Recovering Through Veganism

 

The problem is black and white thinking for me. It is all or nothing. I have the hardest time trying to distinguish healthy patterns from disordered ones.

I try to ask myself what my intentions behind my choices are, but sometimes that doesn’t even seem to be clear.

I am reading “Whitewash” by Joseph Keon, and am in love with it. It is an awesome book, and I highly recommend it. He talks about the dairy industry, dairy products, and its effect on the body. Being educated in various topics is a key goal of mine, especially if it is something that sparks my interests. I am lactose intolerant anyway, and wanted to enlighten myself on the facts of dairy.

During this time, I also visited my aunt, who is vegan. We began to talk about plant based proteins and what she eats.

So, at this time, I have been vegan for about a week. Still, I wonder if this is because I am being health conscious and learning the facts, or is this disordered/orthorexic? When does health conscious become orthorexic? Like I mentioned, I am lactose intolerant anyway. I bloat very badly, get extreme gas, diarrhea, it’s not pretty.  As far as the meat eating, I usually only ate ground turkey or chicken, that was it. Lunch meat scares me (this is a fear food, and I will own it that my ED does not like it!), cheese grosses me out (also disordered though, I will admit), and would only eat feta or parm if I did eat cheese. I sure as hell would never eat that tofurkey or meatless meatball shit. I have no clue what is in it, or the ingredients (yes, disordered).

Overall, I haven’t really cut out anything that I would typically eat, with the exception of Greek Yogurt. Which I found alternatives to anyways. Still, I fear telling my OP Team. Is it disordered or healthy?

I find it fascinating, yet disgusting, what is in our milk, the processes, the bacteria, the hormones. Not just these facts, but the claim that we need milk and calcium for strong bones, when we get calcium from many different foods, including broccoli and spinach, (with a higher absorption percentage, and lower calories). The amount of fat in one glass of milk is crazy, and as Americans’ we consume the most dairy products and also have the highest rate of fractures.

So, as of recently, I have not eaten any meat or animal products. I have eliminated ground turkey, feta, and that is about it. I think another reason I am doing this is to become more conscious of what I am eating. I can find safer alternatives to scary foods, while still hitting exchanges, but not having the overwhelming fear and dread flood over me when it is consumed.

The only exceptions I am making as of right now is honey. I am using honey in my oatmeal and tea, but I also make sure it is local honey. I am still on the fence about eggs, it is a good source of protein, and I know it is an animal product, but I also get them from my parents who treat them very humanely, don’t have roosters, and would be considered organic.

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10 Appointments, 12 Days, 1 Tired Me.

So much has happened lately, and I’m not really sure where I left off. In the past week and a half I have had close to ten appointments. Everything from two with the therapist, to about three doctor appointments, two dietitian appointments, two other doctor appointments.

I can remember a time where I never went to the doctor. I would go very very rarely, and typically only when they needed a “current physical” for something I was doing.

The last time I met with N, the dietitian, I felt that she didn’t really care if I came back or not. Well, I came back. We focused on three aspects; food, exercise and the lax. For the food we talked about what worked, what didn’t etc. I told her I was still working on yogurt, but no Clif bars, so then she helped me decide on other bars, or just granola in baggies. N expressed how proud of me she was because I realized I can’t just wait, that I can’t mix foods and how I get discouraged and mad at myself when these feelings should be directed to the ED.

I told her that it was probably just an excuse or cop out, but that I had this mindset and thought that, “Maybe recovery just isn’t for me.” She kinda chuckled and said that wasn’t only perfectly normal, but predictable.

Then came the exercise. I told her I acknowledge that I need a healthy balance between working out and food. Once or twice she asked, “What can I do to help?”   If you have ever been in that position, you really aren’t sure how to answer. I thought for a moment and told her I thought guidelines would be good for me. I told her that there was so much that was triggering, from seeing people run on campus to others talk about their diets and weight loss. So, I was put on a “no more than 3 miles a day” remedy, and if I get antsy, which she knew I would, I am allowed to do weights or abs, but for no longer than a half hour. At first she started by saying six miles every other day, but quickly realized I’d abuse that by “forgetting” or “losing track” of the days.

The next day I had a doctor appointment that lasted two hours, followed by an appointment with S later that day. I showed up at the doctor on campus, same office as the dietitian, and even the receptionist and nurses there know my name- sheesh. So, got weighed, blood pressure sitting, blood pressure standing, etc. Then I waited for K to come in. When she did we talked about the appointment with N, talked about taking it easy for the run I’m doing next week. We talked about antidepressants again, and I said ok. She advised me it would get worse before it gets better and to be prepared, and to maybe even tell my family I’m going to see, just in case. The phone rang and pulled K from the room, she came back and said, “I’m going to be very very honest with you. That phone call was about you. It was S?”  “Oh, shit….yeah.”  She had called to I guess get more information about how I was doing and to talk about inpatient. I said I didn’t have the time, money, I’m not sick, etc. She brought me back the antidepressants after calling S back, and had me sit on the table. She listened to my heart and expressed concern that my heart rate was getting low and even mentioned hospitalization if it got any lower. So, that was that. Then came my appointment with S. She has done so much from calling numerous places, to referring me to the dietitian, to researching, it means a lot to me that she put in so much time and effort.

We talked about N and K, she brought up inpatient-AGAIN and the antidepressants. She gave me the same warning that “They will take a few days, so don’t get discouraged and stick with it.” I feel like S had a lot to say this time. S said that all of the places she called were concerned and thought I needed help sooner than later. She told me a story about a girl who was supposed to go to treatment then something happened, she had to be hospitalized before she was even allowed to go. S said I would be really pissed if I had to be force fed some gross hospital food, and not be allowed to run period, plus the nurses would hate me because I wouldn’t eat it. She told me that if I am still waiting for an “Oh shit moment”, it is going to end up being a big one, like breaking a leg or my heart, and no inpatient place will want to take me if I’m not healthy.

I am fairly certain that I was told a line of bullshit by both of the two that day:

That A) my heart rate was slower

and B) I was told that I’m borderline not “healthy” enough to go

S told me that she had called one other place, closer than the others, and that they had a waiting list, but could take me mid December. She said that I was put on the list, and she gave them my number.

On the way home from my appointment my phone rang…..