View Full Version : Raw and Eating Disorder
08-23-2006, 10:40 AM
I have a question reguarding all raw for those with eating disorders. I have tried to be all or at least 90% raw for a while now. I have had an eating disorder (bulimia) for 5 years now. I struggle for perfection when it comes to my diet/health and when I don't feel I'm achieving it ED kicks in HARD. So raw is exceptionally hard on me mentally (and physically) because it is a tough transition for me. So when I can't do it perfectly it really screws me up mentally. Anyway my question is - does anyone else deal with this? I would really love to be raw - however it is so tough on me mentally. I feel as though if I can't do it right I shouldn't do it at all. I also have a hard time having SAD food for breakfast and then raw food the rest of the day. I've already screwed up my day - so I won't be able to achieve perfection today so why even try... type thing. Rediculous right? I have an apt. with a naturoligst next month and am very much looking forward to it. I know my thinking is so scewed... But I would love some feedback on how others deal. I know a little raw is better than none at all. But easier said than done for me! Thanks for reading!
08-23-2006, 11:04 AM
I have had those issues. I know exactly what you are going thru. I have just realized over time that perfection isn't nessesarily if I was perfect today, but it is my goal to give my body 100% of the best food possible. I used to get mad at myself, and thought the same thing that you did, well I allready messed up for breakfast...so why try the rest of the day....Thinking deeply about that statement seems kinda silly. Why would we withold from out body the best tasting, most nourishing food, just because we slipped up for breakfast. When I fall off I just realise this is part of my "raw journey". I mean, we can't expect this change to happen overnight....we have years and years of SAD training...growing up watching kool-aid comercials.....seeing we get birthday cake and ice cream for our birthdays, Turkey (if you eat meat) and dressing for chrismas.....Pizza for family trips out......candybars when you are good......
This stuff is ingrained in our brains....and resurfaces..when we remember it....or hear about it. We have to change it to...yummy salad for family trips out, Alissa's Mock turkey and dressing for chrismas, Raw birthday cake for your birthday.... invision fruit smoothie commercials on TV! Raw pizza that mom makes at home on Sunday nights.
This is about the journey.....about change. About healing.....inside and out. Cut yourself some slack....
So what if you ate a SAD breakfast.....go and eat a raw lunch and dinner. Every time I do I get to taste the raw veggies and think....what was I thinking... I miss this flavor of raw.
Eventually you will get over the perfection part.....It pops up from time to time...but anymore...I don't get mad.....and I do tell myself that I should just give up because I failed for breakfast...because my goal now is not to be perfect.....but to make this change in thought, and soul. And to make a longterm positive change...and to love myself...and that is not giving myself a hard time if I slip up.....and it is also giving me lovely raw food!
08-23-2006, 03:26 PM
Raw has helped me battle my own issues with bulimia, and also with recurring anorexia that I thought I was over years ago.
Whenever I eat something "fatty" like guacamole or RP's fantastic brownies, I have that itch, that almost NEED to get it out of my system. However it's becoming easier to close my eyes, and envision this raw food nourishing my body, not just sitting there in my stomach doing nothing except attaching itself to my hips.
When you next eat a piece of fruit, use every sense. Feel the fruit with your fingers. Taste the juice. Smell the fruit. Etc. This might help you as it did me, having a TRUE connection to this nourishment, instead of a hate-hate relationship.
All the best. You can win this :)
08-23-2006, 03:38 PM
I just have to say you guys are such an inspiration....This is the first time I've evr admitted it- but I have been struggling with bulimia and all types of diet abuse my entire life. I went on my first diet when I was only 8 years old b/c my grandmother said to me "If you lose 20 pounds I'll pay you 20 dollars"...I am now paying the ultimate price b/c I've screwed myself/metabolism up so much...I still have issues even with RAW b/c I want to see more progress happening in the weight loss department and it's just not happening. I'm always thinking I'm doing raw the "wrong way"...The good news is that I have not given up! This is the first non "fad" diet that I've been on that has lasted past a month...If I did not have the support of you guys I'm sure I would have reverted back to my old habits already...so I thank you. Thank you Corrine for your courage and support ;)
08-23-2006, 05:18 PM
There are many here that have ED's and give some of them time to log on and show up to say a few things.
You can also Do a banana button search for the subjects that are important to you.
There are not only women here that suffer but men as well.
You are NOT alone and we ALL are behind your efforts to correct and control your ED :)
Raw has SO many benefits to those that suffer so, hang out here! read a lot and eat good stuff without worries :)
I am proud of you that you came out and told us, that is a big deal!
Now look at others and how they handle there stuggles and you can help THEM out becaue you understand what they are going through too!!
See?? It's all good and we need to be here for each other..
08-23-2006, 07:05 PM
I hope this is okay to post since it doesn't start off 100% raw vegan...but it is the goal.
