Many of you have likely heard the term "orthorexic" before -- you may even have been called this by your unhealthy eating friends and family. An article from 2004 recently resurfaced and has been making its rounds. Originally published in Medical News Today, the article entitled "Orthorexia nervosa -- obsessed with eating to improve your health" defined "orthorexia" as "a new type of eating disorder [...] where people are becoming obsessed with eating to improve their health."
Uh... where does that leave you and I?
I'd like to know what it's called when people have this undying commitment to eating in ways that deteriorate their health? Mortorexia? Eating to promote an early death? That's what most people are doing, most of the time. Not too long ago, someone commented to me on Twitter saying they are "inspired by [my] commitment to wellness." I couldn't help but respond with my shock at people's tireless commitment to making themselves feel like absolute poopola.
The article goes on to decry a focus on healthy eating:
"In a quest to cure themselves of a specific disorder, or simply just taking healthy eating to extremes, orthorexics develop their own increasingly specific food rules. Working out how to stick to their self-imposed dietary regimen takes up more and more of their time and they are compelled to plan meals several days ahead. They tend to take a 'survival kit' of their own food with them when they go out, as they cannot eat readily available foods for fear of fat, chemicals or whatever their particular phobia might be."
I have often said that we could only be so lucky to be named "the healthy one" by those around us. I wish with all my heart that I could just pick up food wherever I went and didn't need to pack my emergency Wean Greens full of power food goodness.
The thing is, the way we, meaning the general industrialized public, now eat, is brand shiny new, just as the skyrocketing rates of cancer and diabetes and reliance on medication is also new. If we all ate the way we are supposed to eat -- with food that don't have processed fat or chemicals -- no one would be singled out as the "healthy one." We would all simply be healthy.
Last week I talked about Coke. Imagine, for a moment, the world and state of health (and state of mind) we would live in if instead of chugging back a Coke or coffee, everyone sipped up a green juice? What if instead of grabbing a quick, cheap, easy and convenient bite, we all actually took the time to prep and plan for a week of healthy eating. What if instead of popping prescribed meds for every ache and pain we drank loads of water and ate real food to reverse the cause of the pain?
Does this way of living sound like torture? Does this seem obsessive, or too much work, or taking away from a good life?
A good life is about feeling great to be able to enjoy the great moments to their fullest. Why would anyone want to sell themselves short of living the life of their dreams?
Follow Meghan Telpner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/meghantelpner