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"You can't live a full life on an empty stomach"

There are a lot of things in life that cause us stress and anxiety. Food should not be one of them. It shouldn’t be a final thought. It shouldn’t strike us with fear. It shouldn’t have us crying over calories and isolating ourselves from friends and family.

Instead, food should be a way of injecting joy into our lives, whether it’s by tucking into an ice cream on a hot summers day, or ordering that large buttery popcorn at the cinema. It should be a way of bringing people together. Family dinners. First dates. Nights out. Staff do’s. Girlie catch ups. Cheeky Nandos…the list goes on and on.

When I think about how I fell in love with my partner, I think about how our first date involved him cooking us a large bowl of creamy chicken penne pesto before we headed off to our local café for a decadent hot chocolate. I think about all the takeaway’s we’ve ordered for our lazy days watching Netflix on the couch. I think about our first Christmas together where we spent the entire day cooking up a feast, yelling at each other and laughing with one another- completely carefree. I think about that winter’s night we spent toasting mega giant marshmallows in the garden and turning them into sickly sweet, yet totally delicious smores.

All these amazing moments I would have missed out on if I was still letting my eating disorder take control of me. I’m not saying it’s easy- my boyfriend is more than fed up of hearing me say ‘I’m fat’ the second I finish a meal and I know it hurts him to see me clawing at my stomach every time I bloat but the point is I am no longer allowing my anorexia to stop me from having those indulgent moments in the first place- despite knowing it’s going to cause me regret. After a couple of years of recovery I realized that my eating disorder was never going to go away. I was going to hate myself after eating anything, no matter how ‘healthy’ or low calorie. So why not allow myself to actually enjoy the food when I’m eating it and permit myself those moments of joy and love before Ana has a chance to tell me otherwise.

I am currently reading a book called ‘Happiness by Design’ by Paul Dolan, where he preaches the idea that “happiness is ultimately about the pleasure-purpose principle (The PPP) over time.” In this situation, the PPP refers to the importance of balancing a healthy lifestyle (purpose) alongside an indulgent one (pleasure). “In any case, regrets are far from straightforward. We are more likely to regret not having done something, than having done it” and this is something I try to tell myself everyday when I think about my relationship with food. After all, you can’t live a full life on an empty stomach.


Alice xxx

#anorexia #eatingdisorderrecovery #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #recovery #hope #awareness

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