Veganism with a history of eating disorders?

Bobbie

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 17, 2018
Reaction score
0
Age
30
Lifestyle
Vegetarian
Ok so first off, for me personally it has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with animal welfare/ environment.
I went veggie very very late by most standards - it was about 2013 and I am now 27 (I cared about animal welfare, but at the time I was in denial about free range etc etc)


I am now attempting to go vegan, but I have had bad/ unhealthy eating patterns for as long as I can remember. Name an eating disorder, I've had it at some point, basically.

Im currently overweight. I know that right now going full vegan will set off something in my brain (I know it's nonsense) that says I need to be underweight. I desperately want to cut out the eggs and dairy, but at the same time I am trying to understand my stupid back-and-forth brain that is making me starve myself or want to eat everything in sight. I'm finding it frightening and draining and humiliating that I can't deal with it.

I am so scared of being vegan simply because Ive never known anything other than gorging or starving.

If anyone relates to this I would appreciate a reply because all I can think is "silly child" when I think about this
 

Lux

Novice
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Reaction score
13
Age
31
Location
Stockholm
Lifestyle
Vegan
I battled an eating disorder while at university and it took a long time for me to start to shift my mindset after that and I'm still very hard on myself and show tendencies like it again once in a while. I have to be very observant and nip it in the bud basically, when it creeps back in. I used to restrict in very extreme ways and sometimes the idea of doing that is very comforting. It feels safe and like you're in control of some aspect of your life... BUT what I try to remind myself of (often!) is the negative effect it had on my overall health, both physical and mental. I try to focus on fitness these days so make sure to eat not only like a vegan, but also in a way that fuels my body so that I can go into the gym 5-6 times a week and have fun and feel strong and energetic. I very much remember what it was like to not have my period anymore, always need naps in the afternoons and suffering from low blood sugar and dizzy spells and I never want to end up there again.

There is a natural element of selectiveness when you eat like this. I never think of it as restricting myself to vegan foods... instead I think of it as choosing plantbased foods that will make my body the strongest it can be. For me the difference is crucial as I go about my every day life. I'm choosing to give myself health, rather than taking away animal products. Does that make sense?

If I were you I would pick something to replace the eggs and dairy with, in your head. Don't focus on the fact that you're taking those away, instead focus on that thing you're adding into your life and diet that maybe you didn't do before. If it helps maybe even take one at the time? Start with eggs or dairy, or start with milk and then try to also cut out yoghurt for example if you want to take even smaller baby steps. If you want to make a sustainable change in your life you might as well watch your speed and make sure you can cope rather than do it all at once only to fail and feel like you've let yourself down so badly that it takes you another year to just muster up the courage to try again.

I would do it like this; cut out eggs, and introduce avocado on toast (for example). So research different ways to do cool versions of avocado on toast (lots of amazing ideas on pinterest) and get all excited about that. Don't think about the egg thing and how you can't have them. You can! You're just not doing that at the moment - instead you're making yourself into the avocado on toast queen! And then see how you go and when you feel ready start to replace the dairy too. Just to be clear I'm obviously not saying you need a direct replacement (because those exist in another form of course, like if you like ice cream you can just have soy, rice or oats based ice cream instead of dairy), I mean something to mentally focus on in a positive way so that you ADD to your diet and focus on that. Forget about the cutting out part. That will happen automatically.
 
  • 👍
Reactions: poivron

poivron

Practitioner
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Reaction score
121
Location
New Jersey, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
Perhaps I shouldn't be writing anything about this, since I am lucky to have avoided eating disorders, but ... aren't eating disorders all about hating one's body and wanting to make it disappear, either by making it extremely fat (and therefore invisible in our thinness-worshipping society), or by making it extremely thin (to the point where it becomes smaller and smaller until it disappears)? Veganism is about having compassion for every living being, including oneself. As a vegan, you would be putting only good things in your body -- things that don't come from a system of torture, exploitation, and suffering. Do you think you could approach veganism in a totally love-focused way, so that the love automatically overcomes the self-hate?

