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Thread: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

  1. #1
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    Default Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    I have a bit of a story to tell. My name is Cat and I now 21 years old. I have suffered from Anorexia Nervosa for about five years now, not diagnosed, but it was evident that I had a higher focus on what I ate. When I was about 14 years old I was shorter, and at my highest a size 13. My family commented on that and that I was gaining weight, I was slowly getting bigger over time. My mom fed us a lot of beef and unhealthy food. I now think that I would have thinned out as I am 68 inches. I eventually kept getting healthier and cutting out foods over time. I then became vegetarian three years ago, and then to vegan diet. My vegan diet was mostly fruits and vegetables. After a couple years I became 90 pounds with a bmi of 14.2. I did outpatient recovery basically on my own. I listened to them half way with my strong and stubborn personality but gained weight from eating at night under alcohol. Now I still count calories, and drink a bit, but I am primarily vegan. Anyone with similar issues?

  2. #2
    Lilystein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eating disorders, Alcoholism, and Veganism

    I had anorexia for 18 months, lost four and half stone in months. Did some pretty bad damage to my body. Then last September my anorexia became bulimia and despite my best efforts to avoid weight gain, I piled the pounds back on. Now I'm desperately trying to gain control, lose the weight I gained and get back to strict meals at set times. Eating disorders are awful, they start to take over every aspect of your life. I hope you are feeling a bit more in control of your life now, if you want to talk you can message me.
    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Eating disorders, Alcoholism, and Veganism

    I now am a mostly vegan. I once in a while will eat some small amount of cheese in an Amy's meal because I love their meals. I was basically just eating vegetables and fruit and was down to 90 pounds and now I am 5''8. I am now about 125-130. I will not own a scale as I know I will relapse. I still count calories but as long as it is in control I feel fine. I used a lot of my weight gain thoughts by abusing alcohol. I just know there is a huge link between eating disorders and being vegetarian etc.

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    Default Re: Eating disorders, Alcoholism, and Veganism

    Quote KittyCat View Post
    ... I just know there is a huge link between eating disorders and being vegetarian etc.
    Perhaps a veg* diet seems to make sense as a way to lose weight, but on the whole, among all of us who are vegans for ethical reasons, I don't think there's any connection. What's the evidence?

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    Default Re: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    I am a vegan for ethical reasons, and it helped me get over my disordered eating. When you learn to care for others other than your own problems, and you have less food to eat, it gave me respect for food. I was bulimic for 15 years, and have been recovered since turning vegan. I know that some people pretend to be vegan to cover up their ED, I know a girl who does this. But people who turn vegan for ethical reasons usually try and be as healthy as they can, I know I did, to show that it's not something weird and unhealthy.

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    Default Re: Eating disorders, Alcoholism, and Veganism

    Quote KittyCat View Post
    I just know there is a huge link between eating disorders and being vegetarian etc.

    Hello, allow me to chime in here.

    What is WELL KNOWN is not so much that vegans are more (or less) susceptible to anorexia.
    Rather, a lot of people who are suffering from anorexia are USING veganism as an explanation to MASK their eating disorder.

    "Yes, I would LOVE to eat something, but there is just nothing vegan available here... sigh " :-(

    Ethically motivated veganism is NOT an eating disorder, and I have not heard yet that it would help to develop one.
    Of course, you should not take the anorexia lightly and listen to what people on the forum who have had similar issues have to say...

    Best regards,
    Andy

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    Default Re: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    I agree Andy, and Misosoup gives an example of how it can help recovery. There's another negative stereotype this serves to uphold: the unhealthy-looking vegan. It's a good thing when vegans work out and are in good physical shape - we can break the stereotype and promote veganism without saying a word.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    Hmm. I might have to work a little bit on the "good-physical-shape-vegan" thing, I think.
    But I can certainly counter the "skinny-looking-vegan" stereotype...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    Hi KittyCat,

    I've never been diagnosed or in recovery but I probably should have been way back when. It sure is one way of dealing with the world, eh?
    Very healthy and happy now which accepting and valuing myself played a big part in.

    Wishing you well on your journey!
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  10. #10
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    I'm a recovering compulsive overeater and anorexic, I became "abstinent" (from bingeing/starving and certain "trigger"/addictive foods) 14 years ago, I only became vegan last year. I became vegan for ethical reasons, and I'd say my experience with recovery helped me make the transition quite easily because I was already more accustomed than most, to the kind of change necessary for such an overhaul of diet and lifestyle...

