Obsessed with Healthy Eating

Is it possible to be too obsessed with healthy eating? I read something the other day saying that a Dr. Steven Bratman coined the term “Orthorexia nervosa” in 1997. It is the informal name of an eating disorder which is an extreme obsession with what the health-conscious individual considers to be healthy eating. He says that this disorder can be as dangerous as anorexia. The orthorexic does not desire to become thin but wants to feel pure, healthy and natural.

People with orthorexia may feel virtuous about their “good” food choices, but vile and self-loathing if they should stray. They may spend hours and hours planning what to eat, and opt for nothing if the right food is not available. He says the pattern is typically seen in “well-educated, middle class, adults over 30”…who have rigid rules about which foods are pure and good. The pattern may start with food allergies and diets where foods are systematically eliminated until only a small number remain. It is also seen in bodybuilders during the competition season followed by an all out binge later on.

Do I have Orthorexia?
Consider the following questions. The more ‘yes’ responses, the more likely you are dealing with orthorexia:
• Are you spending more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food?
• Do you always skip foods you once enjoyed in order to only eat the “right” foods?
• Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat anywhere but at home, distancing you from friends and family?
• Do you look down on others who don’t eat your way?
• Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthy?
• When you eat the way you’re supposed to, do you feel in total control?
• Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
• Is the virtue you feel about what you eat more important than the pleasure you receive from eating it?
• Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet increased?

If you answer “yes” to 2 or more questions you may need to think less about healthy eating!

Ok, so I may fall into this category. I do not think I have an illness or am obsessive about healthy eating but maybe I go a little far sometimes. I just want to be healthy and provide healthy eating choices for my family most of the time. I am trying to share the information I am learning in the process. Is that such a bad thing?

If I do get too obsessive or am revealing anything that is just too crazy please tell me to shut it!


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