In Recovery

I want to share something very personal with you and that is that I recently started working with an eating disorders specialist. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you’ve probably read about my struggles with emotional eating. I’ve discussed it on and off, but I never really come to any conclusions. The truth is, I’ve suffered for nearly 30 years with episodes of binge eating, restriction, and body image issues, and I’m ready to do something different.

About two years ago, I joined a program to learn mindfulness techniques called Emotional Brain Training (EBT). While the program isn’t focused specifically on eating disorders, it has been an incredible experience for me in terms of stress management and learning to feel and process my feelings. I was part of a weekly telegroup for almost a year and a half to learn and practice the skills and “graduated” from that program in early March.

For awhile, though, I’ve had increasingly difficult times with food and my body image, partially because of wonky hormones (PCOS) and weight fluctuations since having my thyroid removed. So, rather than spend another 30 years obsessing about the size of thighs, I decided it was time to get specialized help. The therapist that I found has a background in EBT and binge-eating disorder and we’re using that as a framework.

It’s embarrassing to admit I have these issues and, frankly, it’s been as hard and sometimes harder to deal with than having cancer. However, I’m proud to say that I’m getting help and I only wish I had done it sooner. One of the issues I’ll be examining in my own head and hopefully exploring here is how to move forward with my whole foods, plant-based focus, without running into issues of restriction and “good” and “bad” labels.

Even though I’ll be sharing my journey of recovery here on my blog, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage anyone else suffering to seek professional help (I’m not a medical professional and these are just my opinions). There are some wonderful resources on the National Eating Disorders Association website. I’ve also gained a lot of insight and courage from fellow bloggers including Lynn of The Actor’s Diet, Gena of Choosing Raw (and all of the stories in her Green Recovery series), and Amanda of Running with Spoons.

I love this photo of a sunset I took recently near the beach combined with a quote that gives me hope for the future:

Walt Whitman quote from Carrie on Vegan | www.carrieonvegan.com

Be well, friends.

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Comments

  1. Alison Hughes says

    Oh, golly. When I think on the years I ,too, have struggled with similar issues, it squeezes my heart. I have been eating plant-based food for a year now, and this helps with the weight (naturally), yet I am always aware of the other impulses that used to cause me so much pain. I commend you on getting help. May we all find peace in our bodies.

  2. Rachel says

    All the best on your continued journey, and thank you for sharing so openly! I’ve followed your blog for some time now, because we have quite a bit in common. I’ve eaten a plant-based diet for about 3 years and was vegetarian for a few before that after reading books like Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and The China Study, I have thyroid disease and currently 1/2 of a thyroid, and I’ve had a binge eating disorder for many years. I’m currently doing very well, but I’ve come to recognize that it’s always going to be a journey. Seeking help along the way when we need it is admirable!

  3. Krista says

    Please don’t be ashamed! I know our culture is so disordered and judgemental about food and body image, but an anxiety disorder (and that’s what I believe disordered eating is) is no more anything you could choose and control than getting cancer is. I think it is very brave to be open about it and hopefully helpful to anyone else struggling with this. Wishing you health and happiness with all my heart.

      • says

        Thank you for writing that comment, Krista. I totally agree with you.

        Carrie, I think it is so courageous of you to write about the things you struggle with the most. Indeed, in our culture, being open about vulnerabilities and struggles is often discouraged.

        I too struggle with an anxiety disorder. I am reminded of it every day; in how insecure I can feel about my body and how afraid I am to speak up for myself. I too have a thyroid disease (I am hypothyroid) and have struggled with my weight ever since. I believe that my problems with food and insecurities started when I gained a lot of weight because of the disease. I went to a psychiatrist for years about these issues. I’ve been eating WFPB for 4 years, lost a lot of weight, but also gained a lot back. Although my mind is getting more peaceful every day, my worries are unfortunately still not resolved.

        However, reading all these comments really makes my heart full of hope. And I am so grateful to have the opportunity to connect with all who struggle with the same anxiety and food- and body related issues. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one in a constant internal fight surrounding irrational insecurities, but reading your honest story really lifts my spirits.

        Thank you so much. I wish you Carrie, and everyone else who has the guts to be open about their worries and anxieties, all the best. May you find more peace within yourselves every day.

