“What Healthy Truly Means”: Quincy’s Green Recovery Story

by Gena on March 10, 2013

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Hello, all. Hope you’ve been enjoying beautiful weekends. Here in DC, there have been hints of spring in the air, though it’s been hard to enjoy them from the library!

I’ve got another Green Recovery post for you today. I found this one particularly inspiring because the author is only eighteen years old, and she demonstrates a truly inspiring level of self-awareness in the piece. For all of my precocity as a teen, I simply had not developed the kind of honesty with myself that I needed to take recovery seriously. Quincy has, and she has also worked up the courage to share her story. I hope you’ll be as touched as I am by it.

I honestly can’t say that I remember a time when I didn’t struggle with body image. From a very young age, I had always compared myself to others- always coming out on the bottom.

Throughout middle school in desperate attempts to be thin, I experimented with calorie restriction, over exercising, diet pills, and purging. My behavior was nowhere near normal, but I managed to hide it pretty well. My family was not aware that there was an issue and most of my friends weren’t either (except for those I had chosen to share with.)

Although things were pretty out of control in middle school, they didn’t get really bad until my freshman year of high school. This was the year I began running track. I also became infatuated with the idea of “healthy eating” until it became an obsession. I developed food rules and was extremely rigid with them. I started out by just cutting meat from my diet. The combination of my new eating habits and my increase in physical activity led me to drop weight very quickly. I was down over 10% of my body weight in a few short weeks. The weight loss did not alarm me; it inspired me. I wanted to see how much further I could go.

Soon I cut refined sugar from my diet. Next was refined flour and then all saturated fats. I know that these guidelines can be healthy in moderation, but that is the key word: moderation. This word was foreign to me. I would not touch foods with “bad” ingredients. I would refuse to eat in social situations if there was nothing that met my standards. I would throw fits or go into panic mode if anyone tried to make me eat something that was on my list of foods to avoid. I later learned that this disorder is called Orthorexia Nervosa. It is a disorder where one strives to follow a “perfect” diet and experiences great anxiety, low self-esteem, and more if they are unable to do so.

My disorder left me isolated and depressed. My life revolved around my diet and I was a slave to it. I was lucky enough that my parents started to realize the issue and soon put me into treatment. For about a year I was part of a group therapy program. The group helped immensely. As a result I was able to reach a healthy weight and let go of the crazy standards that I set for myself.

Even though I was a long way from where I started, there were still many compulsions that felt I had to adhere to after treatment. I tracked every single calorie I ate and burned. I measured all of my food out in measuring cups before serving myself. I looked up the nutritional info of meals before going out to eat anywhere. I was afraid of losing the weight that I had gained if I didn’t count calories, but I was also afraid of gaining more than I needed to. This fear kept me tracking and created great unmanageability in my life.

This past summer, I went on a trip to Europe. I knew it would be difficult to track while I was there, and I didn’t want to live that way any longer. I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t track or measure anything for the duration of my trip. I also decided that I was going to experiment with veganism while I was there. I had been interested in the diet for a long time but had never taken the plunge.

Throughout my trip, I ate a variety of plant-based foods- and I didn’t count or track a thing! I had never been to Europe and decided I must make the most of it. The ability to indulge in a vegan gelato or baklava without fear of the consequences was the most freeing feeling in the world. I was able to grasp the concept of moderation. And for the first time in years, I ate what I felt like and was actually able to enjoy the food and the people who I was sharing it with.

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Quincy in Europe last summer!

I realized that through eating whole foods, I actually felt whole and alive. I learned that I could eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m satisfied. Veganism allowed me to eat for both pleasure and nourishment. Eating was no longer a chore. I began to love it because I began to love myself.

It has been over 6 months since going vegan, and it truly helps me to battle my eating disorder on a daily basis. Sure, there are days when I want to revert back to my ED behavior. But I know that through my plant-based diet and new mindset to eating, I am healthy- no matter what the number on the scale says. Veganism may not be for everyone, but I believe it is a huge contributor to my recovery. Because of it I know what healthy truly means.


