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All Eating Disorders....

I just was wondering how many of you have ever had an eating disorder of any kind. I have been struggling with bulimia and binge eating for the past six months or so. Eating raw has really helped me to get a handle on it, though. I have been seeing quite a few other people with the same problem as me on here. If any one wants to share their story with me I’d love to hear it. I just really need some encouragement right now. I have been feeling it coming back, but I was doing so well for a little while there and I really don’t want to go back. Thank you (: Kat

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  • Hi superkat92, I have been anorexic and bulimic, and struggled with bulimia for the last 15 years or so, it has only been under control when I am under control. I have to control it behaviorally mostly and this includes diet. It started in high school, when I found I could just not eat and lose weight. My family is heavy and italian, we eat for fun, funerals, you name it. If you look funny, you get fed. So by the time I was 9 I was overweight and unhappy. I didn’t like not eating, so read an article about a girl who was fighting bulimia and thought, hey now there’s an idea. I now struggle with not only my bulimia, but also the gastrointestinal reflux and wear and tear on my esophagus. I am on prevacid and zantac because the pain was so bad and have increased my chances of esophageal cancer. I am determined that I will never slip back into bulimia again. I have small children who need a strong healthy mother, a husband in need of a wife and friends and family who love me for who I am. It’s a daily battle, an addiction that I will not let rule my life any longer. Being raw has helped immensely, and I have started feeling I am on a journey to good health and a more in depth relationship with myself. PS You can do it.

  • Hi superkat92 and others, I am really glad that you brought up this topic. I, too, have struggled with eating disorders, mainly manifesting as bulemia, for about 5 years. I feel like I’ve tried everything – going to doctors, seeing therapists for eating disorders and general therapists, going on diet plans, etc. But it is, an harmonylia said, an addiction, and obviously there are no easy soluctions. I’ve been on the raw journey for about 5 months now, and I do find that the more I stick to eating raw, the less urge I feel to enter into the binge/purge cycle. However, I do find that whenever I stray at all I feel a sort of overwhelming sense of despair and failure that sends me straight back there.

    So often in these forums and on raw websites you hear all these amazing success stories, and I actually find these can be kind of discouraging to me at times. Going raw hasn’t immediately solved all my problems, like many people make it seem. I still struggle with an eating disorder, and I still have problems with acne. So honestly, I don’t think that just going raw is enough to keep the eating disorder away. But I do think it’s a step in the right direction, because I know that when I eat raw, every single thing I am putting into my body is good for me. I can eat desserts without feeling like I need to run to the bathroom. But I still feel a desire to binge at times. Maybe this is just something that takes a long time to get over (possibly a lifetime?). Because changing diet is only part of the journey, as bitt said eating disorders are usually about issues that have little to do with food, so counseling or some other behavioral intervention is probably necessary as well.

    Keep us updated how you’re doing, and thanks so much for sharing. It feels really good to know that other people struggle like I do.

  • I still binge on raw. Makes me feel a little sad sometimes. I was caught up in a binging/restricting cycle for awhile, but restricting food messes up my energy, so I am just trying to find a way through it without being harsh on myself.

  • I have definitly struggled with eating disorders in the past as well. I came to raw foods in an effort to re-establish a positive relationship with food. I still struggle with binging and restricting but am hoping to move to a more positive place in my life no matter what weight I find myself at.

  • I’ll join in here. I’m being treated for an E.D. Had it since high school but never was noticed or acknowledged till about 1 1/2 years ago, after having my twins and eating raw for a year.

    Mine is called Orthorexia…some new term for restrictive/obsessive weight loss. I can’t say whether raw/vegan effects it. I do know that this is my choice of diet because of many none related E.D. issues (humanity to animals, effect of animal food on digestion, etc.).

    I’m currently being treated. After a year of prozac and ativan (to help face the fact that I have an E.D.), I went off of it (been a month now) and still go to therapy to learn more about the E.D. I know it’s day by day. I’m also using homeopathic remedies to work on it. Which has had fabulous results so far!

    I can relate to each of you. And I don’t mind sharing more about this.