        • says

          Thank you for your beautiful words, Bo, as well as sharing some of your story. It has helped me tremendously to connect with loving support and I actually had absolutely no idea that so many people have these same struggles. I also struggle with anxiety and had really severe panic attacks through most of my 20s. I have a feeling that this stuff I have going on with food is related in some way to an overall issue with anxiety. I’m hoping that the mindfulness approach I’m taking with the guidance of professionals is going to be what works for me for the long-term. Sending you continued hope and strength.

  4. says

    You’re so brave to speak out about your struggles Carrie and I, like all your readers I’m sure, so appreciate your honesty. Eating disorders are, in their nature, private battles, but it really helps to talk about them in open, share with others and know you’re not alone.
    So glad you’re seeking help and wishing you all the best in your recovery. xx

  5. Susan says

    No shame unless you don’t seek recovery! I was never so relieved as when the therapist told me I had an ED. Then I could start to work on getting better.

  6. Carolyn says

    I wish you complete success in overcoming this struggle you face. I have not experienced the binge eating/restriction cycle but I know many people do and that it’s a very real, very difficult, and very emotional thing.

    I want to speak briefly to the ‘good’ food, ‘bad’ food labels you mention, though. Here’s how I look at it. I have a ‘preferred way of eating’. That’s how I think of it in my head and what I say to my family and friends. That preferred way of eating is a whole foods, plant based, no added oil diet. Honey also makes it into my preferred way because it is a natural sweetener with health benefits. I eat this preferred way most of the time but sometimes I don’t and when I don’t, I don’t feel guilty. That’s because the China Study found that you only a diet that is 95% whole foods and plant based to maintain optimum health. This tidbit is covered in the Forks Over Knives video that many people watch. So…. if I got to a friend’s house and she offers me a piece of cake make with refined flour, refined sugar and added oil, I eat it. I enjoy it. Above all, I don’t feel guilty about it. It just falls into that 5% of foods I allow myself that don’t fit into my my preferred way of eating. This approach also helps immensely with chocolate cravings I get from time to time. :)

    By the way, I love the quote and photo you offered at the end of your post!

    • says

      Thank you, Carolyn, and I do appreciate your insight on taking a preferred way of eating. Knowing that I can make the choice and thinking about the impact of those choices seems to be a balanced approach.

  7. says

    Thank you for sharing your struggles, Carrie. It’s hard to open up about something this personal, and those difficulties definitely go beyond ego. I’ve been coping with anxiety disorders since I was wee, and it’s a constant issue that needs nurturing and love. It can even be scary letting go of something you’ve become so used to even if it’s wreaking havoc on your well being.

    I like to turn to affirmations when I’m having difficulty, and there’s one I found recently that I think fits here: “I’m transforming the old patterns of my mind, and letting go of thoughts I don’t need to have any longer.”

    I wish you well on your transformation :)

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your struggles, Hannah. It actually helps me to think about how far I’ve come with anxiety and that kind of thing, so thank you for reminding me of that. I agree, I think positive affirmations are KEY to the process and that’s a very important part of my healing.

  8. SusanC says

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve never thought of the issues that I struggle with as an eating disorder as much as “I’ve got no willpower” or “my life is crazy and that justifies what I do”. Now I’m wondering if I should seek help. I’m going to investigate via links. And thank you for sharing this journey, again. I am looking forward to more of your stories.

    • says

      I’m so glad my post spoke to you, Susan, although I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. The more I learn about this stuff, the more I realize I’m not alone and that so many of us struggle with these types of issues. I am sending you a huge virtual hug and much strength and hope for recovery.

  9. says

    Dear Carrie,

    So proud of you for taking the steps you need to take so you don’t suffer in a revolving door of eating disorder issues. And doubly proud you could articulate it this way. It’s clear from this post and many others how diligently you have worked on your health, and this will just enrich that hard work and give it even more depth. I look forward to reading about the experiences this new direction gives you. Many blessings for your journey–

    xoxo

    Maria

    ps: I just ordered the row gluten free oat groats you recommended and am having fun with them–thanks!! <3

  10. Anu says

    Thank you for your post! I love your blog. I also have issues with emotional eating. Its nice to know that there are places to get help. Thank you <3

