***Warning, if you suffer or have suffered from an eating disorder, this may be a trigger post for you.***
I started eating a vegan diet for my health. At the time, I was just diagnosed with IBD and on many medications for the first time in my life. They weren't helping at all. When doctors told me that diet didn't matter, I couldn't believe them. I started eliminating foods that made me feel worse, which was mostly dairy and eggs. After that, came chicken and fish (I was already off everything else since I was a teen). I felt better, but again, diet wasn't enough for me. I won't get into my whole story, but you can read it here.
Before being diagnosed, I was a crazy diet person. I removed carbs from my life because I was told they were "bad", I ate loads of "fat-free" stuff including dairy filled, chemical filled fat-free ice cream nightly. I was really into making sure I got my chicken, fish or eggs daily for protein. I was constantly looking at the scale and found it so hard to maintain my low weight. I was obsessed with exercise and I would log everything I ate into a online diet website to make sure I wasn't going over 1,200 calories per day. I was always hungry!
Food was either "bad" or "good" to me. I never looked at the fact that an 100 calories piece of fruit was a lot different than 100 calories of candy. I was stuck in a calorie counting cycle. I wouldn't even eat potatoes because they were high in carbs and "not healthy" to me.
Once I adapted a vegan diet, my distorted eating views had slowly went away. Vegan eating had truly helped my mind to think normal again. My brain had literally shifted from deprivation mode to "look at all these great things I can eat and feel good about eating!"
I did have problems with binge eating for a little, but I mostly think that was from being sick and not absorbing nutrients. My body was always starving, so I would cram it in. Now that I am med free, flare free and colon free, my body doesn't want to binge. I look at food as nourishment, and when I eat something "not so healthy", I don't sweat it. I actually enjoy it and savor it knowing that it's a lovely treat that I am lucky enough to enjoy. Non vegan food to me just isn't food anymore. It's other people's food, it's not nourishment (for me), my body doesn't want or crave it.
Now that I have kids, food is never an issue to me. I almost feel like they helped me grow out of it too. I have so many things on my plate, worrying about counting calories would take up way to much of my precious time. I am so much more free now and I don't sweat it if I have to go out to eat or miss a workout. My weight doesn't bother me, sure I still have 10 extra pounds for when I was pregnant with Little S and I know how to get it off, but I'd rather enjoy my life now, not when the weight is gone. I don't push myself or weigh myself often. I know my "normal" weight will happen on its own. I can enjoy myself and still feel good while I lose the 10 lbs or not lose them. My mind doesn't go there anymore, happy and 10 pounds more than my normal is better than stressed, worried, starving and 10 pounds less.