Reasons you need to eat – eating disorder recovery

Eating is something everyone needs to do and something most people do….. however food and eating is an area that so many people have a complicated relationship with. It is not always as simple as eat, instead there are rules and regulations on what and when you can eat and even how you can eat.

Eating doesn’t and shouldn’t be complicated, instead it should be something you enjoy, something part of your life…. something that gives you energy so that you can live life. Because that is what food is – it gives us energy!

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With this post i don’t mean to complicate eating or food or make you focus even more on food, but more to serve as a reminder as to why you should and need to eat everyday. But also why eating only junk food maybe isn’t the best idea (i.e… don’t forget to add some veggies into your diet!). Food doesn’t have to be perfect… there is no perfect way to eat, there are just guidelines and recommendations – but not even dietitians or nutritionists always follow those guidelines. Sometimes it goes a week without eating a fruit, sometimes i eat just bread or oatmeal for dinner, sometimes i barely drink any water in a day and other days i drink 3-4l. It varies and you don’t need to know calories or macros in your food, instead just trying to aim for more wholesome plant based foods for the majority of the time!

So if you ever get thoughts about restricting or not eating, remember these are some reasons – physiologically why you need to eat!

Because food and calories is energy for your body! Without it you would just want to sleep and never want to do anything…. unless you end up in ketosis where you might feel more energetic because your body is just running off of fat… but then there is also the chance that you end up in a coma and die (i.e people with undiagnosed diabetes can end up in ketosis and end up with major complications if it is not treated.)

Because it makes your bones stronger! You need your calcium daily as well as some sort of physical activity to keep your bones strong – not to mention the importance of calcium for your teeth!

Because it makes your skin, nails and hair look better…. of course, skin, nails and hair varies for everyone and some people get alot of acne, others have dry and brittle hair and some have thin and weak nails. But if you don’t eat there is a very high risk that your hair willΒ  be very thin and fall out, your nails will be weak and your skin will turn paleish and very dry/thin.

Because it means you can think, learn, concentrate better!! Of course, some may have concentration problems, but it sure won’t get better if you don’t eat or if you just eat a bunch of sugary foods. Food gives you energy to think and learn…. hard to focus if you don’t have any energy.

Because healthy fats are a part of your cell membranes and you need them for optimal function! Not to mention for your hormones….. if you don’t eat or don’t eat enough fat your hormones may not work as they should and that can cause all types of consequences and unwanted symptoms.

Because some foods are antioxidants and can help fight oxidation in the body and minimize inner damage!

Because protein is the building blocks of your body and they are a part of your DNA, a part of enzymes that have so many different functions in your body as well as a part of antibodies that can protect your body from viruses and bacteria… not to mention they are a part of your muscles and a part of your cells among other functions!

Because vitamins help/strengthen your immune system so you can fight off colds better and not always be sick. Because they help your metabolism function the way it should so you can actually digest food and have energy.

Because certain fiber feeds your gut bacteria (the good ones!) and the gut bactiera is connected with SO MANY things (according to new studies) and by having a good healthy gut bacteria can minimize risk of developing certain illnesses.

Because iron transports oxygen in the blood from the lungs to your organs/tissues so that they work as well as being a part of immune function and metabolism function! Also so that your cells and organs actually function the way they should.

Food is literally your building blocks….. and the quote “you are what you eat” is actually true. Without eating you would be constantly tired, you would lack energy, motivation, concentration. You may feel unhappy from not having energy, you have a higher risk of having weak bones, weak immune system, metabolism that doesn’t work that it should, hormones that don’t work as they should, teeth that may fall out, skin and hair that are weak/thin, muscles that break down because there is not enough protein or energy to build them stronger….. among so many other things that happen in your body if you don’t eat.

So if you ever just need a reminder as to why to eat…. think of these reasons. Maybe it is just me who is a nerd with nutrition and finds the body extremely fascinating, but when i was in recovery one of the things that helped me the most was reminding myself of these things. In combination with working out and beginning to treat my body right, if i ever didn’t want to eat or wanted to restrict i would think about why i should and need to eat. And then there is of course ALL the other things that a healthy relationship with food and enough food can contribute to your life such as actually being able to study, fulfil your dreams, live life, meet new people, socialize etc etc but those are more lifestyle and living reasons, which i might make a post about later.

I hope this helps and doesn’t make eating more complicated or something you need even more control of or need to obsess more over. But just remember why you need to eat – because it will build your body stronger and help all the different functions in your body!!!

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5 thoughts on “Reasons you need to eat – eating disorder recovery

  1. And despite all of these facts, despite I know how much better my life will be, how much happier and satisfied I will feel.. I stil cannot break and beat my eating disorder, dark thoughts and distorted mind. I’m a educated girl, I’m aware of all the consequences, I KNOW IT ALL! But it seems impossible to change my behaviour.
    I admire you for being strong and defeating your demons, Izzy. I’m not like that. You’re a role model and a big inspiration for me, but I’m afraid I’ll never reach happiness.
    Take care of yourself and never stop posting articles like this. That I cannot be helped doesn’t mean you can’t save others! Your posts touches a lot of people (including myself) and they can take a lot of this to their heart.
    Have a wonderful day, dear!

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    1. ^i really don’t believe that anyone “cannot be helped”. Most of those of us who have got better from eating disorders could not imagine it to be possible …. Even Izzy has written in the past of being written off by the doctors as a hopeless case. I really don’t believe anyone’s case is hopeless. Please don’t give up hope for yourself!

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      1. Thank you for the nice words and encouragement, but I’m so tired of constatntly trying to change it and seen no results. It’s frustrating and only makes me down. I didn’t dive up yet but the level of despair is rising and about to reach the top level.
        Have a wonderful day and again, thank you for your comment.

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    2. Recovery isn’t easy…. even if you know why you should recover doesn’t mean you automatically will. I mean if recovery was easy then people wouldn’t struggle with it so much, but that doesn’t make it impossible. You can eat and gain weight and physically recover but that is not the same as mentally recovering and the only person who can make you fully recovered is yourself. Professional help and therapy is highly recommended, but at the end of the day it is YOU who has to want to change and want to get better. It is YOU who has to change your thoughts and your habits… not just resort to old ways when it gets tough.But also the mindset that “i cant recover, i am an impossible/hopeless case”… then you have already given up? I mean if you don’t even think you can recover then you won’t even try….. but the truth is you CAN recover, but then you have to do soemthing about it. If you keep doing what you are doing now, then you will get the same results – nothing will change. And i know… it is easy for me to sit here and say you can recover, when i have recovered. But the truth is you can…. you can learn to cope, it takes time and it takes change and effort. It is not always easy, but small steps forward do make a difference. Challenging your fears and your thoughts, being honest to YOURSELF about why you do certain things in your life. I.e it is so easy to hold yourself back and try to lie to yourself about certain habits or behaviours, but at the end of the day you know yourself why you do things.

      You have to believe in yourself and believe that recovery is possible, because jsut thinking it is impossible, then you have already given up. It is not easy, but it is possible and it is worth it. Do try to find help and support wherever you can and really commit to recovery!

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  2. Great post and full of some very important reminders!
    One thing I have been wondering about lately is just why do we get days when we are very hungry and eat more, and days when we don`t really feel hungry at all? This puzzles me, especially if activity levels have been about the same. And why do we get days where we really fancy a certain food/meal but on others we don`t?
    The human body is certainly strange πŸ™‚

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