Thank you, Quincy!

I love two things in particular about this submission: first, I love that Quincy emphasizes the danger of becoming overly fixated on “healthy” eating rules. As someone who has been very prone to this—not in the first two iterations of my eating disorder, but definitely in my last relapse—I appreciate the fact that she sheds light on how quickly an attempt to “eat clean” can spiral into an unnecessary and all-consuming fear of all but the slimmest list of ingredients.

Second, I love that a trip to Europe helped to further Quincy’s recovery! Of course I don’t want to make generalizations, but I have noticed that my maternal relatives—who are spread all over Greece, Italy, France, and Switzerland—seem to have a very enthusiastic and celebratory relationship with food. They do not, as so many Americans seem to, fixate endlessly on the nutritional density of each and every thing they eat. And they take tremendous joy in their meals. I can’t say that European travel is always easy as a vegan, or that there isn’t quite a bit of cultural disdain for veganism in some parts of Europe (there certainly is), but I do think that there are lessons to be learned from partaking in food culture that is different from our own. I myself have benefitted a lot from the flexibility and adaptability that comes with travel. I’m glad Quincy has, too.

Of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts—and so would Quincy!

xo

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren @ Breathe & Nourish March 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for sharing your story Quincy! This was the first time I heard from someone firsthand that struggled with orthorexia. I hope that your veganism is filled with freedom and compassion for yourself. May you be able to listen to what your body needs and desires for nourishment as a whole being, not just one with nutritional requirements! :)

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I’m glad I could share (: Orthorexia is still somewhat of a new term in the world of eating disorders, so I guess that’s why it’s seen less often? Either way, I want to spread the word that it is just as damaging as any other disorder. Thanks for your encouragement!

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Elisabeth March 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Thank you for sharing! Your story resonates a lot with me, especially because I am a teen and I went through a similar struggle with anorexia and orthorexia. I, too, was able to keep my disorder a “secret,” but in the back of my mind, I always longed to tell someone about it. That’s why I appreciate Gena’s blog and Green Recovery stories like yours so much because they provide a forum where I can sort through these issues with others. I like how you touched on how socially isolating eating disorders can be because that was a huge part of my problem. I never wanted to eat out, eat at potlucks or parties, or eat at friends’ houses because these meals never measured up to my rigorous, exacting standards. Therefore, a huge part of my recovery focused on the social aspect of eating and what it means to be healthy. I am glad you have found out how rewarding recovery and a plant-based lifestyle are!

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Quincy @Shugurcän March 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Thanks Elisabeth, and I fully agree- the chance for people from all different sorts of backgrounds to come together and share our stories is so helpful and inspiring. I’m sorry to hear that you struggled with the social aspects of disordered eating as well, but I’m glad that we can relate and that you are on the path to a better way of living!

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity March 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I always find it so interesting how people even with anorexia just want to eat clean and healthy but in fact they have the most unhealthy diet there is. Moderation is key and its a battle to keep it that way but it can be done and def worth it!

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Gena March 11, 2013 at 6:35 am

Great point, Lisa!

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elizabeth March 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm

As an unapologetic Europhile, I have long aspired to a more “European” approach to life; it’s reflected in my choices to inhabit small spaces, to build my wardrobe over time, focussing on quality, not quantity, and of course, in my eating style, which is largely aesthetically-driven. That said, I don’t always succedd where food is concerned, and that’s becuase I live in the US, and not Europe. If Europeans don’t fret like we do over “calories” and “nutrients” (even if they’re just as weight conscious, they have a more lackadaisacal approach, easing off indulgences when clothing gets snug, not making a big deal over it), they also don’t tend to fetishize food the way the “foodie” movement here does (and which I’m sometimes guilty of). They don’t ooh and ah over food because they take good food for granted. So while I’m very “European” in that I favor meals over snacks, fresh food over processed food, local food over food from far away, qualtiy over quantity, etc., I know I make a bigger deal over food than my European counterparts. I think though that’s it’s less about me, and less about my eating disorder, than it is about the realities of food choices in the US, where good healthy real food doesn’t abound, and where it often must be sought out. If I’m more relaxed about eating here and there in Euorpe, it’s because I trust the food system more than I trust our own.

