Orthorexia is not yet recognised as a ‘true’ eating disorder but shares many similarities and is on the rise. However, unlike anorexia and bulimia, the focus with orthorexia is not on weight, its on the healthiness of food. It becomes an obsession in the pursuit of a healthy diet, a clean diet, a pure unadulterated diet. Those suffering from orthorexia are struck down with un-comforting anxiety around unhealthy foods and will avoid situations, which may expose them to or cause them to be at risk of being offered unhealthy food. What one deems as unhealthy and healthy can vary, for some its strictly clean wholefoods for some it might be raw or vegan only. But the two things these restrictions share in common is deprivation and isolation. Being controlled by food as opposed to being in control of your food is isolating and a huge yet invisible burden to carry.
In society, being ‘healthy’ is looked up to and being ‘unhealthy’ is looked down upon. Sadly, for some this results in poor self-esteem and a constant mental battle within. Some may say being healthy is a good trait to have, so why give it up, it’s keeping me healthy?....
While not entirely untrue, it’s when it’s taken too far and starts to interfere with not only health but also happiness. This is where to draw the line. It's when you are consumed every minute of every day with thoughts around food, where to get it, how healthy is it, how will my next meal be better, more clean.
Seeking help for orthorexia is not about being told ‘you’re too healthy,’ you’re not eating like a normal person, you have a problem.’ First of all, there is no such thing as normal! Its about looking at the bigger picture – being able to feel at ease to treat yourself, allowing yourself something that may not be ideal for your ‘body’ but very good for the ‘soul’ – letting go of control and giving yourself permission to ‘enjoy’ and not always taking the hard road. Trusting your body to be ok with a meal that doesn’t tick all the boxes from a nutritional perspective. And most importantly, loving yourself enough to allow yourself to be happy.
Life is short, allow yourself to be happy, want more for yourself and most importantly do it for you and no one else x
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Orthorexia, Restrictive Eating, Body image, Picky Eating, Mindful Eating, Non-Dieting Approach, Healthy Relationship With Food, Healthy Weight Maintenance, Body Dysmorphic Disorder.