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Eat clean & move more: sounds simple right?

Well, yes & no. Being healthy involves a variety of behaviors and choices, including some that may seem counter-intuitive. It’s important to try to give our bodies the best we can, but equally important that we stay mentally healthy while we do it. With healthy eating & exercise, normally healthy endeavors can turn into unhealthy obsessions given the right circumstances. 

Eating disorders have a broad range: it’s not just anorexia, bulimia or binge eating.  You do not need to lose or gain weight to have an eating disorder. You do not need to be obsessed with your body image to have an eating disorder. E.D.’s are qualified as having an “unhealthy, disordered relationship with food (too much, too little, or very specific kinds) & are characterized by stress, anxiety & gaining (or losing) control over the body”. It’s about behavior: not outward symptoms. Many people go undiagnosed because we tend to focus heavily on visual signs and not enough on behavioral cues.

It’s tough to imagine, but you CAN be too “healthy”. Orthorexia (Healthy Diet Obsession) is more and more common, and it’s hard to diagnose  people who suffer.

If you’re a health nut, how can you tell the difference between orthorexia & just doing what’s best for your body?

Orthorexia becomes a problem when food becomes a source not just of nutrition, but of virtue or self-worth, when eating “bad” food implies that one is a bad person, and when the diet becomes a source of either self-esteem or, conversely, guilt and self-loathing.

Possible Signs of Orthorexia (particularly if 4 or more apply. If they all apply, you may be suffering)

  1. Spend more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food.
  2. Plan your day’s menu more than 24 hour ahead of time.
  3. Take more pleasure from the “virtuous” aspect of your food than from actually eating it.
  4. Find your quality of life decreasing as the “quality” of your food increases.
  5. Are increasingly rigid and self-critical about your eating.
  6. Base your self-esteem on eating “healthy” foods, and have a lower opinion of people who do not.
  7. Eat “correct” foods to the avoidance of all those that you’ve always enjoyed.
  8. So limit what you can eat that you can dine “correctly” only at home, spending less and less time with friends and family.
  9.  Feel guilt or self-loathing when you eat “incorrect” foods.
  10.  Derive a sense of self-control from eating “properly.”

Commitment and adherence to a diet can be warranted for the seriously overweight, even to the point of altering their lifestyle. But, “isn’t it also important in life to have some spontaneity, some enjoyment?”

Read more.

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    Scarily relevant. Sometimes (like where I am now in life) I take a step back and realize that while at one point in time...
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    Hmmm. Interesting reading. Makes me realise I need to work more on balance.
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