2

votes

How many people here suffer from a form of orthorexia nervosa?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 19, 2013 at 9:14 PM

http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2013/08/when-orthorexia-goes-bad.html#disqus_thread

According to the National Eating Disorders Association

Those who have an ???unhealthy obsession??? with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from ???orthorexia nervosa,??? a term which literally means ???fixation on righteous eating.??? Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully, but orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity. They become consumed with what and how much to eat, and how to deal with ???slip-ups.??? An iron-clad will is needed to maintain this rigid eating style. Every day is a chance to eat right, be ???good,??? rise above others in dietary prowess, and self-punish if temptation wins (usually through stricter eating, fasts and exercise). Self-esteem becomes wrapped up in the purity of orthorexics??? diet and they sometimes feel superior to others, especially in regard to food intake.

Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers ??? an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating. Eventually, the obsession with healthy eating can crowd out other activities and interests, impair relationships, and become physically dangerous.

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/orthorexia-nervosa

Do I Have Orthorexia?

Consider the following questions. The more questions you respond ???yes??? to, the more likely you are dealing with orthorexia.

  • Do you wish that occasionally you could just eat and not worry about food quality?
  • Do you ever wish you could spend less time on food and more time living and loving?
  • Does it seem beyond your ability to eat a meal prepared with love by someone else ??? one single meal ??? and not try to control what is served?
  • Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you?
  • Do love, joy, play and creativity take a back seat to following the perfect diet?
  • Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
  • Do you feel in control when you stick to the ???correct??? diet?
  • Have you put yourself on a nutritional pedestal and wonder how others can possibly eat the foods they eat????

http://www.orthorexia.com/

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 21, 2013
at 07:04 PM

I guess I did word that strangely. I wasn't calling cooking my meals a problem...just being hyper-vigilant about ingredients.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 21, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Cooking the majority of meals from scratch is **NOT** a problem. *Ay dios mio*! Cook every meal yourself! That's a *good* thing!

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 21, 2013
at 02:25 PM

... although, I tend not to climb that high horse until those types of people start to act like jerks - I prefer rational discussion first.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 21, 2013
at 02:24 PM

I mostly agree. Pasta != "junk food". I've been healthy (or paleo) for years now. It's not the non-paleo stuff people eat that gets me on the high-horse, it's the cycle of self-hate -> eating junk food -> self hate -> ... that gets me about people who are in poor health and specifically could do better solely by making healthier food choices. 'Cause it's not just the eating-of-junkfood -- it's the self-hate and the cycle -- this is often *projected* outwards, and when it's directed at me sometimes (e.g. coworkers), that's one of the few times I like climbing that high horse and staying there.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 20, 2013
at 03:26 AM

Back in the good old days this would get pounded, not by the hipsters but by the 'necks. But we are kinder and gentler now.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 20, 2013
at 03:05 AM

Why would it be closed? It's not paleo-specific, but it does question diet behaviors.

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9 Answers

4
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on August 20, 2013
at 01:24 AM

I answered yes to 6 of 8 :/

But then again, I never claimed to have a healthy relationship with food, and for me Paleo is just the tool to express it. I could just as easily be using veganism or whatever; the problem is not the diet, it's with me.

4
72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on August 19, 2013
at 09:48 PM

This is a legitimate concern, and paleo-affiliated people should pay attention. On the other hand, many people come to paleo because they were sick and miserable on a conventional diet. Paying intensive, ongoing attention to what they eat doesn't pull them away from living life -- it's HOW they're able to live a good life. We should be careful not to make orthorexia diagnoses based solely on someone paying a lot of attention to their diet, without knowing what the alternatives are for them personally.

People who are able to be functional eating any old food do have more latitude to make trade-offs in their diet. They should take advantage of that, even at the same time as they are conscious of, and grateful for, their privilege.

3
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 20, 2013
at 03:09 AM

I only answered 1 'yes' out of the 8 questions - I definitely look down from my towering pedestal upon the lowly junk food eaters, point at them, and laugh maniacally.

1
B668f9e9a60a54c01a275a14b68a843e

(145)

on August 21, 2013
at 09:08 PM

Do you wish that occasionally you could just eat and not worry about food quality?

No - I know where Ignorance, for that is what it is, got me before and see how it currently affects a lot of the population

Do you ever wish you could spend less time on food and more time living and loving?

The two are not mutually exclusive. Also what is 'living' and 'loving'? Emotionally-loaded drivel.

Does it seem beyond your ability to eat a meal prepared with love by someone else ??? one single meal ??? and not try to control what is served

Prepared with love or not, gluten-sensitivity couldn't give a crap.

Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you?

No if anything I look for ways the foods I eat are healthy.

Do love, joy, play and creativity take a back seat to following the perfect diet?

