Re-Reading My Old Eating Disorder Recovery Blog

From pseudo-recovery to real recovery

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  • My first post ever was short and sweet, titled “Giving Recovery a Shot,” and simply read:

“Anorexia eventually takes it’s toll on you
I think it’s stolen enough” — July 28, 2015

Pretty straightforward. I agree, my eating disorder has taken a lot away from me. When I wrote this, I did not actually want to recover, but I did want to stay alive, which meant there needed to be changes made.

  • Overnight Oats

Obsessed with this breakfast
There are so many variations of it I could probably eat it every morning for the rest of my life — July 28, 2015

Ah, my first food blog of many. Of course I began with overnight oatmeal; I was obsessed with it for a long time.
Unfortunately, I do not eat overnight oats every day anymore. Past me would be so disappointed to hear what I have become; a toast fanatic.

  • Pita Pizzas

I really wanted pizza, so I used pita. […] Unfortunately I became scared of cheese again, so I haven’t had one in a while — July 29, 2015

I truly thought I was doing so good at the time, eating pita pizza just like everyone else on earth who is craving pizza for dinner (heavy sarcasm).
I also included the recipe, just in case no one knows how to throw a cheese-covered pita into the oven.

  • About Me

[…]
Reached a point where I was out for my walk one day and had a break down because I hate living in torment
Counting calories
Weighing food
Obsessing
Over-exercising
Every since then, I have been trying to recover
Really recover this time [lies][…]
NOT easy at all to see the scale creep up
I find that it’s easier to gain the weight if I am creative with my food, however
So I thought I would create a blog to help share some ideas with others
:) — July 29, 2015

First of all, this writing here is absolutely atrocious. Just because you’re writing a blog post doesn’t mean you can just omit periods and proper sentence structure like that, Jenna (is writing in third-person just as bad?).
This blog did serve as a source of accountability for me at the time, since I was pretty much recovering on my own. Trying to have “fun” with recovery and viewing it as that was actually really beneficial.

  • Cereal

I wouldn’t let myself have any for the longest time because I was scared of milk
I was missing out — July 30, 2015

Yet another food post. I’m just getting started.

  • Egg McMuffin

I make them better than Mcdonalds
Having the cheese slice and egg at once was a challenge — August 6. 2015

To be clear, McDonald’s Egg McMuffins are supreme.. I was just too scared of them and didn’t trust them to get the calories “right.”
On a side note, I am amazed at how I once considered these things to be “difficult” or “challenges.” I guess it really is just all in the mind.

  • Oatmeal

Yet another boring oatmeal blog post. I have a third one too, titled “Oatmeal Obsession” (I really wasn’t exaggerating).

  • Peanut Butter

Followed by “Butter.” I was terrified of spreads at the time.

  • Hospital Food
Kozy Shack rice pudding is the bomb.

I posted a few pictures of the food they served me in the hospital from when I was a patient. I was trying to convince everyone — including myself — that hospital food is “soooo gross,” but come on, I was so hungry I would’ve happily eaten a piece of liver.. maybe.

  • Easter

It’s not about the bunny; it’s about the Lamb of God — March 21, 2016

*Proceeds to post multiple pictures of Easter food*
I can’t with this one.. I needed to take a break from reading because I was so embarrassed for myself.

  • Thanksgiving Dinner

There are no words written here, just two images: one of pumpkin pie, and the other box of a Stouffer’s frozen turkey and stuffing dinner (since I didn’t want to eat dinner with my family).

Here are the sad, sad pictures:

See that extra little piece? That was me trying to get it to weigh the right amount.
Why have a homecooked meal when you can microwavable dinner in minutes?
  • No More Weighing Food

Threw away the food scale yesterday.
Guess what? The world didn’t end.
It’s time to actually recover.
I don’t think recovery is possible when one is still weighing out their food and obsessing over calories, macros, weight, exercise, etc.
Yes, I lied to myself for a long time, and tried to convince everyone that it was possible to be ‘normal’ while being strict with my diet. I’m not sure how that would have played out for the rest of my life. Bringing a food scale with me to restaurants and family barbecues? Avoiding social events altogether? How is that ‘recovered’? — May 29, 2017

Well, at least I’m starting to be honest with myself now, two years later.
Also.. is that punctuation I see?!

  • Challenges

Most people consider a “challenge” to be something like giving an oral presentation, finishing a marathon, jumping off of the highest diving board, or working toward a promotion. For someone with an eating disorder, “challenges” are consuming “fear foods,” which others do without a second thought on a daily basis.

I was still pretty sick at this point — stuck in pseudo-recovery — which explains why I have a pulse oximeter on my finger in this photo with a burger:

So much class.

I wrote:

I need to push myself more. There are still things I avoid out of fear of unknown or too many calories. I’m going to try to face them all.
1) Junior Chicken Sandwich
2) Chip Wagon
3) Cheeseburger from Swiss Chalet
(I did freak out over the menu in the restaurant.
I probably would have done better if the calories weren’t displayed). — June 8, 2017

I was tired of having so many fear foods and restrictions that I decided to face them all at once. Pretty badass. I’m definitely a “rip the band-aid off” type of person.

  • Dim Sum

I actually felt ‘normal’ regarding food for once.
It was better to not know the calories in each dish, so I could actually enjoy myself without making mental calculations.
My favourites were the pork balls, the shrimp rolls (they had a fancier names), and the custard tart (dessert). — June 20, 2017

This was the first time I was able to go out to eat without panicking about calories and serving sizes. One would think a buffet-style meal would create more distress, but I just followed along with what everyone else was doing.

