she has had a single day since then that she hasnt had a drink.

As I got older I needed mum more then I ever had before but I didnt feel as though she was there for me. Usually she had already started drinking by the time I got home from school each day and it was impossible to have a conversation with her that actually made sence or that she would remember the next day. She became very defensive and secretive about her drinking so we never actually saw her drinking but we could tell by her behaviour that she had been and we could also smell it on her breath. My mum wouldnt get as drunk during the week but she would still drink enough so that she was nasty and argumentative. She would get very drunk every weekend which made me embarrassed to have friends over as I knew they would be able to tell. My mum would also be the drunkest person at every party or family get together we ever went to which was also very embarrasing. She would drink so much that she would be unable to stand up straight or even walk.

The relationship between mum and I has been strained ever since she has been an alcoholic. I remember arguing with mum so much, usually while she was drunk begging her to stop drinking but she never did. So many times she made the promise to me that she would stop drinking but it never lasted. Sure enough the next day she would always be back drinking as usual. This broke my heart time and time again as I honestly felt as though my mum was choosing alcohol over me and my family. She knew how much pain she was causing us but all that mattered to her was drinking. Something that also hurt me a lot was all of the lying. I cant forget all the times that my mum has looked me in the eye and sworn on my own life that she hadnt been drinking when I knew for a fact that she had. How was I supposed to respect and look up to someone who I couldnt trust at all.

While I dont blame my mum for my eating disorder, I do believe that her alcoholism contributed to it. As we are all aware, anorexia generally develops when an individual feels as though they have no control. My mums alcoholism is something that made me feel incredibely anxious over the years and is something I always felt was completely out of my control. I couldnt fix my mum like I wanted to and being the perfectionist I was, I couldn't handle this. I hope one day I will be able to have a better relationship with my mum but sadly I dont think that this is possible while she is still drinking. I have tried to help her to stop drinking but it is almost as if she doesnt have the strength to not drink and therefore just gives in everytime she gets a craving. I feel sorry for mum as I know that it is hard to overcome an addiction, just as it is to overcome a mental illness like anorexia but she needs to want to get better. She needs to be willing to push herself through a little pain to beat her addiction and at the moment, she just isnt willing to do that.

The relationship between my Anorexia and Anxiety

At the moment it is only 2:12 am but I am unable to sleep because it is so terribly windy. When its windy, the little unit I live in rattles and shakes and it really is quite hard to sleep so I thought I may as well make good use of my time and write a post.
Yesterday I was having a conversation with one of my work colleagues about how different mental illnesses can go hand in hand with one another. In this conversation I found myself explaining the relationship between my two mental illnesses, anorexia and anxiety better then I have ever been able to explain it before so I thought I would share it with you too.

I see my anxiety as my primary mental illness and my anorexia as a secondary mental illness. This is because while I havent always had anorexia, I have always had anxiety. I  honestly think that my anorexia is just a a coping mechanism I developed for dealing with my underlying anxiety. To me, controlling my weight, food intake and exercise were all ways of making myself feel as though I was in control and 'safe'. Of course I can see now that my anorexia has only made my anxiety worse but at the time my anorexia was developing, it made me feel better.

I was incredibely self conscious and hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I started blaming the way I looked for everything bad in my life. I started to believe that if I could become beautiful, my life would be better. While I believe I will be recovered from anorexia one day, I know that my anxiety will always be with me. There will be hard times in my life when I feel anxious or panicked about what is happening around me but I need to find new ways to deal with my anxiety rather than by falling back into my anorexia.

I need to always remember that controlling my food, weight and exercise has not solved any of my problems in the past and that it wont fix anything in the future either. While turning to these types of behaviours will only ever make me feel more awful then I already do, there are other coping mechanisms I can use when my anxiety gets bad that aren't destructive to me. I find that simply talking myself through stressful situations and distracting myself helps me a lot.

At the moment my main coping mechanism is to just tell myself to breathe and that what I am feeling will soon pass. One thing that seems to help me a little is to get outside in the fresh air and take Tess for a walk. other times I put on a television series to try and distract me from my thoughts or I call my litle sister for a chat.
While distracting myself with these things can help me while I am at home, I cant do this at work. There is obviously a lot of responsibility involved in working in a bank as you are always dealing with large amounts of peoples money and this makes me incredibely anxious.