Life is more joyful loving and playful (Who wrote these questions???) when you can run a mile without even thinking about it and feel good when you look in the mirror.

Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?

Yes, all part of being human. I think everyone has had the Christmas Day experience of "Why did I eat that much??!"

Do you feel in control when you stick to the ???correct??? diet?

No. I feel healthy and look healthy.

Have you put yourself on a nutritional pedestal and wonder how others can possibly eat the foods they eat????

I wonder why people are happy to eat the crap they eat and see paleo as 'just something he does'. I'm healthy - what more can I ask of a way of eating? Inner fulfillment and eternal life?

1
F93f2ceb3ee50ff6c5872afeeb32e946

on August 20, 2013
at 02:04 AM

I do struggle with this, but more in the concept of debating whether or not it's a "problem." By these standards, I would qualify as having Paleo orthorexia, but I don't think that's necessarily a problem. Being extremely strict with my diet has given me freedom in all other areas of my life (my health, relation to my body, well-being, etc.) On the rare occasion I decide to "just forget about it for a second and eat some cake" I'm met with negative consequences later.True, I occasionally look back on (and envy?) my former self when I would enjoy the gluttony of food and eat anything and everything I desired. Then again, I was also 20 lbs heavier, had acne, easily caught sicknesses, suffered allergies, lacked energy, etc. So it's a tradeoff. What we eat is so important to our bodies, I feel like it should be religious, in a sense.

0
Da2c728c093488e4f2ea87b81619682f

on August 21, 2013
at 06:15 PM

I'm coming to paleo because I've had an unhealthy relationship with food, and felt miserable. On paleo, I'm really hoping to not count calories or anything like that. I've tried it briefly before, and found that after eating this way I've felt happier and stopped counting calories and everything. It did get a bit stressful at one point, trying so hard to eat "right" and find foods I could eat when I went out.

So now, I try to remind myself that my body is pretty good at detoxifying itself and little slip ups or bits of "unhealthy" things are ok. There are foods I don't want to EVER have (like wheat) but that is because when I eat that, all hell breaks loose and I end up obsessing about food MORE. I found that when I ate paleo in the past, I could eventually relax because I wasn't always hungry, so I could focus on other things. And unlike anorexia, I did get hungry and when I got hungry - I ATE!! And I ate until I felt full. And then I stopped!! It was so nice a feeling!! And unlike bulimia, I didn't overeat like crazy or feel guilty after I ate. So that was also nice!! I ate when hungry and stopped when full. So nice.

Since I'm recovering from an ED, I will have to always be careful to not let paleo turn into something like orthorexia. But atleast I'm aware of that tendency - I guess that's the best first step. :)

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 21, 2013
at 02:10 PM

I might have answered yes to the last question when I was just starting paleo (most new paleos tend to think that way, I think). I don't necessarily think that way now. Sure, I do not understand why people consuming nothing but junk, but something like hand-made fresh pasta (made from wheat flour) once in a while? That seems reasonable!*

*Assuming one tolerates wheat.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 21, 2013
at 02:25 PM

... although, I tend not to climb that high horse until those types of people start to act like jerks - I prefer rational discussion first.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 21, 2013
at 02:24 PM

I mostly agree. Pasta != "junk food". I've been healthy (or paleo) for years now. It's not the non-paleo stuff people eat that gets me on the high-horse, it's the cycle of self-hate -> eating junk food -> self hate -> ... that gets me about people who are in poor health and specifically could do better solely by making healthier food choices. 'Cause it's not just the eating-of-junkfood -- it's the self-hate and the cycle -- this is often *projected* outwards, and when it's directed at me sometimes (e.g. coworkers), that's one of the few times I like climbing that high horse and staying there.

0
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 21, 2013
at 01:54 PM

I've never had a healthy relationship with food. Going primal has stopped a lot of the fixation, but yes, I would be considered orthorexic. I no longer count calories, but I do read labels thoroughly and cook the majority of meals from scratch.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 21, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Cooking the majority of meals from scratch is **NOT** a problem. *Ay dios mio*! Cook every meal yourself! That's a *good* thing!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 21, 2013
at 07:04 PM

I guess I did word that strangely. I wasn't calling cooking my meals a problem...just being hyper-vigilant about ingredients.

0
Dba4686e589eb5ce6bb2d69a9a0036c7

on August 20, 2013
at 02:44 AM

Wow. I'm surprised the foodie hipsters who run this place let this question stand.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 20, 2013
at 03:26 AM

Back in the good old days this would get pounded, not by the hipsters but by the 'necks. But we are kinder and gentler now.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 20, 2013
at 03:05 AM

Why would it be closed? It's not paleo-specific, but it does question diet behaviors.

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