I am another person on these boards using raw to help me recover from bulimia. I had it from ages 13 to 23, then stopped purging while in counseling, but I still binged. Now I am trying to lose a lot of weight at age 35 - had 123 pounds to release when I started and am now down to 103 more to go. The bulimic urges have always continued to be frequently strong even though I did not give in to the purging desire. Some days it was only because I made a promise to my husband not to purge - but I wanted it to be for ME as well.
The way that has been really working for me is to start off at 75% raw. Some days I am higher than that, but as a baseline, I use 75%. Ultimately, I will work my way to 100% raw vegan, but my priority is healing my ED.
It's important to me to heal my relationship with food first. By starting at 75% I am not putting stringent limits on myself so I don't have anything to beat myself up about if I make one lesser choice. The idea of starting right off at 100% made me feel like I would be trading one limiting behavior for another.
I LOVE my raw foods and I love how good I feel now! But no matter how much I love raw, I have to get through a transition where I realize that food doesn't have the power I've always given it. As time passes, I feel more comfortable naturally choosing the raw foods, especially when I go through a detox and pay the price for something heavier. My body is naturally telling me what it wants - raw. So I'm 75% now, but as my raw percentage increases, it's because I want it to, not because I am willing it to.
I do think that 100% is ideal. It's just going to take me longer to get there, and I'm okay with that. I never thought I could make peace with food until I started high-raw. At 75%, I am still experiencing wonderful changes spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The important thing is that I'm on the right path now so I'm not going to worry about perfection. Even if it takes me a year to go 100% raw, what matters is that I got there and gave myself the ability to stay there. :)
08-23-2006, 09:42 PM
Hi Cassidy - I deal with the perfection too. For me it is not about either being perfect Raw or not doing it at all. For me it is about having to have the perfectly raw item or not eating it at all. For instance, I have to verify everything as far as nuts, seeds, dried fruits, nut butters, and thai coconuts to make sure it is 100% free of chemicals and not heat treated. I also need to be perfect with food combining. Reading all the rules and making sure I do what will be the least hazardous combination. My wife started raw last week and it has been very helpful. Right now, my only rule is no nuts and avocadoes at the same time. And melons by themselves.
Of course the weight issues and fat intake is always there, but it is easier with raw. In fact, I just called a restaurant tonight that my wife and I are going to next week. I always call ahead for special requests. In the past it has been no oil, no sugar, no salt, no olives, no nuts, no seeds, no avocadoes......now it is just no sugar, salt, or oil.
Quite a leap forward!
08-23-2006, 10:58 PM
Hey cassidy, I feel for you, I've answered more than a few posts about my own experiences with this. I'm on my way out right now but you might do a search on this site for eating disorders and read about the many stories of people on this board.
08-24-2006, 12:35 AM
Thank you for all of your inspirational messages! It is nice to know you are not alone in your thoughts and actions.
veganman - thank you for your message. Perfectionism is tough - especially when it is SO difficult to achieve in our case. It is so difficult to know what really is in our food! Congrats to you for being so diligent. Your body will thank you ten fold for your efforts I'm sure.
P.Bliss - I am going to take notes from your post. I think what you are doing is right up my alley. It is difficult to say "I will be 100 percent from today forward." You are almost setting yourself up for disaster. I plan on doing 75 as you are and add fish or a protein shake at night. I go anemic in a matter of weeks without these items. I may start off with Sat. being a free day to eat whatever I choose. Thank you for your insight.
Gracie - Thank you for your strong words. You are right... it is hard to say the word BULIMIC. Not easy at all. It is a disgusting word to me. However, it is very freeing going public with it. It is a more public "disorder" now and it is more OK to talk about.
I almost feel hiporcritic trying to help others with similar issues - however, you are right when you say I know what they are going through and can share what has helped me. Just as so many of you have done for me over the past few months.
Rawnycat - Good for you. period. Thank you for telling me/us. Thank you... it is diffucult - but doesn't if feel better now that you big dark secret is OUT? I am so sorry you have had to deal for so long. One of my biggest motivations in conquering bulimia is my daughter. She is still very young and does not understand. But some day she will. She will see the way I am with food, how concerned I am with weight... I am terrified at the thought of her getting an ED by watching me. I am working on speaking about weight/fat in a healthy way. To never put myself down. To speak of myslef and others in a beautiful way - to NEVER put anyone down for being overweight/too skinny... whatever. I think that was a major problem for me when I was younger. My Mom constantly talked about how "fat" she thought she was and how I would gain weight. I remember my "tipping point" just as you do when you were young and your Grandma asked you to loose 20lbs for 20 dollors. I think my ED started right then and there with a similar statement from my Mom. I encourage you in your journey to a healthier mind and body.
Coriander - when I eat SAD I don't take the time to savor the food like I do when it is raw. There is just so much more texture and flavor with raw.
