LifestyleNutrition Orthorexia – a Nasty Eating Disorder


Orthorexia is the obsession with eating only “healthy’.

In the space of social media today we are being bombarded with “wellness hacks”. These routines, diets, workouts, superfoods etc, are seemingly harmless… until their not.

On my journey to live a healthier life, lose a few pounds and “look” like a personal trainer, i developed a nasty eating disorder.


A newer term to a lot of people. It’s the obsession with eating only “healthy’. This is checking labels, skipping meals unless you have cooked them, cutting out major food groups (dairy, sugar, carbs, animal products etc).

This is usually consuming someone’s day and thoughts.

What will my next meal be, what did I eat, where are we having dinner? Following wellness influencers/blogs and usually paired with a good dose of over exercise!

Orthorexia is a very sneaky disorder as it can look like someone who is taking great care of themselves, they have amazing willpower or dedication… and then they start skipping events, leaving to workout, you see then anxiety at restaurants or friends houses…

Hair gets dry and thin, nails start breaking, weight usually begins creeping down and ONLY then do friends and family start to worry.

My wellness journey had such a hold over me it resulted in two inpatient stints at an eating disorder clinic. I was 21-24 and scrambling to get my life back together. I never really truly got passed my “quirks” if you will until I became pregnant with my first child.

Weight training saved me, a nutrition coach ensured i was eating ENOUGH food not controlling my food, and learning to stop and give my body rest. I had to reverse Osteopenia when i was 25 and i am still living with the effects of having no period for 11 years.

So if you are following multiple wellness influencers great! If you are living a healthy and active lifestyle, amazing good for you.

Take a moment however and examine:
  • Do you get anxiety eating out and controlling your food/food intake?
  • Or do you get anxiety if you have to miss a workout or take a rest day?
  • Do you avoid family gathers or pack your own food?
  • Can you celebrate and enjoy something delicious “just because”?
  • Do you check every nutrition label and check “my fitness pal” multiple times a day to ensure you are on track?

I am sure there are any more but this is a great place to start. Being healthy is about balance and that to me is the hardest thing to learn. The stress we place on hitting the gym 4-5x a week, eating everything right and in the proper amounts, taking XYZ supplements, does more harm than enjoying the damn cupcake ever would!

Take care out there, keep an eye on yourself or your” healthy” friends!

Defy Health and Fitness

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