Yeah…Immaeatthat

Sep 08

5 things I don’t miss about my disordered eating and exercise.

Alternatively titled, “30570493985 things I don’t miss about my disordered eating and exercise”, but that post would’ve been too long.  So here we are with 5 things…

1. Having to move my body every morning.

When I was in my compulsive exercise days, I spent 8 years where I had to move every morning.  If I didn’t move I would end up spending the rest of the day thinking about how I hadn’t exercise and I couldn’t relax.

There are still times now when I’m enjoying a slow morning that I think, “i’m so glad I don’t have to spend every morning exercising.”  Earlier this week I woke up and the weather was gorgeous outside.  I knew I wanted to sit outside and eat.  I decided donuts + kolaches sounded good for breakfast, so I went around the corner and picked them up and sat in my backyard and ate them with a homemade latte while planning out some blog content.  It was wonderful and felt so fulfilling.  Running never fulfilled me.  It only fulfilled my eating disorder.

I still think tolerating the discomfort of not running was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  That isn’t an exaggeration.  I spent 8 years so fixated on getting up and having to move my body that it took some time for the automatic thought (read: automatic brain-yelling-at-me-to-go-move-or-else) to be quieted and eventually completely go away.  The brain is very effective at sticking with habits you did for 8 years…so I recommend being patient with your brain when you’re retraining it.  It takes time to get away from compulsive exercise but it’s worth it for the peace that comes when the compulsion isn’t there.

2. Never having anything to say (aka “being boring”).

I’m still a person who enjoys hearing other people talk and listening to their ideas.  I don’t feel the need to always be talking and don’t feel the need to talk unless I have something interesting to say.  But in my disordered days, the things I knew best were overexercising, undereating, and overeating.  But those aren’t conversation points I was willing to bring up because I didn’t want to let anyone in because then they would see how disordered my behaviors were (or maybe they wouldn’t have noticed since we live in this annoying society where overexercising and undereating are praised), so I was left with nothing to contribute to conversations because my mind was flooded with food and exercise thoughts.

One of the things I love about Andrew is that he knows something about everything (not in an annoying i-know-everything kind of way).  To me, he’s just interesting.  No matter what the conversation topic is, he somehow has heard something about the topic and has something interesting to contribute.

At some point I choose to make less room for my restrictive eating, overeating and overexercising by choosing to focus on becoming a more interesting person.  I honestly felt like I didn’t have room for my ED when I set my intention (and reminded myself of that intention often) on becoming a more interesting person.  For me, becoming a more interesting person involved stopping running so I had time to explore other things, going to therapy when I need(ed) to, starting a blog, attending conferences on blogging, listening to entrepreneurial podcasts, and getting Audible so I could listen to books on different topics.  Basically, I chose to try out some hobbies that had nothing to do with exercise.  I created a life I wanted to be a part of that was more fulfilling than my eating disorder.

When you keep your eyes on your eating disorder or your diet, you miss so much of what is around you.  You see what your eating disorder or diet chooses to let you see – calorie counts on menus, the cellulite on your legs, the number on the scale, etc.  Your brain can only take in so much information and if your ED or your diet is controlling your thoughts, you will miss so many wonderful things.  If you can’t stop looking at the cellulite on your legs, the number on the scale, the calorie counts on menus…go out and find a hobby and begin to force your brain to focus on something new.

3. Believing I couldn’t tolerate uncomfortable thoughts or emotions.

I once heard someone say, “to paint a picture that is beautiful, sometimes you have to use dark colors.”  In my eating disorder I felt like every uncomfortable thought or emotion should be avoided and I would choose to go to ED behaviors rather than feel anything negative.  My absolute favorite thing about yoga is it can teach people to tolerate uncomfortable feelings.  It teaches one to be still and breathe through sometimes uncomfortable poses and choose not to try to change anything.  This is extremely helpful in allowing uncomfortable thoughts and emotions to not lead to unproductive behaviors (i.e. overeating, undereating, overexercising, other ED behaviors).  With my knee and back pain I haven’t done yoga in about 9 months and I do miss it a lot.  I’m grateful for the couple of years I practiced yoga and for what it taught me. 