Not everyone loses weight on a vegan diet. Neither I nor my husband did, and neither of us is thin (I'm "normal" and he's "obese"). If you were eating reasonably healthy before going vegan, and if you make sure you're getting enough calories and fat, it's possible that your weight might stay the same.
 

poivron

Practitioner
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Reaction score
121
Location
New Jersey, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
Also I would highly recommend taking a multivitamin (mainly for B12 and iron) if you are prone to restricting.
You want to be really careful with multivitamins, especially with iron. You can easily get too much iron.

As a vegan, you only really need to take vegan vitamin B12, vitamin D, and DHA supplements, unless you have other specific deficiencies. Here is a good reference:
https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/
 

amberfunk

Practitioner
Joined
May 31, 2017
Reaction score
313
Age
30
Lifestyle
Vegan
Actually eating disorders are usually about control. I've had several and have been fine for a few years. I used to count calories and starve myself which eventually led to hospitalization. I've also binged and purged as well. It takes a lot of counseling and self love to truly overcome the issues. I haven't had any issues since going vegan. I'm actually healthier now than I have been ever. If it's a real concern for you I would talk to a counselor that's vegan friendly about it first.
 
  • 👍
Reactions: Soffiare

poivron

Practitioner
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Reaction score
121
Location
New Jersey, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
W History of Veganism General 0
Bite Size Vegan History Was Leonardo da Vinci Vegan? | The History of Veganism Spotlight Social Sciences & Humanities 0
Bite Size Vegan Vegans In The Renaissance | The History Of Veganism Part Three General 0
Bite Size Vegan Vegans In The Middle Ages | The History of Veganism Part Two General 3
Graeme M Is veganism really gaining ground? General 63
Gaspard If veganism is just a diet, then… Philosophy 13
S Help with research on veganism Support 3
K One month into veganism-The gas is killing me Transitioning 7
R Dogs and veganism and Nepal Animals 0
E Veganism-Vit B12 Deficiency Support 19
LaurenMC How to transition to Veganism?Pros/Cons Introduce Yourself 0
Forest Nymph Airheaded Idiots Misrepresenting Veganism-An Observation Philosophy 23
Lou News I dithered over veganism for years–A message convinced me General 2
F Veganism is murdering NY lately Lounge 3
Hog Arguments Against Veganism Philosophy 20
The Master Of Design What is the best way to spread veganism? Lounge 10
I Veganism Is Not Actually That Good For You General 22
H Switch to veganism/vegetarianism caused by a viral infection Introduce Yourself 0
Indian Summer Ethical veganism is philosophical belief- Equality Act 2010 General 7
Hog Veganism and Minimalism Philosophy 23
P Does veganism make you compassionate towards other people? General 10
Andy_T Direct Action Everywhere (DxE)-good or bad for veganism/or animals? Philosophy 45
rogerjolly Veganism and dementia General 4
Glögg For World Vegan Day: 5 Things to Know About Veganism General 0
M Question A-level coursework on Veganism Ask Us a Question! 2
M Survey A-level coursework on Veganism Marketplace 0
S Looking toward veganism Transitioning 15
V Survey Veganism Introduce Yourself 3
V Survey Veganism Lounge 0
A My veganism keeps causing family conflicts Support 7
V What does veganism protect you from? Health & Body 7
D Transitioning to Veganism with 2 Young Children Transitioning 6
Jamie in Chile Fighting Global Warming With Veganism Environment 0
L Veganism questionaire General 14
K Switching to Veganism Transitioning 10
rogerjolly Veganism and the media General 7
Y Survey Veganism Lifestyle survey Marketplace 5
Jamie in Chile Veganism is Deontological General 18
Vegan Dogs Veganism - most effective thing an individual can do to reduce climate change Environment 29
A Veganism is taking over my life General 6
M Desperate need of help for my thesis work connected with veganism Support 6
D Survey Could you guys spare 3 minutes to answer my veganism survey? Marketplace 2
Amy SF When high-profile vegans quit veganism General 1
R Veganism and thyroid Health & Body 12
S Veganism curing sciatica? Transitioning 9
shyvas Has Veganism Gone Too Far ? - Veganuary General 3
Simon Does Veganism extend to Banking? General 5
Elisa Soares How can veganism gain momentum in the tourism industry ? Holidays & Travel 6
W Partner is veggie but not on board with veganism Transitioning 8
S 6 days into veganism Transitioning 9
Similar threads