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.
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.
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…