For a long time I accepted thoughts as true and feelings as facts.  Now I realize my thoughts are just things my brain is offering up.  I get to decide if that thought is in line with who I’m working towards becoming and choose if I want to believe it.  I talked about that idea some in this post on you don’t have to believe what your think.  

I still get overwhelmed, but I know I can tolerate any thought or emotion without going to harmful/unhelpful coping mechanisms.

4. Only feeling safe around micronutrients.

The only foods that weren’t villianized by my eating disorder were vegetables, aka foods that contain micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals.  Now looking back I realize how ignorant the disordered part of my brain was.  Like, my eating disorder wasn’t educated…he was really idiotic.  

They are called “micro”nutrients because you need them in micro (read: smaller) amounts.  My ED was scared of pretty much all macronutrients –> carbs, fat and protein.  Yet those are the ones your body actually needs in “macro” (read: LARGER) amounts.  My ED brain liked to make me think I needed micronutrients in large amounts and macronutrients in small amounts.  Lies.

5. Never feeling comfortable in my body size.

I’m going to keep this one short.  The only way to accept your natural body size and be comfortable in it is to FIRST be willing to find your natural body size.  Intuitive eating is an approach that helps you find your natural body size.  Here are some more posts on body size / body image.

I would love to hear what you don’t miss about your disordered eating or disordered exercise days.  I think the comments section of this post will end up being very motivating for helping people who are stuck change away from their disordered behaviors.  Excited for you to contribute what you don’t miss!  

51 comments on “5 things I don’t miss about my disordered eating and exercise.”

  1. Oh kylie, you continue to bless my life and open my eyes more and more to the possibilities of what life can be without an eating disorder. So many wonderful truth bombs are in this post. The part about what you think and feel touches my heart. To know I have the power to decide if the thoughts I’m thinking aline with the person I’m wanting to be is powerful. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. You are such a blessing in my life.

  2. I don’t miss being cold and unhappy all the time.  I don’t miss looking up menus ahead of time (and finding the “safest” food possible) when I had to go to a restaurant.  I don’t miss constant anxiety.  I don’t miss my strict daily schedule and the intense anxiety I experienced if it was disrupted in any way.  I don’t miss rehearsing the upcoming day (and week) in my head constantly.  I don’t miss feeling empty and detached from the rest of the world.  I do not miss going to the doctor for weekly weight checks.  I don’t miss being crabby all the time.  Life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies now that I’m recovered, but there are no words to describe how much better this feels than being sick.

  3. Thank you, like always a great reminder to try to be body positive today!

    Here is what I don’t miss from my 10+ years of disordered eating: reading the calorie count of things, the money I spent on classes (pilates) that I never enjoyed, (and I never ever want anybody hear “you can do 10 more…” again), I don’t miss eating food that tastes weird because it has less calories or fat, I don’t miss having a closet that has 10% cloths in it that fit me, and 90% that make me feel like a failure, I do not miss the feeling after a binge (I still have a binge sometimes, but I learned not to hate myself but to say “well that happened” and write down the reason for the next therapy session), I don’t miss women’s magazines that make me feel wrong to sell their stuff. And most of all, I do not miss the contribution I made to other peoples disordered eating. The suggestions I gave them so they could too live in missery, the helpful hints I gave them for diets they too could try. I don’t miss being part of the problem.

    And Kylie, have you ever tried restorative yoga? It’s perfect for pregnancy. The instructor puts you on pillows and creates a strech without it weighing on your bones and joints. Or like one of my friends once said “its like 90 minutes on clouds”.

  4. Totally agree on #2! (And all of them, really) I feel like I’m a much more interesting and fun person to be around when I’m not focused on food and obsession. I never used to be present with people or actually engage in the conversation, but now I feel like I’m a lot better at “people-ing”!

  5. OH GOODNESS #1 and #2 are exactly what I’m working towards right now! I just emailed my mom the other day to tell her that I’m so sick and tired of not feeling “bright”. I do so much reading and learning about every topic under the sun in a desperate attempt to become well-read and interesting. However, until I choose to prioritize using brain space for retaining that information and stop funneling my finite brain space on exercising and meal planning it will mostly be futile. I used to think my memory was just crap but I’m starting to now believe it’s not crap it’s just running on all the “wrong” cylinders.

