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long rant: raw foods, bulimia, stress.

i’ve posted here a while back and everyone was very supportive and kind, so i wanted to get some feedback again. i was completely raw for about a month, and it was the best i’ve ever felt – for the first time in my life i wasn’t tired in the morning, i was happy, i felt centered and grounded and exercise was easy and satisfying. seriously amazing. people were telling me i looked great. and it was the first time i didnt feel a profound hate for my body. i was anorexic in high school/college and had slowly transitioned into being bulimic. that’s why i went raw in the first place, so i would stop binging and purging. and it worked!! i only puked once in the month i was raw. then some stress came up in my life and i just snapped one day. i went from raw and happy to binging and purging 4 to 8 times a day and MISERABLE. i do see a therapist sometimes, and i have some supportive friends, but the only solution i see is going back to 100% raw. most people think i’m being too “extreme” when i say this, though. they all say that it’s that tendency toward extremes that is causing me problems in the first place and that i should do something more moderate.. eating mostly raw but some cooked vegan/vegetarian, etc. what do you think? the past few days have been a bit better but i am pretty freaked out. the health aspects alone are pretty horrible, and i already have had weird heart poundy episodes and dizziness and this and that. i dont have insurance but hopefully i will soon, so i can go to a doctor. sadly, i think people at my job might know what’s going on, and that makes me feel super awkward, since i work a health store.. isn’t that really hypocritical? also.. i am moving into a new house in a week, with housemates i dont know. i NEED to stop binging and purging, because i wont be living alone and i cant have other people seeing/hearing/knowing. yuck. i just hate being miserable and sick! and i hate buying all this horrible corporate unhealthy poisonous food! and that guilt just makes me want to throw it up more. i am SORRY this is so long and personal and ranty, but i dont have a lot of opportunity to discuss the issue. if you made it through all that – bless you and thank you. you guys keep me (marginally) sane.


  • oh honey, i’m so sorry you feel this way, but you’re not alone. i haven’t been doing this long, but i’ve noticed that the more raw i eat, the less i hate my body and the better i feel. if i eat something cooked, i feel like i have totally blown it, and then i binge. so if keeping it at 100 percent is what helps you keep it under control, then i say do it. but do keep going to your therapist and talking to others about your problems so that you can eventually get your issues solved once and for all. i wish you the best of luck. s

  • Kedamono, We all are works in progress, I wish you peace in this phase of your journey. 100% raw can help if you perhaps binge on fruit and veggies instead of SAD food because the effects won’t be so detrimental on your body! However binging on raw food is only a “bandaid” on a much more serious wound. You know you have an eating disorder that needs healed. You said you’re binging and purging 4-8 times a day and are going through a very stressful time. Could you perhaps lower your binging/purging to once a day? The idea being that maybe then you begin to taper your binging/purging over time. Hope that helps for now…stay in touch and know you have a whole community of folks who want nothing but your great health! Keep Shining!

  • om… – you are totally right, i know that the real issue isnt the behavior, it’s what is causing it. i just think i need to be raw so that i have the mental and physical stability to deal with whatever those causes are.. and incidentally, i have been purging only once a day for the past 2 days. and even that makes a difference – it’s so much better than every few hours!!

    cherie03 – i am far from offended, i really appreciate your perspective and advice. i agree, raw is the purest and best lifestyle, whether others understand or agree or not. yes, there is a lot of guilt involved. anorexia is sort of a “holy” disease in our society, the emaciated body is so revered by popular culture. but bulimia is so shameful and disgusting. which is absurd, since they’re both unhealthy and painful and need to be healed. i have looked into groups, but they are harder to find than i expected. i am not at all a fan of 12 step programs, so that limits me a lot. i just dont think it sets a good precedent to call myself ‘powerless’. it’s ME that makes my life happen, dammit. and i might make mistakes, but i’m far from powerless. but i am looking into cheaper/free solutions.. i see an intern therapist so my sessions are very affordable! and like your son, i have also found that the cheaper care is sometimes much better. maybe because the providers are doing it to HELP not to PROFIT. anyway.. i think i will start transitioning back to raw. if i give myself a week to ease into it, i can go back to 100% on the 1st of september..

