Monday, March 19, 2012

Rethinking Veganism

I made a YouTube video yesterday, giving an update on how I've been and my new vegan diet. I KNEW I'd get mixed reactions, but I wasn't expecting how much they would affect me. In fact, I was quite troubled by the negative reactions. Some people said it was just another form of my eating disorder, another person mentioned orthorexia...

I do understand their concern and I'm thankful for everyone's honesty. It made me depressed though and feel like a failure. If this is just another form of my eating disorder, I'm still just as stuck as I was before my vegan diet. A feeling of hopelessness overcame me yesterday. I did end up purging twice in the matter of an hour, which added even more feelings of failure and shame.

After purging, I felt HORRIBLE. In the matter of a week, I have already forgotten how horrible you feel after purging.

You know what? I'm going to stick to my veganism till Easter like planned. Maybe they're right and this is another form of my eating disorder. But I'm not bingeing, not purging, not restricting, and eating regularly. That's got to count for something right? And like my therapist said, if there's any problems we need to deal with about my veganism, than we'll deal with them when we get there, but for now- she thinks this is great!

I think this is great too. I'm feeling so much better and I prefer this over what I was doing before.

Ya. Just thought I'd share :)


  1. We all know eating disorders have a VERY psychological component. If you are not having the negative feelings, the guilt, and even restricting behaviours, I would not consider (I'm no doctor, dietition, or therapist) to have "orthorexia. I feel as though it's easy to call it another form, with your eating history, without looking at all the facts to essentially warn you just in case it turns in to that. But if you're giving your body what it needs and you better mentally AND physically, I don't think you are doing aything bad, especially because you even plan on adding things slowly back in. I hope you stay strong, though, and don't let the negative comments affect you! When I watched your video yesterday you had so much life in your eyes as compared to your previous few vids! :)

  2. Lisa (lisaxfaith on YT)March 19, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    I commented on your YouTube video showing concern for this diet, but there is only so much I could type in the comment box there. I just want to share my personal experience...

    I began binging my first year of college. Pretty much the entire year, I was either binging or dieting. It was so out of control and I felt hopeless! When it was my mom's birthday, I decided to bake her a cake made with real ingredients such as eggs, whole milk, butter...instead of "diet" ingredients. Since I had binging issues, I pretty much ate the whole cake. I had this image of my arteries closing up from all the fat and this made me research Veganism online. I soon started watching a bunch of documentaries about animal abuse and I was crying hysterically. I chose Veganism for the animals not for me, as I was still eating processed food (just Vegan). As if my social life wasn't bad enough, I couldn't even go out to eat with my parents because there was nothing to eat. All I could have ordered was Spaghetti, which I could make at home, so I just sat in the house and was miserable. I was living in a fog and was afraid to interact with others because they were "immoral" in my eyes. I was angry at people who did not show interest in the Vegan diet.

    I just had a realization the other day that I don't necessarily have binging issues. I only binge on high-carb foods which are addictive. I will not binge on wholesome foods such as meat, chicken, eggs and veggies. I'm currently following a low-carb diet which means a lot of fats and proteins to ward off hunger. High-carb foods turn me into a monster and I wish I had realized this years ago.

    I'm not necessarily following the Atkins diet, but I would suggest reading the book. I'm so surprised that I even considered reading the book, but I'm glad that I did. I now reject the theory that dietary fat and cholesterol causes health issues. I think a high-carb diet is responsible for all that. Plus, I heard that the more carbs you eat, the hungrier you'll get (which can lead to binging).

    I hope you'll appreciate my perspectives even if they are different from your own. I'm only trying to help.

    1. Oops, I meant to say that my YT username is luckylisa44

  3. Hi first time poster long time viewer :)

    Veganism is a very good alternative diet. I was vegitarian for 7 years.

    You need to keep yourself educated about the right foods to eat, don't have too much soy and get some calcium. There are veggies that have enough protein for you not to need supplements.

    Anywho, you need to not listen to ppl around you when it comes to your health and Ed. Sure they are concerned because the care and don't want you to be blinded by your Ed into thinking things are better but you showed you are thinking about this the right way.
    Youre eating
    You're not purging (well you werent)
    Youre cal amount it way up
    You feel accomplished an better about yourself

    Keep talking to your terapist and nutritionist about this. Be strong an allow yourself to make decisions especially when they are positive.

    Oh and btw
    Brown rice, sliced tofo (pan cooked) pine nuts and raisins with soy sauce = awesome

    And carbs are awesome, they release seratonin and make you happy. A diet high in fatty meats is no way good. Like I said keep talking to your nutritionist to make sure you sift through all the misinformation.