HoneyBee - I will try to cut myself some slack. I need to look at the big picture. It isn't just about TODAY.
Thank you all so much! I'm sorry that you have to deal with these issues - but your advice and stories help and encourage me. I hope that in time I can do the same for you.
08-24-2006, 07:47 AM
I'm glad I could help you. That perfectionism demon is a difficult thing to get past. Going raw with an ED is different to me than going raw without one. We're all trying to heal something or other with the raw lifestyle, but with an ED there's an intermediate step of getting over the need to be perfect every second. We need to find our strength we don't know we have. I don't think that everyone can jump straight into 100% and stay that way (huge kudos to those who can!).
Just to give you a bit of encouragement - today is my 80th day of high-raw, and I am genuinely much better with releasing my perfectionism (I've also meditated for the last ten years and that's a major factor too). It's not only with food either. It's affecting the way I do my work, the way I deal with squeezing in household errands, the way I interact with people, everything. I am so much more at peace and laid back about things instead of getting into a tizzy all the time. It feels great to not be all wound up! And as that happens, I eat more raw and it gets even better.
My latest progression is mono-eating fruits. When I first came to these boards, I couldn't picture myself just eating three pears or four bananas for lunch and being content with it....but I've done it this week. I don't think I would have stuck with it had I tried from day one. It would have been easier since I had the full range of summer fruits, but still a big difference from the way I was eating before. For me, it just can't feel like another restrictive diet or I'm going to resist it all the way because it will feel like I'm being pulled back into the compulsive behavior again. I've been progessing slowly and it's been fine.
All of us healing ED's need to learn to be gentle with ourselves. Raw can greatly support that or we can undermine it by trying to get it all right from day one. Some with ED's do so great at 100% from the start, and I admire that! But even many of the 8/1/1 folks say that they wouldn't recommend their lifestyle from the first day raw. We grow into things naturally, so why make it a chore? We have to find what works best for each of us.
I wish you all the best in your recovery! :)
08-24-2006, 09:26 AM
Thank you Cassidy:) You actually brought tears to my eyes. I've been hiding it for so long- b/c I felt like someday it would bite me in the arse (especially since I am in the fitness industry-I feel like a hypocrit all of the time). It's so nice to find a place where there are people who understand the struggle. Childhood moments can trigger many positive or negative habits. My adoptive mom was obese and always had junk around the house and we would go out to eat all the time...and then I started all kinds of dieting/ordering pills with my babysitting money and sneaking them in/starving/and then the bulimia started. It actually got worse when I moved here and was in college. I was always trying to be healthy(getting my neighbors to go running with me) but the junk around the house was too much temptation and I was having such a hard time emotionally that I would use food as my comfort. I blimped up to 250(on my small frame)my senior yr. of high school and have been struggling to lose the weight ever since. I still have 20-30lbs to lose that just will not go away b/c of the abuse I have put my body through.
I think you are going about the raw thing the right way for you and I wish you the best of luck!!! This site is soooo fantastic for support. You are right-children can see/feel everything....I believe you are approaching the situation well:) Thank you soooo much for your support..you made my day!
08-24-2006, 01:07 PM
have you ever tried medication hon? studies have shown prozac to be very helpful with bulimia and purging urges.
08-24-2006, 04:17 PM
Prozac? Medication is generally not a good idea when being/becoming raw. Many people still take it but it usually just surpresses symptoms and makes things worse in the long run. Eating disorders are a behavioral issue that should be realised and healed without the use of drugs. Prozac is also known to be a rather destructive drug on the mind and body. Personally, I would suggest you try natural healing and trying to solve your body image issues with peaceful meditation and continuous self love instead of the use of drugs. Just taking a pill does not cure things and is exactly the mentality we're trying to be free from. I know you totally meant well though and it still makes sense to a lot of people. Ultimately it is each person's choice.
08-24-2006, 06:52 PM
Girl 81 - right after my daughter was born I tried medication (anti anxiety) which worked for a while but BECAUSE eating disorders are personal and learned and habits and .... different from everyone. I'm sure they help, however, I found them more destructive in the long run... just as lissollama said. I felt in my gut they were wrong for me but I was at my witts end and had to try something else. Anyway they stopped working after a short while and I stopped taking them. I have great insight through therapy and reflection as to why I have an eating disorder and why I use it still. I know what it takes to stop it and it isn't drugs. It takes A LOT of work, HARD HARD work. Being open with it, sharing, schedules, support from family and friends, meditation, healthy foods, excercise. A scheduled combination of ALL of these work for me. It is just really hard to keep upand a bit discouraging after you mess up one day or get in a rut for a couple weeks. But it can be done and I'm working at it. Thank you for your input though. I deffinantly think meds help some people but they just arn't for me.\
Rawnycat - thank you for your support and I'm so glad what I said touched you in some way because your post really touched my heart as well. I look forward to being a part of your progress. Feel free to e-mail me.
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