  11. says

    hi carrie,

    just wanted to chime in here to say that your post speaks to me. we have quite a bit in common, actually; i’ve struggled with pcos, wildly disordered eating, and have thyroid issues as well. your goal of getting past the “good” and “bad” food labels while remaining vegan is admirable, and it’s something i was never able to do. through counseling i was able to start identifying and removing the labels i held so staunchly in my head for so long (i still have a loooong way to go, let’s be honest), but through the counseling process i had to break-up with my 5-year relationship with veganism because i simply couldn’t handle putting restrictions on my diet whilst working through my food label issues. these days, nothing is truly “off limits”; i just take it day by day and try to eat what feels good. not that i’m an expert here or anything, far from it.

    i’m sure you’ve read this already, but i’d love to recommend the book “intuitive eating”. it helped me a lot, though i do have to re-read it every six months or so because like learning a new language, i find i lose the concepts over time if i don’t keep them in forefront of my mind.

    anyway, i guess i just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this struggle. wishing you so much luck and thank you for sharing such a personal journey. you are beautiful! (and your hair is the cutest!)

    • says

      Hi Hilary, thank you so much for your comment and for your honesty. I am absolutely going to look into the book you recommended and maybe download to my iPad. I’ve kind of stayed away from books on eating disorders just so I don’t get overwhelmed, but the title of that book alone sounds very positive and empowering. I’m really happy to discover that you’re a blogger as well, and I just added your to my reader. BTW, I think we are hair twins? :0)

  12. says

    Well done for having the courage to seek help, you’ve suffered enough over the past year or so!

    Good luck on your healing journey Carrie

    Vicky xo

  13. Melissa says

    Thanks for sharing, Carrie. I have an overeating disorder and issues with body image and self-esteem as well and it’s heartening to see I’m not alone in my struggles. I hope to overcome mine and help others overcome theirs…as soon as I find the answers. I’ll do some research on EBT. My biggest problem is doing the work. I’m lazy but I know if I overcome it, I’ll be stronger and happier with myself. Your blogs are inspiring and appreciate you sharing your knowledge and life experiences. That is a beautiful picture! You’re talented in many things!

    • says

      Thank you, Melissa. I completely understand about not wanting to do the work to feel better, but it can be even really tiny steps. You’re worth it! Xoxo.

    • says

      Thank you, Steph. I try to be myself, but I do have the gift of having no shame (ha ha). No, really, I just try to be honest and hope to find and give support on this crazy journey we call life. :)

  14. Antoinette says

    Thank you for sharing this, I know it must be extremely difficult to bare your soul for all the world to see (read). I just want you to know that I think you are absolutely beautiful and even though I don’t know you personally, from your posts I can tell that you are a wonderful person. I, like many women, also struggle with a distorted body image that was years in the making. Society puts so much pressure on us to look, act, dress a certain way and this type of thinking is put into our heads at an early age. I feel that it’s almost inevitable that women will suffer from some type of eating disorder at some point in their life because of these ridiculous standards. One thing that I have learned is that when we look in the mirror we don’t see the same person that other people see. Have you seen the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” video- it really hits the nail on the head.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE

    • Melissa says

      That was a beautiful video. I was crying through the whole thing because it’s so true. My therapist tells me all the time that I don’t see myself the same way others do. We are our own worst critics. Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Thank you, Antoinette, your sweet words just make me feel so loved and supported. There are about a million reasons why I can think I have this problem, so I’m excited to make the change inside so I am more resilient against the outside factors and the inevitable changes that my body will undergo throughout the rest of my life. Thank you for sharing the video link, too…I will watch it now.

  15. says

    Hugs to you for the pain that you are feeling and for the courage you are using to heal yourself…you deserve all the care and love for yourself that you share with everyone else. Please be kind to yourself and take your time and seek support whenever you need it. Blessed be. :)

  16. Marietta says

    Hi Carrie,

    We have never met before but I feel that you have been so inspirational along my journey that I wanted to take a moment to send you some positive wishes. I so admire and appreciate your honesty and your blog has been a pleasure to read over the years. I have been following a plant based diet for several years after a cancer diagnosis and also struggle with sweets. I am currently a NET in training with Dr. Fuhrman and in the fall I have been accepted to the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I have been so intrigued with the struggles people have to stay on a plant based diet so I have decided to train to become an eating psychology coach and hope to help people make the connection between staying plant based and not feeling deprived. I have spent years struggling with deprivation and body image and food obsession and have been learning to be kind and patient with myself. I sometimes worry about not being 100% perfect with my food for fear that the cancer will return. It is a struggle but I try very hard to look at the positive strides I have made over the years. I have a tough time with dried fruits and desserts in place of meals and I am learning how to work healthy options into my diet. I work on a regular basis with Randi at Dr. Fuhrman’s office and the work has been very insightful. I also just wanted to say that you are not alone – you have helped so many of us over the years with your recipes and stories and travels and my hope is that you can draw strength from our collective universe of plant based diet friends. Thank you for all that you have shared – your vulnerability and courage is such a gift to us and I know that you will find your way along this crazy food journey. Best wishes!!!

