For my 6th month anniversary of being vegan, I thought I’d relay some information I’ve never really told anybody before.
Ever since I was 15, I was obsessed with how much I weighed. I was extremely self conscious, body conscious, and I would do anything and everything in order to lose weight. I would partake in fad diets, down excessive diet pills, commence fasting periods, and every time I had an extreme binging episode, I would immediately purge it out (at home, at school, at restaurants, anywhere), after punishing/ostracizing myself for failing. I was my own worst bully. I hated myself.
I was bulimic, and nobody knew. If anyone could tell that I came back from the bathroom because I puked, I just claimed I ate too much and my body forced it out, when in reality, I would use my fingers, my toothbrush, any utensil, etc. Any long object I could force down my throat. Deep until my face was red and tears blurred my vision. Deep until I felt a thrusting pain in my heart, and not stop until acidic stomach bile would cough out. This was procedure to me, I was so used to it that I didn’t see it at the time as full fledged bulimia, it was simply a way to make the bad come out. An “undo” button, so to speak.
I was the kind of person who based how good my day was going to be by what my weight scale showed me. The purging episodes were more frequent, and more violent. I’ve felt like this/and have done this since I was 15 to 21.
When I first looked into veganism, I made the mistake of thinking of it as an advanced plant-based diet, but it wasn’t until I actually educated myself/researched it that I realized health is actually the last thing it’s about. Almost just like that, it stopped being a diet to me. I stopped counting calories, I stopped starving, I stopped giving a shit about reaching size 0, there is so much more in the world to focus on/worry about/fight for and I see veganism as the lifestyle/philosophy/social movement it represents, and it’s never-ending, it’s continuous. It’s an ongoing journey.
But…since April/2012, I don’t care about how much I weigh. I don’t care if I can’t fit into old clothes like I used to. I don’t care what the weight scale says anymore. I haven’t binged, I haven’t purged. Sometimes I eat a lot, sometimes I eat a little. I don’t let it ruin me or take control of me.
I used to think of eating and food as failure, or losing.
I don’t feel like I’m giving up anything. I actually enjoy food now. I’ve grown a new found love for fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, bread, etc, etc, etc that I’ve never really had before. and either way, I wouldn’t want to partake in the suffering of somebody who wanted to live.
I’m not vegan for my own health. But I do appreciate that for the first time, it made me be able to look in the mirror and not hate what I see.
I will live as a vegan, I will die as a vegan. This… I promise.