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using veganism to hide or facilitate an eating disorder

All right, I think I have written a book here. And maybe no one gives a shit…but here goes…

I feel strongly compelled to bring up and discuss an issue that I would never touch normally...but I'm concerned enough about it to speak up. Now, anyone that has read posts by the Bunny (that’s me) knows that I just come right out and say what is on my mind. So I’ll just say it…

I think there are many girls/women on this forum who are using veganism as a way to justify, facilitate, or hide an existing eating disorder.

What makes me think this? Well for one, I can tell just by looking at the photos…there are a number of you who look like I could easily snap your arm in half between my thumb and forefinger.  Secondly, I’m reading about what you eat in your posts. A fruit for breakfast, a couple of veggies for lunch or dinner, etc. Thirdly, I’m not saying that you do not care about animals, but the truth of it is, if you are eating like this…saving animals is not the first thing on your mind, and neither is your health. Losing weight is your first and foremost goal.

Now everyone is saying, “Well who the hell are you to say anything about what we eat, a**hole?” And maybe you are right. But I do, unfortunately, have experience with eating disorders. I was anorexic/bulimic in my early teens for about four years. I DO know a thing or two about hiding an eating disorder. Making excuses. Not eating a single thing all day. Coming home from school binging on raw cookie dough and ice cream when no one is home, and then locking myself in the bathroom to vomit everything up…promising myself I would never do it again…then starting the whole cycle again the next frickin’ day. And the day after that…and on and on. So I understand eating disorders. And I successfully recovered from my eating disorders by the time I was seventeen.

Deep down, anyone who has an eating disorder knows it. When I started the cycle when I was a kid I had never heard of bulimia…but, I definitely knew there was something not right (physically and mentally) about my habits. I am not a psychiatrist or a doctor, so I am not qualified to give advice. But, I have always maintained that the biggest root cause of an eating disorder is family history (interactions with family members, particularly with parents, etc.). Of course, society does have some influence…the fact that the media portrays skinny women as having the best, most fulfilling lives (it’s a crock, I assure you). The point is, there are many factors involved…I would never presume to pinpoint the exact reason why a girl/woman has an eating disorder. I’d have to get into the family and personal history of the individual, and that I leave up to the professionals.

On the other hand, what I feel I can do, is bring it out in the open that there is an obvious prevalent problem here with girls on vegweb. Some of you are saying, “Yeah, of course, we see that there are many threads on eating disorders…duh, Bunny…everybody knows that.”

But, what nobody is willing to expose or bright to light is the connection between eating disorders and veganism. I think some of you need to reexamine your reasons for being vegan. Is it at all possible that being vegan is just a way for you to hide your UNWILLINGNESS TO EAT? Because veganism (and vegetarianism) offers a reason/excuse to restrict yourself from ALL KINDS OF FOOD. When your friend offers you a cheese sandwich, it’s pretty easy to say, “Well no thanks, I don’t eat dairy.” And when they ask why…it is very convenient to say, “Well I’m a vegan” or better yet “I’m a vegan and I don’t eat animals (or animal products) because I care about them” (or some other convenient vegan answer). So, now, not only have you found a legitimate way to get out of eating, but you are able to provide a positive, compassionate, and (more to the point) reasonably acceptable answer as to why.

Is it possible that maybe some of you don’t even realize you are doing this? Especially those of you who think that you are on the road to recovery through veganism?

I know some of you may just be naturally skinny. My mother was. She was that way all her life. She ate like a bird, and always really wanted to gain weight. But I think there are just way too many of you that are dangerously thin…that some of you are forcing this way of life on yourself.

All I ask is that you ask yourself this question and be honest with yourself….why are you vegan? Is it to lose weight? If so, I hate to say it…you should not be vegan…at least not at this crucial point in your life. Not if your health (or life!) is at stake. Veganism (and vegetarianism) is NOT A DIET. And should definitely not be used as such for someone with an eating disorder. No way! NO WAY! I plead with you to realize this.

