For the most part, I have always had a healthy relationship with food. My mother had anorexia in her 20s, so she always warned me against unhealthy eating behaviors. When I was a child, I was under the impression that I was fat and I occasionally got teased for it. That being said, I just ignored the haters and continued to eat the same way. Now looking back at my childhood photos, I was actually normal-sized. Either I thought I was fat and other kids latched onto my insecurities, or someone told me I was and I then believed them. I had some insecurities about my weight like most young girls (this is an idea for another post), but I didn’t excessively think about it.
Fast forward many years, and now I follow a vegan lifestyle and I have been for about 7 months. I started eating plant-based because I was tired of feeling like crap (physically). Then, I made the connection. I realized how viewing animals as products negatively impacts society. I also learned how terrible consuming meat is for the environment. I have another post about the benefits of veganism that I will link at the end.
I don’t know how it started, but I started restricting unintentionally and I also cut out most fats. I was following a HCLF vegan diet. There is nothing wrong with this, but I turned it into a control issue. I was becoming afraid of certain foods and I wasn’t enjoying cooking like I had before. I was becoming a slave to my food. I snapped out of it pretty quickly though. My acne flared up and my hair became very dry and brittle (no, it wasn’t a detox) and this is what caused me to take a look at how I was eating. I started tracking my nutrients and calories to make sure I was adequately eating. I reintroduced healthy fats (nuts, avocados, seeds, etc) into my diet as well. I wasn’t any healthier on this restrictive diet and my body was giving me warning signs. I don’t know if I would consider this experience an eating disorder, but for about two months I definitely had negative feelings about food and was developing restrictive behavior.
I get upset when people associate eating disorders with veganism. But, I also wanted to share my story because I feel it can help others in the vegan community struggling with restrictive behavior. There are so many vegan diets and I think we should all try to find the one that suits our bodies and lifestyle best. Some people thrive on a raw vegan diet and others do best with a whole foods vegan diet. For me, I try to find balance and I listen to my body. I am not suggesting a high fat diet, but I incorporate healthy fats into my mostly high carb and non-processed diet. Some days I want healthy salads and smoothies and other days I want vegan pizza. Please do not obsess about your food! If you are an active person and eating a plant-based diet, you are healthier than most and one tablespoon of olive oil every now and again isn’t going to ruin your health.
Thanks for reading!
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