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Gena March 11, 2013 at 6:34 am

My mom, who is Greek, takes exactly the approach you mention to weight consciousness. She’ll perhaps avoid indulgences for a few weeks if she thinks she has to, but it’s totally uncomplicated to her, and she soon returns to enjoying food with gusto, everything in moderation, no guilt, no shame, no hyper-analysis. She is an EXTREMELY good role model, though who the heck knows where I went wrong :)

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Hannah March 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Quincy,

Thank you for sharing this with us! I find the part about your European travels particularly striking – I’m, unfortunately, having the opposite experience here in France than you did (wherever you were in Europe, I’m not sure!) – having a hard time with host family, may even have to move out. I thought I could make it work, be flexible, as helpful as I could, but apparently not. So unfortunately I’ve experienced a lot of judgement and criticism here, and it’s too bad. I’m trying to find a solution somehow, though.

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I’m really sorry that your trip isn’t going as planned. I went to Italy and Greece (finding the areas of Italy I visited slightly less accommodating to vegans). It’s really hard to deal with the criticism but I choose to feel good about my actions even if others don’t agree or understand. I have found it helpful to take things one day at a time and remember that whatever I’m going through won’t last forever. Good luck!

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Gena March 11, 2013 at 6:32 am

Oh, Hannah, I’m so sorry that this continues to be difficult for you! I admire how you’ve stuck to your guns, by the way. Remember that respect for food culture goes both ways — you are as entitled to receive it as you are to give it. I’m thinking of you!

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Hannah March 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Thank you both, Quincy and Gena :) It helps even to have “internet friends” send support.

Gena – I will email you – no need to reply as you are busy! – but my gosh Sunday night was horrid and so ridiculous – crazy statements made about vegetarianism by my host mom….you won’t believe it.

Sending good thoughts for you and your studies!

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Sonia March 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Hi Quincy! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m a grad student studying disordered eating and I did my Master’s thesis on the topic of Orthorexia Nervosa. One of the things I noticed was that the term was coined in the US but has not been researched as much here as in other European and South American countries. I wonder if the food/diet culture in America pushes people towards orthorexia– the emphasis on “cleanses” and “detox” and natural foods? It seems like other countries have different attitudes towards eating and food that we could learn a lot from! I love that your travels helped you realize what is healthy for you and that you found a balanced diet for yourself. You are awesome- thanks again for sharing!
PS I also really like that you found your path with a vegan diet! I was really disappointed last year when MTV did a “True Life: I have Orthorexia” program and basically convinced vegetarian teenagers to start eating meat again…they could have learned a thing or two from you :)

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

That’s interesting that other countries have done more research on the topic; I wonder what the prevalence is like there. I definitely think that you’re correct in your assumption that all of our country’s fad health kicks might have something to do with the development of orthorexia. Plus, it’s hard to even know what to believe with so much conflicting information out there! I had no idea that MTV covered orthorexia but their approach is somewhat disappointing to hear about. I know that my personal decision to be vegan is for environmental and ethical reasons, not just health.

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Gena March 11, 2013 at 6:31 am

This is fascinating, Sonia! Thanks for sharing your research perspective.

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Dana March 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm

i can definitely relate to where you are coming from. in the past, i have felt that if my diet wasn’t “perfect” then I was a lost cause. it is through moderation that i retain my sanity :)

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Ali Seiter March 11, 2013 at 6:21 am

Quincy–

This piece speaks volumes to me, since I went through a very similar experience. It’s amazing how a fixation on eating healthfully can actually prove wildly destructive. Yes, eating healthy is vastly important, but becoming obsessed with it threatens one’s overall well-being, since it can ultimately conflict with one’s happiness. Thank you for providing this perspective.