    THANK YOU ALL! it means a lot to me to be able to vent all this stuff where i wont be judged, AND where people understand how much raw foods really means.. so much more than a ‘diet’.. it really touched me in a spiritual way as well, and made me feel whole. i need that back. tired of trying to fill a void.

  • Do you have a regular doctor who you see about your E.d.? I am also trying to manage one. You should give yourself A LOT of credit for being able to admit to yourself that the behavior is hurting you and not making you better. I eat a combination of a raw/cooked vegan diet, and it has been a lifesaver to me. Learning to eat healthfully has really helped my recovery.

    But that brings me back to the doctor question—I really hope that you have a good doctor. Some doctors will make you feel criticized for your lifestyle choices. If you wind up going to a doctor who makes you feel bad about the raw thing or the vegan thing, RUN. I went to one who obviously knew NOTHING about dealing with e.d. and she actually had the balls to quiz me for an hour about what I eat and when, and then gave me what I can only describe as “orders” as to what I should eat. I felt awful after that session, went home and binged, etc. Usually I would blame myself for something like that, but instead I realized that she had mistreated me and I never went back to her. For that matter, if you have a doctor who makes you feel bad about falling back into some habits when you are under stress, drop ‘em! If you can muster the balls to go see a doctor about your e.d., you deserve much, much better than that.

  • heyenglishheyenglish Raw Newbie

    kedamono, so sorry to hear about your struggles. I was also bulimic in high school, and I’ve been battling binging and food control for over half my life now. I’ve been 100% raw for 3 months now, and I had a bit of an emotional detox not too long ago. I was finally able to let go of all the negative thoughts about my body and confront all the pain food had caused in my life. This weekend, I went on vacation with my boyfriend. We were gone for 3 days, and I made a big batch of green smoothies and raw hummus to bring with me, along with some carrots and celery for dipping and a few pieces of fruit. I had every intention of going out and eating healthy, cooked vegan (for the first time in 3 months) if I couldn’t order any tasty salads. And, as it turned out, I didn’t eat as healthfully as I hoped, even though I was still eating cooked vegan. But I didn’t freak out. I had to grocery shop last night, and all I was craving was cooked food. However, I thought about how bloated I was already feeling from the food I’d eaten over the weekend, and the fact that I couldn’t fit anything new into my stomach. So I actually passed up my cravings, and made a light salad instead for my dinner. I’ve always given into cravings before, but this time I finally resisted it. And it felt so good! I know my stomach was thanking me too.

    So, do what you have to, i.e. going 100% raw until you can work out all those feelings of guilt surrounding food. It was so hard for me to stop thinking about foods as either “good” or “bad”. Now I finally think of foods as nourishing fuel for my body, that I love more and more each day. If you ever want to talk privately, you can always e-mail me at timms.steph@gmail.com I’ve been there, and I can tell you there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel. HUGS

  • Kedamono – I want to wish you luck getting the help you need to beat your e.d. You know that you need to stop the behavior, so you’re on your way. I want to urge you to try to do everything you can mentally to separate your normal e.d. behavior with eating raw. If you don’t, I fear that raw will become your eating disorder – your way of holding yourself up to a standard that is hard to attain and punishing yourself – physically and mentally – every time you make the slightest misstep. You can be extremely healthy without eating 100% raw. If you can stay 100% raw for a month, or a year, you still need to work to make sure that you are strong enough to not then hate yourself if you mess up and eat some cooked food one day. My suggestions, for what they’re worth – if you don’t already have it, get some physical hobbies/activities in your life. You need an outlet to direct some of these emotions besides eating (binging, purging, obsessing over whether braggs is raw or will contribute to the downfall of society as we know it…). Eating raw is restrictive – unless you live on the jungle floor – and it is a very controlled lifestyle, regardless of what people say. Don’t just substitute this restriction for your normal dietary restrictions. Eat raw because of the beauty of the raw food – not because it is a way to control your calorie intake. Tell your therapist that things have been getting worse – be honest with her. Try to make more of your meals social experiences. When we eat in front of others, we are less likely to binge. Try adding a new step to binging and purging – journal about it. Write how you feel when you are first craving the foods, how you feel right before you purge, how you feel right after. Maybe being so accountable to yourself and your journal will cause you to hesitate before b&p-ing. And try not to react too defensively to your friends who are worried about you having a restrictive diet in raw. Again, it is restrictive – but that doesn’t mean it needs to be unhealthy or anything less than beautiful. No matter how beautiful it is, most people stumble along the way, and a good number end up settling on a raw percentage that is less than 100 for the long term. Be okay with this – at least until you have done it for some time and know why you’re doing it. For the time being, do not put the pressure on yourself of going 100% raw. You are not like everyone else – you have an eating disorder (and the courage to deal with it and confide in people and seek help – all great things). If you pin all your hopes on going 100% right away, you are setting yourself up for failure and relapse. Set transitioning goals instead and slowly move into raw at the same time as dealing with your recovery from your eating disorder. You look like a beautiful girl (with a hell of a personal style) and you sound like you are smart and motivated – you can do this. We’re all here anytime you need an ear.

