So I've been struggling with an ED, and I've finally caved in to recovery and begun to gain weight. I wasn't at too low of a weight to begin with--my lowest was 89, and I'm 4'11"--but apparently it was low enough for my period to stop. The last time I weighed myself I was 94 lbs, but now, I don't want to know my weight, as I'm trying to be concerned more with my health than with the numbers. My doctor has a goal for me between 97-108 lbs, judging by how my body reacts to the weight gain. I haven't had a period since last January. Recently (this past week) I've begun the weight gain process, which means cutting back on my running (I usually run 45 minutes, 7 days a week, now I've cut it down to 5 days) and increasing my caloric intake. This increase includes things that previously weren't in my diet--coconut milk ice cream, peanut butter, soy yogurt, etc. This is all fine to gain weight with, I'm sure, but I'm worried about maintaining when I reach a healthy weight for my body.
My dietician also says that it's not just the fat that will my help me get my period back, but a variety of fat. As a vegan, my fat sources are limited, and so, she's told me that I should be eating not just nuts, nut butters, avocado, etc, but the fats from the coconut milk as well. However, once I get to my goal weight, I'm not going to keep eating the coconut milk ice cream every night, or else I'll surely continue to gain weight. But I'm not sure how to keep a variety of fats in my diet without keeping in these high-calorie foods. Does anyone have any advice? Anything from anyone who has suffered through similar problems would be helpful.
I think a "standard" way to eat vegan might be to have a varied diet that includes a small amount of nuts and seeds, avocado, olive oil/coconut oil in dressings and to sautee vegetables (and coconut oil in smoothies if you want more), things like that...small amounts, but fats aren't something to be feared...just used in moderation. Me personally - I usually pick up a couple of avocados each week, I use flax oil with pasta, I melt coconut in coffee drinks, I use a coconut or soy creamer, I use walnuts in pesto, regularly have dark chocolate...I'm not really thinking about fats, or trying consciously to get a variety for health reasons, but I naturally use them for flavor and variety. But honestly, while you do need fats, I'm not even sure that she's right that you need some big variety of fats.
"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.
Every animal you eat
was running for her life
Well done on recovery, lovely!
I struggled with anorexia for ..wow, almost 2 decades now ( I'm 28 ) and it was a real ***** to get over even once deciding I wanted to. A vegan diet really helped me love food again and it also helped me keep weight on better ( or rather, I started eating nuts and seeds and other things so I suppose it wasn't veganism ) . My periods have only just become regular this year after maintaining an admittedly ( naturally ) lowish weight for several . They're sensitive things!
It seems that what made the difference for me wasn't so much body fat as fat included in diet/a well rounded diet.
Just to ease your mind on the maintaining thing, it's actually quite easy to include things like coconut milk ( I do almost daily since discovering coconut milk ice-cream..oh wow! ) , dark chocolate ( again, daily! ) , avocado, nuts, peanut butter, oil in frying ( I was late to the game with this one. Always fried without it because it 'wasn't needed' but it's an extra few calories that ARE needed AND it tastes good AND it helps you absorb various vitamins from your food better ) without continuing to gain weight. They're satiating foods, as well, so you end up eating less overall, I find.
Recovery is a process that involves trusting your body and knowing that for a while you'll want to 'overeat' but then you hit your stride, your body stops freaking out and your appetite rebalances.
Getting your period back is worthwhile. Not only if you want to have children ( which I decided I didn't but I changed my mind when I met my current partner so am really glad I didn't 'know for sure' and act accordingly! ) but just to be healthy because it signals good hormone levels. My hormone levels are still not great but they're getting there !
Your body is a temple and you only have one life. Messing around and punishing either is, in hindsight, a waste . :)