    #1 is also just as poignant for me. As I mentioned in a comment last week, my schedule is about to get hectic as heck. Every time I imagine what a weekday would look like for me I think about how unbelievably nice it would be if I didn’t have to incorporate exercise into an already packed schedule. I find myself imagining if I didn’t have to exercise and I could, instead, channel all my energy and creativity into my work/MSW program/interning. What a much more restful, fulfilling life that would be! Then I actively tell myself, “That life can ACTUALLY be yours whowouldathunkit!”.

    Of course that’s easier said then done because of having to tolerate the anxiety that comes with choosing that way of life (as you also mentioned), but I’m working on that with the help of some self-taught distress tolerance techniques from a DBT workbook.

    What don’t I miss? The feeling of being so desperately hungry all the time, and the feelings of swinging rapidly and frequently between over/under eating on a daily basis (and the desperate crying of wanting to just feel “normal” around food). I still over shoot hunger cues now and then when I am enjoying a particularly food or I’m eating socially but because I’m feeding myself often and enough it’s not as extreme.

    I also don’t miss ASPARTAME.

  6. I don’t know where to even start. I don’t miss having to look at menus ahead of time (like others have noted). I don’t miss feeling anxious while eating out with family. I don’t miss constantly looking at recipes & “fixing” them to be lower calorie. I don’t miss feeling so rigid. I don’t miss weighing my food & freaking out if something went wrong/I portioned too much. I don’t miss causing my now husband to feel at a loss when cooking with me, which we had enjoyed doing before my disordered eating started. I don’t miss meticulously counting my calories a day in advance or throughout the day. I don’t miss the time that I became angry because the restaurant served my green beans with butter, & to me in that moment, my dinner was ruined. I don’t miss the false sense of security my disordered eating gave me & the arrogance it allowed me to portray. I don’t miss the wrongful messages I relayed. There is so much I’m grateful is no longer a part of me.

  7. Fab post as always. The exercise thing really rings a bell with me, even now in recovery I get really anxious when I haven’t “moved enough” for the day. You’re a great voice for helping folks like us recover!

  8. I don’t miss feeling SUPER guilty at social events, especially when drinking was/is involved. I would panic over the calories in two/three glasses of wine and bar/restaurant food rather than enjoy dinner and my friends. ridiculous waste of time.

  9. This was incredibly and eloquently written as usual. I don’t miss not having energy (<– who would have thought food gives you so much energy? ;) ), "snapping" at people I love because really.. I was freaking hungry, and I COMPLETELY agree with the being interesting thing. I have so much more brain space to learn. I have 3 new awesome hobbies that came about organically since leaving my ED behind and it's the best. Have a great weekend Kylie! I hope your neighborhood is healing since the storm.

  10. Oh my gosh. I don’t miss having to exercise daily. I was never someone who would do it first thing in the morning because, let’s be real, I never ate enough to actually have the energy to move much in the morning. It was always late afternoon or after dinner when I had actually eaten some meals to have the energy to do it… but it hung over my head all day. I felt uneasy until I had done it or if it was raining out, I knew I still had to go or I’d have major anxiety about it. I had to exercise to feel better. Now I have often several days in a row where I know I don’t have the energy to exercise because maybe I did a lot the day before or my period is coming and I get a little lethargic beforehand, and I just let myself rest. It feels GOOD to rest now instead of uncomfortable. I LOVE just letting myself 100% chill out, turn off my brain and relax. I could NEVER turn my brain off before. Ever.
    Now I lose hours in the day without even realizing it because I’m too relaxed.
    The rest days are always balanced out by the days where I crave a lot of movement. I finally let my body decide what it wants, when it wants it and it feels so good. Like I’m at home in my body, not fighting it.
    I could probably list 120398123 things I don’t miss, either, but this comment would go on for forever!
    Thanks for sharing, loved it as always.

  11. YES TO ALL OF THIS!
    Every day I’m so grateful for everything I’ve gained from recovery. I remember reading comments on your blog Kylie when I was just realizing I had an ED and thinking “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recover” and here I am, commenting on your blog, strong and steady in my recovery.

