Veganism and Eating Disorder - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-13-2004, 08:34 PM
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Do you think that converting to veganism would inhibit the process of recovering from an eating disorder?

There's actually quite a long story behind this. In order to fully understand the question, I guess you'd have to understand a bit about me... so here goes.

I am a high school student and officially diagnosed with bulimia. I am also incredibly lucky, for just about everything I have tried has come easily. But as I began to enter high school, I found that my ablilities led to my desire to attain perfection. And for the most part, I was successful. I got straight A's, good time records in track and field, lead roles in school plays, and many other accomplishments. Soon, I needed to have perfect food as well. I had been vegetarian for years, but I found myself cutting back junk food and sweets and loosing some weight. But then it began to take over my life, a grueling manifestation of deprivation. I set unreasonable standards for myself, aiming to eat a very small number of calories a day. Then, when I couldn't meet that goal, I would be very upset with myself... and soon I found that I was forcing myself to throw up food or spend hours at the gym to "justify" eating more than i should. But my parents caught on and set up appointments with a psychotherapist and a nutritionist and I'm doing much better. I'm at a healthy weight and my minor health problems have been fixed. It's been almost 2 months since my last "purge"!

However, the more I learn about veganism, the more I want to give up the traces of dairy and occasional egg that I eat now.

My parents forbid it-- thinking that if I cut out more food groups, I would eat nothing but lettuce and tailspin back into the disorder.

But I think that if I could focus on eating "vegan" rather than eating "healthy", I would be more comfortable with eating higher amounts of calories because I will feel healthy as long as I'm eating vegan, rather than eating a certain number of calories a day. Also, veganism would force me to eat more calorie- and nutrient-dense foods, like nuts and beans to get enough protein and minerals, therefore, my overall calorie intake would be up to an optimum level. I still struggle to get as many calories in as my nutritionst tells me that I need.

Cooking and providing meat, egg, and dairy free food is not an issue, because there are many vegetarian resources in my area and I enjoy cooking.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks bunches!

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#2 Old 02-13-2004, 08:40 PM
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Some people, it helps them. Others, it hurts them.

Your parents are right for being concerned, though. Anything that involves restricting foods is a dangerous place.

In the end, only you can decide if you are ready to handle it.
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#3 Old 02-13-2004, 08:45 PM
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Ditto what Krista says. She knows best.

I'm a high school student and an anorexic. Join us over in Eat to Live II - It's a little community for all of us here who suffer from eating disorders.
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#4 Old 03-01-2004, 09:56 PM
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i understand where you are coming from. I had anorexia nervosa, and when i got over that, bulimia set in. I went vegan because i knew i would have to eat more to survive, unlike when i ate meat where i could eat a piece of chicken and survive. be VERY careful. its a good thing you are doing, talking to other people about it. i didnt know we had an eating disorder board. cool.
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#5 Old 03-02-2004, 01:19 PM
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I agree with Krista and Cissy. Some anorectic people get attracted to veganism because they can camouflage their eating disorder.

Last year we treated someone with anorexia and a rheumatic disease. She was always telling how much she is eating while the cafeteria personal called me because they worried about the tiny amounts she was eating. After release from hospital she got the idea that fasting and only drinking her urine would cure her, which actually got her worse. But she and surprisingly the family (including the dominand mum, who was running affairs for her 25 year old married daughter) didn´t want to hear anything about the eating disorder and since last summer we didn´t have any contact to her.

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#6 Old 07-07-2004, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Lothar M Kirsch View Post

But she and surprisingly the family (including the dominand mum, who was running affairs for her 25 year old married daughter) didn´t want to hear anything about the eating disorder and since last summer we didn´t have any contact to her.

Oh ... I hope and pray things are okay.

Raylea, I have found that veganism has helped me with my anorexia. Because I *feel* healthier, I no longer have a driving obsession with weight, although I do still suffer with obsessive-compulsive calorie counting, anxiety, stress, and panic attacks that are not directly related.
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#7 Old 05-11-2005, 04:04 PM
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I too have bulimia (non-purging). I find that when i DO binge i dont feel as bad about it as i used to...its possible to binge on salad...but its salad and its GOOD to eat lost of it! anyway congratulations on your recovery! you're very lucky.

You should probably have a session with your therapist about it, because as mentioned, veganism can be a way of food control and be maladaptive in people with eating disorders. Also sittign down with your nutritionist and your parents may help to allay thier fears.
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#8 Old 05-11-2005, 04:31 PM
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pssst thread over a year old
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#9 Old 05-12-2005, 10:11 AM
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Kinda glad it was bumpbed I'd have to say that becoming vagan (about a year and a few months ago today) helped me get over Eating Disorder issues I had/have. It helped me focus on other aspects of food and eating besides the calories, fat, and such.

Does that make sence?

"you know, nowhere in the bible does it say that jesus was not a raptor"

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