Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Finally I can tell you beautiful people I'm doing great! I've eaten throughout the day, a decent amount, and kept everything. I haven't purged once. I think I've found what works for me and I'm really excited about this new journey of health I've just begun!

For the past month, I've been considering becoming a vegan. I've never liked meat, rarely eat it, and the only animal product I have on a regular basis is yogurt. Ironically, the only thing that's been holding me back IS my eating disorder. It's hard to explain, but just know choosing veganism is not something fueled by my eating disorder, but rather my desire to take care of my body.

I feel good about myself when I eat something I know is treating my body with kindness and nourishing it. For instance, having nuts and seeds with dried apricots freaks my eating disorder out because of the calorie density and high fat content of the nuts. In fact, VEGGIES and FRUIT freak my ED out because they make me feel full. I hardly ever keep veggies down! But I know it's nutritionally beneficial. Once I decided I'm going to fully dedicate myself to veganism, it's like I gave myself permission to eat again, because it FEELS healthy.

I don't know if what I'm doing is wrong or right. Maybe it is eating disordered. But I'm actually eating, not purging, and for once, I'm not worried about the scale or losing weight. I'm completely focused on feeding my body the nutrients it desires with the best foods possible. Once I've been consistently eating and not purging, I'm going to start working out again. I'm EXCITED. I feel like I found the loophole of getting out of this eating disorder and have hope this might actually work!

I'm dedicating myself to veganism until Easter as a trial period. I'm not doing veganism for ethical reasons, but rather for dietary reasons and as a step towards health. I might stay with veganism, or I might expand my diet again back to yogurts and some seafoods. I'm not doing it for the label. I'm doing it for health. The label just helps me get out of the eating disorder label and back into something less self-destructive. The label gives me permission to eat, if that makes sense. It's what I need, if only temporarily.


  1. Congratulations on going vegan! Even if you're only on a trial run right now :)

    I've been a vegan for 10 years (I was vegetarian two years prior to my conversion at age 15; while I am a vegan based on moral/ethics first and foremost, the health factor was definitely a major selling point). I can say that, on a personal level, my veganism has been a very safe place for me from my eating disorders. As you stated, it's given me a label outside of being "anorexic" and "bulimic"..."vegan" is positive way to identify myself when it comes to food, helps to make the act of eating seem like the right/okay thing to do instead of something...I don't know. So scary and sinful?

    There's a LOT of debate about veganism and eating disorders. There's hardly any IP center (or dietician from my experience) that will work with vegans because they all consider it "an ED decision". I had to temporarily deconvert to vegetarianism when I went IP which broke my heart, but it was definitely a test to see if my veganism was in any way tied to being an ED'ed behavior (it wasn't...during meals when I cried, I found I was crying because I kept picturing all of the suffering animals I had researched so long and hard about...NOT about having to eat).

    I think the fact that you're aware that it could possibly be an ED decision and are giving it a trial run is a GREAT sign that you're on top of it. At any rate, *sorry for the novel, veganism is a topic near and dear to my heart!* I am super glad to hear you're doing well right now, and I really hope that this works for you <3

  2. I've been vegetarian for years, but early on in my recovery i went through a similar period to what it sounds like you are. Veganism made me feel great because i felt like i was really nourishing my body and giving it what it needed, which was awesome. Looking back though it was definitely fueled by my eating disorder, not necessarily the drive to lose weight or anything, more just that vegansim sort of provided another way for my food 'obsession' to manifest. I'd always be preoccupied with thinking about my next meal and hunting around for vegan alternatives for this, recipies for that etc. I found it was really easy for me to slip back into restricting because it was easy to blame it on something not being vegan or whatever. In the end i decided that for now at least it was better for me to play it safe and continue jsut being vegetarian. I haven't ruled it out in the future, but for now its just about making sure i stay on the recovery path.