    I look back at my old journals in the deepest part of my ED and all I could write at the time was about what I ate or how I exercised. And every day started off “I’m so exhausted” – I do NOT miss having no energy because I wasn’t eating enough, and I do not miss only being able to think/ talk about food and exercise. I’m a much more interesting person now, and I notice that at least once a day I say “I’m so grateful that…” in conversation. I would say I’m a much better person to be around now :)

    And I do not miss any physical part of the ED.. One of my biggest symptoms that at the time I didn’t realize was connected to my ED was that I could not hold my bladder! I do not miss peeing my pants if I couldn’t find a bathroom, and waking up 5 times a night to pee. Now I sleep through the night and my bladder is a constant reminder as to why I continue to choose recovery!!

  12. I’ve never commented before but this really got me.

    I don’t miss screaming at my family all the time. I don’t miss not being able to eat out. I don’t miss not eating pizza. I don’t miss holidays revolving around food. I don’t miss making my mum cry because I couldn’t stop interfering in her cooking – I don’t miss stopping my mum from doing something she loved. I don’t miss being completely self-centred. I don’t miss never considering my future. I don’t miss pushing everyone who tried to love me away. I don’t miss punishing myself and my body for things that weren’t and aren’t my fault. I don’t miss not being able to deal with feelings and consequently having a breakdown everyday. I don’t miss passing out every time I drunk because my tiny body couldn’t handle the alcohol. I don’t miss talking to myself like I was a terrible, terrible, criminal everyday for no reason. I don’t miss being in a relationship that made me feel like dirt and not like a living human. I don’t miss not going out with my friends. I don’t miss all my favourite joyful activities being twisted into calorie-concerned exercises. I don’t miss vegetable soup one flipping bit. 

    I could go on and on… ..
    I’m going to go and journal on this – good thinking!
    Thanks so much Kylie. 
    Your blog is so down-to-earth and human, and lovely, and inspiring. I really appreciate reading it. 

  13. Wow this really spoke to me! Especially #2. Prior to my ED I was a lover of deep discussion and long conversation. My ED didn’t allow space or time for that. I’m so happy to have that part of myself back.
    I’d say I don’t miss the structure I built for myself. I am more like my 14 year old spontaneous/impulsive self now and though it can lead to more complications it makes life a lot more fun.

  14. Nailed it! Thank you for helping me find my happy place – it’s not always easy, but coming to this space always gives me the boost I need to know I’m on the right path.

  15. Thank you so much for talking about how HARD it was for you to retrain your brain around running/moving in the morning. This was something I have transitioned away from too. I think what I love the most about this change is the fact that now I can decide morning by morning what I want to do based on how I feel. There is no “required” routine/regiment, so on days when I do want to get moving first thing, that’s great and on other days sipping tea in bed and reading before work is what sounds good and I can do that, too! Which connects to your point about being more interesting… not being stuck in a routine provides a lot more opportunities to be more interesting/live a more exciting life.

    This was a great post and it makes me excited to read this and feel like your points aren’t “someone else’s life”… I can actually relate, which shows how much progress I have made!

  16. I don’t miss feeling like I was better than others because I ate “healthier”. I am rid of a lot of toxic thoughts about other people now and am way more empathetic.

  17. I’m with you, I definitely don’t miss the drive I felt to HAVE to move my body everyday. And like you, it took a long while to get used to this new idea. For the longest time I really felt like my running and diet was the most interesting thing about me. The funny thing was, I actually DID have other interests, but yet had not time to invest in them because of tight training plans and complicated meal planning. My brain feels much quieter these days, and I embrace the silence.

  18. Ahh, I LOVE this post! I don’t miss being nervous / skipping out on social events because I couldn’t control the food choices that were going to be there. I don’t miss making myself go exercise after a big meal, and feeling worse after! I don’t miss the MyFitness Pal app – EW! I don’t miss dreading Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Or forcing myself to squeeze in a workout at 10pm when my body desperately needed sleep. I don’t miss not baking or cooking because I didn’t feel like I could control myself if I made cookies or something else delicious, and instead I would eat a boring, bland meal that brought ZERO joy. Finally, I don’t miss using all my brain space on counting my calories for that day, thinking about what I was eating, obsessing over it, etc instead of enjoying a meal with friends and really listening to what they were saying and actually joining in with something meaningful.

