Bridget Bites : 'Veganism and disordered eating'

Bridget Bites : 'Veganism and disordered eating'

Q:

Hey Bridget :) first of all - thank you very much for making the effort to answer questions! Very kind and down-to-earth. I have a huge problem. I am 22 by the way! With 16 I went on the pill and got very ill from that I gained so much weight and couldnt lose it anymore no matter what I did and how much I worked out. Then I developed all allergies that are excisting in this world... I went off it 2 years ago, but the weight persisted and so the allergies and acne did. I started eating extremely little and it was only possible for me to lose it with eating 600cals a day. I didnt felt good and working out wasnt possible anymore... as also a normal daily life too... now i tried a vegan diet since 7 months with only eating green vegetables and carrots. Sometimes quinoa or brown rice, flax oil or a spoon of sesame. Everything else isnt possible cause I react to it.. i cant eat legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, sea vegetables, coconut, soy... so I have a huge protein problem. Since 3 months i developed trigeminus neuralgia from the poor nutrition. I just cant workout anymore.. and my metabolism slowed down to a minimum.. i am searching a way out and ask you for tips. You are so nice skinny and eating low in calorie too with eating only vegetables and no oils but you have the power to do everything. Do you have tips for getting the metabolism back on track? You must have had friends in the model industry who had similar problems. Do you know tips? Oh and for protein? Thank you so much!! All the best for you :) btw (i was at doctors etc, but they couldnt help with the problem.. told me to just eat eat eat, espec. lots of yoghurt, milk, whole meal bread etc… )

A:

Unfortunately, I'm really not qualified to deal with this question, because I am not a doctor. Your doctor is whom you should be talking to at this stage, and from what I can see, your doctor gave you the solution to get your health back and that is to eat. The only reason why I feel the need to address this here is because I want to draw attention to when you probably need to quit a plant-based diet, and (from what it appears) confront the fact that you may not be using veganism in the right way. I do not know any models who have gone through something like this, because many models are ectomorphs who are naturally lanky and lean - and it's not something we necessarily control. None of my friends have to eat as few as 600 calories a day to maintain their size. That is far too little to remain healthy, as you have now experienced.

If you are allergic to all the foods that most vegans rely on to keep weight and muscle tone, then you need to introduce some animal products into your diet. There is really no other bottom line here. A couple of years down the track, when you are at a healthy weight for a while and your body is not shutting down on you like it seems to be doing now, maybe you can try a vegan diet again. But if you feel weak and sickly, you are not doing anyone any favors by being a vegan - least of whom yourself. Please don't become the unfortunate stereotype of the "sick vegan," because you can and should be healthy when you practice it.

It sounds to me like you might be struggling with some body image issues - and that your priority is to remain skinny at all costs regardless of what damage you may do to yourself in the meantime. I want to send you so much love, because that is no way to live. You are so young, and you should be having a huge amount of fun and coming into your own as a human - not worrying about your body size. Your body is a vessel for who you are as a human; it is not you as a whole. In that vein, you should treat it with the love and nourishment it deserves, and also know that you offer SO much more to the world than your physical appearance. I really hope that you find some peace and control. I can’t really offer much else than this as I am definitely not and will never ever pretend to be a healthcare professional - but I would really advise you to talk to a professional next. Start meditating, and start putting who you are at your deepest level first. The world deserves to know you in your fullest - not as a shadow of your full potential.

You’re in my thoughts, lots of love to you. I know you can get through this :)

 

Peace and Love,

Bridget