  4. Like all the comments have said, you can be healthy and be a vegan. Vegetarianism may not be your end goal, but it may be the means to the end. Your happy, eating healthily, not purging or binging. Sure your restricting the type of food your eating but that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

    Don't let all the negative youtube comments get you down. Be proud of the accomplishments you have made.

    Work with your dietitian to make sure that by eating an animal product free diet you are still getting all the macro and micro nutrients that your body needs.

  5. Hey there. I read ur blog and I watch ur youtube videos. It makes me very sad that people are posting negitivly about ur veganism! Your eating 2000 calories a day and ur not purging that is awesome! Please don't let them bring u down. Some people are sick and they enjoy seeing good people like u suffer. I have subscribed to u from the beginning and seen a lot of ur ups and downs. I was sooo proud that u went so long. Don't let this slip up bring u down. Ur almost there you are on the road to recovery. You will be able to live ur life without being confumed by food. And even if veganism is a form of ed its not bad, ur eating healthy that's what matters.

  6. I think as long as you are being open and honest with your dietician (and yourself) then I think you're okay. At the moment veganism is giving you far moer freedom than ED, you have increased calories and behaviours have massively reduced. Obviously you still have difficulty dealing with people being negative about your decisions or opinions but that is something you can continue to work on in therapy and just in life.
    I think there will be periods in when you will have to swap between vegetarian and vegan eating for health reasons but realisitically you appear to be making the choice for a vegan diet for very different reasons to why you have behaviours.
    Keep being a ninja! xxx

  7. I watched your video today and you seemed to be so happy it made me smile :) I think it is hard to say if going vegan is fueled by your ed but in my opinion it is good for you because it lets you expand the range of foods you allow yourself to eat and I'm sure your body needs that right now. And also since your planning to do until Easter you've got time to figure out if it is the right thing for you.

    Don't let anyone get you down!

    And also I wanted to tell you that I really enjoy watching your videos and reading your blog (you're so well spoken!!). You're awesome :)

  8. Thank you for sharing your experience. I recently found your videos, THANK YOU for being so open. I feel like I can really relate to a lot of your experiences and feelings. Just know by simply being who you are and open to others with what you have been through that you are making a difference and will move on from the eating disorder, carrying the experiences you have had to live in a positive, beautiful way.
    I am saddened that you seem to be impressionable and act out based on negative feedback. I can relate to this because in the past and still to some extent today I take what others say very VERY personally and tend to attack myself with what I perceive they are saying to me. Stick to your intuition and what you need to do to keep yourself healthy and nourished. Hope that makes sense, I don’t mean to be confusing. I think you are awesome, keep pushing on :)

  9. Trust your heart. It's not like you're signing a contract; you are trying something else and it is helping. It's okay to do things and see what happens without being completely certain of every aspect of the underlying motivation. EDs make us too cautious already. I say go for it and adapt if need be. It doesn't sound like anyone is being hurt by this :)

  10. Its ok rae, you have to do whats right for you.
    FOR YOU. In you heart you feel this is right you follow your heart dont listen to the negative comments, you are not a failure you had one bad day dont lose hope
    Much love bre : )

  11. Here is my opinion. Today I met with my dieitican and told her that I have alot of foods that I cant eat right now because they are not safe foods. She said then add more foods that are "safe." At some point, you can relook at it, but for now you are needing adequate nutritiona and hydration. If you are getting that right now from your vegan diet and not bingeing and purging by eating vegan then I think you should continue doign what you are doing. You have something that is working and I applaud you for that. There is no one answer to any of this, you can find something that works for you and if a dietician is basically telling me that what I am doing is ok, then I think what you are doign is ok too for now. You can always modify it later when you feel that you can add more safe foods.

  12. I hope that you are not thinking of my comment which referred to orthorexia on your post on veganism was negative - as I tried to state in my comment, I was voicing concern but was in no way critiquing your decision or even saying that what you were doing was orthorexic - I just was hoping you would consider your decision from all different angles.

    I am very pleased that veganism is working for you - as I said before , I was not trying to rain on your parade, and I am very sorry if you thought me voicing concern meant you were a failure, I didn't mean that in the slightest - and wish you all the best in recovery, however you manage it. Perhaps indeed Veganism will be a stepping stone to reintroducing a wider variety of foods back into your diet.

    I am sure I speak for everyone who commented expressing fears about your vegan choice that it was not meant to be taken as negative criticism and most definately not meant to insinuate you are a failure.

    Emma x