Friday, October 14, 2022

The Lies we Tell Ourselves

I hate to break it to ya, but you’re not working ‘hard enough’ if your results aren’t as obvious as the steroid-pumped dude next-door (sarcastic eye-roll)

Sunday, September 18, 2022

How my Body Image Changed as I Gained Weight in ED Recovery

My body image changed during my eating disorder recovery, as I gained weight and I approached a healthy BMI. It changed even as I then maintained this new healthy weight. So did the body dysmorphia that characterised my eating disorder simply disappear with time? Did I magically start loving myself during this process of rediscovery? Well, not quite... 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Counting Calories in Eating Disorder Recovery

Let’s face it: the eating disorder likes control. Counting calories creates a *perfect* sense of control, and so many individuals with an eating disorder and in recovery from an eating disorder therefore turn to this for a sense of safety, at a time when everything else may feel unsafe and unsure.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Welcome, Warriors! ❤

Hi there! My name is Hanne Arts and a I'm a Psychology graduate, author, YouTuber, and recovery warrior. I started writing when I was about seven, and I began incorporating some of my own mental health struggles into my works from the age of thirteen. I published my debut novel, JUST PERFECT, in December 2014, followed by its sequel, RED RIBBONS, in October 2017.

But that's quite a condensed version of my life, don't you think?

As a child, my life was perfect.  

That is, until it wasn’t anymore.  

In January 2010, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, anorexia. In February 2010, I was hospitalized. Since then, I have been in and out of hospitals, consistently struggling to build my life up whilst sliding back down.

If someone would have told me, even just five years ago, that things would get better, I don’t think I could have suppressed my laughter. It would have been sinister laughter. Why-on-earth-would-you-say-that laughter, like that of an evil character in a children’s film. I did not believe that I would ever make it out; I felt helpless and trapped in the embrace of an illness that once, just briefly, had promised me that everything would be fine. Everything would be okay if only I tossed out that snack, if only I skipped that meal.  

For almost six years of my life, my mind was consumed. I was obsessed. I fell into the eating disorder’s arms, unable to break free. Every morning and every night, I would sneak upstairs to weigh myself. Every mealtime, I would consider how to get away with eating less and less. Every night, I cried myself to sleep. I felt worthless. I wished for a way out.  

I wished to sleep. Forever. When the morning sun awoke me from a restless night, I was disappointed. A new day – the same struggles.

Meanwhile, I saw my parents break down. Whilst I turned into a shadow of my former self, they crumbled. They forced me to eat, threatened me with hospitalization, and showered me with more love than I knew anyone could hold within one’s heart. And I hated them for it.  

After all, it was the one thing keeping me there. It was the only thing keeping me tied to the life I so desperately wanted to step out of.  

They sobbed and I sobbed; they sent me to treatment and I went. Gradually, the weight crept up. Gradually, the bad moods lifted, if even just a little. What was there, I wondered, further down this path? Would the veil that obscured my life finally lift? Was there a light at the end of the tunnel?  

There was no way to know. Not unless I followed the path. And I decided it was worth the risk.   

Let me tell you now, it is worth the risk. It is a winding road, but it is paved; there are poisonous berries and thorn bushes, but no bad wolves or evil gnomes. It sure as hell is a safer route than the alternative, and I really think you should consider it. You won’t know if you don’t try.   

Had I not taken the risk, I would have never known. I would have never experienced the wonders that make up life. I would have never experienced shameless pleasure, unapologetic joy, and that incredible emotion that comes so naturally to children – carefree nonchalance.   

Today, I live abroad, I attend university, and I have a boyfriend. Food is no longer at the forefront of my priorities list. I am ED- thought and behaviour free. I have a successful YouTube channel and two much-praised published books. I work, I travel, I enjoy my life.  

And I know that I will wake up tomorrow morning, excited when the sun awakes me from a restful sleep.

Losing Control to Regain my Life

My name is Hanne Arts. When I wrote the first draft of this piece, I was 23 years old and a final-year Psychology student at the university of Bath. Now I am 25, starting my own business. I am someone -- I have been someone for some time now -- even though for the longest time I didn’t think I would be. For the longest time I thought I would never make it. For the longest time, I wanted to disappear. 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Your Body Needs Rest (& a Lot of Food)

Exercise. The all-defining exercise. In eating disorder recovery, this seems like one of the most recurring themes and topics. To do recovery, but to do it 'the healthy way.' To do it in a way that still appeases the eating disorder...  

Sunday, May 29, 2022

How to Avoid Refeeding Syndrome in Eating Disorder Recovery

Refeeding syndrome is a medical complication that occurs in well below 1% of patients during the refeeding process. Today, I’ll talk about what it is, underlying causes and risk factors, and how it can be avoided. I’ll also touch on weight-gain guidelines, and the recommended calorie increases prescribed by the APA, NICE, and Minnie Maud.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

I Stopped Exercising for Two Months (& Why You Should Too)

I stopped exercising for TWO MONTHS. Today, I share why I stopped exercising and how it affected my weight, strength, mood, etc. Did I gain weight? Did I lose muscle? Did it influence what I eat in a day? I also talk about exercise in and after eating disorder recovery.