Hello cruel world, I am back.
I’ve been on a sort-of hiatus from writing these posts, and from podcasting – even though I spend approximately 9 hours a day on instagram, and tried to go on a vacation but still posted on instagram every day.
I also tried to say to myself: “Caroline, why don’t you just relax and not worry about what you’re going to do next. You just spent 3 years on a book, you just released the book, people are reading it, buying it, loving it. And you just ran the book course in the summer. Just chill.” And I listen to myself and I say, “Ok, I’ll chill, but first let me figure out xyz and post xyz and bring back a more legit version of the podcast, and run an even better version of the group, and figure out my second book and …”
This is sort of similar to telling yourself you’re allowed to eat and then judging yourself for every little thing you put in your mouth. Telling yourself you’re allowed to relax and then worrying that you’re really not allowed to be relaxing because you haven’t figured everything out yet.
News flash: Everything will never be figured out. And what I mean by that is: as soon as you figure things out there will be new things to figure out.
I am trying to take my own advice. And trying to let myself float in the metaphorical pool.
I don’t usually start these posts with a diary entry like I just did, I usually get right to my F* It Diet advice. So let’s do it. Here we go.
This is one of the most asked questions since my book came out by both book readers and by people new to my site or my instagram:
AM I ALLOWED TO BE VEGETARIAN/(OR VEGAN) ON TFID?!?
Short answer: Yes.
But there is also a long answer. There is always a long answer.
Long answer: It is totally possible to be vegetarian, or vegan, for the right reasons🌹. But (BIG but), when you are dealing with chronic dieting, disordered eating, or eating disorders, it is rarely (fully) for the right reasons.
EVEN IF you tell yourself you are only being vegetarian for ethical reasons, if you have some sort of eating issue, then a disordered and fear-based reason for being vegetarian is often tangled in with your ethical reasons. A lot of people hide their disordered eating, even from themselves, behind vegetarianism or other moralistic ways to eat, and call themselves responsible, instead of acknowledging it is still a manifestation of control issues.
A lot of people recovering from eating disorders adopt veganism or vegetarianism as a sort of buffer, because it feels safe. “Ok I’ll eat more, but I’ll only eat ___________”. It’s another (socially acceptable) set of rules and another way to exert some control over your eating that makes you feel safe. It’s understandable. And it’s common. But there is still more to unpack on the reasons why you are eating the way you are eating.
It’s also a common expression of orthorexia (a fear of impurity and a disordered worry about food and health.)
Here is a barometer: if you are doing it because you genuinely care, but you don’t feel any sort of stress over slipping up and eating some soup with a little butter or stock in it, then it’s closer to a healthy relationship for you.
If you are trying to be vegetarian or vegan and you over worry, over think, over scrutinize menus, and get panicked when think you might have eaten something that doesn’t fit your rules, that’s a big sign that there is something else going on, and that being vegetarian might not actually be the healthiest for you at the time.
So! If you are recovering from dieting or disordered eating, and want to be vegetarian (or vegan) for whatever reason, I would say: see if you are willing to go through a time where you are either not vegetarian or vegan, or in the very least, see if you can stop being stressed or over-worried about it.
Sustainability matters, but your mental health matters too. It isn’t mutually exclusive.
This is a matter of constant checking in on why we do the things we do, eat the things we eat, and avoid the foods we avoid.
(In the podcast episode attached to this, I read the last blog post too about diabetes and PCOS, I recommended Julie Duffy Dillon’s PCOS and Food Peace Course (I am an affiliate! It’s a great resource!)