I second guess myself with nearly every transaction I make and am always terrified that I have miscouted money or made some kind of mistake. I try to tell myself that I am just being paranoid but I honestly cant help feeling this way. It isn't until I 'balance' at the end of the night (when all of the money I should have at my terminal in accounted for) that I am able to relax. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to deal with this anxiety I experience at work?

Friday, 29 May 2015

Day 26: What would you say to to someone if they told you 'I give up on recovery. Its too hard.'?

I guess I would tell them something like this;

"I know it seems too hard and I know it seems impossible but I promise you that its not. I felt exactly the same way that you do not that long ago but look at me now, I am making progress every single day and getting closer to recovering and this is all because I never gave up. I'm not going to lie to you, recovery is incredibely hard but it does get easier. No matter how painful recovery seems, know that actually being recovered will be worth all of this pain. 

Try to focus on how wonderful your life will be if you are able to recover and be truly free of your eating disorder. By giving up on your recovery, you are also giving up on ever having a life. Even if your illness doesnt kill you right away, you will not truly be living, you will only be existing. You deserve so much more then to just exist. You deserve to be happy and healthy and to be given the chance to make all of your dreams come true.

Please believe me when I say you are strong enough to do this, all you need to do is believe in yourself."

Knowing what and how much to eat (Part 2)

I have already spoken about how meal plans can be helpful so that you know what to eat, but this post is more about how you can determine how much you should eat if you need to gain weight after an eating disorder. *TRIGGER WARNING* I dont usually talk about exact numbers of calories but I have in this post so please skip this post if numbers of calories trigger you. You must remember that everybody is different and that you should always follow the medical advice you have been given by professionals, rather than listening to what I say. I am not a professional and this is just my opinion of how much to eat in recovery, based upon what seems to be working for me.

There are many different recommendations about how much you should eat while recovering from anorexia and while I havent always felt this way, I now believe that gaining weight on a large calorie intake is the best way to go. I tried my hardest to recover on lower amounts, by slowly increasing my calories, first to 1800, then to 2000, 2200, and even 2500 but I still couldnt gain the weight I needed to. It wasn't until I increased my intake to 3000 calories that I actually started feeling good physically and gaining weight.

You need to remember that while recovering your body doesnt only need energy to gain weight. It also needs energy to complete its everyday functions as well as to repair all if the damage that was done whilst you were underweight or starving yourself. The way I worked out how much I needed to eat was by weighing myself half weekly. If I had gained weight (atleast 200-300 grams) since my last weigh in I would keep my intake the same. If I had lost or maintained my weight however, I would increase my intake by altering my meal plan.

Even if you are managing to gain weight at a relatively low intake (i.e. 2000 calories) I would not reccommend continuing to eat this amount as your body is most likely still in starvation mode. This means that while you may be managing to gain a little weight, your body would not be repairing of functioning optimally. This also means that you are at risk of having a supressed metabolism for the rest of your life which means you will never be able to eat normal amounts of food again without gaining weight.

I hope thst this has been helpful. If you have any more questions on this topic, just ask in the comments section and I will answer them :)

Early morning update

It is currently 5:38 am and I am snuggled in front of the fire with my blanket and blogging while I eat my Breakfast. I had a typical breakfast for me of 2 slices if toast with cashew spread and a bowl of creamy vanilla and peach oats with 1 sliced banana on top. I have woken up in a positive mood and feel as though today will be a good day.

Excuse the bed hair and the onsie ;)
My day off yesterday was really nice but I didnt do very much besides relax. It was too cold and rainy to do anything outside and I am also still trying to limit my exercise as much as possible. Since making a special effort to exercise less I can feel myself being able to cope with less exercise so much easier. I can now see that although I couldnt see it at the time, exercise was still an issue for me up until only a few weeks ago. I took Tess for two little walks throughout the day and my sister Amy joined me on the second walk as she came to my house for the afternoon after she finished school. 
Amy and I walking on the windy beach

I dont mind going back to work today as I only have to work today and then I have the weekend off again. It is my dads birthday tomorrow so I will probably spend most of the day with him and then Amy is staying tomorrow night. I have promised her a pizza and movie night so it should be fun. :)

I hope everyone has had a fantastic week. :) Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend? :)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

My favourite meal: dessert!