I also plead with you to look into why you have an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not just about eating or not eating. You need to find out the reasons why you have an eating disorder. That’s the beginning of the cure. Are you afraid of displeasing your parents? Do you feel it is your only way of receiving attention? Are you dissatisfied/depressed with some other area of your life? I suggest working with a professional to figure this out…though I did not. I had things I really wanted to do in life when I graduated high school and realized that I could never survive out in the real world if I continued the vicious cycle that I was living. I read many books on bulimia/anorexia, figured out the reasons why I was starving/purging myself, and then made the effort TO EAT. Yeah, I overate at first, but then my eating habits balanced out eventually, and I maintained a healthy weight. I also focused on other areas of my life…things that engaged my mind. Going to college and submerging myself in my studies helped a lot. I began to value myself in ways that I never did before.

For those of you who find that maybe you fall into the category of “using veganism to hide or perpetuate an eating disorder,” I really urge you to eat something more than what you do. At this point, some of you just need to EAT. It doesn’t even matter what…just get some meat on your bones. Trust me, you are still going to look beautiful with some weight on. I know all sides of the court—being super thin to being chubby to maintaining an average weight (which is what I’ve been for most of my adult life). Please don’t be fooled--happiness has nothing to do with weight. I want to see you guys glowing from the inside out…radiating health…not bones. 

It doesn’t mean you never need to be vegan. I’m just saying that you might want to sort yourself out first…not worry about restrictions so much (cutting out meat, dairy, etc.). Once you get yourself sorted out mentally and physically, eventually you could always go back to being vegan one day, if you truly care about animals. But right now, that probably shouldn’t be your main concern. From a health standpoint, eating ANYTHING is preferable to eating barely anything at all. Please don’t put your life in danger---it’s not worth it.

Okay, (whew!) I’m done. Hopefully I won’t get railed on for mentioning all this. I really mean well. Maybe you guys can start a dialog about this…and expose this issue even more. Being honest with yourself is a beautiful thing and can only be GOOD. 

Ok - like everyone else I've read lots of the ED threads on here.  Can I just turn this around a little?  One thing that did occur to me was that perhaps veganism was a saviour for some of those with EDs.  By which I mean, I suppose, that it allows a strict measure of control over what they're eating but if they're doing it right, they are also eating healthily.  This is maybe naive - probably is - I've never had an ED and can't fully understand the mental processes.  I'm just watching the effects on the daughter of a dear friend and with her it seems to be the need to establish control over something in her life.  Veganism could do that.

By the way, I don't get the substituting applesauce for oil in everything either - it's not common over here, to the point that if I wanted it I would have to make it first!

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i wasnt going to respond to this.. but i am really offended, and i agree with Ashley.

when i decided to try this out, i was not vegan (still am not). i am vegetarian and the reason i am such is because i dont like the way the food feels to me in my stomach, heavy and undigestable, and my friend showed me this place as a way to help me out because i couldnt find recipes for anything good that i could eat.

did you ever consider that this place maybe helped some people? i know it has helped me. i never allowed myself to eat anything baked or dessert-type of food. now i feel better about letting myself enjoy those things. because it healthier.

did you ever think that maybe people with eating disorders already feel outcast and once we find someone else like us, or a couple people, we don't feel so alone and it helps us recover?

i thought the point of veganism was compassion. to ALL living things. not just animals. if an animal is hurting, we jump to try and help, or agonize over the fact we couldn't help. but if a person is hurting.. well they have an eating disorder so its their own fault?? and why are they here?? take it somewhere else??

i finally found a forum that i liked and felt like i fit in here with other people, whether they have an eating disorder or not. i became a vegetarian for reasons OTHER than animal safety or whatever you said in your post above, but NOT because i wanted to support or enhance my eating disorder. and it is incredibly offensive that you would accuse us (as a whole) of using YOUR lifestyle/diet as an excuse to further our own wants.

all i have ever wanted from the beginning was to be healthy.

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did you ever consider that this place maybe helped some people? i know it has helped me. i never allowed myself to eat anything baked or dessert-type of food. now i feel better about letting myself enjoy those things. because it healthier.

did you ever think that maybe people with eating disorders already feel outcast and once we find someone else like us, or a couple people, we don't feel so alone and it helps us recover?

I've read your posts. 

?