    • says

      Thank you, Marietta, I am so happy that you wrote me this amazing message. I have also had an irrational fear that eating any kind of sugar is going to cause cancer cells to start growing, too, so it’s helpful to know another cancer survivor who has had the same thought. I think it is fantastic that you are devoting your life to helping others and congratulations on your new program. I’m also happy to know that your work with Randi has helped; I haven’t worked with her directly, but I have been very inspired the few times I’ve heard her speak. Thank you, again.

  17. Patty says

    Carrie, I just love you, and when I first discovered your blog for myself, I felt like I found a friend. You’re a wonderful person! You are so generous to have always shared so much with all of us here, and to always be so open and honest. I can tell you, for a fact, that you have helped me immensely, in so many ways, and I’m positive that your sharing and caring have helped many, many, others, as well. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. I know how this feels, because I have spent 30 years suffering from the same disorders myself. You are brave and strong and intelligent. You are taking powerful steps, seeking help, and working toward recovery. I wish you all of the best, in everything, always. I admire that you are taking steps and doing the work to recover. Reading your post, and all of the comments, I see so many of us, in our culture, have similar struggles with eating disorders, overeating disorders, body image, etc. We all have so much in common, yet on our own we sometimes feel alone, but we aren’t alone, so many of us, most of us have these same anxiety disorders that manifest in eating, body image, etc. I identify so deeply with everything you, and the other readers have shared. I have spent nearly 30 years, as well, fluctuating up and down with my weight, feeling ashamed of that, not liking the way my body looks, wishing I could just get to the “perfect” weight and then “everything will be perfect”….”then I can get the wardrobe I want”….”then I can have the portraits taken, like everyone else has, where they look so pretty and happy”…..”then I can not be embarrassed when I see friends and family….I will look the same as the last time they saw me rather than much heavier or much smaller”….”the same clothes will fit me forever”…..the negative thoughts can just go on and on. I have hated every time I’ve lost weight, received tons of compliments, and then the same people see me a year later and they are probably sad for me that I regained all of the weight. It’s not for a lack of knowledge. It’s a deeper thing, and I’ve only just recently started to try to seek recovery and discovery for myself, because I’ve had the thoughts about I don’t want to be wishing my life away for the next 30 years, and not really living for the next 30 years. I don’t want that. It’s been about 30 years since I’ve had a bathing suit and gotten to go in the pool on vacations and things, and that long since I’ve had a pretty dress, and the whole time I’ve had that disordered thinking of “well, I’m close to looking okay, but still not good enough…I’m not good enough to go in the pool., etc.”. I have just started in the last few years to see the pain and disorder in that thinking. I used to believe those thoughts and think they were right. At least now, I have finally come to realize that those thoughts are not right. I’m on my path. I am still healing from my recent thyroid lobectomy, and that is just one of the many ways in which you’ve helped me personally, Carrie. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read the posts where you shared about your journey with your thyroid and surgery. I thank you, Carrie, for sharing all that you have, and I have huge respect for you. Again, I’m so sorry that you, too, have suffered with episodes of binge eating, restriction, and body image issues. I wish none of us had to go through this painful experience. I’m happy for you, and proud of you, that you are seeking help, and I will truly appreciate and look forward to reading whatever you decide to share of your journey here. Thank you, I adore you, and I’m sending you lots of love and hugs.
    You’re the best!

    • says

      Thank you, Patty. You’ve helped me through a lot of pain with your wisdom and being such a thoughtful friend. I hope you don’t mind me writing this in a public forum, but you know what is really funny? When you sent me your post-surgery photo recently, you said something about looking swollen, but when I opened it up, my only thought was, “oh, how great, that is my beautiful friend Patty, and I can finally put a face to the name.” So, it goes to show you that we really are the most critical of ourselves and we should focus some of that compassion and love we feel for others on ourselves. At least, that’s one of the lessons I’m taking from all this. Have a wonderful week and I hope you continue to heal well. Xoxo.