  • wow. reading these responses almost makes me cry, i have never met such a wise and accepting group of people! raw foods really does make you beautiful on the inside too :) or maybe it just attracts some of the most loving and balanced folks out there.

    elm214 – i don’t have a doctor, unfortunately. i have no insurance and i am suuuuper broke. i did get a new job, though. so i’m hopefully gonna get to see a doctor in the next few months. there’s a county hospital i could go to, but only for emergencies, unfortunately. good for you realizing that your first doctor was being an asshole!! i know how it is to constantly blame yourself, even when it’s obviously someone else’s problem.. i’m glad you are taking care of yourself :) and i really will be seeing a dr as soon as i can, just to make sure i am doing ok.

    heyenglish – i can soooo relate to your story of cooked foods and guilt, etc.. yay for resisting destructive urges!! that encourages me. it is always so hard not to do it, but when i do succeed, i feel so much better. if only i can hang on to that feeling. thank you for your email address.. i am storing it away and you may hear from me at some point.. i dont have NEARLY enough raw friends! (um.. like.. any)

    DagnyTaggart – damn, you are full of good advice and kind words. thank you. you raise a very good point about raw being restrictive and possibly just a substitute for other disordered behavior.. i know this is possible, but i really havent found it to be the case. for the month i was eating raw, i really allowed myself anything i wanted, as long as it was raw – i acknowledged that my body would probably just let me know what it needed. so i went through phases.. eating zillions of avocados.. then randomly craving figs and eating a bunch of them.. etc. it was the first time in my life i’d felt “in tune” with my body and its needs. journaling is a good idea.. i do write after b/p sometimes, but it would probably be constructive to try it FIRST.. maybe that would give me the time to think about it and stop. things are getting better. i’m trying to go slow and be reasonable. allow myself things when i want them (TRULY want them, not an emotional freakout or something).. etc. i wish i could properly express how much i appreciate your input (and everyone’s).. it means the world to me. sometimes it is a very lonely path and i am so so grateful to have a place to let things out and get some perspective and encouragement.


  • I agree with most of the advice here to maintain a journal of food what you are eating. Keep reviewing it like once in a week or atleast once in a fortnight, and re-affirm yourself how you felt after b&p and after eating raw/mostly raw.

    I’d also like to say instead of eating 100% raw, try 80-90% raw and 10-20% cooked vegan if that helps you to stay away from b&p. It also satisifes your cooked food cravings and don’t make you feel extreme, if that’s a reason for your b&p episodes.

    Last but not the least, just hang on. It takes time for your body/psyche to understand your new life-style & eating habits. Once you get adjusted with it, you’ll start reaping the benefits. Good luck

  • kedamono my heart does go out to you. I have a binge eating disorder which is under control to a large extent at the moment but I do have my very bad days. I can totally relate to the 100% being the best way to control it. If I have even a bite, the tiniest bite of cooked food I feel an overwhelming compulsion to binge. I understand what Dagny was saying about the dangers of making 100% your only cure because it is sort of setting yourself up to fail. For me though, any amount of cooked food makes me want to binge and starts a decline to cooked food eating again which is not what I want. There’s so many other factors going on it’s hard to know which way to turn at times. I went to see a counsellor but she had suggested dropping my percentage because she felt 100% was what was making me binge in the first place. Still trying to figure out if that’s true. Anyway, hijakiing your thread here a bit. I wanted to say that I appreciate how difficult this is for you right now and to hang in there!

