I wrote this two-part article because it’s important to show how a plant-based vegan diet is not only doable for people with a binge eating disorder, but how it can also help with recovery. Even if you don’t have an ED, this could be helpful if you’re transitioning and struggling with cravings.
my food journey ~
I was always heftier than the kids my age, but once puberty hit around 2010, I started eating a little more and my mother took every opportunity she had to fat-shame me (even though I was healthy). I quickly internalized her disgust toward my body and embarked on a cycle of extreme dieting followed by massive binges and secret eating. I was deeply unhappy and I felt unworthy of everything and everyone so I isolated myself and I sought comfort in food.
The year before I graduated high school, I watched “meet your meat” on YouTube and I went vegetarian for a bit only to go back to eating meat on and off for several years. My binge eating disorder was still thriving at the time and I just wasn’t able to commit to any dietary change because I couldn’t cope with the idea of “restricting” myself of anything.
Still crippled with a binge eating disorder (though I managed to mask my weight gain by working out profusely), I learned about veganism. While I respected veganism and I aspired to go vegan eventually, I still saw it as just another diet that was too restrictive for me at the time. So, I did what I was willing to do at the time: I went pescatarian as a first step. My reasoning for cutting out the flesh of farmed animals was quite shallow: I felt less connected to sea animals than I did to chicken cows and pigs, so I felt less guilty eating them. I’m not proud, but this was my diet for about 3 years.
Cue Oprah’s aha moment: A BITCH WENT VEGAN! The sense of urgency I felt to align my values with my actions was too great and I could not continue to contribute to animal exploitation any longer. Unlike pescetarianism or vegetarianism or other isms (that isn’t veganism), eating a plant-based (vegan*) diet wasn’t about restriction at all: it’s just about not consuming what was never yours to take in the first place.
Real talk, the first few weeks of eating as a vegan felt like restriction, but it quickly became a welcomed lifestyle change that I was determined not to let go of. Though I fought cravings for weeks, eventually I learned how to make and procure vegan equivalents if I could. Otherwise, I had to remind myself of why I was doing this and it kept the cravings in check.
A little over a year of being vegan, I no longer had to fight my cravings because I didn’t even see meat, dairy, or eggs as food! I saw them as they are: flesh, bovine lactation secretions, and chicken periods. This shift was KEY because when you reach that point, you know you won’t feel the urge to binge on animal products since your body will never crave something that your mind no longer considers edible, let alone appetizing.
So that’s the descriptive timeline. Next week’s article will cover the practical tools which helped me get from 2010 to 2020 and how you can also thrive on a plant-based vegan diet.
Stay tuned loves!