      • Patty says

        Thank you, Carrie!! That is so sweet of you!! I think that is a beautiful lesson. Have a great week! :)
        xoxo

  18. says

    You’re always so open and honest Carrie and I truly admire that. I really hope that you find the help and healing you are looking for. You are a strong and beautiful woman and deserve to feel that way!

  19. says

    Oh my sweet – I’m glad you decided to share this with us. I imagine it was a tough decision, but for people like me, incredibly helpful as it lets us know we aren’t alone in this recovery battle.
    Thank you for sharing your words, what is working for you and the resources (I will certainly be checking out EBT – I haven’t yet heard of that).
    I myself was gearing up to phase out of recovery, but my doc noticed a bit of a drop in weight and has slowed the phase out :/
    One of my biggest challenges is still the “good” vs. “bad” food issue – apparently this is a symptom of black and white thinking (for me at least). I’m still have a tough time with this.
    I look forward to your posts about this and we can help each other through this =)
    *hugs*

    • says

      Thank you, Kimmy. I hope it’s okay to write this, but you talking to me about your work helped me more forward by leaps and bounds, so I feel very connected to you on this. Black and white thinking? Oh my goodness, that is a huge struggle for me, too. Sending you my very, very best. Xoxo.

    • says

      Thank you, Lynn, I appreciate the kind offer. The honesty you’ve presented on your blog over the years was often hard for me to read, but now that I’m “open” about my struggles, I can’t tell you how much I admire your courage and how much it’s helped me find the strength and resolve to move forward. Xoxo.

  20. DB Johnson says

    WOW! I just subscribed to your blog and this is my first post. This is me…. I am vegan, a runner, thin, and eat until I can’t eat anymore. Yes, I eat nuts and seed and fruit etc, but I never stop. And, if at a buffet, oh my, it’s like I can’t afford food. I look forward to sharing your journey. They say when the student is ready….

    • says

      Thank you for your honesty and I feel honored that you’re interested in what I have to say. It has taken me so long to get to this point that I am feeling a lot of freedom and healing just from putting it “out there” and asking for help.

  21. Kaitlin says

    Carrie,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I swear this post must have been sent from above for me! I have been struggling with binge eating disorder since I was nine. I’ve fluctuated between healthy and non healthy weight ranges, as well as eating healthy and not so healthy my whole life. I’m 31 now and for the past 3 years I’ve been trying to become a plant-based vegan.

    Each time I start the process of only eating a plant-based diet I get about 2 weeks in and then go back to binging on foods that aren’t healthy for me. I’m now at the point where I weigh almost 400 pounds and I am at the end of my rope. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve been in treatment centers, to doctors, been on diets, been to therapists, been in OA. Everyone has a different philosophy and strategy. I’m so confused about what to do. All I know is that i’m unhappy feeling sick and out of control.

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing your struggles. Sometimes it is hard to read so many blogs when you are looking for help and it seems like it is so easy for everyone else and I can’t understand what i’m doing wrong. Thank you for your courage in sharing your story. Any continued support and progress updates would be appreciated! ~Kaitlin

    • says

      Thank you, Kaitlin, and my heart goes out to you. I think I was about 10 when my binge-eating started and, although I’ve never sought professional treatment specifically for my disordered eating behaviors until now, I identify with the search to figure out what is wrong and the frustration when others seem to be doing fine. I wish I could point you to more resources, but it really does seem to be an individual thing. I would just say keep trying to find the help and support you need and that I DO really believe that this can get better…maybe there is no easy fix, but I’ve been doing some deep, deep emotional work through my program and I feel like I’m at least taking baby steps and moving in the right direction.