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Hey Sariea,
I don't think this thread was aimed at you personally (or Ashley either). I think SB was referring to reading posts where people mention what they ate for the day and if you read some of those posts...you can see that there are some trying to get by on what appears to be 400 or so calories a day. It's scary to read some of those posts. And it's so dangerous what some are doing to themselves eating that way.

I know that I and most here on VW have been nothing but amazed by your sincere and honest  posts about your struggles with your ED. It takes a lot of courage to do so. I hope it helps you in someway.....maybe even by just venting your frustrations and talking on previous threads with others dealing with the same things you face day to day, hour to hour. Maybe it helps when you post and just WRITE about those things you feel and go through. I hope in a way that it does.

I think SB was just trying to bring to light there that ARE those that turn to being vegan to mask or help hide their ED. It really has been well documented. Please don't take what she or others wrote personally. I don't believe she singled you (nor anyone in particular) out. We all do care about what you're going through, and we DO hope that this board helps you. I think SB can and will speak for herself when she comes back online. Just realize that not everyone turned to being veggie for the same reasons as you. There ARE those on VW that became vegan for the very reasons SB wrote about.

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I currently have an eating disorder (anorexia), and I have voiced my struggle with it in the past.  Though I can see where you all are comming from--this thread is nothing but BAITING and I'm slightly offended at the amount of praise it has seen, where other baiting threads would be instantly dismissed and the author shunned.

I agree.  However, at the same time, some of the posts on here are ridiculous in either, um, bragging about how little they eat or just talking, constantly about eating disorders or asking for advice that REALLY should come from a doctor or a physcologist.  It's triggering and makes me avoid vegweb at times.

Vegweb is awesome, but there is just only so much support an online community can give.

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The point of the post was very much not intended to offend anyone. That much is obvious. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder (500 calories a day) for too long, I agree with so much in the original post. We cannot ignore the struggle of so many of our beloved forum members. It's not right to just pretend this isn't going on.

In no way is this an attack on people with e.d.'s because you guys are making "our" lifestyle look bad. That's bullshit, and don't think for a second we don't see through that. It's normal to be upset when someone says, "look, this thing you're trying to hide behind? We can see what's really going on."

E.D.s are a secret. They're something you think, most of the time, that only you know about. It's safer to talk about it when you're behind a computer, and no one can come into your life, and get up in your face and say, "hey, something is wrong."  Whether or not there's an offer of help is immaterial, that someone says something is amiss in your life is profoundly uncomfortable.

We all get that. A lot of us have had E.D.s at some point, even if we don't now, and it's impossible to forget what that was like. The upshot is that no one can make these choices for you. No one can say, "ah ha, I see, you do not eat because you feel you are out of control. You feel like your body, that has been controlled by other people, or does it's own thing whether you want it to or not, is yours to punish as you see fit." And then POOF! You realize, "hey, that's true, I've been beating up myself because of xy and z events that occurred in my life. Let's go get pizza!"

That doesn't happen, and no one thinks it's going to. Not here, anyway. It's up to you to do the really difficult, painful, and horrible work of figuring out what's going on, what you're doing, what you want to do in your life, and hopefully recovering. No one can do that or facilitate that for you. All we can do is say, "hey. something's amiss. we're worried, and we care about you, and if there's anything we can do to help let us know."

I think *that* is the point of the post. Not to bait anyone or make them feel badly about themselves. We know you guys aren't having the best time right now, or you wouldn't be starving yourselves.

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Thank you all for voicing something I've wondered about myself. But as a lowly ovolacto I didn't want to say anything because it is such a touchy topic for those affected, I'm not directly involved, andI didn't want someone to think I was slagging off the vegans.

I'm not talking about anyone specifically on this board. I live in Europe and I know plenty of people here of both genders who practice one or another strict eating plan because it's easier and more socially acceptable to say, "I can't eat this or that, for this or that reason" than to say, "I have trouble eating anything at all." The secretary where I used to work would often say that if she could take a vitamin pill every day and cover all her body's needs she wouldn't eat again, ever. Wow...that's straight talk.