-Ali.

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 11, 2013 at 10:33 am

It is pretty ironic isn’t it? I know that I was extremely unhappy during the low-points of my disorder (although at the time I convinced myself that I was both happy and healthy).

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Annie March 11, 2013 at 8:38 am

Thanks for the bravery in sharing – your journey is inspiring :-)
It seems so easy to get confused amidst the plethora of competing nutrition studies and claims that hit the media and the generalizations about bodies and body images that we confront on a daily basis. Stories like yours are amazing in that they promote the idea of variation – that the beauty in life comes from the variety of human experiences (both physical and non-physical) and that finding the happiest versions of ourselves means something different for everyone – and that’s what living is all about!
Again, thanks for sharing, and good luck with the rest of your journey to health and happiness!

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 11, 2013 at 10:36 am

Thank you! I’m so glad that my journey can help others. I agree with you that recovery and happiness look very different to different people.

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Ali March 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

Wow, this story parallels my experiences so much. My struggles with eating also started when I started running and joined track in high school. Then I got a stress fracture and was unable to exercise, convincing myself that I without exercise I needed to eat even less. Thankfully, my doctor and mother noticed the weight loss pretty early on, and although I haven’t lost anymore, I still haven’t gained it back. I have talked with a counselor and dietician but I still haven’t figured out to get the negative thoughts out of my head.
Also, I am very interested in a vegan diet, and I’ve been a vegetarian since before this started. However, I live in a house full of omnivores and my mom is afraid I won’t get enough calories if I cut out dairy.
I’m also taking a class trip to Italy this summer, and I have to say I’m worried about the food available. I’m afraid it’s just going to be mounds of pasta and I won’t have any other choices! But my mom is coming, and another friend who is a vegetarian, so I hope I will be able to handle it and not let it distract me from the rest of the trip.
Thank you so much for sharing. It’s really made a difference for me and I’m sure many others.

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 11, 2013 at 10:44 am

I can definitely relate! My obsession with food and exercise was also backed by a crippling (no-pun intended) fear of injury and therefore inability to work out. Gaining my weight back was terrifying initially but I knew that it was necessary for my path back to health. My parents had similar concerns about my turn to veganism at first, so I did a lot of research and set up accountability with them to ensure I would get what I needed.
I wish you luck on your trip! It’s an amazing opportunity and being present and flexible will make it all the better!

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Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian March 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Thank you for sharing your story! It’s very inspiring to hear how you were able to find a new freedom through whole foods, and I think it’s wonderful that the trip to Europe was what inspired it to start.

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Jennifer March 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm

First, I would like to commend Quincy for her bravery in coming forward to tell her story, and her perseverance to recover and find a way of eating that brings her happiness. However, I would like to put out an alternative point of view on the subject of healthy eating. I feel that in a quest to avoid obsession with healthy eating, our culture sometimes labels as “extreme” those people who do choose to eat healthfully. Anyone who refuses to eat sugar, or white flour, or other processed foods even in social situations is automatically labeled a “health nut” and seen as somewhat crazy. I eat in a way that many people would consider restrictive (i.e. only whole foods, and either raw or lightly cooked, but not vegan), and I came to this way of eating after suffering serious health problems. My health has improved somewhat, but if I eat even the tiniest thing wrong, I experience a flare-up of my health problems. However, even if I were to recover completely, I would like to be able to eat 100% healthy food if I want to without being made to feel like I’m obsessed or crazy just because I refuse a slice of cake at a party. It makes me happy to eat food that I know is nourishing my body and helping to make me healthier, and I would feel the same kind of cognitive dissonance on being pressured to eat unhealthy food as a vegan might feel when being pressured to eat a piece of cheese, for example. Why is it considered okay to refuse to eat something because it’s not vegan (even if that food is only to be consumed occasionally), but not okay to refuse to eat something because it’s not healthy? Before humans had access to foods such as sugar and white flour, their 100% whole foods diet was the norm. Yet, someone trying to eat the same way today is considered not quite normal. I believe that everyone is entitled to eat in a way that brings them happiness, and no one should be made to feel inferior because of their choices.