  22. Cindy H says

    Carrie don’t be ashamed, if you think that you have an eating disorder, then so do 9 out of 10 women. I think we have all fealt exactly the way you do at some point, I struggle with the same issues and quite frankly, until reading your post never really thought of it as an eating disorder. After your recommendations I purchased Dr. Fuhrman’s books and am in the process of trying to make some “lifestyle” changes, the biggest struggle for me is limiting dairy I just cannot like vegan cheese:)

    • says

      Thank you, Cindy! I honestly can’t believe how pervasive this issue is and I’m just starting to realize how “non-alone” I am in my struggles. Not that I would wish eating disorders or body image issues on anyone, but it does help me to know that there is a whole support network of people who are working on this as well and, especially, who feel like they are recovered and thriving (I so want to be able to say that I’m gaining ground). I think the line between struggles and a true disorder is a fine one, but if you feel it’s a problem, then I would err on the side of getting help (just my public health PSA). :)

  23. Sharen says

    Your courage in blogging about your issues is so wonderful. I had Anorexia for 13 years and spent 2 years in an eating disorders program to relearn how to eat. The 2 years invested has helped me move forward in so many ways with my life. I wish you all the best success with this program.

    • says

      Thank YOU, Sharen, for helping give me hope for recovery and for a brighter future. I am doing some hard emotional work, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

  24. Andrea says

    I am greatly looking forward to your sharing your experiences. One of the things in I have noticed in our culture is that we are fine labeling behavior that involves under eating and weight loss as an eating disorder but binge eating or behavior that involves being overweight is just a personal flaw. I’m quite a bit overweight and a large (pun intended) part if that is emotional eating. I’m currently undergoing chemo for my second bout of cancer. With Both cancers I have had, weight loss would dramatically reduce the chance of it recurring. You would think that would be motivation enough. But while I have improved my food choices, the emotional eating continues as does the weight. So that you for being willing and brave enough to share your experiences. I look forward, as always :), to learning from you.

    • says

      Andrea, thank you for your honesty. And, to be honest, I had never thought about what you said about the disorder vs. personal flaw misperception. Someone else commented that I had no choice to have this problem any more than I had a choice to have cancer, and that made me feel less ashamed. I am sending you both hope and strength on your journey.

  25. says

    Hi there you!

    I struggle with disordered eating, too. It’s considerably better than it has been in the past, but as I’ve gotten more health conscious, I find that I struggle with the line between “healthy” and “restrictive.” In some ways, this thinking is triggered by reading certain blogs, and I have to step away when I notice myself getting a little crazy. I also notice that when I’m stressed or overwhelmed, the urge to restrict and obsess over different parts of my body is a lot stronger. Sometimes to combat that, I end up emotionally eating food on the less healthy end of the spectrum while feeling bad about it the whole time. It’s incredibly stressful and incredibly difficult to talk about, but I’m finding in the blog world and in my daily life, that I am far from the only one struggling with it, so know that you are not alone and that there IS a space for us to talk about it and support each other.

    To echo another commenter above, I worked with an RD that went even further than 95% and 5%; she said 80% clean/healthy and to not worry about the other 20%. She didn’t mean to eat all the unhealthiest food I could find, but to just not WORRY about the other 20%. If I was focusing on super clean eating 80% of the time, than 20% of the time I could just eat and enjoy. I’m not always there, but it’s helped me a lot to eat least reframe my thinking.

    There’s no easy answer and it’s such hard work to deal with these thoughts and behaviors, especially given how isolating they can be. But know that so many of us are here for you, and that if you ever need a moment of support, I’m only a phone call or email way. xox

    • says

      Thank you, Liz, for your awesome input. You are so thoughtful and knowledgeable and I really appreciate you sharing. Your comments made me think about how certain websites/blogs also trigger unhealthy thoughts for me. I am going to be a lot more aware of that going forward, and might even just delete those sites from my readers. Sending you a big hug! Also, random note, I’m going to the post office this afternoon. :)

  26. Jill says

    Thank you for posting this Carrie. It’s really helpful to hear about other people’s process for recovery. I love vegan food blogs but sometimes it seems daunting (Could these people creating and photographing these amazingly nutritious recipes really be so perfect? Do they never falter and overeat or eat something super sugary and fattening? And why is it I can’t seem to do that? ). I appreciate your willingness to be open with your readers and help remove the shame surrounding eating disorders and disordered eating. Best wishes and I will look forward to your posts :)
    –Jill

  27. says

    Good for you. I struggle daily with food issues, take everything that is going on in my life out on my body (good or bad). It is a stigma about seeking help, but I have thought about it also. Good for you taking your life in your hands.

