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Hey everyone. I have only posted here a couple of times and usually in the vegan forums but I thought I would receive more support here for my decision. I've been vegetarian for a total of five years in my life. From the ages of 14 to 18. Then, due to some serious stuff that went down the summer after my senior year in high school, I went back to eating meat.

And I gained weight. I've always been on the heavy side. I was 165 at the heaviest (and I'm only 5'3.) Last year, however, I decided to go back to being a vegetarian. I also started working out and running. I was about 150 at the time. I started losing weight. And people started complimenting me. I had a set goal but when I reached it, I wanted to lose more.

I began severely restricting calories and going to the gym every day. A year later, I'm at 105 pounds. I'm borderline underweight. I haven't been diagnosed with an eating disorder officially mainly because I can't pay for a consultation.

Anyway, to get to my point...I decided to go vegan at the beginning of this year. I've done the research and have fallen pretty gracefully into the lifestyle. The only thing is, I know I've been using my veganism as an excuse to restrict what I can eat. It's much easier to tell someone that you can't eat a bagel because it has dairy in it rather than because you feel guilty for eating.

So yesterday, I made the decision to go back to being a vegetarian. I don't feel guilty like I thought I would because I know that my health is important. I'm now (with the help of my fiance) monitoring my calories to keep them at a normal level. I'm also going to start weight training and cutting back on the running.

I guess what I'm looking for is a nice group of people to understand my decision and I thought I could find it here
 

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You aren't alone in this. I know many people who made the choice to go back to vegetarian from vegan due to complications associated with disordered eating. Best of luck to you in conquering these issues!
 

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I say try to work on goin vegan, but if what works with your current situation is vegetarianism, then cudos to you.
 

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I'm right there with you. I'm 5'3 as well, and at my heaviest i was 230 (crazy, right?!), and I went vegan, made it down to 120-130, which is where i am now, but I still constrict my calories like CRAZY and work out between 45min to an hour a day. I switched back to vegetarianism pretty recently after being Vegan for five years.

So, you are NOT alone. People here are right here with you.
 

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At the end of the day, do what's right for you! I think people are entitled to eat what they want to eat (I'm a vegan for health reasons and the milk thing freaks me out after I breastfed), but if you feel that vegetarianism is for you...then do it! If you feel better then you feel better.
 

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I think that going vegan to cover an eating disorder is not a good decision. Kudos to you for recognizing that. Get healthy, get your eating issues under control, and then, if you want to go vegan for ethical issues and it doesn't trigger a disorder, you can make the switch.
 

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I don't have any personal experience with eating disorders, but I know they're tough to deal with (primarily from reading threads here at VB). Take care of yourself.
 

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I definitely understand where you're coming from. I found myself restricting my food intake a lot when I ate a vegan diet for a few months. I've never had a very healthy relationship with food (no diagnosed ED, just not a healthy relationship
) I wouldn't purposely under eat but when there were less choices for me I would frequently go an entire day without eating.
At this point I feel it is healthier FOR ME to eat a vegetarian diet than a vegan diet, to ensure I am getting enough calories. I never eat cheese, milk, yogurt, etc. anyways but when I couldn't even have trace ingredients it just didn't work for me

I do hope to go vegan in the future, when I know I can do it in a healthy way.
Good luck!!
 

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I'm glad you're doing what's right for your health. I'm also 5'3 and at one point was close to 230 myself. Since I've become a vegetarian the lowest the scale has been recently was 215 and that's without much effort. I feel it's a healthier lifestyle all together so I wish you the best.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlp View Post

I think that going vegan to cover an eating disorder is not a good decision. Kudos to you for recognizing that. Get healthy, get your eating issues under control, and then, if you want to go vegan for ethical issues and it doesn't trigger a disorder, you can make the switch.
^This. It's great that you are aware of what your distructive behavior. Not only is it hard to see sometimes but it's also hard to admit. Your health comes first. Do what you have to do to overcome this. It's great that you have a fiance that is supportive and willing to stand by you and help you out. When you get a chance check out something-fishy.org. There are some good coping methods on there as well as a supportive community and resources to finding a specialist/therapist at low cost.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlp View Post

I think that going vegan to cover an eating disorder is not a good decision. Kudos to you for recognizing that. Get healthy, get your eating issues under control, and then, if you want to go vegan for ethical issues and it doesn't trigger a disorder, you can make the switch.
Agreed. Good luck!
 