  19. A few months ago I realized I couldn’t remember what I ate yesterday! Or the day before, or the day before that! When I was deep in my disordered eating phase, I could tell you EXACTLY what I had eaten for the past week for every single meal. Realizing that I couldn’t (easily) remember what I ate and that I didn’t really care was an extremely freeing feeling. I don’t miss that obsession.

  20. once again. thank you.

    i don’t miss the lying and deception. i also don’t miss the starved brain that could only even think about food (because i didn’t think i was strong enough to handle anything else.)

    surprise! when you eat enough food? you ARE STRONG ENOUGH.

    x

  21. Being cold all the time. Weighing myself all the time. Being hungry all the time. Waking up super early in the middle of winter to go running in the freezing cold.
    Love easy mornings, going on walks without knowing how far I went, eating what I want!

    Love this blog :)

  22. “For a long time I accepted thoughts as true and feelings as facts. Now I realize my thoughts are just things my brain is offering up. I get to decide if that thought is in line with who I’m working towards becoming and choose if I want to believe it.” This resonated so much with me, thank you! I’ve added it to my affirmations and positive quotes list.

  23. I do not miss hiding and sneaking around and being so very much alone in my thoughts and my shame. Havjng being bulimic for ~9 years, I now think back on how much perfectly good nourishing food I WASTED and it makes me sick. How much money I wasted buying that food. How much time and energy I wasted obsessing over all of it and hiding it from people in my life. I don’t miss feeling like I have some awful dirty secret. I don’t miss all the negativity. I don’t miss being controlled by that disease!!

  24. I don’t miss one bit all of the strict and ritualistic behaviors I had with food, e.g. I must take an hour to eat a can of soup and I must reheat it 4 times. I also don’t miss what a “treat” I must have been to any dining companion, what with all the questions I asked or modifications I requested…

  25. I don’t miss scanning a menu for the lowest calorie option even though it didnt sound good to me at all, working myself sick in the gym to reach a certain calorie burn, and having my interactions with family and friends constantly interrupted and controlled by thoughts of what I did or didn’t do “right” with eating or exercise that day. Wonderful post! 

  26. I think the thing I miss the least is the underlying state of guilt I was living in. This caused me to constantly be in a distrusting and paranoid posture. Let me explain:

    While in my ED, I was always having to monitor and hide things. Would someone notice I ordered the lowest-cal menu item? Would they see what I hid in my napkin? Would people think I was rigid? Would I be able to control myself at a social gathering? What if I was overcome by the need to compensate but people were around? What if my husband came home earlier than expected? What people thought I was weird for exercising a lot on our family vacation? Why did that person look at my body that way? Why did they ask me that question?

    I knew what I was doing was dysfunctional, and because of that, my conscience was clouded with guilt. That’s exhausting and sad–my guilt took away my charity towards those in my life and replaced it with suspicion.

  27. I don’t miss being hungry all the time! When I started eating, I was amazed that I wasn’t perpetually starving. Eating to satisfaction is well worth it.

  28. I don’t miss not being able to have spontaneous dinner dates with friends because it hadn’t been three hours since I ate (my weird ED rule) or was at a restaurant that had too many ‘bad’ foods. I don’t miss waiting until I had entered everything into MyFitnessPal before I would actually sit down and eat. Or going out to eat and staring at my phone instead of enjoying the company because I was looking up the healthiest thing to order.
    I don’t miss having food control my social life in such a huge way! I must have been so dull to hang around with.

  29. I don’t miss feeling like I was never, ever good enough, thin enough, small enough… I don’t miss spending wayyyy too many hours looking at diets, diet recipes, and normal food (because I couldn’t eat it). I don’t miss the guilt from eating. I don’t miss the anxiety about choosing the “right” food. I don’t miss getting so overwhelmed about choices that I chose not to eat. I don’t miss making myself feel terrible for my “failures” around food. I don’t miss saying “no” when I desperately wanted to say “yes”. I don’t miss saying “yes” when I so desperately wanted to say “no”.
    Wow. Thank you for the reminder of why I left all of that.