I'm not vegan, and it's not something I'm going to be exploring. I'm very happy with my own lifestyle. But in any case, VegWeb is a valuable resource for anyone who is looking for good, healthy recipes for unprocessed foods that don't require a professional chef's knowledge, or half the day, to prepare. One of the things I love, love, love about VW's recipes is that most of them are so quick and simple to prepare, even if you don't have things like canned beans etc. at your disposal. I have told many, many omnivore friends about the recipes and more than one lurks around getting good meals from here. The more the merrier. And if one or two of them starts rethinking the way they eat, and where their food actually comes from, so much the better.

Rock on, VegWeb!

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I've gotten an email about this thread, and I just wanted to poke my nose in here-- I've been reading it since last night and wondering how people were going to react to it, and I just want to impart some wisdom from my own experiences.

Confronting someone with an eating disorder is really tough and very touchy. If you are a loved one/family member/best friend, it's tough enough, as very often the person suffering from the ED is embarassed/ashamed/whatever and will further stifle their feelings. It's usually even tougher if you are just an acquaintance, because you don't have the history of closeness or support. There are a lot of people on this site who have made good strides-- even writing about it in a somewhat anonymous forum is a big first step (or second, or third), so maybe many of these people are ready to examine their dietary choices. I'm a big believer in saying what I mean without mincing words, but there are times when you have to speak softly and tactfully, and this is defintely one of those times. At the best, you will just embarrass someone with an ED. At the very worst, they will bury their feelings and underlying emotions even more. I know that the initial post was made with good intentions, so those of you suffering, just take away the good. In the same way that most people with EDs know that they have EDs, probably those people who are using veganism as a "cover-up" also know that. There are a lot of people for whom animal rights/compassion/environmental concerns just happen to coexist with an eating disorder-- but a post on a public forum is not going to help make that distinction... therapy and serious introspection might.

I don't think there's any bad blood on this site, especially about an issue as sensitive and important as this one. Let's continue to support those suffering in any way we can.

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anyway.. i'm soryr for using veganism as a way to loose weight back in the day, but now it is my lifestyle.

.
You don't have to be sorry for your reasons, everyone has different ones.  If you were overweight, it's a good chance you weren't eating healthy.  If you then turned to veganism as a way to change that, awesome.  It doesn't have to be about animal rights, and you don't have to feel guilty if your reasons were something other than animals.

And this post is going to be misconstrued by every person with an ED because obviously most people that use veganism to hide or facilitate an eating disorder don't know they are doing it.  Ecstatic is right, if it weren't veganism, it would be another diet. It wouldn't be this conscious decision "what's the most restrictive diet I can say I follow?."   This topic is touching at a spot in all of these girls that doubts one of their biggest commitments in life, and of course they don't like that.  None of us will ever be able to say "she's only vegan because she has an ED" about anyone else here, since WE DON'T REALLY KNOW EACH OTHER.

At this point, I feel like some people are being unfairly singled out.  It's almost painful to read this topic KNOWING who each post is talking about. I'd much rather if this had gone in another direction.  I.e. if you think someone's eating habits scare you, send them a message.  If you think someone is obsessing about weight too much, either don't respond, or do respond...but privately.

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i'm a little offended by this, and i have never even come close to having an eating disorder.  of course all of the regular posters on here know that some members have EDs and that's because they have come out and said it, and that takes a lot of strength as it is.  if you are concerned about someone on here, you should contact them personally, and not address a large group of people that you have lumped together because they have only one thing in common. 

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i'm a little offended by this, and i have never even come close to having an eating disorder.  of course all of the regular posters on here know that some members have EDs and that's because they have come out and said it, and that takes a lot of strength as it is.  if you are concerned about someone on here, you should contact them personally, and not address a large group of people that you have lumped together because they have only one thing in common. 

I agree.  It is completely understandable to take offense when people begin discussing the "stick-thin" girls on this forum.  Like Lime Green, I do not believe this is the appropriate place or manner for voicing such concerns, as legitimate as they are.  Nor is it effective--as we are seeing, it only alienates certain people or groups of people, eliciting reactions of defensiveness, anger, or shame (and justifiably so).

I think the most important thing to remember is that we are all here to support each other as members of the veg*n community.  I know that any expressions of concern arise from a genuine interest in the well-being of everyone here.  But I don't think any dialogue we have here can be helpful or effective.  Like many people have been saying, those of us with disordered eating (or disorders of any sort) really need to seek assistance from other places in order to be well. 