    With love, Debbie

  • Hello, Beautiful People! Eating Disorders are quite obnoxious devils…always hitting you when your down—or just not paying attention. I too have battled with bulimia and anorexia for a very long time. For me, it gets difficult because i am also very allergic to some foods that pretty much restrict my eating already…which in turn makes me freak out and bindge/purge. however, i discovered raw/living foods about 4 years ago, and found out that i can eat all vegan raw food without having an allirgic reation!!! YEAH! so that’s why i went raw, but i also found that living foods keep my body satisfied and i don’t go into depression—which would normally make me tired, then i would eat anything (and generally all of it) and the cycle would continue. With, of course, a lot of self hatred for getting in that spin. As some of you have already said, raw food in and of it’s self does not heal eating disorders. but, it does help to keep my focus on good, pure foods that i know will build me up and give me the energy and strength to say no to the emotional downward cycle. however, i am not perfect. this was a bad week. running has always helped lift up my focus, too. So off for a run i shall go! Thanks for everyone being honest and real.WE CAN SUCCEED and we’re already beautiful! ~ Sarah

  • i would not say i have a eating disorder, but if i am NOT in control i develope a wierd habbit. I splurge and the splurge wont stop…so i eat soo much bad stuff (fries, burger, sweets)..that i gain up to 10 pounds in a week or two..no joke, i wont throw up because i had plenty people around me when i was younger who did and suffered terrible..i just keep eating until i hit a point where i decide to “diet”..which is stupid..but i cant help it….so i decide to start a 10 day MC and posted it with Elisabeth’s topic…the only way for me to get out of that habbit i have been in again (happens every few months) for 4 weeks now and i dont want food to control me…i dont understand my splurge because i am not overweight and never had serious weight problems….its kind of like…i eat it because i can…an unstopable train sometimes…

  • ugh…i felt like binging tonight. i was tired and headachy because of some medication things I am going through. but all my raw food is so “precious” to me that i did not want to cheapen it but binging. i slowed down and drank some kombacha. i realize i have to stop eating when i am tired/stressed. being raw has helped re-focus my energy on health instead of just food.

  • blah…yes…it started when I found out I was gluten/lactose intolerance after my 1st year of college…I basically was like well, I can’t eat ANY of my favorite foods (pasta and ice cream) so I just kind of didn’t eat much. then I started to enjoy the feeling and the rest is history. I still have so many digestive issues, so for me it’s so much easier to just not eat a lot if I never know how it’s going to make me feel. it’s come and gone the past 4 years, with overexercising in there to boot. I thought I’d kicked it but actually ever since going raw I realized I really wasn’t getting a ton of calories. I know a lot of raw people don’t count calories and say that we need less because we get more from the whole raw foods. so I don’t know if that’s it or if I am slipping back into it. I mean, I’m definitely not starving…I almost never go to bed hungry even though I’m not eating as much as I used to. so, I dunno. I had some weight to lose anyway so I’m not underweight either. it’s hard to realize it never really goes away though!

  • I can relate although I haven’t had an eating disorder per se.. I certainly have some issues. It feels a little scary/guilty to eat after the master cleanse and a 15 day juice feast. I also have a compulsion to keep eating after a meal.. like as soon as I finish what I plan to eat I think about eating something else. Shoving food on top of a full belly. I don’t understand the desire. I’ve been able to resist it of late but worry the resistance will get too difficult

  • Hey Bitt, good job not giving in to the binge. You are so amazing and I’m really inspired now! Also, kminty3, I have that same urge sometimes to keep eating after a meal, like I just don’t know when to stop. I think that might come from years of improper eating, so our bodies don’t know when they are hungry or full. For many people eating is instinctive, but if you’ve messed up this process with eating disorders or binging, you have to relearn it, and so often our brains can be at odds with our bodies.