  30. Impeccable timing-as always! Just what I needed to hear:) I’ve been cutting back on the frequency and intensity of my exercise and it can definitely be tough, but I’m also loving how much more time I have!

  31. I don’t miss my hair falling out every time I tried to wash it. I don’t miss trying to come up with excuses to get out of social events where unknown or “unsafe” food might be served. I don’t miss the hours I spent going from supermarket to supermarket trying to find the exact brand of rice cakes that I trusted (… trusted to do what? I don’t know.) And I REALLY don’t miss konjac noodles :P

  32. Kylie, thank you for creating a safe place for us to share our thoughts with you and others moving through similar experiences.  I have immortalized this post to read, re-read, and re-read again as motivation there is a better way to LIVE and be PRESENT in our lives.  
    I want to move away from:
    over-analyzing exercise
    over-analyzing if I burned enough calories and sweated enough during that last run/spin class 
    over-analyzing every piece of food (even yogurt, apples, broccoli) 
    over-analyzing every calorie 
    over-anazlyzing every food label (anyone else go to the grocery and take forever staring at the food labels trying to make a decision yes/no yes/no do I put this in my cart or not ;)) AND 
    over-analyzing every part of the body.
    I am soaking in your shared journey and experiences and those of the lovely women above on what it can mean to your life if we STOP and QUIT over-analyzing.  Not an easy road.  
    Again, thank you for allowing us this space and BLESS YOU for speaking from the heart and sharing.  Impactful. Real talk.
     

  33. Hi Kylie, 

    I don’t miss having to skip social occasions because I was afraid of food. I’m a very extroverted person who feels down when I don’t socialize. Needless to say, my ED kept me isolated from my friends. It’s so freeing to be able to say ‘yes’ to any social occasion I want and be truly present and not thinking about food. 

  34. Thank you! Such a helpful and inspiring post. Years after the recovery process began, it’s still a journey, and a very useful reminder that it takes a lot of time to retrain the brain after it has been ingrained with un-productive and unhealthy ways of thinking. From time to time, it can be unfortunately easy to get sucked back into the world of scales, measuring cups and calorie apps.

    I don’t miss waking up in the middle of the night super hungry, and unable to return to sleep because I was unwilling to have a snack. I don’t miss trying to exercise through injury because “something bad was going to happen” if I didn’t get my miles in. I don’t miss avoiding social situations because of the food. I don’t miss my headspace being dominated by calorie counts and guilt… still an ongoing challenge.

    I DO miss my wonderful therapist and the recovery approach at the Emily Program treatment centre. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to work with a practitioner there and experience their thoughtful, informed recovery methods.

  35. Yesssss! to #2. The thing I hated about my eating disorder, even when I was in the midst of it, was how I couldn’t think about anything besides food. Studying, reading, watching TV, working, exercising…I’d be thinking about food! It was hell. I felt like something was seriously wrong with me–and it hadn’t occurred to me that that thing was that I had anorexia. :S Yay to being a more interesting person! Now I love swing dancing, reading, blogging, board games…and I love my job teaching college writing!

  36. Everything about this is so relatable! I remember getting up early every morning no matter how I felt/what the weather was to run laps and laps around the track until my legs felt like jello – which was usually after the first lap since I had NO energy.

    Your top 5 are pretty much everything I would have, but expanding on that to the top 11:
    6. Making delicious (looking) treats and meals for all my friends and family but never enjoying any for myself.
    7. Feeling uncomfortable sitting anywhere because I had no padding for my rear.
    8. Constantly having calorie and macro counts running through my head, crunching number after number to make sure I was “on track”
    9. Having “conversations” with people and realizing after 10 minutes that I had no idea what we were talking about – my mind would be anywhere but engaged in the conversation, usually thinking about food/exercising.
    10. Waking up in the middle of the night hungry because I hadn’t eaten enough and then lying awake all night because I refused to get something to eat.
    11. Having friends and family constantly worried about me instead of enjoying our time together.

    Its such a great exercise in reflection and reminder why we chose recovery to look back at all the things that were the “normal” things in our day-to-day life and realize how miserable it all was!

