I just stumbled across your website and felt very relieved to find someone I could relate too. My name’s Anna, I’m 19 and live in the UK. I am training on a musical theatre course with a lot of dance classes and a lot of insecure people with eating disorders. When I was about 10, I suffered from anorexia. I used to leave left over food out to fool my mum into thinking I was eating. It got pretty bad and lasted for about a year, a year about absolute agony and self loathing…self destruction… my mum was the only one who could stop me in the end. So basically, my relationship with food has never really been normal. I feel like recently, since moving away from home, living with 3 other girls and starting this course…my eating is all over the place again. I am a dairy free vegetarian. I am basically obsessed with food and have become extremely anxious about it. I feel like I flip from anorexia or binge eating. It gets to the point where if I’m cooking and one of the girls comes into the kitchen, I will literally have to hide my shaking because I feel so paranoid. It doesn’t help that one of my house mates is bulimic…
So I find myself mega yoyo dieting… After Christmas I obsessively exercised and barely ate anything. Then, as the term progressed, I’ve found myself constantly snacking and obsessing over food. Probably stress related, as I’m going into a very insecure industry. Planning my meals out. Getting up in the middle of the night to secretly eat. I think my major downfall is bread, olive oil and dairy free butter. Also, buying snacks ’on the go’ which are high fat, or eating meals out which is usually veggie burger and chips. What I cook isn’t, on paper, ‘unhealthy’… but it’s the quantity and amount I snack on top of it. Long story short, I’ve put on about 8 pounds in three weeks! I didn’t even know this was possible as an almost-vegan but, after looking at your website, I realize this is not uncommon. I guess I was hoping you could give me some advice based on your experience? I’m going to try some of your oil-free recipes for a start. I just want to be in control of it and I don’t feel I am. I want to be able to get full without eating a crap load of food.
I also find myself quite disillusioned with what’s healthy and what isn’t. EG I’ve been eating avocado and walnuts this week which I know is high fat but also really good for an almost vegan diet. Can you enlighten me please?
So, to give you an idea of what I eat… I generally have porriage or Weetabix with honey for breakfast, a bean or quorn salad for lunch and then something like Quinoa with fried veg, stir fry, omelette or quorn bolognase for dinner. I usually have about one meal out a week and buy a couple of snacks, usually crisps or a dairy free chocolate bar. I snack on rice cakes with dairy free butter, 5 portions of fruit a day inc. pineapple chunks, dark chocolate, and soya yogurt with honey.
What I don’t understand is that I would have thought my diet would be more healthy than most because I’m basically vegan and dance two hours a day, go to the gym twice a week. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I just feel really anxious and messed up at the moment, and would really appreciate your help on this. Anything from food to mental health advice is welcome with open arms.
Thank you so much,
“I already feel like a bit of a freak… Even reading my own email back makes me think ‘wow, this chick is messed up’. The bottom line is, I don’t want food to be such an issue for me anymore. My food anxiety is bad and it has grown worse from living with people with eating disorders. I either under eat and feel worried about myself or over eat and feel a huge amount of guilt. But I’m willing to risk that people might think I’m a bit of a weirdo. Hopefully I can get some good advice and relieve people who are in a similar position.”