  • No Counting

Today was my first day of not counting calories in years. Not perfectly done, since my mind still knows the calories of most foods and it’s hard to ‘turn off’. The best I could do was to choose meals with unknown calories amounts. — July 2, 2017

Honestly, it’s still really hard for my OCD mind to not do this subconsciously. Oh, to be back in a time where calories were merely obscure numbers on cereal boxes *wistful sigh.*

  • “To the Bone” Review [that no one asked for]

I am not going to lie, I was pretty jealous of [the main character]. I have put on quite a lot of weight since I started trying to recover, and I do sometimes miss being that small. My size no longer ‘validates’ my sickness (That thought in itself is ‘sick.’) However, it is never worth throwing away an entire life for a silly number to drop on a scale. I won’t ever let that happen to myself again.
The obsessive calorie counting [depicted in the film] is what I do daily, and have done for over five years. I forget how to not do it. […] So much time wasted attempting to balance our calories and macros so my mind is at ease, even though my body doesn’t really care. […]
I recognize Kathryn Prescott too. From Skins. But I won’t get into that here. — July 17, 2017

Regarding my comment about Kathryn Prescott, I had a huge crush on her when she played a lesbian, Emily Fitch, in Skins, and I simply wasn’t ready to come out when I wrote this. My sexuality played a role in my eating disorder, which I was trying very hard to suppress (when you’re underweight, you have little to no sex drive).
I wrote a lot more than this, but it’s honestly nothing helpful and it could possibly be triggering to some people (much like the movie itself).
I’m also excluding the Bible verses and preaching I wrapped up my review with. I was suffering with “gay guilt” at the time (my sexuality was returning as I was eating normally again), but my faith did help me get through this rough patch in my life, and I’m appreciative of it for that.

  • Letting Go of the Label

I remember myself clinging to the label ‘anorexia’ for a long time, even when I was weight restored after the hospital. […]
I had no idea who I was besides this. […]
But not anymore.
I don’t want that label now. It’s not who I am.
If I still define myself as anorexic, I will never get better.
I am now fighting against the illness that has taken away too many years and ruined too many friendships. […]
I am screaming back at my eating disorder now, and it becomes less and less every day.
I have gained weight, I am uncomfortable, and yet I have never been happier.
I can feel myself coming back.
I laugh and joke again. I draw and write again.
I smile at small things, and realize how fortunate I am to still be alive. — July 31, 2017

This post pretty much marks my turning point to actual recovery. It took me five years to be comfortable enough to detach myself from that identity.

  • Healthy Weight, Healthy Mind?

I am now at a healthy weight (but still waiting for my period).
That in itself is a milestone, but it is not the end of the fight. […]
Now that I am medically stable, I have to work on the mental aspect of things.
I have to learn how to live in this new body, which I admittedly am not comfortable in times. […]
I have to learn how to maintain my new weight and eat normally again.
I am so familiar with either striving to lose or gain weight that the concept of doing neither seems baffling.
This part is the real challenge,
When the struggle is completely internal, and no longer visible.
What a waste of time this entire thing has been.[…]
5 and a half lost years I can never get back.
I hope I at least come out on the other end stronger than when I went in,
and perhaps can even help other people.
That would make the entire experience worthwhile. — August 22, 2017

Weight restoration is a pretty big achievement, but I still agree, trying to figure out what “normal” meant after anorexia was the hardest part for me. I observed the people around me to see what constituted as “normal”:

“Did they just take one bite of toast and get bored of it?”
“People actually ask for a second slice of cake?”
“How do people know when it’s time to close a bag of chips?”
“Why did no one else seem distressed while ordering their food?”

I swear, unwiring is a heck of a lot harder than wiring in the first place.

  • Period

I finally got my period back! […]
I’m going to celebrate with some Netflix and Advil.
I never thought I would get my period back, and I never thought I would be at a healthy weight again.
I thought these things were never going to happen because I did not want these things to happen.
I also thought I would never change my mind.
Yet I did.
And since I have changed my mindset, the formerly “impossible” things have become a reality.
The things I feared ended up not being scary at all.
It was my own self that was holding me back for so long,
And it was my own self that had to change. — September 24, 2017

The first time I got my period, I cried.
The last time I got my period back, I was overjoyed.

  • Thanksgiving [2017]

I had Thanksgiving dinner with the family for the first time in years. No frozen gunk for me! (sorry, Stouffer’s).

  • Christmas 2017

I am amazed at how my mindset completely shifted since last year.
Last Christmas I attempted to make my own low-calorie versions of everything so I could calculate my intake. I bought cookies in the store instead of having homemade ones. I made cheese log from a tub. I had a frozen turkey microwave dinner. I was terrified of having anything I could not control.
And even though I was sick, I still felt like I HAD to exercise.
This year was very different; and far more enjoyable. — December 28, 2017

I can see a lot of growth (and writing improvement) within these blog posts spanning the course of three years. I am pretty proud of myself for how far I’ve come, as many people dishearteningly don’t make it.

There is very obvious food obsession in the early stages of my blog — a side effect of restriction — which eventually tapered off as my eating improved. I’m glad it did, because it’s really hard to fulfill your life’s purpose when all you can think about is food, food, food,..

I haven’t looked at this blog for a long time, and just as expected, it was extremely cringey to do so. However, it helped me during the time of writing, and so it served its purpose and I do not regret it.

It does make me wonder, though, will I look back on the articles I am writing today with the same level of cringiness?
My assumption is: most definitely.

Click if you want to read more about how I recovered from anorexia.

A freelance writer, writer, artist, geek, hopeless (and hopeful) romantic, and over-thinker. My website:

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