  • Thank you, superkat92, for posting. The timing is perfect for me as I am mid-binge and i could really use some advice or tips anyone has used to put the brakes on a binge. I’ve thought about trying to fast tomorrow, but that just seems like going from one extreme to another. The other thought I’ve had was to plan each meal I’d have tomorrow – but that also seems obsessive. I haven’t eaten compulsively for many years, but the last couple days I’ve been out of control. I’ve binged on chocolate and on raw carrot cookies and then tonight on REALLY SAD food that I truly didn’t even want. [“Free” food at a community lecture. I have a terrible weakness for “samples”.] Now, I’m feeling depressed. I’ve got a stuffed up nose and a headache – Physical symptoms I haven’t had seen I started raw in Feb.

  • Plainer foods seem to be more helpful in taming superfluous urges. Perhaps it

  • It’s not just a female issue, lol. I have binged and starved for years. I didn’t even realize I had this issue until much later in life. At some point I finally recognized that my food behavior wasn’t/isn’t normal. I’m still struggling with finding balance. The raw food lifestyle has almost exasperated my eating behavior in that I’m having a hard time understanding how to balance my food choices so that I can maintain health. Obviously the ability to binge and starve can carry over even into the raw diet.

    I just try to take things a day at a time. I didn’t choose this particular lifestyle to be miserable, I chose it to be healthier and hopefully treat myself better!

  • I have struggled in the past with anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. I have had the anorexia/bulimia under control for around 2 years now. I just quit smoking pot and drinking on Feb.14th, that is when I put a stop to binge eatng and started exploring vegan cuisine. Now I am 100% vegan and on my way to becoming completly raw.

  • I have had an ED as far back as age 5. It started out as binge eating. At 5 years old I knew enough to hide the wrappers under my bed. I was a binger til high school. Then I discovered exercise/weightloss and became anorexic/compulsive about exercise. 5 miles wasn’t enough, 10 miles wasn’t enough, I even skipped my college classes to go running. Then I went thru a REALLY traumatic time in my life and resorted back to binging. I gained over 100 lbs before I put a stop to it. I have lost 80 and am now a “normal” weight. The ONLY thing that keeps my binging at bay is to eat raw. I do OVEREAT on raw foods, but I no longer binge.

    One thing that I noticed is that raw took away the guilt and shame I felt-and then since I wasn’t in the vicious cycle of binge-shame-guilt-sadness-binge-etc. I was able to have time and space in my head to work on the issues as to WHY I have been a binge eater,etc all my life. I am clearing out the junk in my body and mind at the same time, as long as I stay raw.

  • I have a couple discussion questions for everyone. I have my own input and my own experiences, but I’d rather hear some answers to these. I think it’s healthy to discuss these issues on an objective, inquisitive level as well as a personal one, you know?

    1) do you think that cooked food creates EDs? 2) has anyone ever been accused of being “fake” raw or vegan as an attempt to lose obsessive weight, and if you have, was it true? 3) what is the difference between bingeing and overeating? 4) when did we, as an American culture, vastly stop paying attention to what went into our bodies and how it affected it? Did this cause the epidemic of EDs? 4) what is it about eating raw that appeals to the suppressing of your personal experiences with EDs?

    Looking forward to the responses!...

  • BeTheChange-

    1)I don’t think that cooked food creates ED’s, more so the media and tabloids that create this ideal, pin thin woman that is an unrealistic goal…so may young people get suckd in and some never get out 2)I have never been accused of being fake, everyone that I know has been fully supportive and I think because I have had control over my ED’s that gives noone any reason to beleive that I am doing this for any other reason than my health. 3)The differnce between binge and overeating to me is binge eating is where you basically starve yourslef for as long as you can handle and then binge when you can’t take it anymnore where as overeating is a constant thing, always eating, unable to control it

  • In response to BeTheChange’s questions:

    1)I don’t think that cooked food creates ED’s. I do think that mmmorgans is partially correct about the ideals created by media and marketing have an impact on creating ED’s, but I actually think that the root cause for many people is much deeper – a psychological dissatisfaction on some level, not necessarily even connected to body image. Personally, I think a lot of it has to do with living in a modern age, feeling disconnected from nature, feeling a lack of purpose, and many of the other things that seem to trigger depression as well. So I don’t think it’s cooked foods per se that are creating ED’s, only insofar as they are part of this complicated civilization that has distanced us so much from our true natures. But I have to add a caveat here: I don’t really know the causes, because if I could identify the causes I could theoretically identify a clear solution, and I still struggle with my ED on a daily basis even after being raw for about 6 months.

