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When eating clean becomes an eating disorder

Hi guys!

Today I'll get really personal with you. It's something that I've accepted a long time ago, it is a part of me, it is who I am, although accepting it might not be a good idea. I am not ashamed of it, it's a fact, it's something I've been struggling with for the past 5 years. I realise it is a big problem, and all though I do not feel confident talking about it to anybody, let alone to such a big group of people, I for one, feel like I need to start a new chapter and try (for the *i stopped counting* time) to let go of it, and secondly, It needs to be talked about more. (Also I've been wanting to write this post for such a long time, and I feel like this is what's been holding me back on posting regularly and finding inspiration. You have no idea how hard my heart is pounding right now).


It's Orthorexia Nervosa. Orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder (although not recognized as an eating disorder by the American Psychiatric Association) characterised by excessive preoccupation of the quality (rather than quantity, which is the case with Anorexia and Bulimia) of the foods one consumes. The term, Orthorexia, was taken from Greek, and it literally means correct appetite. 

You may think, this just means a healthy diet. And that is usually where it originates; Veganism, Raw eating, Macronutrients. You might look at an Orthorexic person and think "whoah, that's one healthy meal". Nope. Orthorexia is a person eating healthy, who puts hours and hours of thoughts into their next meal. In cases of Anorexia and Bulimia, one thinks about how much food they will eat to lose weight, but with Orthorexia it's (not necessarily about getting thinner, but about getting healthier) about whether a certain food is better consumed raw, cooked, baked, or steamed, whether it has simple or complex carbs. Whether buckwheat bread is made out of 13% buckwheat flour and 80% white flour, or is it really Buckwheat bread? Whether that ripe banana will get you over your desired amount of daily sugar intake? 

It's not just Orthorexia, It's called Orthorexia Nervosa for a reason. It's an unhealthy psychological state, it's a constant battle. I't's obsessive focusing on choices, planning, purchasing, preparation, and consumption of food. 

It starts out as a healthy diet, and progresses to planning your other activities around food (rather than opposite). Over time, you basically loose the ability to know when you are hungry, when you are full, it's just about what you eat whenever you eat. You are unable to carry a normal conversation, because you start going on about health whenever the topic just slightly touches food, it's on your mind constantly (The other day I actually got in a tiny little fight, or should I say disagreement with two of my friends about what a healthy diet is. Not fun. Do not mention food or diet when I am around because it will not end well). 

At the beginning, it was about healthy choices. It progressed into a completely unhealthy mindset of whenever I ate a bite of something that was, in my eyes, not healthy, I would feel sick, have cramps in my stomach and not feel a desire to eat for whatever amount of time. It has gotten better since then, I have periods of time when I don't really care that much about what I eat, and I feel confident in my body despite some unhealthy choices, I also have periods when the "obsession" comes back. What dealing with it for so long has led me to, is the unhealthy habit of eating one salad a day, and that is something I can not manage to give up, whenever I try to eat more small meals we come back to my mindset of my body rejecting the food. But I've come to the point where I'm just sick of it, sick of dealing with it, sick of it controlling my life. Sick of thinking about food all the time. 

Living with an eating disorder means having a voice in the back of your head, that is stronger than your own voice, that is constantly reminding you that your entire appearance as a human being is dependant of what you eat. It means completely organising your life around food, what you have eaten, what you are eating, what you will be eating, what people around you are eating. It means constantly putting thoughts into what others are thinking about you, your appearance, your choices. Living with an eating disorder is basically living with anxiety, anxiety about your meals, about your workout sessions, about calories. Living with an eating disorder is essentially an abusive relationship between you, that voice in the back of your head and food. It is a horrible journey, it is hell, and to many many people it's also a matter of life or death. 

Eating disorder is a mental illness. It does not come with birth, it does not simply come from a place of insecurity. The issues come from a place of insecurity about standards that society puts up, from unrealistic beauty standards. Women and men put each other down based on their appearance, we've come to the time where people value themselves based on their appearance. And we are more than that! I am more than my appearance! I am more than my blonde hair, I am more than my chubby legs and wide hips. I am more than my big breasts, I was more than my even bigger breasts back in 7th grade, when you all found it so entertaining to make fun of that. Thanks for pointing that out on a daily basis to an extremely insecure 13 year old, that is now, 6 years later, trying to get the control over her life back. 
I am more than what you see. I am my smile, I am my personality, I am my work ethic. I am my own success, I am my knowledge, I am also a friend, and a sister, and a daughter, an aunt, a makeup artist, a good cook, not that great of a singer. And what has helped me the most on this rollercoaster journey, is actually being surrounded by people that see me, not my appearance. I am not my butt, that you see when I turn around after I smile, talk to you, and open myself a bit about who I really am as a person. And I wish I was a confident curvy person, I applaud everybody that in this time, manages that. That is my beauty standard. Not being skinny, my standard is confident. 



Love, Urška


2 comments

  1. Oh wau, sploh nisem vedla da to obstaja.
    Zelo lepo napisano in upam, da premagaš. Zdrav način sicer ni sporen, je pa ves stres okrog razmišljanja da more bit nekaj zdravo.
    In kapo dol, da si o tem spregovorila. <3

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  2. Poznam to. Anoreksija, ortoreksija... in skoraj dve desetletji kasneje končno nekakšen bolj normalen odnos do hrane. Ne, da ne razmišljam o njej, ampak ni pa več obsesivno. Hrane ne tehtam več in ne vpisujem v aplikacije. Tudi moja dieta je vse prej kot "popolna". Kar mi je najbolj pomagalo, je vzdržljivostni šport. Takrat enostavno rabiš energijo in kaj je bolj primernega za na kolo kot čokoladice (ker ne maram packanja z datlji in bananami v vročini). Tako sem "pokvarila svojo dobro prakso", ampak hkrati postala vzdržljivejša, bolj fit in zadovoljna s svojim novim hobijem.
    Sicer pa imam tudi jaz vsak dan za večerjo solato ;) (mešano z zelenjavo in mocarelo, njam njam)

    Lahko ti uspe. Biti zdrava phisično in fizično! Držim pesti.

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