    Im not saying that i went through exactly what you are, mine was a phase, yours may not be, but i guess i just wanted to share that this could be something alot of people go through in recovery, another manifestation of ED. I'm so happy to hear that veganism is helping you to manage food better though, and glad to hear you're doing a trial period, awesome idea! All the best xo

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  4. Same experience as Hyl. When IP they would not even consider honoring a vegan diet. They said it was ED. My dietician would not even work with me. What does your dietician think? I am so happy you are doing better. Take care.

  5. PS: I felt the strong desire to come back and comment with this bit of info that I left out. Sorry, I'm sure I'm being annoying :(

    As stated, I'm okay as a vegan. No ED attached to that. But I once transitioned into RAW veganism in 2008. THAT'S when my ED became involved (I was eventually sub-diagnosed with orthorexia on top of anorexic w/ binge-purge subtype after living for four months in this routine). I was constantly obsessed with raw, organic foods; with dehydrating, sprouting, juicing, triple washing everything with an apple cider fruit/veggie wash, etc. It was a very hands-on lifestyle that consumed every inch of me mentally on both the ED and OCD fronts. In the early stages, I used the "IT'S HEALTHY SO IT'S OKAY" excuse to justify my behavior, but I eventually became housebound because the anxiety surrounding my diet was so intense; I was afraid I wouldn't have enough time to prepare my health foods and exercise if I actually had a life outside of it. I think I can say my one year orthorexic period was a lot more draining than my twelve years of anorexia and bulimia! I was severely depressed during this time and my health and weight declined (the rigorous food preparations wore me down and I began to fall behind in my regimen because there was so much to do to make my foods "healthy" *AKA: ED'ed SAFE*...and when I didn't get my foods prepped, I felt extremely guilty and simply refused to eat at all as opposed to go back to normal vegan foods; it wasn't even to lose weight, it was just that the orthorexia instilled so much paranoia inside of me that I was literally afraid to ingest anything processed).

    I will never go back to raw veganism because it fueled that period of orthorexia to the point where I was absolutely miserable and even more ill than I am now.

    Weirdly enough, I came out of my raw vegan period (kicking and screaming before finally being okay with going back to normal veganism, although I still read labels and lists of ingredients like a fascinating novel) with an intense fear of nuts, seeds, and beans which I had once consumed willingly after I soaked/sprouted them during the raw veganism stage. I still have a massive phobia of them. I can't even look at or smell them without having a panic attack and getting extremely uncomfortable. I'm not sure why this is, but they are fear foods that I'm trying to desperately incorporate back into my diet because I've naturally been diagnosed with severe anemia due to a lack of them.

    I also wanted to say that it IS possible to lead a nurtitionally balanced vegan lifestyle. A lot of people automatically write it off as one of deficiency, but, like any dietary lifestyle/regimen, there's a right and wrong way to do it. As anonymous said, talk with your dietician and research the basis of it to make sure you get everything out of it you need if it is, in fact, for you.

    I just wanted to come back and share this with you because it was weighing on my mind. I'm okay as a vegan...but when I went raw vegan, that was under ED influence.

    I promise I'm done now <3

    1. Thank you for introducing me to the term "orthorexia", the harmful obsession of eating right-foods (as if there were some). I figure this may be the nub of what's going on for relative? Both sides of family there's OCD as well as ED so it's like a light focusing OCD-Plus-ED on one person. She tried raw but was too sick with gut trouble to continue (grandmother died of complications of lack of peristalsis, the muscle that moves gut-contents along, having survived 10 yrs on TPN, sneaking regular food, she loved it all and especially spiced, usually cost HER days of pain and hospital). Vegan is keeping relative alive "after" (using term loosely) ED, anorexia, age 11 to 20. Orthorexia fits--thanks for your insights.

