This article explores an emerging condition, not well talked about termed Orthorexia – it is defined as an unhealthy obsession with healthy food.
I think it is important to raise awareness about this in light of the healthy eating movement that is amongst us. Especially because the most influenced people are younger females, much like myself.
As the article explores it can be an easy trap to fall into – you start eating healthy, start exercising, your body starts to change for the better and before you know it, all your girlfriends are envious of your body and telling you how good you look.
Finally, you feel confident enough to start posting selfies in your bikini, with a green smoothie of course and the explosion of comments on social media lifts your spirit. This scenario is very common. And is saddens me for a few reasons.
1. In the early days, it did happen to me. Luckily I have a straight talking husband who doesn’t mind giving me a slap in the face (not literally) and telling me when I am being “too much or too crazy”. There is a saying that helped me a lot: “It is better to eat the wrong food with the right attitude than eat the right food with the wrong attitude.”
2. The importance that we as females place on our body image and how consuming it is. If only we placed the same about of importance and got the same amount of attention for our unique ability, be it our intelligence, our creativity, our caring nature, our generosity, our humour, whatever else it is that makes us who we really are. We all have unique things to offer the world. Everyone of us. You just have to find out what it is you value in life. You can be a good wife, a good mother, a great writer, have a beautiful voice, be giving, be caring, be loving, make a real difference and leave a huge mark in peoples lives. Do you get it – you aren’t good legs, nice but, shiny hair. They are a part of you but they don’t have to define you. You are much more than that. You just have to believe it. And that sometimes requires consistent work on yourself. Or if you are lucky enough, like me to have some straight talking, best friend that sees you for more than your exterior, you have to start listening to them. They LOVE and SEE you in a different light. The people who really matter will love you regardless of how you look. Remember that, don’t shrug it off. Because life if full of tragedy and joy. And it is short. So if you are consumed with your appearance life is going to whiz on by while you are still looking in the mirror. And in the end people don’t miss someone with a nice body they miss “that” person who was something so much more to them.
3. Diet/Food/Nutrition is not the wholly grail for health. Don’t get me wrong I post my food – for a reason. I DO NOT want to show off my bone broth/my kitchen/or myself to make you feel worse about yourself, quite the opposite actually (P.S. If this happens to you, I highly suggest to unfollow me and those else who make you feel this way and concentrate on yourself, I truly mean this, comparing yourself to others on social media is a total waste of time). I want to inspire and give people tools and ideas to create healthy meals for themselves and their family. Because food is a necessity for our survival. And when we get it right for our body it has the ability to nourish and allow us to flourish. However nutrition is one of many pillars to create optimal HEALTH -and one that is getting a lot of attention. But let’s not forget about the other equally important PILLARS to health – Like SLEEP, RECOVERY, MOVEMENT, PLEASURE, STRESS MANAGEMENT, FUN, PLAY and SOCIAL CONNECTION. These things also dictate and have a direct effect on positive or negative outcomes in your body. So please keep a balance. If you find yourself obsessing over food and exercise maybe reevaluate what is really important in life and ask for help.
4. Health is so much more than EAT WELL, TRAIN MORE, REPEAT. I recently read an alternative definition of what “health” really is from Chris Kresser that I really love.
“Health is: the ability to live your dreams.”
I love it – Plain and simple. What more can we really strive for.