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bigg hugg to you.....I can relate to this I have been dealing with EDs for a very long time.....I have been a Veggie 22 years in December and was Vegan three of those years.....while I was Vegan and in the battle with my EDS it was soooo bad and I was soooo sick.....and it just wasnt the right fit for me because of my health.....but I was too stupid to realize this even when I knew it and had recieved medical advice about it......I used to feel bad that I wasnt doing enough ect.....well the last time I tried vegan the same thing happened and I was finally okay with the fact that I wasnt ever gonna be vegan.....I am hippie and peaceful being veggie....a loud and proud veggie and I hope you are hippie in whatever you choose to be....Good luck!!
 

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I think many people, when trying to lose weight lose sight of their health, and it becomes a number on a scale. They become thinner, while losing health. To maintain health, you must keep track of your food groups. The first time I went to weight watchers, years ago, I knew I ate poorly, and actually weighted my pockets down with penny rolls so I could get in and find out how to eat healthy! I discovered that every single day, you need to eat DIFFERENT fruits and veggies, protein, whole grains, healthy oils and calcium rich foods. Some people try to eat 5 frts/veggies by eating 5 bananas or some such, but the point is that you eat different ones and that takes care of your body needs, getting trace minerals that are not even discovered yet. I needed whole grains every day for the nutrition that was not robbed from them and the fiber, and no less than 2-3tsp of real virgin olive oil(not corn oil or some premade salad dressing with soy oil in it). Healthy oil has a JOB, it clears out the bad cholesterol from your arteries, if you don't eat it, the bad stays in there. And you don't have to eat the bad, your liver makes it, so only by eating the good, can you control it. I eat veggies soy products like Veggie slices and shreds and Walmart organic soy milk to get my 'dairy' needs met. I love to eat rinsed kidney beans on a salad, fat free refried beans in a taco salad I make at home. I crunch up some tortilla chips, cooks some crumbles with taco seasoning and water, then cook refried fat free beans with some water and olive oil in them so they will spread out better. Put them on the chips and save the crumbles for the top, over the lettuce. I love to put all the salad stuff, and cherry tomatoes, onions, sliced black olives, tofutti 'sour cream' with a few drops of hot sauce on top of it. So, if you are not eating a complete diet, your body goes without day to day, and becomes more unhealthy each day. Let's see... my healthy needs list everyday is:

3-5 fruits, with at least one being citrus
several veggies, with dark green being in there everyday
2-3 whole grains
several serv of protein (whether beans, eggs, boca/morningstar items - only 1 serv per meal, like don't eat 3 MS griller prime burgers)
2-3 tsp of EVO (extra virgin olive oil) as salad dressing with balsamic vinegar, or drizzled over a hot veggie
soy milk/soy cheeses

What I don't do is try to replace meat with cheese/dairy/eggs. Some people who still eat the regular dairy start overeating it trying to replace meat with it, and it only raises their cholesterol and makes them gain weight. We don't need the amount of protein we are led to believe, and so those going veggie often try to over compensate for the amount of too much meat they were eating to start with. I'm happy with the veggie cheeses by galaxy, but still don't eat them anymore than I did when I ate meat. I have been on the extreme of eating problems - starving myself to eating myself to death. For a person like me, I just can't forget and eat 'naturally'. I need a check list to see that I ate things that day, or I automatically stray. Actually, I'm the same way with everything, if I don't have a list of what to do that day, I end up doing nothing. I'm a list person, and it works for me.

