I used to be a stick thin, pre-pubesent school girl who could eat as much I as liked and never had to worry about my weight…however the moment I hit 14…BAM – my activity levels decreased, however I failed to adjust my food intake accordingly.
I slowly started to put on weight until one day I stepped on the scales only to see the number 75 staring back at me.
I know this doesn’t even seem like much when compared to people who gain 50 – 100kgs, however 20kgs was a big enough SLAP in the face for me.
Once I realised how much weight I had put on, I started on my tangent to get ‘skinny’.
At this point, something clicked in my brain to identify food as the enemy – not just some food, all food!
Coffee became my best friend, and when I felt like my stomach was just about to eat itself from starvation, I would have 6 almonds…not 7, but 6 – exactly 6!
I became so focused on my weight that I started obsessing, covering my bedroom walls with pictures of super skinny models, making unachievable weight-loss goals, researching every single fad diet i could find and basing my whole existence on what I looked like.
Obviously, the human body was not designed to live off a combination of coffee and 6 almonds a day – needless to say that I would get soooo hungry that I would binge.
I would binge on anything and everything – mainly highly processed, high fat, high sugar, highly salted foods.
It seemed that I had a daily eating pattern that went like this:
In the morning I would wake up and drink a coffee. I would make a goal to not eat anything all day, but if I was that desperately hungry, a daily limit of 6 almonds was all I allowed myself.
I would usually have another coffee at lunch to keep me going until the evening…which is when I would go down.
I would try to negotiate deals with myself in my head.
“Okay well you are hungry and haven’t eaten all day, you can have one teaspoon of Nutella, ONLY IF you go for a 20 minute run afterwards!”
Once I had one teaspoon, I couldn’t stop myself from having another and another…until I was eating on turbo mode, ripping through the pantry to see what I could sink my teeth into.
Biscuits, Ice Cream, Nutella, Chips, Lollies, Bread, 2 minute noodles, 8 minute pasta (I would be constantly eating for those 8 minutes as I waited for it to cook)…you name it, I ate it.
My binges used to last for about an hour or two, and I would even set myself a time limit.
“Okay, its 5.30pm right now and you are not allowed to eat ANYTHING after 6pm…GO!”
Once I knew I had only 30 minutes to stuff my face, I would make sure I got as much in as possible…sometimes I would be nearly to the point of vomiting due to the fact that there was literally no more space in my stomach!
Most of the time I would be crying & eating simultaneously, often repeating the phrase “I have a disease, I need help”
Once my time was up, the only thing I could do was sit in one spot and reflect, basically because I was so full that I couldn’t move.
I would then get really inspired to start surfing the internet for pictures of really skinny people, and tell myself that “tomorrow, you are seriously not allowed to eat anything, because otherwise you will NEVER get skinny”
I would go to bed feeling sick, irritable and disgusting – only to wake up the next day with a chronic food hangover.
This happened nearly EVERY SINGLE DAY for about a year, resulting in no change to my weight.
I decided that the best way for me to control this disease was to hold myself accountable by blogging.
I would record thoughts, experiences and everything that I ate in a day in a blog which can be seen here: http://earthdieteesarahmae.blogspot.com.au/
Once I changed my thinking/eating habits from “I have to be skinny” to “I have to be healthy”…everything changed, and it seemed to get ALOT easier.
I went vegetarian when I was 13 and decided I didn’t want to be a part of the slaughter of animals in any way, however that didn’t mean I was healthy at all! (some vegetarians don’t even eat vegetables!)
So I decided to do some research and teach myself how to prepare healthy, vegetarian recipes.
I came across some blogs of people who were fit, healthy, glowing and so positive!
I was so inspired to feel and look the way that they did!
I was about 17 at this point and the next 2 years were what I call my ‘Transition Period’
I gradually started incorporating healthier recipes into my daily diet.
It didn’t happen overnight, and I would go through little ‘rough patches’ where I would start to slip back into binging, however they wouldn’t last as long and I always seemed to keep ‘getting back on the wagon’.
Watching documentaries such as Food Matters, Food Inc, The Cove, Earthlings, May I Be Frank etc, really helped me to constantly remind myself the reasons that I embarked on this lifestyle.
About a year ago, I made the decision to go Vegan – although I had wanted to months before this, it took me a while to pluck up the courage to stand for what I believe in – I will never go back!
I now blog and video blog about all aspects of being a 20 year old vegan in todays society.
I hope you enjoy reading/watching whether you are just beginning your ‘Transition Period’, you’ve already begun or you’ve been proudly vegan for 6 or so years
Have a beautiful day/night, wherever in the world you are xxx