Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Losing Weight

Why is it that only the painful memories remain, but the moments of sheer bliss dissipate with the morning dew? It seems that joy is "...less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea...some of the drops sparkle...some of them do sparkle." I cannot recall the exhilaration of my first opening night on stage...but I can recount with crystal clarity every anguished minute of my period of depression.

Towards the end of my seventh grade year, something happened to me. I can never pinpoint any one specific event which might have triggered the months of agonizing self-destruction that followed, but that is not relevant. I began to lose interest in my normal pastimes -- in school, even in life itself. A haze surrounded me; over the next five months, the smog choked me...starved me. In stressful situations even today, I do not eat. My nerves could never take the added responsibility of digesting food. During this dark time in my life, I found that I could not will myself to nourish my body; I did not feel like I was worth it. It was never about the weight...never about the food -- not an eating disorder...just depression. Severe depression. A disparity that led me to shun and neglect my friends, especially those that wished to assist me. In what? thought I. There's nothing wrong with me -- stop overreacting! I am eternally grateful that they did not heed my words. It takes a true friend to hold fast to you when you are slowly killing yourself.

Eight months later: I have lost over twenty pounds. (I began with one hundred...you do the math.) The only people left are my parents and my sister. No one else can bear to watch me wither away to nothing. I am aching inside and out. My bones are bruised and frail...my arms are scarred with scratches...my own fingernails became weapons with which to claw at this wretch of a being. I have been dragged to so many quack shrinks that I cannot even recall the name of the last. They all say I have anorexia nervosa and need to go to the hospital. No! I need someone to love me...someone to understand me.

Ten months have gone by...I tip the scales at sixty-eight pounds. My face is gaunt and waif-like, my knees knock together when I walk, and from a distance of ten feet you can count my ribs. Yet, I still feel like my body is normal -- it is my mind that is tortured! I pass out briefly in the shower, only a couple of seconds, but long enough to alarm my parents to my immediate danger. I am losing this deadly game...help me...please.

As stealthily as the fog had enveloped me, so did it leave. Sunlight pierced my sunken eyes...and all I could do was weep copiously at what I had done to myself.

It took me almost six months, but I finally regained my health and restored my one hundred-odd pounds to their place on my svelte frame. The darkness is gone, and I am well...but I have an underlying fear that this possessed creature that I had become is lurking in some dark cavern, merely waiting until my guard is down so that it might strike again.

D. Y.
Georgia

- t a b l e    o f    c o n t e n t s -




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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

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