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Community Voices

How to help deal with the new requirement for calories on menus

The new requirement for restaurants and cafes to display calories on menus will no doubt challenge people with eating disorders – myself included, as I have personally suffered with anorexia. Here are some things to remember, which might help if you’re struggling with this.

Firstly, calories aren’t the enemy. Calories are simply units of energy, which everyone needs in order for your body to carry out its basic functions. You wouldn’t tell your younger self that you couldn’t have that cookie because it had ‘too many’ calories in it, would you? You wouldn’t make your younger self have that plain salad instead of pizza would you? So why would you now? You are still as deserving as your younger self to have full food freedom and have permission to live your life to the fullest, without a number on a flimsy menu telling you otherwise.

Secondly, for someone with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, it may be hard to have foods that you’re scared you may not like, and it be a ‘waste of calories’. But calories aren’t a currency you spend, they’re something everyone needs to live! When you’re older, looking back on your life, don’t you want to say you made the most of it, and enjoyed it to the fullest? Don’t let a number control you. Calories aren’t money and you don’t need to ‘save’ them up, or decide what to get with them. You control food. Don’t let food control you. Because a life of food freedom, will always be better than a life listening to an eating disorder.

Lastly, calories aren’t an exact science. They’re simply an indicator of how much energy a food contains. Your body doesn’t care if it’s had X more calories than usual; it only cares that it’s getting enough fuel.

#BodyPositivity #EatingDisorderRecovery #anorexiarecovery #Selfacceptance #eatingdisorderawareness #tipsandtricks

One thing I can promise you is that once you push through the hardest parts of recovery, you will not regret it. I can't promise that things will be perfect, or that recovery will be easy. But I promise that you will find yourself again and things will be so much better than they are.

So, don’t let this new law knock you back. Get that pudding. Eat what younger you would really want. You wouldn’t tell your friends they couldn’t have something, so why would you tell yourself that? Don’t let a number on a menu get in the way of you enjoying yourself and creating memories. You’ve got this!

Community Voices


Community Voices

Give yourself some Grace

<p>Give yourself some Grace<br></p>
1 person is talking about this
Community Voices

Recovery is not linear #MightyTogether

You'll see an article from me soon about my struggle with anorexia amidst a high stress career with kids and #COVID19 lock down thrown in. I am currently completing my 2nd treatment stay of 2020. Due to being discharged during #COVID19   lock down after my first stay, which I wrote about in my article, recovery didn't come wrapped neatly in a box with a bow. I did, however, start my 2nd stay of 2020 in a much different place and ready to put the work into making this just a stop on my journey to full recovery. I look forward to sharing more on my#anorexiarecovery story in another article here soon.

3 people are talking about this
Community Voices

My eating disorder habits are coming back?

They never fully went away, if I’m honest. I was on the edge of a proper recovery. I was working through deep rooted issues, outside of food and weight, that would’ve helped me move on from myself at my sickest. However, recently several extremely traumatic events have happened to me and I’m noticing the anorexic voice getting louder and becoming debilitating. I know I can’t let it take control but I’m finding it so incredibly hard not to give in at the moment. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. #Anorexia #EatingDisorders #anorexiarecovery #EatingDisorderRecovery

10 people are talking about this
Community Voices

how am I going to deal with my body shaming mother over Christmas break in a warm place?

my family has planned a trip somewhere warm near the water for Christmas and I’m going to be in a swimsuit hopefully (or at least doing my best to) enjoy myself.... but my mom my whole life has commented on my body and how I would look better if I was skinnier, more fit, worked out a part of my body, etc.... I have recently put on about 30 pounds (I’m 5’0 tall... so it’s quite a bit on a small frame)... I the last time she saw me in a swimsuit she made comments and faces.... I have no idea what to do... this has caused me a lot of anxiety and pushed me towards eating disorders in my past (for which I have been recovering from over the past 3 years with help from my amazing partner)..... what should I do? please help.... #BodyShaming #bodyconfidence #BodyPositive #BodyImage #Anxiety #Depression #EatingDisorders #anorexiarecovery

14 people are talking about this
Community Voices

is anyone else scared of relapse?

I have struggled with an eating disorder for over 7 years. I finally sought help. I am in recovery but I am afraid what will happen when I complete my treatment.

3 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Is it normal to gain weight this quickly?

I’ve been inpatient for anorexia for 5 days. I’ve been weighed for 4/5 of those days. Over the last 2 days my weight has suddenly jumped up by nearly 1kg and I’m really freaking out about it. I am still going through refeeding stages before moving onto the full meal plan. Apologies if this is in any way triggering. #AnorexiaNervosa #anorexiarecovery #EatingDisorders #Inpatient #weightgain #weightrestoration #IsItNormal

3 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Chai Tea Latte

Occasionally I write things worth sharing. Here is a peice I wrote brought to you by my newest creative adventure

Chai Tea Latte

It Starts by hurridly saying "non-fat"
to the barista
A desicion made not because
your chai tea latte tastes better whith skim milk, but becauses of an involuntary calculator
practicing addition in your head

Next You Can't sit without shaking your leg
It may only burn a few calories,
but every movement detucts from the seemingly giant number
flashing brightly in your mind

Breakfast is no longer on the agenda for the day.
Lunch fades away
quickly followed by dinner

The only thing left in your diet is gummy bears and pretzels

Standing up has become a test in stability
gatorade becomes a major food group,
but has to much sugar

it's replaced with black coffee
That's just as hydrating,

A world ones colorful has turned
black and white

Your in a hole that goes
deeper and deeper in the ground
with the passing of each day

The casket lowers.
You Scream,
but not loud enough
to be saved

Let me help you

It starts by leaving out the words "non-fat"
while ordering your chai tea latte.

