Today is my 1 year vegan anniversary! I absolutely love being vegan, and I’d like to think that I’m at least a brown belt in veganism. That means no meat, fish, or dairy. No honey, leather or silk. All my beauty products are animal by-product free and not tested on animals. Plus I definitely get a level up for starting my transition to raw vegan! I could go on and on about this all day honestly. I could give you facts and figures about your health, the environment, and animals. I could post heart wrenching photographs and try to convince you to go vegan (you totally should), but thats not what I’m here to do today. I’m here to talk about how my life has changed in the past year, about how going vegan helped me recover from bulimia.
If you know me and are reading this (aren’t one of like 5 people) you’re probably pretty surprised.To be honest I’m pretty surprised you are reading this too, but its just something I feel like I need to do, and to be honest it feels right. I feel like I should start by explaining how this post came to be. A couple days ago, I wanted to know the exact date I went vegan so I figured I’d check the archive of my tumblr. I go back to November 2012 and find the exact date, but also am confronted with my past.
Back then, my tumblr was like 95% other people’s bodies, and 95% of those were severely underweight (examples: *trigger warning* 1234). It also includes text post gems like those I have at the end (again with the trigger warning).
It obviously makes me so sad to read any of that (how could I ever not want to run?!) but its inspirational in a weird way. I don’t feel like that person was me, and thats because she isn’t. Bulimia wrote those posts and reblogged those pictures. I was in no control and thats terrifying to think about. And I have control now. I have hope and happiness now, I wish that girl could have seen it.
I guess now, if you’re still reading, you want to know how I got there. There are only about a million reasons. First, I’ve always struggled with my relationship with food. I would say that starting in 8th grade I was monitoring my food and exercise and in high school it just got worse. I’m also perfectionist and coming to college was hard for me. I wasn’t effortlessly top of my class. I was getting in trouble and getting Cs for the first time ever. I had lived through a really traumatic event and ended an important relationship and both those things were obviously difficult. But really, the catalysts were a crazy starvation diet for Cancun, and feeling very betrayed by my sorority sisters. For someone who has never felt truly helpless (only about 2.5% of people in America suffer from an eating disorder, hence the post title) it would be hard to understand how even those events could cause something so drastic, but I’ll tell you, it doesn’t start out drastically. It’s a slow process that one day snow balls out of control. I didn’t set out to be bulimic. I didn’t set out to hate waking up in my own skin every day. I didn’t set out to fail a class because I was too busy thinking about eating and throwing up then eating more and throwing up more. I didn’t set out to be practically passing out during my half marathon work outs to make up for last night’s binge. I didn’t want to lose 6 months of my life, but I did. I went to sleep one night as a girl who made herself throw up for the first time, and I woke up as someone who was no longer in control of their life.
It took me more than 6 months to get that control back and it was a hell of a 6 months. There was never more than 3 days between episodes (I even purged on Thanksgiving) and it was crippling. I finally decided to start recovery on Thanksgiving actually. I spent the entire winter just determined not to use symptoms. When I came back to school in the spring I began going to group therapy because I was worried that going vegan was just another way for me to restrict. It wasn’t. Going vegan saved my life. It was far from a quick fix. That semester brought major anxiety and its own host of problems. It was a slow and arduous process of working through the emotional stuff while breaking the addiction. I think there is too much “feeling” in eating disorder recovery, when really they are mostly just any other type of addiction. I also slipped up a couple times this past summer, and then again this fall. But since really taking my nutrition seriously, and making the jump to raw till 4, I’ve noticed an amazing improvement in my health and happiness on a daily basis.
Vegan taught me that I could nourish my body, truly nourish it. I could rebuild my cells with plant based foods and rejoice in the gifts from the earth. I could thrive without hurting and killing animals. I could get my health and my karma in order at the same time. Going raw taught me about abundance. It taught me to eat as much fruit as I can possible fit into my body to reap maximum benefits. I don’t eat calories anymore, I eat energy, I eat sunshine, I eat light, and I eat love, and I’m happy.