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I have been vegetarian for over a month now, as well as cutting way back on dairy products. And as for my health, I'm feeling much better already - more settled and at peace with myself and the world, and not feeling so disgustingly heavy after meals like I used to.
But here's were my main problem begins, I'm just going through the process of being referred to an eating disorder clinic, for some major body image problems I'm having. To be honest I'm terrified, so I went to my mum for reassurance, as you do! She shocked me by questioning my motivation behind the vegetarian/vegan move I'm in the process of making. I say it's a compassion thing, she says that's what I'm telling myself to justify cutting back on certain foods (even though I'm eating more now than I was before!)
I'm 24 years old and am now questioning my beliefs! My mum is a lovely person, and I know she just wants me to "get better", but what she said really hurt, and I'm just feeling the need to tap into the amazing support system of The Kind Life!
Any help/guidance/support would be so welcome right now. Thank you for reading...
also, i think a really important point is the way that being vegetarian/vegan helps your mental health. there are SO MANY STUDIES that show that eating a plant-based diet greatly helps your mental health and alleviates issues like depression, anxiety, even eating disorders.
make sure she knows that this is a really significant step to getting healthy and STAYING healthy. and good luck. this is definitely a supportive site where people will offer encouragement, advice, experience, etc. take care, i'll be sending you positive thoughts!
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the support, I cannot tell you how much it means to me!
I've spoken to my mum again about my motivation for eating the Kind way and I actually ended up telling her how hurt I was that she questioned my motivations behind the changes. Shockingly, she couldn't remember saying that to me! Now, my mum isn't losing the plot just yet and she apologised for hurting my feelings, but I think it just goes to show that even the people you love don't necessarily realise how deep the changes we've all made affect us - not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Since making changes to my diet, I've begun to think about all different aspects of my life and I've now decided to come off my birth control pill, as after doing some research, it seems that hormonal birth control can cause depression, digestive problems, and all sorts of other side effects! I never even gave it a thought that the pill I was happily popping everyday could effect my emotional wellbeing.
Sorry for going off on a tangent, but I think it just goes to show that if the Kind Life change comes out of compassion and kindness not only to animals and the planet, but also out of kindness to yourself, you can make amazing changes not only to your health but also your peace of mind.
I never would have come to this realisation without the support of this website so thanks again! :-)
Julia, I have also struggled with eating disorders and depression--it's been about 8 years since I've had eating issues but the depression has always lingered. I have tried countless antidepressant medications, none of which have helped at all. I wish that someone would have suggested a plant based diet to me years ago--it was through my own research that I'm finally taking the plunge and totally cutting out meat, dairy and sugar. It has only been 8 days but I'm hopeful that this will help clear my head and improve the way I feel. As a former bullemic I know how scared family members can get when you start to alter the way you're eating. They are only concerned for your health and safety and they are probably not familiar with all of the benefits of a plant based diet.. My husband questioned my decision to move to a plant based diet but I assured him that I'm doing it to improve my health and NOT to lose weight. My advice to you would be to get some help with your body issues (talk therapy) and keep reading up on eating vegan so that you are very educated about the benefits. Don't be pressured into going back to your old ways of eating, do what your gut tells you to do, be smart and stay healthy!
I am in the process of recovering from anorexia. My hubby wonders if I am simply using a vegan diet as a way to have another "special diet".
I am eating more now than I was before! I am gaining weight! I feel better about myself and my body....
I haven't told my nutritionist yet as I'm scared of what her reaction will be. I hope that when she sees how much I've gained (I've even started my period again!!), and how happy I am...she'll think it's great! I took the meal plan she made me and swapped out meat for tofu! I'm finally following her plan now that I've got veg! I see her again in May and I plan to tell her then (I decided to go veg after my last appointment.)
Do you have support? Maybe Alicia can allow for private mesaging on the boards and we can support one another (all us anorexics) ;) In the meantime, I am right there with you!! Post here any time...
I can't tell you what to do. I CAN tell you that it's essential that you take care of yourself! Do you have a nutritionist who can help you and teach you how to eat properly? Many naturopaths are well versed in nutriotion and can prescribe herbal meds that are vegan :) (Obviously I don't know your financial situation--these are just thoughts running through my head.) You may need certain supplements and such to help restore your body! I am on a meal plan that my nutritionist made for me....and I did have some vitamin deficiencies from starving myself for too long...but they're all cleared up now!