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    Kedamono, I too am in recovery from a lifetime of eating disorders. I was overweight and a binge eater as a child and teenager. Yo-yo dieting left me heavier than ever. In university, I decided to go on a hard core diet and I lost 100 lbs. Along the way, my well-meaning turbo-diet morphed into anorexia with episodes of bulimia. Before long, I was what I’d call a bulimic residing in an anorexic body. I was a full-time bulimic for 13 years and until very recently. Much damage has been done to my body (especially teeth and hair) and mind (psychologically).

    Last February, I had to call 911 due to a severe electrolyte imbalance caused by dehydration. The hospital restored my fluids and sent me home, encouraging me to get help. I tried to stop the B and P on my own, but I was so stressed about keeping my secret safe from my BF and keeping up appearances in public, that I fell off the wagon after only a few days. It took another brutally humiliating dehydration-panic attack-hospitalization to make me see the light. After 13 years of self abuse, my body had had enough. It was telling me that I was in an endgame with myself. I broke down, admitted everything to my BF and agreed to change my ways, no matter how scary it would be. From the night I returned home from the hospital (panicked after eating “too much” at dinner), I have not purged once. As of today (September 24, 2008), that was 142 days ago.

    At first, my digestive system was a mess. It is still sorting itself out. I was still eating SAD and trying to heavily restrict my caloric intake and thus, constantly letting myself down and berating myself. I gained a little bit of weight too, which has stressed me out to no end. I decided to begin the process of converting to a raw, vegan lifestyle. I’m not militant (still eating SAD when with friends and family), but the rest of the time, I am 80% raw or better. My BF is loving the raw meals, by the way. He’s lost weight and I’m getting back down to a comfortable weight too. I feel 100% better eating raw. My battered digestive system thanks me too!

    I agree with the others that for E.D. people there is a danger of trading one restrictive regimen for another, but I feel so much less restricted when living raw. I worry far less about the fat in avocadoes, nuts, seeds and oils. I’m learning to eat when hungry and stop long before I feel uncomfortably full, which is how I feel after any sized SAD meal. The urge to purge is mostly gone. More importantly, when I’m eating raw, the urge to binge is TOTALLY GONE. I still have body issues. I hope they’ll be gone one day too. For now, though, I’m ecstatic with eating raw, not counting calories, not feeling compelled to binge then purge, not feeling constipated or bloated from the dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and not feeling shackled to and by bulimia.

    Don’t put too many pressures on yourself. Nobody is perfect. You’re allowed to have good days and bad days, high raw times and less raw times. It’s not about the rules you or anyone else set out, but actually learning how to listen to your body and giving it what it needs to thrive. Can you imagine thriving? It’s possible. You are in charge of your own destiny. If you’re ready for change, embrace it and let the changes happen day by day, not all in one go. My thoughts are with you.

  • 1sweetpea – congratulations on your recovery and health. It sounds like you are really turning your life around – and I know it must take incredible effort and determination.

    Kedamono has not posted for over a month – not since after this thread. I hope she’s okay.

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    Kedamono, in case you’ve had a bad month since your last post, don’t beat yourself up about it. Start fresh from this very moment. If you slip again, then start all over again. Don’t ever give up. When you’re truly ready to make positive (and hopefully permanent) changes, it will stick. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to stop my bulimic behaviours. I thought I’d live with it and one day, die with it. It wasn’t the case. One day, I just knew that it was over. It had to be. My body, which had been pretty cooperative throughout much of the abuse I heaped on it, started to fight back, by slowly shutting down. I hope you don’t have to hit your personal rock bottom to become “ready” for change. There’s no better time than the present.

    I would be happy to talk privately with you anytime. I can’t promise you more than an understanding ear and some good advice, but I’ve been there and done most of it, so if anyone can understand where you’re coming from and where your head is, I can.

    It’s a whole lot sunnier outside of my self-imposed prison … a much better place to be!

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    let’s keep this thread up just in case she comes back soon. I hope she’s doing well.

    It’s so amazing to see all of you come forward with your experiences to help her. I’m humbled.

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    I’d like to keep this thread up too. I’m concerned that Kedamono’s in a bit of a downward spiral right now. If Kedamono, or anyone else with similar issues, would like to talk privately. 

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