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Ok - like everyone else I've read lots of the ED threads on here.  Can I just turn this around a little?  One thing that did occur to me was that perhaps veganism was a saviour for some of those with EDs.  By which I mean, I suppose, that it allows a strict measure of control over what they're eating but if they're doing it right, they are also eating healthily.  This is maybe naive - probably is - I've never had an ED and can't fully understand the mental processes.  I'm just watching the effects on the daughter of a dear friend and with her it seems to be the need to establish control over something in her life.  Veganism could do that.

My 2 cents:
I was about to be hospitalized for an eating disorder... I researched veganism.  Did I want to lose weight? Possibly, I won't deny that.  However, the main reason I chose veganism was because it has rules.  I had my own set of rules for so many years (no this no that no sugar no carbs, etc); rules that made no sense.  Veganism's rules make sense.  Despite my hopes to lose a little weight, I mainly made the switch to this type of diet because I couldn't stand my rules any longer-- they were keeping me so sick. 
Veganism was a last-ditch effort on my part to get healthy.  A friend told me once; anyone can be skinny by not eating and purging-- why can't you try to be healthy and maintain a normal weight?  I had to force myself to eat things that I'd not eaten for years in order to nourish myself- carbs mainly-- then I actually made vegan desserts- wow- hadn't let myself eat sweets for a long time.
The rest just fell into place.  I'd be vegetarian for a while as a teenager, for animal reasons- I love em!  And the more I read and research, this way of life is healthy for me... I've actually gained weight since adapting this way of eating, and so I go to the gym a little more-- what has changed is that I'm at peace with what I'm doing (vegan) because it's purposeful (helping earth, animals, etc) and so it's been a slow change in my thinking but a totally positive one.

ED's aren't easy, and this isn't my cure-all; I still deal with thoughts occasionally but fight them on a daily basis. 
Shaolin, I applaud your post and am glad you brought it up.  I do not believe it's "baiting" because no one had to speak up... someone else said this is in response to another post/topic... I don't know I'm not on here enough, but I do get sick of all the ED threads... it seems even the positive ones turn into.... well, not so positive for those who want to try to stay healthy.

That being said, this is strictly my experience and opinion(s), I am not trying nor intending to offend anyone in any way.

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My 2 cents:

Hey, that's MY thing!  ;)

I am not sure what I have to say on this subject. It has crossed my mind that there is a disproportionate amount of EDs on this board, but I guess you might find some on any board? Like a bike riding board, or clothes making board? I really haven't noticed any stick thin people in pictures, and I don't know who this is aimed at.....I'm in the dark I guess.
I have been warned by other adults that RAISING a child to be veg is a risky thing to do as it may lead to an ED but I think that is BS.

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My 2 cents:

Hey, that's MY thing!  ;)

I know, and I totally thought of you when I did it, and almost mentioned you. :)

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Let me ask...
Do you believe being Vegan can create an eating disorder?
I for one have always had food issues, never considered them an eating disorder because i am certain to eat a healthful balanced diet (normally).
However...
A full day can go by when working a catered event (which rarely has anything that I would eat but it's for our appointments anyway, so who cares) & i'll look & poke but never pick up a thing...  I'll quiz the chef & I always feel like they want to lie & say "there are no egg whites in it"... Or something else adorable.
Then i'll have a glass of wine & be toasty rather quickly (hooray, alcohol calories! kidding friends).
I keep some lara bars around, but I have noticed lately that i have dropped some major weight due to stress...  And when I stress, I don't eat.  But i also have just recently began to become more consumed/ strict with what I eat...
So is it possible to be all things VEG for all the RIGHT reasons (whatever they are to you personally) and bring on an ED that way? 
Not looking for a battle, just curious if anyone else may feel the same way...  Or if im just a crazy stressed mess at the moment...
xxm

LudaBlue, just working with and around food all day can kill your appetite. My mother worked in the hospital kitchens when I was in school and when she got home she just couldn't face eating food. She had been around it too much, and as you say, she would poke but not eat. I learned to cook because of this, if she had to go home and prepare yet another meal, she wouldn't bother to eat anything. So I would have simple, nutritious things available like soup, something that she could eat without any fuss and without having to sit down at a table. She would often lie in bed with a bowl of soup and a magazine, where if she had to prepare it, her appetite would go before it was ready, even a simple thing like a sandwich. In your case, if you can eat on your days off etc. as normal, it's probably a combination of stress, being overtired, and "food handler's overkill"--you simply get sick of the sight of the stuff.