I totally agree with what Lindsay and others here have said....I'm excited to see so many members here jumping in to support one another! I know that you will do what's best for you....and we're al here for you!
It's great that you want to improve your life and the lives of all creatures! You seem very compassionate :-) *applause* for reaching out here...yay!!!!
Autumn and Lindsay,
Thank you so much for your support (every day I am amazed at how lovely the Kind Lifers are!)
I had my first assesment at the clinic on thurs and I hated every minute of it! However I'm lucky as here in England this help is offered on the NHS and I think if the help is there, why not try the first few sessions at least!
My next appointment is with a psychologist and while I want help with the body image problems, I don't think I'm going to be able to cope if they start questioning the validity of my new life choices and what I am now eating. I suppose I'll just stick to my guns and if the therapy/counselling/whatever you want to call it isn't for me then at least I've tried.
My GP put me on anti-depressants last year and the dosage just seems to be going up and up. Don't get me wrong, if I hadn't gone on the meds I probably wouldn't have even considered the Kind Life a possibilty, but now my eyes have been opened to the reality of the world we live in, I feel hopeful for the first time in years that I have the power to make a positive change to my own life, and those of the people and animals around me! All this is thanks to Alicia and the Kind Life!
And if people call me a hippy...I love it!! Why would anyone want to fit into the crowd, if the crowd is meat-eating, non-caring and ill! (Very broad stereotype, but you get the meaning!)
This is the most wonderful thread. I recommend The Kind Diet to these young people struggling with food issues and have seen similar positive outcomes. It is my opinion the this plan should be the standard of care for those suffering from these disorders.
Keep up the hard work and keep communication lines open and you will see the natural beauty and pleasure of eating and being healthy while improving your body image.
As a guy I'm struggling with the fact that I keep thinking of myself as too thin. I eat this food like a horse but have been accused of being anorexic ( in my case it's simply not the case). I spent my youth eating to try to gain weight and my health crashed , so over ten years and I went plant-based.
Alicia's approach is so attractive to a wide proportion of the young people who question the status quo concerning our food and it's effects on our bodies and the world, that I feel as though it should be applied on a large scale to see if it can offer a solution.
Congratulations, and please keep on your excellent conversation and mutual support.
I remember on the news awhile ago there was a story warning parents that their child's decision to become vegetarian may be a sign of an eating disorder. This is not helping things! As long as people are eating enough food to sustain them others should not care what it is that you are putting in your body. I absolutely agree that people do not understand how personal and emotional the choice is to lead a truly compassionate lifestyle. They don't understand that the things that they say are hurtful in the deepest parts of your soul. Good luck with your Mom and I hope she comes around to understanding your choice.
I just want to say thank you to all who responded...and to Julia for her courage in posting! I am having a rough go of it as my husband thinks I'm being ridiculous going vegan. He doesn't understand why this is so important to me....it's complicated!
I think this site is so amazing! There is so much love and support....
I really needed to read everyone's words today (hope you don't mind Julia....I know they were written for you....but I deeply benefited as well!) :)
((hugs)) to all...and thanks again!!
Autumn and all other Kind Lifers,
When I started this discussion I was extremely upset and angry as I'd just had the run-in with my mum. At the time I just needed to vent and never in a million years thought people would respond (this was the first discussion I'd ever actually started).
I went straight to bed when I'd written the post (don't forget I'm a few hours ahead in England!) and completely forgot about it until I logged on the next morning. The simple fact that people had taken the time to offer their words of encouragement and support meant the world to me, I even felt like crying, I was so moved (I think the anti-depressants prevented the tears though!)
The fact that so many others have posted and shared their own experiences, and the fact that people seem to be benefitting from the topics discussed in this thread is more that I ever imagined. I hope this discussion will continue to help Kind Lifers who are struggling with any issues surrounding food or body concerns.
As for me, I wouldn't say I was anorexic anymore (though I was for a time last year), but I do only weigh about 7stone (98pounds). However I can only see my self as fat, flabby and overweight-yuck!
It makes me so upset knowing that people are suffering repercussions from family members, even when we're all making a brave decision, that we truly believe could solve or at least help our problems/issues surrounding food.
I don't believe the supportive posts here are intended only for me and I only hope that anyone else on the forum who has read this and felt a connection, will be brave enough to come forward and share their advice/experiences on this difficult topic.
Good luck everyone! We're doing great!