New Health Problem I’m Happy to Have

Disclaimer:  I am not prejudiced.  I do not base an individual’s worth on his/her BMI (or other personal characteristic or choice).  That is not the intention behind this post.  Any person who chooses to be the way they are & takes responsibility for the consequences–whether it is big or small or pierced or tattooed, religious or political, or whatever–as long as it is an educated choice, is cool with me.  I am referring to those whose perpetual state of denial compels them to cast aspersions toward those who embody what he/she is NOT.  Beauty and diversity only thrive with awareness. Those in denial suck the air out of a room.

The face of REAL FOOD 

What’s the new label??  You know–the name for someone obsessed with eating healthy….ORTHOREXIA.  The more I read about it, the less problem I’m seeing with it.  I can’t imagine how carrying healthy snacks, avoiding bad fats & sugar, and feeling good about making good choices is being classified as a ‘disease process’.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the developer of the term works for McDonald’s Corporate office.  Given the nature of the name, if the “obsession” extends to the point of being unhealthy, it is no longer orthorexia, because orothrexia is the obsession of healthy eating.  Think about it–if it becomes unhealthy–it becomes something else; those who have classified it neglect to note that fact, but it’s true.  They fail to make a distinction between obsessive healthy choices and OCD manifesting itself via food rituals or anorexia.  It’s much easier to garner sensationalism when they’re lumped together–details, details….Orthorexia Nervosa can result in death.  What about the folks who refuse to make healthy choices & keep the junk food companies in business?  You know what??  IT RESULTS IN DEATH. Why is one ok and not the other??  Does anyone agree with me that all they’ve done is give a new title to OCD or anorexia (depending on the circumstances) to make better headlines??

Is it a bad thing if healthy eating becomes an obsession??  We would live better-longer, health care costs would plummet, our over-burdened system could breath, we would drop off the list of heaviest nations, we’d all have gardens and walk more, families would spend time planning & preparing meals together, we would spend time teaching our kids to read labels instead of memorizing lyrics on MTV……STILL waiting for the down side.  Dang, I can’t think of anything more self-destructive than sitting with a group of like-minded friends drinking free-trade green tea, eating strawberries dipped in 70% chocolate….ALL sarcasm intended….There is no disorder in putting ‘self’ first!!  If self isn’t healthy, then self can’t help others.  Don’t believe me–spend a year being UNhealthy, then we can talk.

Tracking nutritional values & cultivating personal discipline is NOT crazy–weighing 400 lbs, eating fast food six days a week (& blaming it on genetics), being treated for 2-3 preventable conditions while thinking of negative things to say about those who put forth the effort to do better is–CRAZY. There-I’ve said it.

On a less abrasive note and for those who are not aware–I have Crohn’s disease, so food & healthy eating are REAL issues in my life.  I don’t absorb nutrients properly so I really need to keep tabs on what I’m putting into my body.  It’s hard to make sure my nutritional needs are met and I was really surprised to find out how far off-base I am….. After tracking for a few weeks, it was apparent I do not consume enough iron, calcium, potassium, vit. D and a few others, to meet my body’s basic needs–even if I weren’t sick.   Given the fact I don’t absorb half of what I consume,  I’m critically deficient most times.  No wonder my hair is thin,  my skin is dry and my nails are brittle–not to mention the mental/mood problems associated with deficiencies.

Should we choose stupid things to fit in? 

What’s my point??  I’m an average middle-aged American female.  If I take my health stuff out of the equation, I am still VERY much lacking nutritionally.   If I am, then so are many, many others.  This results in illness–PREVENTABLE illness.  It’s irresponsible to persist in any behavior which results in a deterioration of health status.  THIS is what  makes me even more determined to make good choices for myself and to educate those around me.  It’s ok to tell me to shut up–but I might not do it.  Geez I hope orthorexia is contagious…


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dominique
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 17:44:56

    I thought when I read that a 2 year-old having a tantrum was a mental disease was ridiculous but this just takes the cake! Are you freakin’ kidding me. I swear there is there spirit of stupidity running around. Wow! I eat all organic/farm fresh food with the occasion fore-ray into take-out. I’m also about 60 pounds over weight due to recent medication I have been on for my lungs.

    I think this – let us tell you why you are the way your are era – in medicine has just gotten carried away. I – me – am the only one responsible for my health. I don’t need anyone telling me I’m doing it right, wrong, whatever. It is my choice.

    Sorry…I just realized I was ranting. I get so frustrated. All this does is serve to confuse and all ready confused public.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’m still shaking my head. 🙂


  2. phylor
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 12:13:50

    I’m lucky that I don’t have Crohn’s disease, though I have quite a few digestive issues, including absorbing anything with an eneric coating, or large size vitamin. Thank goodness for gummy vitamins and supplements! Yes, I am ingesting some sugar, beeswax (and other things depending on how natural the version is), but for the first time my B12 levels are almost normal without having to have injections! I don’t know if gummy supplements would help you or not, just a thought.
    Yeah, I somewhat remembering reading about folks who were too obsessed with healthy eating — but the article I saw was stressing it was a problem only when people limited their healthy eating to the point of either not eating at all, or only eating a small range of foods. Like an eating disorder that way: when any obsession becomes unhealthy. But, to term just trying to eat healthy and find healthy foods a mental disorder, I agree, is nuts!


    • autoimmunemaven
      Nov 07, 2010 @ 12:23:09

      I love gummy vitamins! Luckily, I’ve got a decent supplement program set-up but it took 5 yrs and lots of blood tests to figure it out. Personally, I think nutrition is a balancing act. I love my junk food but I try to keep it in perspective. Unless I’m forced to, I’m not gonna give up stuff I enjoy. The orthorexia rant came hearing markedly unhealthy folks use it as an excuse to eat more Big Macs. Any excuse for bad judgment. In my mind, it’s always better to eat broccoli with cheese than it is to skip the broccoli because of the cheese…..


  3. spicyt
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 12:09:50

    I wish we could all be wired to crave only the healthiest of foods!!! I have problems absorbing nutrients too, having short gut syndrome from losing part of my bowel and having IBS and a multitude of other intestinal issues. One problem though is I cannot eat alot of fiber, and can’t eat raw fruits or veggies, can’t eat nuts or seeds, can’t eat red meat (except ground beef), can’t eat any bean that is gas producing, then add in things I just dislike and my diet is kinda restricted. I need to go see a gastro doc, but don’t have the extra money for it yet…we have insurance, but not good insurance and I have alot of medical issues…so adding another doctor isn’t on my short-list right now…but maybe soon. I wish we could just rid the world of fast food and junk…so we could all be healthier. If we had never had the taste of sugar we would’ve been better off, lol, but I guess we should be able to resist. Thanks for a great thought provoking entry!



    • autoimmunemaven
      Nov 07, 2010 @ 12:36:06

      If I had to totally abstain, I don’t think I could manage. I really have an extreme love of sugar. I could eat a whole box of Little Debbie snack cakes–seriously. On the digestive side of it, I’d never be able to leave the house! So I try to do more “good” than “bad”. I just get so wrapped around the axle when people have to think of new reasons for bad choices–as if they don’t have enough. The topic takes on a whole new meaning for folks with food/health issues & so does the level of frustration…I really hope it makes folks think… Thanks~!


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