#anorexiarecovery #StrongerthanED #EatingDisorders

How My Abnormal Heart Rate Made Me Realize My Anorexia Is Serious

When I was first diagnosed with anorexia nervosa during a six-week admission at the start of 2017, I felt a sense of disbelief. I didn’t feel like my weight was low enough for me to diagnosed with anorexia . I hadn’t lost my period so I didn’t think I could be diagnosed with anorexia . I didn’t look emaciated and “on death’s door” so I couldn’t be diagnosed with anorexia . But here’s the thing: those thoughts themselves were the anorexia talking. My weight was low enough. My BMI fell within the criteria. I may not have lost my period, but it was irregular and met the criteria for oligomenorrhea, and the updated DSM-5 didn’t require amenorrhea anyway. I didn’t look emaciated and on death’s door, but not all anorexics do. I accepted my diagnosis, but it wasn’t an easy journey. Although I was able to accept the diagnosis, I wasn’t as ready to accept the facts that come along with the diagnosis: the fact that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders. That anorexia can lead to numerous medical complications, some that may resolve with recovery, and others that may have lasting effects. Not only have I had to grapple with the fact my disorder is taking a toll on my body and affecting my physical health, but I’ve also had to deal with other people’s assumptions about anorexia in general, and their assumptions about my journey with anorexia . Even those closest to me, who have the best intentions, have made comments about the fact I don’t look underweight and I don’t look like I have anorexia . And because of that, people also assume my struggle can’t be that bad compared to others and they can minimize the effect it’s having on my body. But here’s the thing: Underweight is underweight. In the context of anorexia , if you are utilizing behavior to maintain a bodyweight that is lower than expected for height, age, sex, etc., it means you are placing your body at risk of health complications. I might not be severely underweight, but for the last three years, I have been keeping my body at a weight that is considered underweight by BMI standards and has been below the weight my body naturally wants to sit at. So even though I may not be severely underweight, my body is struggling, and as time goes on its struggling more and more despite the fact my anorexia is relatively stable. Everyday activities I normally used to be able to do now exhaust me and my body. My heart struggles to do even simple tasks. I experience tachycardia when I stand up, bending over and picking things up makes me feel dizzy, and stairs are a nightmare — something I generally avoid now, even on good days. Last week, when I saw my GP, she was worried about my declining mental health but also my physical health. I’d lost weight since seeing her last, and I wasn’t eating sufficiently. She did an ECG which showed concerning abnormalities and so I was sent to the emergency department flagged for admission, but after three hours I left against medical advice. A week passed, and every day I questioned my decision to leave the hospital. What if something was really wrong with my heart? My ECG had shown a prolonged QT interval and one of the most common signs was fainting without warning. What if I fainted at home with no one around because I was living by myself? Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate for psychiatric disorders with two main causes being sudden cardiac death and suicide. What if I became one of those statistics? The week passed with every day being physically draining. Every day was full of racing heartbeats, dizziness, shortness of breath and chest pain. Every day, I tried to bury my concern: I wasn’t that underweight. My anorexia wasn’t that bad. It couldn’t happen to me. I saw my GP again after a week. Although my ECG on that occasion was relatively normal, she was still worried because of the symptoms I was experiencing. She was still under the impression I should be in the hospital, but I was still resisting an admission. She rang my case manager, advocating for an admission, insisting that although my ECG was normal at the time, there were probably irregularities going undetected, but she was met by a roadblock. Although my case manager agreed, there wasn’t anything they could do to make me go because I remain a voluntary patient, and I wasn’t meeting the criteria to be placed under the Mental Health Act. So instead, she found another way to catch me out. She proposed that if I was truly fine, I wouldn’t object to having a Holter monitor for 24 hours to continuously monitor my heart activity. She found a way to ensure the ECG wouldn’t miss any irregularities. I felt like a deer caught in headlights. There was no way I could get out of this one, and I was worried. How could this be happening? I knew of other GPs with extensive experience of treating eating disorders , utilizing Holter monitors but I’d always thought it couldn’t happen to me. And yet, it was happening to me, and only time would tell if there was something wrong with my heart that required hospitalization. And as I wait for the results and share my story, I want those reading this to realize, any eating disorder is serious. It’s not only anorexia nervosa that has serious medical complications. Perhaps you or your loved one has been diagnosed with atypical anorexia nervosa , meaning all criteria are met, except the person isn’t yet underweight despite significant weight loss. If that’s the case, you’re not immune to health complications just because you’re not underweight. Bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder also carry medical complications and carry the same risks relating to the heart. Even if you don’t meet the criteria for any of these diagnoses, any disordered eating can affect your health. It is vital you and the people around you take it seriously and that you access medical advice.