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Gena March 11, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Jennifer,

I certainly support your freedom to eat in a way that supports your health. But to this sentiment:

“Why is it considered okay to refuse to eat something because it’s not vegan (even if that food is only to be consumed occasionally), but not okay to refuse to eat something because it’s not healthy?”

I’d say that we’re dealing with two different perspectives on health. My own–and I’m guessing one that Quincy would share–is that eating sugar and white flour now and then isn’t really unhealthy. Eating them in excess certainly is–the deleterious effects of a diet that is consistently very high in refined carbohydrates have been well documented–but the occasional slice of cake or muffin will not, in my opinion, ruin good health. And there is little medical literature to suggest that occasional indulgences and overall moderation are not healthy. I’d also say that the pleasure and sense of ease that can come with enjoying these foods occasionally is in fact quite health-supporting (as opposed to the social isolation and stress that can come with fixating on avoiding any and all refined flours or sugars at ALL times).

You know your body best, naturally, and it sounds as though you are particularly sensitive to these foods. That means you can and should do what you need to do to honor your body, and no one is calling that kind of decision “inferior.” I suppose my broader point is that for many people — I’d guess most people — vigilance to the point of never eating any kind of processed or refined food is not necessary for good health, and in fact can work against it when taken to an extreme. Quincy, feel free to jump in!

G

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 13, 2013 at 9:45 am

I do see where you are coming from, Jennifer, and I appreciate that you want to provide a different perspective. I just know that for me, “healthy eating” is a very slippery slope. I think that it can be even for people without eating disorders. Yes, I want to give my body whole, unprocessed foods- and would advise everyone to do so. However, I agree with Gena that moderation is key. I would eat foods (that aren’t optimal but that definitely won’t kill me) for the sake of the others I am eating with.
I own the fact that I want to follow a healthy diet- despite the fact that this sometimes comes with comments from my friends and family. However, there are certain situations where choosing the best option available has a greater payoff than creating a scene or making those around me unhappy.

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Cathy March 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I have to agree with Jennifer – if I choose to refuse cake or pizza as a healthy choice I get nothing but comments – why shouldn’t we be able to eat what we want to and not feel influenced by peer pressure.

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Gena March 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Cathy,

As I said above, if that level of selectivity genuinely makes you happy/thriving, then you should absolutely feel free to eat as you need/wish to. But I think the broader point is that, for many people, never enjoying a refined treat is not a choice born of genuine enthusiasm; it’s a form of self-imposed restriction that isn’t necessary for good health, and is in fact driven by the same peer pressure you’re talking about!

So I think the ultimate point here is that one’s mindset is very salient. For some, wholesale refusal of certain foods works to support health (whole health–mind and body). But for others, it doesn’t–in fact, it can do the opposite.

G

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Stephanie March 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Thanks for sharing, Quincy!

I can relate to your story. When I studied abroad in Latin America, I gained a new perspective on food, and my disordered eating. The patterns and obsessions that I had developed at home in New York were torn asunder, because suddenly I depended on my host family for meals. I wanted to break my patterns, so I embraced the change in pace, and consciously allowed myself to change my habits. Furthermore, my host family based meals around whole foods: fresh, locally- produced fruits and vegetables, rice and beans. This whole foods-based lifestyle was new to me, and I liked the way it made me feel. Although the healthier habits that I developed in Costa Rica didn’t last for long once I returned home, the trip made me realize that I COULD change my unhealthy relationship with food. This realization gave me comfort for years, as I struggled with my eating habits. My eventual recovery took a long time, but I do think of my time in Costa Rica as kind of a first step towards recovery. Thanks again for sharing.

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 13, 2013 at 9:55 am

That sounds awesome, I have always wanted to visit Costa Rica! It is amazing how other cultures can give us the perspective we need to change. I also started to slip back into my ways after my trip- almost as if I forgot how to let go of control over food. However, I must make a conscious decision every day to let go of that control. I’m glad that your trip could help you!

