Imagine you’re a heroin addict. Now imagine you’re a heroin addict who receives constant praise for shooting up. Would you ever quit? If you know you’re struggling, start recovering today with my Step-by-Step Guide to Beating Orthorexia.
What is Orthorexia?
It’s a big word. It sounds sort of like a phobia. It’s medical. I have no freaking clue.
These are common reactions or explanations to orthorexia, and none scratch the surface. But they should, because orthorexia is an eating disorder of the most dangerous kind. From the outside looking in, orthorexia looks like:
- will power
- healthy decisions
In reality, orthorexia is:
- rigorous restriction
- fear of any and all “unclean foods”
- severely low self esteem
- anxiety over missing a single workout
- manic pride in appearing to be the most dedicated and “healthy”
definition by Google
Why You (Yes, You) Need To Watch For Orthorexia
It won’t look like having three stalks of celery for dinner, or sound like gagging noises in the bathroom.
Orthorexia is a marathon not a sprint.
Victims of this “new” eating disorder often feel justified in their behavior, because it is almost always praised and reinforced by their peers, family, and friends. What everyone else sees is an individual committed to exercising and fueling his or her body properly. What they don’t see are the panic attacks if an orthorexic finds out his or her vegetables were cooked in butter. They don’t see the reason that the orthorexic RSVP’d “no” to an event was because he or she would not be able to bring his or her “safe and clean” food with. Orthorexia hides behind a variety of faces, body types, and ages. But it doesn’t have to.
Are you reading this and thinking “That sounds a lot like ___” at any point? If so, don’t be afraid to speak up. Somewhere in his or her desire to become healthy and fit, the orthorexic lost his or her ability to distinguish between healthy and addiction, between motivation and fanaticism. I know I did. So remind him or her what moderation looks like, and why it is important. Encourage your friend or family member to step outside of his or her diet mentality, if only for one meal. Orthorexia’s worst quality is it’s powerful ability to isolate its victims. But there are more unaffected individuals than those that orthorexia has claimed. There is power in numbers and in awareness. Healthy is great, but happy is better. Healthy should never come at the cost of surrendering happiness or food freedom.
If you or someone you know is struggling with orthorexia, begin this step-by-step guide to beating orthorexia now.
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