Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Having My Cake But Not Stuffing My Face with It

Veganism is a health-conscious diet that requires discipline and nutritional knowledge but for me, it took a turn toward an obsession. After a thirteen year struggle with bulimia and seven years of anorexia prior, I used the vegan diet as an excuse that drove me to an even greater unhealthy relationship with food and an increasingly restrictive diet. 

No matter how hard I tried to be *perfect*, I would ultimately fail, either by having some *toxic* non-dairy creamer in my *anti-Christ* coffee or by polishing off the last of Bome Bell's *evil* Kraft macaroni and cheese. This lead me to self-loathing, purging and unhealthy attitudes toward food. 

I confided about my latest binge last week to my personal trainer. I had never felt so relieved and so terrified about something at the same time. I had already known that I had developed many fears surrounding food and it was clear to me after our discussions that by my ever-growing list of restricted foods, my habits and binging around it worsened. It was the breakthrough I had been looking for!

In the days that have followed I have come to terms with the fact that changes in my restrictive diet needed to be made. I have reintroduced fish and chicken back into my diet and have loosened the reigns on dairy and wheat. My friend Gretchen over at Veggie Grettie had death threats from hardcore vegans (some of which I know personally) when she renounced her vegan card but time away from proselytizing veganism may give me a leg up from the death threats. 

How I am Coping After My Breathrough
  1. Avoid categorizing foods as good or safe -vs- bad or dangerous. Balanced diets are key to health
  2. Trash the idea that a particular diet, weight or body size will automatically lead to happiness and fulfillment
  3. Stop judging others and especially YOURSELF based on the types of food they / you eat or body shape or weight they / you are. Negativity only breeds self-hate and insecurity, which lay the foundation for eating disorders

It is definitely strange going against the principles I have so fiercely defended but I feel like a weight has been lifted. I feel strong, healthy and have more endurance not just in my workouts but in day-to-day living. Even carnivores know the way to better health is to eat more plants and less crap!

To be clear, I still love all the plant-based doctors and their studies. I have enjoyed the education I have received in eCornell's Plant-Based Certification Program. It all has a great deal of merit. I also know that this "dogma" doesn't work for me no matter how hard I try.

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