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Jennifer March 12, 2013 at 4:04 am

I realize that I am somewhat unique in actually not WANTING to eat unhealthy treats, even if they taste good. That does not mean that I like eating food that tastes bad, only that I would much rather make healthy versions of those foods (e.g. raw soft serve banana ice cream instead of storebought ice cream). That way, I both enjoy food that tastes good, and I also know that I am doing something good for my body. Most people don’t mind eating something unhealthy once in awhile, and that’s okay if that makes them happy, but I believe that many people actually would prefer to make healthy choices more often in social situations but feel too much pressure to conform, and it is actually anxiety surrounding the reactions of other people that sometimes creates the problem, rather than the food itself.

Even Quincy experienced the kind of social pressure I’m talking about. Quincy wrote, “I would refuse to eat in social situations if there was nothing that met my standards. I would throw fits or go into panic mode if anyone tried to make me eat something that was on my list of foods to avoid.”

Of course, in Qunicy’s case (as with others who suffer from Orthorexia), her restrictive diet choices were actually what was making her unhappy, and the pressure from other people to eat certain foods was merely compounding the problem. Yet, I also believe that many people who do not have eating disorders would often prefer to eat fewer unhealthy treats, especially if they go to many social events, but negative comments from others force them to change their behaviour. I’ve had this experience many times myself, such as being given a hard time about choosing water over soft drinks at a New Year’s Day party, or bringing a healthy sack lunch instead of eating pizza and hamburgers with my classmates when I was in school.

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Elizabeth March 12, 2013 at 8:10 am

Jennifer, I think you should feel absolutely EMBOLDENED to eat in a way that feels right to you, and to your spirit. I think that is what green recovery is about, eating in a way that meets the same ego-syntonic needs of the eating disorder, in way that is aligned with our ethical principles, our aesthetic preferences, our nutritional beliefs, etc., and NOT succumbing to pressures to be or to eat normal(ly).
It so happens that when I am in Vienna, I prefer to eat nothing but Sachertorte. I have lived for a week on coffee, wine, and cake. Not my usual diet (which I assure you includes megatons of greens on a daily basis), and not remotely healthy, but my spirit seems to thrive on occasional indulgence, and recovery for me was about learning to heed those cravings. So, I’m actually a fan of emotional eating, eating to celebrate things like being in Vienna.
That said, I am, to this day, the pickiest eater on the planet. I don’t eat airplane food or movie theater food or cocktail party food or office treats. I don’t eat just because my friends are eating, just because it’s dinner time, just because I’m in a restaurant. I don’t eat ninety percent of what passes for food in this country. While I admit to a sweet tooth, I’m extremely picky about what will satisfy it.
In sum, I relate absolutely to your not wanting to eat certain things, though I’d swap the word “unappealing” for your “unhealthy,” and believe me, very little appeals to me, even post-recovery. What marks my recovery is not an ability to eat normally (the thought terrifies me), rather, an unwillingness to deny myself, when I am hungry, and something does appeal. If sweets don’t appeal (lucky you!), I’m sure Gena would encourage you to eat in alignment with your spirit.