  28. Rebecca says

    I’m so proud of you, my brave and hopeful friend. I truly believe finding a good fit with a skilled therapist is absolutely key, and it sure sounds like you found yours. I’m sending you big hugs, supportive well wishes, and my utter belief in your ability to recover. XOXO

  29. Peggy says

    Carrie, I have been following you since I changed to a whole foods plant based diet 3 years ago. My health improved greatly but then 9 months ago I found myself fighting breast cancer. I remembered your writings about your cancer- green smoothies in the hospital- and I was encouraged to continue even though it became more difficult. At times quite stressful when i could not cook for myself. Now I am reminded to go easy. I don’t have to be perfect. Thank you for that. Take care.

    • says

      Thank you, Peggy, for sharing your thoughts. It is so nice when I hear from friends like you. I really am happy to hear that what I wrote was a reminder to you to not try and be perfect. I am really taking that lesson to heart and just doing the best I can without judging myself so harshly. My very best to you.

  30. says

    Gah, this post really struck a chord – I also have crazy binge attacks that completely undermine my attempt to live healthy and free of addictions. It’s amazing that you took a stand and did something about it – sometimes the most difficult part is finding out where one can start addressing the issue. Even after turning my habits around (mostly) it is still a daily issue, with each meal being scrutinized. It’s so strange how others can just eat without thought! Anyway, best of luck with the journey!

    • says

      Thank you for your honesty, Margaux. In addition to the professional therapy, I’m finding that the book Intuitive Eating that another blog reader recommended to be incredibly helpful. This topic really seems to have struck a chord with many, so I am already planning a follow-up post. Hugs to you.

  31. Glynis says

    So wonderful that you would share something so personal. Letting folks know they are NOT ALONE is one of the greatest gifts. From all the posts it is obvious you are not alone and neither will any of the folks here feel alone with such a good soul as yourself out there sharing as you do.
    It is remarkable as to how women fought so hard for their rights and liberation and yet we seem to have become our own worst enemies and internalized a skewed view of the “perfect woman”. Top that off with physical issues (thyroid, cancers, IBS, Celiac, Crohns), mental health issues (anxiety, depression) and pressures to wear many hats at one time (career, spouses, friends and moms) we have an uphill battle. Unfortunately, more and more men are following right behind us.
    No easy solutions just lots of hard work. It is time to recognize we are not perfect (perfect is for the heavens) but we are all beautiful in our own way, we are all fighters, and winners, and sometimes losers, but we learn and move forward. More than anything we have to keep supporting each other and WE HAVE TO TAKE BACK OUR LIVES! ASK FOR HELP, GET HELP and PLEASE DON’T EVER EVER FORGET Y O U A R E N O T A L O N E.

  32. says

    Thank you for your candor and willingness to share, Carrie. I think it’s so important to bring attention and focus to eating disorders. You’ve gone through so much and I wish you all the best in your recovery and progress.

  33. Paula says

    Oh I could so relate to this. Did you know how much of this is related to hormones? Since being diagnosed as hyperthyroid it isn’t just the physical part, there is so much more involved emotionally. Depression, anxiety, roller coaster emotions. I had no idea. Some Dr’s advised that even after getting the hormones corrected, other therapy may still be needed. Thanks for posting this. I needed some reassurance.

    • says

      Paula, I have no doubt that some of my emotional stuff is related to hormones and sleep and food choices, etc. It’s all so complicated! The therapy and mindfulness training has helped me realize that I can stay connected to myself as much as possible when times are tough, and then experience natural pleasures as well throughout the day. I really needed the help of a therapist, though, because my food issues have been with me for so long.

  34. Tom Farrell says

    Your sharing gives support to all those in facebookland who need to hear or read your testimony. God bless your journey and the good that will come to others as well! Hang in there …. the adventure awaits you!!!!

  35. says

    Carrie, I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to reach out to you on this post. Thank you, so very much, for sharing your story here on your blog. It’s incredibly brave of you and so inspirational to read your words especially in light of some articles regarding veganism and body image lately. This is an issue near and dear to my heart, and one I’m hoping to engage on my blog soon. Thank you for being a light to other vegans, and for being so authentic about your experiences! Much love to you always!

    • says

      Thank you for your kind words, Rachel. I’m happy to report that I’m doing much better in recent weeks, but still working on my relationship with food and my body image. I would be very interested to hear your take on the issue as well. Take care!

Trackbacks

  1. […] friends–have written brave, meaningful posts that shed light on their experiences with EDs. The first one is from Carrie of Carrie on Vegan, who says she’ll be writing more about recovery as the weeks go by. I certainly hope she […]

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