Tonight I made some lemon sponge puddings to have over the next week or so with vanilla icecream for dessert. Since I dont seem to have much time for baking, I usually just make packet mixes of desserts and cakes. I know it is cheating but they still taste really good which is the most important thing.

I find cooking the pudding mix in 4 separate mini pudding dishes is the best way for me to cook dessert for myself as it is mess free and also stops me feeling any anxiety about having to dish up a portion each night from one large pudding. This way I know I am always eating a substantial serving and it just allows me to enjoy what I eat without any extra anxiety.

When ever I am ready for dessert, all I have to do is get one of my mini puddings out of the fridge (or freezer), zap it in the microwave and pop some icecream on top. Other pudding I like are chocolate self saucing pudding or golden syrup pudding. Of course I also love my mini apple pies heated up and served with icecream. I also have some pre-made puddings that I bought incase I ever run out of desserts and dont have to time to cook.

Just being able to eat dessert is a huge achievement for me but to be able to say it is one of my favourite meals is even better. When I was sick I didnt think I would be able to eat dessert ever again but look at me now. Being able to eat and enjoy these types of delicious foods is just one of the many reasons I am so glad to be in recovery.

Day 25: what/who in your life makes you smile ear to ear? Why?

I decided to list my top  things that make me smile from ear to ear (in no particular order).

- Tess
No matter what sort of mood I am in, Tess can always make me smile. She is the most affectionate dog you could ever ask for and is always trying her hardest to please me. She is also very funny in the way she acts or responds to different things. Even if she does something naughty I cant keep a straight face and act cross towards her because she rolls onto her back and plays dead which is way too cute.

- Dad

my dad is the one person who can always make me feel good and happy. Whenever he looks and smiles at me I honestly cant help but smile back. He is possibely the only person who has always been able to make me feel special and loved.

I love this photo of us as we both look so happy. We arent just smiling for the camera like people usually do in photos. We are just naturally smiley and happy because we are talking to one another.

-Getting a lovely comment from a reader

Getting lovely comments from people who read my blog makes me feel so happy. The comments from readers that make me the happisest are the ones that say I am helping them in their recoveries. Ever since getting sick myself and seeing how hard anorexia is to overcome, helping others recover from anorexia has been something I have become very passionate about. Therefore having people say that my blog is inspiring them to recover means the world to me and makes me extremely happy.

Knowing what and how much to eat (part 1)

I got the following question from a new reader and though I should answer it in a post.

'I think it is hard to know what to eat and how much. How do you decide what and how much to eat at every meal every day?  Do you have a meal plan that someone gave you? Would you like to share it if you do?'

I honestly think it is very difficult to gain weight and recover from an eating disorder without either having a meal plan or keeping an approximate count of the calories you are consuming each day. Otherwise, as the person who asked this question said, it is very hard to know exactly what and how much you need to eat in order to gain weight. if you dont feel as though you can put a meal plan together yourself, I suggest going to see a dietician youwho will be able to help you do this.

My meal plan is something I have come up with completely on my own and I know I wouldnt have been able to make the progress I have made without it. It has made me comfortable to eat fear foods like chocolate, puddings and icecream that I thought I would never be able to eat again and I feel as though it is also reasonably balanced. It includes lots of fruit and vegetables, lots of dairy products for calcium as well as plenty of protein, fats and Carbs.

Feel free to try and follow my meal plan if you like but remember that just because this plan works for me does not mean it will necessarily work for you. We all have very different energy needs while we are recovering so it would be better if you could seek professional advice.

-two slices of wholemeal toast with nut butter (cashew, spread, honey nut spread, peanut butter hazelnut spread
-1 sachet of uncle toby's flavoured oats prepared with 1/2C of milk and 1/4C water and topped with 1 small sliced banana or mixed with 1 diced apple

Morning Tea:
-one small piece of fruit (mandarin, kiwi fruit, watermelon)
-1 up and go meal supplement drink
-1 baked treat (muffin, lamington, 2 large/3 small biscuits etc.)