  6. Hello,
    I just discovered your blog - and I'm fascinated. You're doing such a great job every day in pursuit of recovery (even if it might not feel like that for you at all times - even just continuosly trying and wanting to get better is awesome!)
    And now you actually inspired me to leave a comment as well because of your post about veganism. It's funny how people with EDs seem to have a tendency to turn to some sort of "healthy altenative" where you can still somehow restrict and control your food but be healthy and take care of yourself at the same time.
    I wish you all the best of luck for your experiment! I've done the same last year and it really helped me (I've been suffering from bulimia/EDNOS for approximately the last 6? years although not quite as severely as it seems to be the case for you). I managed to stay on my vegan diet for a month (partly to prove people wrong who said I couldn't do it) and I managed to stay "vomit-free" for about 10 months before I relapsed lately :(
    Right now I can't even call myself a vegetarian anymore (which I have been long before my ED started, ever since I was about 11) and at times I'm ok with that - at other times it annoys the hell out of me!
    I actually consider doing the vegan thing again - might be a good point to start?
    Anyway...I'm rambling, sorry (thank you - in case you actually read to this point <3)
    x Favo

  7. Proud of you- Love you girl- truly I know the effort it takes! Hope you are finding some joy everyday because you deserve it! I love how you talk about and share this all, I can really relate and find it so helpful! I'm right there with you! Hope your body is feeling a bit stronger! xx jalynn

  8. I love your blog and it's so amazing that you are making progress. You should be very proud of yourself!

    HOWEVER please please consider that Veganism is an extreme lifestyle choice, undertaken by most people because they feel they HAVE to out of respect for animals, not at all because it is healthier. As a vegeterian I have many vegan friends and they have all struggled, simply because human beings are not designed to only eat food derived only from plants - we are naturally omnivores - and by going vegan you are simply replacing one form of restriction with another. My vegan friends have all suffered from anemia, vitamin B 12 deficiencies and iodine deficiencies, not because it is impossible to have a healthy vegan diet but because it is very hard to maintain a proper mix of nutrients when cutting out all animal products from your diet.

    I would ask that you be honest with yourself and consider if this is simply a new eating disorder waiting to happen , be it orthorexia, or simply because being a vegan allows you to have an excuse to refuse certain foods. If you want to do something for "health" you need a healthy balanced diet containing all the food groups, not veganism. I really don't want to seem like I'm raining on your parade, it is just because I'm concerned.

    Emma x

  9. hey missy! i feel like "going vegan" is risky, especially when you haven't been recovered for a certain amount of time. when i was in treatment, they basically said that conversions like that (ie. going vegan or vegetarian) should be made after a period of "recovery," because those lifestyles involve restriction and if you undertake them before solidifying your own recovery, your restrictions could get out of control. it is important to restrict yourself when you are already restricting. also, taking care of your body and feeding it what it needs does not mean that meat, milk, animal products, etc need to be cut from your diet. for instance, we needed milk as babies...so like "anonymous" wrote above, a healthy balanced diet will ensure you treat your body right...i really do feel (like many of the above do) that converting to veganism is just your eating disorder in disguise...this way you have a reason for restricting what you would restrict anyway...you just have another "excuse" for it. so like "anonymous" above suggests, i would also suggest that you be honest with yourself and see what is really fueling you to want to be vegan...and i hope and pray it isn't ED, but it very well may be because you are still fighting ED, and i feel veganism is just another way to let him in to stay for a while. did you talk to your dietician about it??? that's probably who you should really talk to. she may give you better advice, but i am just concerned that your ED will just put on a "vegan" costume to try to conceal himself. much love, xoxo a

  10. *****it is important NOT NOT NOT NOT to restrict yourself when you are already restricting...."NOT" was definitely needed there!

  11. Hi,I have never commented before, but my heart sank when I read that you were doing this. I have gone from anorexia restricting, to anorexia purge type, to full blown bulimia.

    If you want to do this, please talk to your team and agree to do it after you have spent some time in recovery. You can always choose to be vegan after recovery. My concern isn't about veganism not being nutritionally balanced and safe. It's like Andy said-it's another form of restricting.

    I also can't continue to read until after your trial. Before you talked about wanting to get better. Now, you are talking about how the restricting is making your behaviors better--THAT IS WAY TO TRIGGERING to the people who are in recovery.

    I'll be back!!