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I have been warned by other adults that RAISING a child to be veg is a risky thing to do as it may lead to an ED but I think that is BS.

Hm, in my opinion (my 2 cents, if you will!) I would think that the opposite would be true. Of course, that only applies to people raising healthy veg kids, so let's disregard people feeding their kids vegan potato chips or nothing but bean water. I think if you raise a child veg*n, you're teaching him/her about nutrition and compassion, which is completely unrelated to the self esteem issues, underlying problems, or other issues associated with an eating disorder. Of course they can coexist, but they're certainly not related, unless a parent were to create fixation issues.

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My internet connection has been down for the past day, so I’m only just able to just read and respond.

And now, I barely know where to begin. God, I really don’t. Some of you are taking what I said the wrong way. Maybe I went about it all wrong. Maybe I’m just a shitty writer who can’t convey what I am feeling and want to say.

Please, please, please let me make this perfectly clear…I NEVER said that EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has an eating disorder is using veganism as a way to hide/facilitate it!!!!!

I was NOT addressing people with eating disorders COLLECTIVELY.

I realize that there are some/many of you who have or had an eating disorder who may not have the problem I described.

All I was saying is that SOME (SOME SOME SOME….please say it like a mantra) girls on Vegweb might be hiding their eating disorder with veganism. I PROMISE you I was not singling out any particular person, NOR was I addressing people with eating disorders collectively.

It was a general post. I really tried to emphasize in my original post that I DON’T KNOW ANY OF YOU PERSONALLY; again, I cannot pinpoint the reasons why you became vegan or why some of you have eating disorders. I can’t point fingers, I truly can’t. Nor do I have a desire to.  Ironically some of you who are offended by what I wrote…I didn’t even know you had an eating disorder until now, yet it seems like you think that I am “accusing” you in particular.

I know that in the past, I have been abrasive in some posts. I bully the bullies. But I can assure you, PROMISE you, this post was not to bait anyone. I never meant to draw anyone out. Especially not anyone in particular. It was merely meant to shed light on an issue that some of you might be experiencing…I don’t know who, I really don’t. In fact, I have to say, there are so many of you who MIGHT fit the description…I don’t know which of you do in reality. Again, that was not the point of my post.

Because my internet connection was down earlier today, I went to the library to check up on my email on the computer there. My “allotted” computer time only allowed me enough time to read through this thread, but not enough to respond. I was highly distressed and actually cried. If anyone knows about the anguish and pain and guilt and suffering and fear fear fear and pain pain pain of an eating disorder…it is ME. I went through four years of hell with it. It is a part of my life, it is a part of what made me who I am today. I have empathy and compassion for anyone going through an eating disorder. I feel your pain. This is why I wanted to bring it out in the open. Acknowledging something is the first step to a better life. I know this from firsthand experience.

Laurabs—I have avoided many of the eating disorder threads in the past for various personal reasons (some of which are cropping up right here in this thread), so I did a search on “eating disorders” on vegweb, and see that you indeed bring this issue up in the past. But in reading through some of the posts of that thread, people are dancing around the issue. I know that some of you feel that I am confrontational. I KNOW this is going to sound condescending, and I swear that it is not meant to be (I have tremendous respect for all you going through this), but I’ve been through enough in life to know that dancing around an issue gets no one anywhere. Especially when it comes to important issues or someone’s health. The more something is brought out in the open, the more people LEARN, and the more people can better help themselves. Going in circles patting each other on the back can definitely be comforting. But the stark reality of a problem brought out in the light can jolt someone awake. And help them.

It actually hurts me to think someone might take what I wrote as wanting to get someone “riled up and defensive.” Oh my God. So so so not true. You’ve no idea. You’ve taken me all so so wrong. That’s the VERY LAST THING I desire.