    2)Nobody has even accused me of being “fake” raw to lose weight. My friends and family are very supportive of my decisions, they know how passionately I love food and how much I care about health.

    3)The difference between binging and overeating is that overeating happens when you’re really enjoying the taste or experience of eating and eat too much, usually within the context of a meal and often in a social eating situation. From my experience, binging is divorced from pleasure and becomes all about stuffing myself, as if I’m trying to fill some void (which I probably am, on some level).

    4)The state of food in the world today is shocking. There are major food shortages all over the world, while at the same time in those countries that enjoy abundance we’re stuffing our faces with “fake” food made of more chemicals than I’d like to imagine. I cringe a little when I see my partner eating a slice of packaged bread with butter spread (if only he’d eat fresh bread with real butter, it’s more the additives and processing that upset me). The problem is that this process happened slowly, and at first processed foods were viewed as some kind of miracle because they made life easier for the average housewife. But they are insidious creatures, because instead of making women more free they have actually turned around and trapped us with these horrible psychological conditions! I do think that a move to more and more processed foods, and subsequent distancing of the population from the source of food, contributes to the rise of EDs. However this is probably a process that started with industrialization and urbanization. And actually food adulteration has been going on for a long time – there was a huge to-do about milk in London in the 1800s.

    Finally, I think that raw eating appeals to me because it makes sense for physical, mental and emotional health. In my mind that has little to do with my eating disorder, except that by taking control of my health perhaps eating raw can help give me the tools to heal whatever has been causing me to continue this behavior.

  • Last year I was borderline Orthorexic – but thankfully I found an article on it and it scared me really bad so I stopped (this was before I discovered raw foods or even vegetarianism!). I think what made me steer in that direction was once I discovered what I’d been eating on a SAD diet I was SO SCARED of it, but I didn’t really know how to get away from it properly, yet.

    I think raw-foods and just vegetarianism in general helped, once I found them, because I realized that eating healthy doesn’t have to be an obsession, once you know what you’re doing it’s second nature and you can eat as much as you want of the healthy stuff(in general) and it won’t matter – and it’s ok to ‘fall off the wagon’ every now and then – one piece of banana bread won’t make you have a heart-attack right there if you eat healthy/raw the rest of the time!

    Thankfully that’s as close as I’ve come to an ED, but it was still getting pretty crazy.

  • This discussion has been so interesting and helpful because a lot of times it feels like your alone in your struggles but its great to hear other peoples experiences. Even though I haven’t had to deal with any major weight loss/gain I have felt a lot of mental distress when it comes to eating and have many times been borderline when it comes to eating disorders. Being raw has been really great in working towards solving my eating issues, but I do still have my share of struggles. we live in a world where consumption is pushed onto people in every possible way and I just try and think about how my choice for being raw represents my choice not to be involved in crazy consumption. Being raw definitely doesn’t solve all of the problems that you have or the world has but it is one positive step.

  • i’m so glad you posted this thread. i have been struggling with an eating disorder for a long time and i’m really hoping that raw will help me loosen its grip on me and finally get healthy. i am really struggling though with getting into the raw and committing to it right now because life is very stressful right now and stress is my biggest binge trigger. kind of a vicious circle…can’t eat healthy when i need to most.

    anyway, the only helpful thing that i can contribute is that when i am being raw and i get the urge to binge on sweets or even just have cravings for sugary carbs in general, i try to resist it by eating bananas. i’ll eat one and if i still want to binge, i’ll eat another one, and so on. usually after about 4 or 5 bananas i feel nice and relaxed and happy and no longer want to eat the entire world. i think it helps that it’s sugar, but also the potassium is very calming which is very important for me as a stress binger.