-1 sandwhich made with butter and a substantial filling (belgium and relish, cheese and relish, cheese and vegemite etc)
-1 large piece of fruit (1 cup of grapes, 1 large apple, 1 banana, 1 pear etc)
-1 dairy dessert (tub of creamed rice, tub of yoghurt, snak pack custard etc)

Afternoon Tea:
-1 large chocolate bar (Picnic, kit kat, marvelous creations chocolate, Kit Kat, violet crumble, mars bar)
-1 drink with calories (a 'just juice' fruit box drink, a small bottle of coke 'life', pump flavoured water drink)
-1 medium piece of fruit (apple, pear, orange, fruit tub)
-1 slightly smaller chocolate bar (aero, twirl, timeout, bounty etc)
-Creamy vanilla yoghurt with apple puree or stewed rhubarb and apple

-Meat (chicken schnitzel, ham steaks, duck, fish cakes, fresh fish, silverside) or casserole
-mashed potato, sweet potato, corn or bread
-other vegetables
-Large serving of rice or pasta
-lots of vegetables

-1 hot apple pie or pudding (chocolate pudding, sticky date, lemon, golden delicious)
-1 large serve of vanilla icecream

- 1 jarrah hot chocolate (honeycombe, white chocolate, hazelnut, frothy classic etc

All of the foods on my meal plan are foods I really enjoy and I occasionally do substitute foods on my plan for others if I feel like a change. For example, I dont really feel like a sandwhich today so I am going to have a bowl of easy mac pasta instead, as well as a piece of fruit and dairy dessert. Or somedays I may not feel like my usual afternoon tea so I will have an icecream bar and a large serve of fruit instead.

I only ever substitute foods that I know will provide my body with approximately the same amount of energy and I never substitute foods if doing so will mean giving into my anorexic thoughts. I only do it if the real me (not the anorexic me) truly wants a change. I wouldnt recommend substituting items on your meal plan unless you are really comfortable with your basic meal plan however as this can cause a lot of anxiety and indecisiveness otherwise.

I really hope that this information has been helpful so far, I will answer the second part of the question about knowing how much to eat in a second post soon.

You need to want recovery, more than anything else

The thing about recovery is that in order to put yourself through the pain that it involves, you need to want recovery more than anything else In the world. A very special friend of mine is really struggling at the moment in regards to sticking to her meal plan and I really wish I could help her more but the truth is, I dont know what more I can tell her that I haven't already. I have made many suggestions to her about strategies she could try and use but no matter how hard she tries, she still seems to give into what her anorexia tells her to do. Firstly I want to say how incredibely brave it makes my friend for recognising that she feels as though she cant fight and win this particular battle on her own yet. I also think that asking for my help about how to tackle this bump in her recovery has taken a lot of strength and it shows that she truly wants to recover. 

While this is not something I personally struggle with anymore, I know exactely how she feels as I have been where she is now. There have been stages in my recovery that I was not willing to endure the pain that fighting my anorexic thoughts involved, so instead I just gave in to them. This only changed for me when I started wanting recovery more than anything else in the world. After having this 'breakthrough', whenever my anorexia tried to convince me to skip a meal or restrict I had the strength to fight my anorexic thoughts and do what I knew was best for my recovery. I know that none of us in recovery want to remain sick, we all want to get better but how much we want to get better and whether or not we believe in ourselves is what determines if we can successfully fight our illnesses or not. 

Please do not think I am saying you are weak in anyway if you cant fight your anorexia all the time because I know that this is definetely not the case. I have spent years being unable to fight my anorexia so I completely understand. I wasn't choosing to give into my anorexia because I wanted to, but because I felt like choosing to fight my anorexia was impossible. I know it is extremely hard to choose recovery, as fighting your anorexia is much more painful then giving into it. If you want recovery bad enough however, you will be willing to endure the pain involved in fighting for yourself and your recovery.

While this particular friend of mine may not be able to tackle this particular problem on her own yet, she still needs to be incredibely proud of herself for everything she has been able to achieve. After spending a long time being very sick, she has already come so far in her recovery and the strength she has already demonstrated is truly remarkable. This girl is one of the strongest people I have ever known and I know that if she believes in herself and does not give up, one day she will be truly ready to stand up for herself and fight her anorexia 100%. Until that day comes, all I can do is promise her that I will be by her side to help her in anyway that I can.