    However, I'd say being vegan neither makes me more likely to relapse nor does it make me more likely to "stay on the wagon" as it were; I think it's important to remember that food is a symptom, and the cause, usually a combination of a tendency for physical addictions (regardless of whether that's alcohol, drugs, food/controlling food, gambling, whatever), and a difficulty dealing with emotions in their rawest form, is what needs attention. So, for instance if someone wants to be vegan for ethical reasons but is finding it hard to balance their food issues, they may want to look at possibilities of joining a support group such as Overeaters Anonymous (which welcomes Overeaters AND anorexics/bulimics etc), or similar for new ideas on how to handle life without using food, starvation, or purging.

    It's not always easy, I fell off the overeating wagon a couple of months back (even though I remained vegan), but it served me well, as I realised what I was doing and just worked on my program a bit more. In my case I had resumed an old habit of isolating, largely due to grief over the deaths of both my parents in recent years, and just didn't want to "let go" of control.

    I'm super tired just now and making typos that I then have to correct, all over the place, so will add more later but hope this helps for now. Hugs. xxxxx

  11. #11
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    Default

    Maybe its easier to develop anorexia when your community doesn't support veganism. The supply of plant foods isn't as great as it should be or the quality is very poor.

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    Default Re: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    Quote Peabrain View Post
    I'm a recovering compulsive overeater and anorexic, I became "abstinent" (from bingeing/starving and certain "trigger"/addictive foods) 14 years ago, I only became vegan last year. I became vegan for ethical reasons, and I'd say my experience with recovery helped me make the transition quite easily because I was already more accustomed than most, to the kind of change necessary for such an overhaul of diet and lifestyle...

    However, I'd say being vegan neither makes me more likely to relapse nor does it make me more likely to "stay on the wagon" as it were; I think it's important to remember that food is a symptom, and the cause, usually a combination of a tendency for physical addictions (regardless of whether that's alcohol, drugs, food/controlling food, gambling, whatever), and a difficulty dealing with emotions in their rawest form, is what needs attention. So, for instance if someone wants to be vegan for ethical reasons but is finding it hard to balance their food issues, they may want to look at possibilities of joining a support group such as Overeaters Anonymous (which welcomes Overeaters AND anorexics/bulimics etc), or similar for new ideas on how to handle life without using food, starvation, or purging.

    It's not always easy, I fell off the overeating wagon a couple of months back (even though I remained vegan), but it served me well, as I realised what I was doing and just worked on my program a bit more. In my case I had resumed an old habit of isolating, largely due to grief over the deaths of both my parents in recent years, and just didn't want to "let go" of control.

    I'm super tired just now and making typos that I then have to correct, all over the place, so will add more later but hope this helps for now. Hugs. xxxxx
    I was also a compulsive overeater, and while I wasn't purging any more, I still had a very unhealthy relationship with food. I binged on food, alcohol, everything I did was obsessive and compulsive. When I transitioned to being a vegan for ethical reasons, I was still struggling with overeating and actually put on weight. I wasn't healthy at all and my diet became very restrictive. I was absolutely a 'junk food vegan' and didn't look after myself. I always had massive issues with eating healthily, I didn't feel I deserved to be healthy and used food to abuse myself. But when my health began to change- my periods went back to normal, skin cleared up, sinuses cleared up, better digestion I began to think differently about food. Also, my family were giving me hassle about eating healthily- despite the fact my sister is dangerously obese, because I was vegan they were 'worried'. I would say in the past few months I wanted to become healthier and show that veganism is a good way to eat and can have nice food, so I started a blog. I then watched Forks Over Knives and am reading the China Study, and so now I would say I am eating a healthy vegan diet, rather than a junkfood diet loaded with sugar and fat. I've changed my diet to eat much more veg and fiber, and virtually no sugar and no gluten- which was really hard! But then there are people who are total meataholics who change to being vegan overnight. And seem to really enjoy being vegan, whereas I got really depressed and made no effort to eat properly lol. I dunno, I think it's a really complex thing.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    I am vegan and have had anorexia for 8 years and have been trying recovery for around 6 months now. I have actually found that going fully vegan again is helping with my recovery because I feel good about nourishing my body. Wishing you all the best of luck.xx

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Eating disorders, alcoholism, and veganism

    Quote Lovenature View Post
    I am vegan and have had anorexia for 8 years and have been trying recovery for around 6 months now. I have actually found that going fully vegan again is helping with my recovery because I feel good about nourishing my body. Wishing you all the best of luck.xx
    Walnuts are in season. Have you tried the serr and chandler varieties of walnuts?

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