Let me tell you me AHA! moment. I was thinking once, like a daydream, about how food builds our body and repairs it, and it ocurred to me that it was just like those disaster movies like "Towering Inferno". Say I was building a house, and I went to check on the builders. I went inside and saw the electrician was stringing rope inside the walls. When I asked him what he was doing, he said he had ran out of electrical cord, and so was using this rope instead. I backed out of the room and saw another worker who was working with a watering hose. When asked what he was doing, he said he ran out of plumbing pipe, and was installing this hose instead. I went running from the house to report these 2 to someone, only to find a man stacking bricks, one on top the other, like a wall. He said that he had forgotten to buy the cement to put between them, but figured he'd just stack them and make the wall anyway. Does this way of thinking alarm you? If you are not getting the things your body needs each day, then the same thing is happening inside you. Remember that your body works every day, it doesn't stop. It is just like these builders, it keeps building anyway, with whatever low quality, insufficeint things you offer it. If you didn't give it the correct building tools, it has no choice but to build you with the low quailty things you did eat. It is like one of those shady builders, cutting corners. Are you building a Towering Inferno of your own body, that will destroy itself oneday?
 

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Hello, congratulations on making a decision that is healthiest for you, and going to help you become healthier and happier
I suffered with an eating disorder for six years, and I have recovered and am much healthier, and much much happier. It is difficult, but deffinatly possible. I am vegan, but I believe in veganism only where it doesn't harm the health of the individual - and if someone finds veganism gets in the way of them recovering from their eating disorder, they should deffinatly stop (or put veganism on hold untill they are well enough to cope with the dietry restrictions, it's that what they want/and is possible).


I hope your decisions helps you down the road to recovery
Best of luck, and just know no one is judging your for your decision, you've made the right decision.
 

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I don't think it would be fair of anyone to judge you for that choice.
I think it is incredibly strong of you to realize what is going on and actually try to change that. It is very brave.
If you ever need to talk you can always send me a message. I know where you're coming from and how you feel, because I have an ED too.
I'm here if you need support
<3
 

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I went through the exact same thing as you. I used veganism also as an excuse to eat less and refuse more foods offered to me. I passed out multiple times and was forced to going back to becoming a vegetarian. I am in recovery now, and transitioning into a HEALTHY vegan. There is hope in the future, even though eating disorders are a living hell. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you would like to have somebody to relate, ask advice, or just to vent. I wish the best for you, and know you are strong enough to recover.
 

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I am glad you are in touch with yourself enough to realize when you are using veganism for a destructive purpose.

I suffered Anorexia Nervosa and was able to find a Registered Dietitian who was willing to work with my veganism. However, I never used being vegan as a reason to restrict. As you already detected, there is a difference between restricting for eating disorder purposes and ethical purposes. It even feels different.

I had access to a huge variety of vegan treats and staples thanks to being near a health food store. After sufficient therapy and guidance from an RD, I was willing to eat anything as long as it was vegan. I gained 50 lbs in one year even though I was still vegan and lead a very active lifestyle! That's all of the weight I lost AND MORE! I was 14 and still growing, so I ended up being at a healthy weight and feeling great.

It is possible to recover from a serious eating disorder and stand up for your core values at the same time. But it does take plenty of support (therapist, dietitian) and resources (a well stocked grocery store, financial resources).

I made a chart that you might find helpful. It compares eating disorder behaviors to veganism: http://allthingsveganized.blogspot.c...-anorexia.html
 

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I wish you the best of luck.

Your health comes first, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If anyone gives you a hard time after knowing why you switched to vegetarianism, just ignore them. Odds are they're fanatics for whom being right is more important than being caring.
 

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I think other PP's pretty much said it, but I just wanted to put my 2 cents in it. As hard as having an ED can be, I'm glad you're taking the initiative to work on what is best for you!
 
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