I’m Not a Full-Time Vegetarian/Part-Time Vegan Anymore.
Yeah yeah, go ahead and rub it in my face. “I told you this wouldn’t last!”
I was a vegetarian/vegan since June of 2012. People usually assume one makes this change because they’re hardcore animal rights activists, but that was not my case. For me it was a new way that I could restrict my food intake even more.
If you really know me, or probably could gather from other posts, you know that I’ve struggled with depression and an eating disorder on and off since I was 12 years old. At that age I wasn’t aware that my problems had a name. I just hated myself and tried dealing with my problems through self-mutilation because I didn’t know any other way. Then around 17, I did more research; I saw pictures of girls who claimed to live on 3 celery sticks, Wheat Thins, and 8 glasses of water a day..and I admired them. I wanted to look like them so I Googled ways to lose weight and how to do it fast. I thought that if I had lost weight I would feel better about myself and the sad, empty feeling that I had felt since I was 12 would go away.
That’s when I came across a post on how one girl lost a lot of weight by switching to a vegan diet. (Diet? Vegan isn’t supposed to be a diet. It’s supposed to be a lifestyle; something I hadn’t known at the time.)
Fast forward 3 months and an estimate of 764,975,925 (not THAT rough of an estimate) weigh ins later, I went from 130 pounds to 114. I remember eating celery with salsa and small vegan desserts (so I wouldn’t pass out) and calling it a day.
I’ve been trying to recover for a year now but I kept relapsing, at the most, after a week. And let me tell you, I don’t know of many things that are more confusing/discouraging than going back and forth with recovering and relapsing every single week, sometimes even after just a day or two, for a year.
Then late last month, I tried vegan again. I was proud of myself for resisting all animals products for a few weeks until I started feeling extremely depressed. I hadn’t felt like ending my life that badly since I was 15. So here I was again, back to Google. Research had shown that those who had had previous mental issues suffered worse than they had before when switching to vegan without much knowledge on the proper way to do so. And I was still forgetting to take vitamins and other necessary supplements. So to me all of this information just registered as “you’re slowly killing yourself.” Took about two years for the freakin’ light bulb to go off; I couldn’t recover because I was still holding on to a part of me that didn’t want to get better.
So here I am; almost two years later, swallowing my pride and giving up the thing that’s only just contributed to my problems. It’s only been a few days, but I already feel better and recovery feels real this time. I’m happy that I can eat cheeses, ice cream, and fish again. I’m happy that I can go out with people now and not feel like a burden. I’m happy that I can eat a meal and not completely hate myself for it. But the thing that makes me happy the most is that I finally feel like this 8 year struggle with myself is finally coming to an end.
NOTE!! Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are actually pretty fantastic..if you do them right. I am obviously a horrible example because I had done absolutely no real research on the subject. There’s obviously so much more to it than not eating animal products. You have to make sure you’re fulfilling your nutritional needs with vitamins, supplements, and such because the long term effects of neglecting these important items? Not pretty.