  • Look at all these posts! I have often wondered the % of raw foodists that come from anorexia/bulimia /orthorexic backgrounds. There is so much restriction going on. I was anorexic for 4 years of college and battled the even worse bulimia for many years. I think we trade our dysfunctions as we get healthier as well. Now 22 years after all that I don’t engage in self-destructive behaviors any more. My days are filled with lots of healthy raw foods most of the time, daily exercise that doesn’t involve killing myself on a 10 mile run, yoga, pilates, cyling slowly to get my groceries. The demons are always there, i suppose, but I’m thankful for raw foods for lifting my mood permanently.

  • Look at all these posts! I have often wondered the % of raw foodists that come from anorexia/bulimia /orthorexic backgrounds. There is so much restriction going on. I was anorexic for 4 years of college and battled the even worse bulimia for many years. I think we trade our dysfunctions as we get healthier as well. Now 22 years after all that I don’t engage in self-destructive behaviors any more. My days are filled with lots of healthy raw foods most of the time, daily exercise that doesn’t involve killing myself on a 10 mile run, yoga, pilates, cyling slowly to get my groceries. The demons are always there, i suppose, but I’m thankful for raw foods for lifting my mood permanently.

  • first of all to superkat92 I just want to acknowledge how amazingly courageous and brave you are to come forward with your eating disorder. Clearly (by the number of responses) you are not the only one to suffer from an eating disorder in the raw community. The truth is I too have suffered from bulimia in the past, not so much on the purging side but definitely the binging/restrictive cycle. I have recently turned to raw foods to look for a means to an end but I think as many of the raw foodists out there will testify, IT IS NOT ABOUT THE FOOD. It was never about the food, it is about the feelings. My advice to you is if you really do feel like your struggling, get help! You’ve reached out for help on this site so there’s no harm in taking one step forward by getting therapy or going to meetings for support. These are just my thoughts.

  • Bitt hit on it in her May post—that when a person is tired (and when they are stressed) they tend to eat more. Trying to get a good night’s sleep (going to bed at the same time every night – even on weekends) and perhaps practicing meditation may tame some of the impulses/triggers to overeat.

  • yes. yes yes yes YES YES YES YES yes yes.

    DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT START! I would say purging is about as addictive as a drug—it is SO HARD to stop. I wish someone had told me this years ago.

  • Over eating is like those who over eat at Thanksgiving.Tho this would be every day. I come from a long line of over eaters They were all in there 200-300 lbs.and all died from heart trouble or cancer. I am 67 so was in that time when chubby fat babies were in style. This has been a problem for many older people. When I was in my teens most girls wore a size 12. The point here is, don’t shove food at your children.

  • i struggle with binging, emotional eating, weight issues. my metabolism is quite slow and is likely that way from constant yo-yo dieting. now i’m eating the way i do to feel physically better and for pain management, but i still sometimes go out of control. when i’m stressed, or am finally alone at home after people being around me for a long time, i will eat things that i know make me sick and will continue the cycle in self pity the next day (well, if i already can’t get up, i might as well sit on the couch and eat more food). yoga helps the cycle…sometimes if i ate badly the night before i will push myself to have green smoothies and light foods even though i just want more of the things i can’t eat (gluten, animal products, preservatives and colours) just so that i can make it to yoga and release the stress that contributed to the eating.

    my boyfriend has never had a problem with weight (in fact he’s always tried to gain it) and his eating is completely different than mine. he feels free to eat anything and therefore has little emotional attachment to food. i would give anything to be able to maintain my weight without thinking about everything i eat. it’s a struggle even with 95% raw!

  • wow, i never imagined there were so many raw foodists with present or former eating disorders! it’s nice to not feel like the only one. and i am glad we are all doing healthy things for ourselves. anorexia/bulimia here.. anorexic for several years, bulimia popped up only in the last year and was making me so so so depressed. i’ve never been so addicted to something as to binging/purging. and i hated every minute of it. it’s actually why i went raw – i knew i had to do something drastic to break the cycle. and it worked! i went raw july 1st and i’ve only purged ONCE this month, which is INCREDIBLE for me. i still compulsively eat too much sometimes, but it’s hard to feel guilty when it’s like.. 6 plums. i still want to lose more weight but at least this has kind of put a buffer between me and unhealthy habits. and i do feel so much happier and healthier.

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