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Jean W March 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I agree here, I don’t have a hard time declining unappealing foods. It doesn’t stress me out either. I just tell people I have allergies, or sometimes even say I don’t want it. No one actually bothers me about this. I’ve been going through a major health issue all year, relating to skin and eczema, so I just say the food will set my skin off which is somewhat true but less true as the condition improves. I have trained myself out of wanting lots of things I used to overeat, like cereal and granola, which I rarely if ever eat now. Anyway… still having trouble kind of… ‘betraying my spirit’ while eating, I think. Like eating so many nuts or seeds that I’ve got a stomach ache and can’t have the big salad I REALLY want because I’m too stuffed. I’m a compulsive snacker, so irritating. Finger food addict. I usually relate most to the Green Recovery stories about compulsive eating. I manage to overeat on GOOD FOODS and always feel bad about it. I don’t even want processed stuff or any flour at all now and have no trouble not eating it. But also if it was the best vegan gluten-free cake ever at a fancy restaurant, and someone else was paying (hah) then of course I’d eat it. BTW I have no ED history to speak of. I’ve never been underweight which is almost amazing for someone who thinks about food and what I won’t eat as much as I do. Just a touch of the orthoexia perhaps (long list of ‘avoid’ foods and ‘minimize’ foods) but I am always mad at myself for eating too many nuts. Jeez!! I hate controlling portions and I hate feeling really hungry so I try to eat only foods that are safe to eat large amounts of. Just knowing that the food is healthy and not too too dense is calming and then I don’t have more than I need anyway. Like — a good salad with a tahini-miso dressing, and avocado and grapefruit and kelp noodles and olives. Plenty of fats to make it satisfying but they are spread out so the whole thing is medium-density so that I can have a lot and the pleasure of eating lasts longer. I love eating, the ritual of it, everything. Eating straight nuts or trail mix is like scratching an itch that feels good to scratch but which leaves you in pain afterwards. Always… ‘Why did I do that? Why couldn’t I wait for myself to prepare the salad?’

Oh man, sorry for this stupid selfish rant but I guess I felt like typing it out. Sitting here annoyed at myself for eating a bunch of pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts that were meant for a plane trip and I wanted to use the kale and romaine that I have before I go out of town but I’m so full now! Stupid meeee. I just cannot get control of this food density problem! I work at Whole Foods Market… so… it’s so hard not to grab more nuts at the bulk bins! If I didn’t work there it would be so much easier. It does make lunch nice bc I can get avo kale salad every day and kale chips. But ok. Shut up now.

Uh well, I love this blog! It has helped me make better salads!

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Renard Moreau March 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm

[ Smiles ] Eating whole foods is definitely the better way to eat; it’s healthier and one is able to manage their weight.

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Nikki, Eating Vibrantly March 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I love the way that Quincy’s story highlights the importance of our relationship with food. No matter how “healthy” you eat, if your relationship with food is unhealthy, then it’s really not that good for you. Food is supposed to be FUN, and raw/vegan food is an awesome way to eat healthy food that’s also full of joy. I’m so pleased that Quincy discovered this for herself, and was willing to share her journey with us. Thank you :)

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Quincy @ Shugurcän March 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

Nikki, I couldn’t agree more! Although we eat for sustenance, a huge part of eating is also enjoying our food. Finding new vegan recipes and ideas is so much fun!

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shopping discount glasses frames March 14, 2013 at 3:06 am

Great! thanks for sharing!

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struggling March 23, 2013 at 9:36 am

Hi, it was so nice to read your blog, as I often feel like I’m so alone in my struggles with food and sometimes I get way to anxious about it, such as when I am with friends. I often feel like everybody has an eating disorder, like i tend to count out what my friends are having during parties/get-togethers and I always feel like there’s no way they eat enough! Is it just me? At a sleepover last night, at which I made a huge effort to eat, I ate about three-fourths of what I was supposed to eat on my meal plan assigned by my dietitian, yet my friends all had about a fourth to a half of what I am typically assigned to eat at dinner. I can’t help wonder if I will ever be able to be normal around food again, and not think so hard about how others possibly get enough calories and why I need to try so hard to do so….I’m so happy for you that you have come so far and I pray that it only gets better! <3 p.s. if u or Gena have any more tips on recovery and your mental process during it, please help me and I would greatly appreciate it! Even with a therapist I feel like no one understands me!

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Panic Mom November 29, 2013 at 8:42 am

Hi,
As I suffer from OCD my problem with food was very similar and it has been a struggle to get past it. Recently i have moved onto a paleo type diet and now I find that the ocd is working for me. Although the condition is largely under control I am able to let the little obsessions about the diet go as they are largely about finding fresh healthy food rather than obsessively counting calories.

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