    Thank you, Kylie, for continuing to share from your heart and be such a positive influence and voice for us all <3

  37. This blog post has hit me at such a wonderful time in my post-ED life. I was thinking just this week about how I am so incredibly proud of myself for finallyyyyyyy transitioning somehow from disordered and crazy exercise habits (similar to the rigid and daily exercise routine you discussed) to simply exercising just because I enjoy it. I realized the other day when I was on a beautiful run how I had recently chosen to run several times that week not because I felt the guilt and need to because of ED thoughts, but rather because that’s what I had been looking forward to and wanted to do. I feel so blessed to have had that realization and I hope that I can continue to move my body this way rather than because I feel I ‘have’ to for the purpose of fulfilling an ED habit. Thank you for writing this great blog post! Hearing your stories over the years has made my recovery that much better.

  38. I loved reading this.

    I’ve only just started IE therapy so am not quite advanced, reading this and the comments has given me hope and helped me to realise what I have to look forward to.
    Already I love being able to identify all of the negative diet/rigid exercising chat there is around me (EVERYWHERE!!) but now I can safely pull myself away from it.

  39. You should totally make this a new series! I think my favorite was #1. It’s soooo nice to have relaxing mornings and just chill and make pancakes or something :)

  40. I could write a very, very long comment about the things I don’t miss about my ED or how my life has improved.  But I mostly want to encourage that person still in an ED or is recovering from one: when I was in recovery, I’d hear people say stuff about how I would eventually get to the point of accepting/loving my body or not worrying about my food or that one day I wouldn’t miss my ED in the slightest.  And I used to not believe them.  I knew it might be that way for them, but I was different.  Well, turns out they were right.  I don’t worry about my food anymore, I don’t get stressed or obsessed with exercise, and I can look at my body and face and think I’m cute. And I never, ever miss my ED or any way I felt in my ED.  So if you don’t think you can make it or you will ever be there, trust me, YOU CAN!!!  Because I was 1000% sure I couldn’t and I did!  Keep up your hard work, you’re doing great!!💗

  41. I don’t miss trying to be the person labelled as a healthy eater and simply choose what I want to eat, whether that includes veggies or not.

  42. Thank you for this post Kylie. I just read it and all the 44 comments and while I have not completely moved away from all my rules and thoughts, reading all this makes me more motivated to keep working on it. I don’t miss eating the “healthier alternative” to what I feel like. I don’t miss feeling stressed when eating out with friends. I don’t miss saying no to social events because exercising comes first. I don’t miss feeling better than others because of what I ate. I don’t miss having to eat vegetables for every meal.

  43. I don’t miss missing out on experiences because of my fears around eating the “wrong foods” or skipping a workout. Like I would often choose to leave a hangout early to go work out, or I wouldn’t partake in a delicious meal with friends, even when it looked so delicious to me and everyone was bonding over it. Definitely don’t miss that.

  44. Love this so much!! I don’t miss remembering every single food I ate weeks after I had eaten it. I don’t miss being dizzy every time I stood up. I don’t miss eating the same exact lunch every single day. I don’t miss counting down the minutes till I was “allowed” to step off the treadmill. I don’t miss living by the phrase “No pain, no gain”.

  45. Like you, I LOVE having space for hobbies that make for interesting conversation. Reading and cooking new things with challenging techniques are two of my favorites. I may try to learn how to draw with colored pencils soon too! I’ve always enjoyed colored pencil drawings.

    I also love being able to go out to eat and enjoy the whole experience!

    Thanks for this post!!

  46. I do NOT miss being freezing cold all of the time. Now, when I get overheated and sweaty I am so thankful that my metabolism is working and the my body can regulate its temperature appropriately. Another thing I don’t miss is arctic zero ice cream and quest bars. Both of hose foods are trash and taste terrible and need to go in the garbage. Recovery is very sucky sometimes but this post reminds me just how much worse ED is.

  47. I don’t miss frantically calculating how many restrictions I’d have to make to my food intake in the lead up and time after a meal out with friends before confirming if I was available to socialise or not.

  48. I don’t miss being FREEZING COLD every second of the day and never being able to get warm! UGH MISERABLE! 

    I don’t miss counting and recounting stupid numbers in my head ALL day long and losing sleep because of it! 

    So glad to be out of that madness!!! 

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