**I am not a licensed medical or psychological doctor or practitioner. I am a certified personal fitness trainer and former competitor who can relate to and recognize the signs of this more recent way of disordered eating.
Orthorexia is a type of disordered eating that is the obsession with avoiding certain foods that are perceived as unhealthy or un-clean. The person who chooses to eat this way tends to make rules and parameters for their nutrition selections.
It can be a very detrimental mental disorder that can lead to negative results in many aspects of one’s life. In this Made Fit TV episode I talk openly about how you can acknowledge if you may have this pattern of eating and ways to try to conquer it.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
1.) Find out WHY you are eating that way
▪ What triggered you (a famous person? an athlete? a magazine article? a health issue in the family?)
2.) Assess HOW it is affecting your life in a POSITIVE way
▪ Does it really make you feel better? Does it enrich your relationships? Does it improve your performance? Does it improve blood numbers like cholesterol and triglycerides?
3.) Have you “broken up” with friends and/or family because of it?
4.) Have you avoided events or canceled plans due to the food?
5.) Has this lifestyle made your life more convenient or more challenging?
6.) Do you think that you WISH you could “allow” yourself to eat things that are “restricted?”
7.) Do you measure your body fat more than once a week?
8.) Is your mood dictated by your weight, body fat percentage, calorie count, body image for that day?
9.) Do you feel like no one understands you and you are “alone”
10.) Do you spend more than 2 hours a day preparing food?
11.) Do you feel a sense of accomplishment when you go to bed hungry? Eat a lower amount of carbs for the day than you should for your health?
12.) Do you pinch at your body in the areas you don’t like and compare yourself to magazine pictures or competition photos?
13.) Do you feel like you could ever imagine yourself NOT living this way for the rest of your life?
14.) Do you have feelings of just wanting to die?
15.) Do people around you beg you to get help but you refuse?
16.) Have you been clinically diagnosed or have reason to believe you suffer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
START ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM
1.) Stop using “extremes” as excuses
▪ There is a difference between choosing to eat free-range chicken and then completely avoiding plans with friends because they are going to eat at a chain restaurant
2.) Eating something “not clean” either on accident or if that is the only thing around IS OK!
3.) Eating for your health should be a lifestyle that just “IS” – it should not take up your ENTIRE LIFESTYLE
4.) VARIETY is GOOD
5.) You can’t control everything, as much as you try – and that is OK
6.) Accept that not everyone sees value in what you do, as much as you “sell it”
7.) You can be fit and healthy by just following your body’s natural hunger signals, being active and exercising an hour a few times a week, and by allowing yourself to be YOU
8.) Loosen the reigns and trust yourself
9.) How has that been working for you? If you’re watching this and feel offended or feel frustrated or feel like you have to defend yourself, it has not been working for you very well.
10.) If it was so easy for you to convert to this lifestyle, muster up the same amount of strength and energy and just TRY getting help.