Again, I didn’t want to get personal here, but if it helps you see where I am coming from….when I was bulimic, my father noticed I was spending a LOT of time in the bathroom. He also noticed that certain LARGE AMOUNTS OF FOOD disappeared when he came home from work. Like half of a big container of ice cream…things like that. And I’m sure he noticed my size was dwindling down to nothing. I’m sure my mother noticed, too. But it was my father who finally commented on it. I could see he was on to me. But he only brought it up once, and when I dodged his questions, he never brought it up again. I could see he was scared of confronting me. He should have confronted me. I love him dearly, but he should have pursued it…relentlessly. Maybe I would have recovered much, much sooner. Keeping quiet about things, not rocking the boat, dancing around issues….doesn’t help a person…especially someone hiding a dangerous secret…it only allows you to be co-dependent.

Also, my post wasn’t to say “I don’t want you (generalization) to be a vegan.” I DO want you to be vegan. I want everyone to be vegan. But I wouldn’t want someone to be vegan who is using it to put their life at stake. Would you? Because at that point, the issue is no longer about veganism, it is about a person’s well being. I’m not angry (some seem to think I am)….just very concerned. And I sooo hope that you understand this….I’m NOT saying that those who use veganism to hide an eating disorder are giving veganism a bad name. Veganism is not a club where if someone doesn’t have the right values you get kicked out. I think because of my past history of militant vegan posts people are (I suppose understandably) taking me the wrong way. This is not about “you need to stop being vegan because I don’t think you are following the rules of it.” It’s more of a compassionate plea for those who might fit the description to seek professional help, and THAT is the most important point.

And yes, some people brought up the fact that an eating disorder will manifest itself in whatever way that allows it to continue unnoticed. But you know….think about it…the only other thing I can see someone using is a real DIET (like the South Beach diet). But guess what…for someone with an eating disorder following that kind of diet the problem is going to be transparent to everyone—not hidden, whereas being vegan is not as transparent…someone can use “ideals” as an excuse for restricting their food intake.

And I don’t want you to go away from vegweb either! Please stay with us! That also wasn’t the point!  I have much respect for those of you who have been open in discussing your eating disorder…I think that takes a lot of courage. And I can see that many of you are making such a tremendous effort and making strides to overcome your disorder…and some of you already have…which is so awesome!

However, for those of you who ARE open about your eating disorders already on vegweb…please remember you are not the ONLY folks on vegweb. There ARE some people out there…lurking about…quiet….who may have eating disorders and ARE using veganism as a way to hide it. And this thread MAY in fact shed light and encourage them to go seek professional help.

Though there have been many positive responses to this thread (I thank those who have supported what I wrote!), there have been enough negative ones that I do not want to post further here. I apologize to those of you who were offended. I never meant to do so. I never meant to draw anyone out. I never meant to hurt anyone—rile them up, get them defensive. I only meant to bring up the issue out in the open and hope that it would do some good….coming from someone who has been there.

Peace.

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Hi all....
I just got a voice mail from SB...who I have to say sounded very very teary, distressed and upset about not being able to reply to this thread she started....that her internet connection is out due to some high winds last night and that.....well....
DUH!......just saw that she posted.....guess her internet is now working.....not gonna delete this....I guess she spoke and said what she had to say.....oops!

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I heart SB.

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Hey SB,

I guess my post might have come off a little harsh too.  It was more a hint at my distaste for the direction Vegweb is headed (i.e. all the new rules aimed at eliminating some stuff) than a distate in your post.  I was kind of thinking, "hey person XYV got pi$$ed on when they did something similar to this thread....why isn't it happending here?"  And then I my thoughts went in a non-justifiable darker direction ("Is it because they think they can take advantage and knock about some timid girls?") and resulted in my angry-ish post. 

I know it wasn't your intention, and I feel bad that you got upset...just maybe in the future handel a subject like ED with kid gloves? Especially if you wish people to self-reflect on their condition!!!  Like you mentioned you've experienced and voiced in your most recent post, such confrontation can just lead an ED'er to get defensive and crafty-er with their evil ways.

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