Mireille's Journey To Health


Orthorexia: An Unhealthy Obsession With Health – Guest Post By Ashley Bailey

Normally, I only want to have a reblog or a guest post once per week.  This week I actually already have a guest post on dental health.  If you haven’t read it, it is really informative and really well written.  Check it out.  Well, I already have arrangements with someone for next weeks guest post, as well.  I really didn’t want to wait 2 weeks to get this post up.  I feel like Orthorexia is a topic that should be covered on every healthy living blog.  When I read this post, in a lot of ways I felt like I was reading about myself.  I’m definitely grateful to be married to the wonderful man that I am.  He provides balance to my healthy obsession.  Without me, he would probably do the yo-yo diet thing of eating terrible, and then trying to fix it by eating excessive amounts of Subway.  I would be the girl blowing all of her money at Sprouts and living at the gym all day.  Together we are a down-to-earth, healthy living couple.  We’re like yin and yang. 

Ashley Bailey from bodhi life, shared this post on her site.  I feel like as you learn more about food and nutrition, there is that desire for perfection.  It’s important to be aware of what can happen if that desire takes over and you no longer have balance.  Please read this post from Ashley, and share it with friends and family who are passionate about healthy living.


What is Orthorexia?

The term ‘Orthorexia’ was coined by Steven Bratman, MD, an individual who has first hand experience with the disorder. Orthorexia is defined as an obsession with ‘healthy or righteous eating.’

“The term is derived from the Greek “ortho,” which means “right,” or “correct,” and is intended as a parallel with anorexia nervosa….it has come to find a more significant place as a description for a type of obsession with healthy food that is psychologically or even physically unhealthy.”

“I pursued wellness through healthy eating for years, but gradually I began to sense that something was going wrong. The poetry of my life was disappearing. My ability to carry on normal conversations was hindered by intrusive thoughts of food. The need to obtain meals free of meat, fat, and artificial chemicals had put nearly all social forms of eating beyond my reach. I was lonely and obsessed. … I found it terribly difficult to free myself. I had been seduced by righteous eating. The problem of my life’s meaning had been transferred inexorably to food, and I could not reclaim it.” –Steven Bratman, MD, author and creator of www.orthorexia.com.

At this time, the Eating Disorder, Orthorexia is not a recognized as a clinical diagnosis in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

“Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers – an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating. Eventually, the obsession with healthy eating can crowd out other activities and interests, impair relationships, and become physically dangerous.” – Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LD/N

Note: This post is on MY battle. I do not believe that everyone on a restrictive diet has orthorexia nor do I think there is anything wrong with ‘diets.’ Though, this post may raise awareness that ‘diets’ can become an obsession. And can be a ‘gateway.’ Most of all… listen to your BODY. Always.

The consequences to this type of restrictive eating are massive.

The side-effects listed below are side-effects that I experienced. These are not researched and therefore I do not know if they apply to others with orthorexia/restrictive dieting.

Physical Side-Effects:

  • Insufficient nutrients/ malnourished
  • Insufficient calories
  • Dangerous weight-loss / unhealthy BMI
  • Decrease in energy
  • Dangerously low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Loss of appetite

Emotional Side-Effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive behavior (measuring food, listing out meals, only eating at certain times)
  • Fear (of food/ingredients)
  • Depression
The spirit cannot endure the body when overfed, but, if underfed, the body cannot endure the spirit.
~St Frances de Sales

Below are posts that I have written on my battle and journey with Orthorexia:

Below are some great resources on Eating Disorders, Addictions and Recovery: 
“Addictions are not just to drugs or alcohol but to food, people, shopping, gambling 
and other compulsions and behaviors that distract ourselves from being with ourselves.” 

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. If you or someone you know is suffering from ED, please seek help now.

My love, you are never alone. ❤


10 comments on “Orthorexia: An Unhealthy Obsession With Health – Guest Post By Ashley Bailey

  1. Ashley
    March 21, 2015

    Thank you so much for your your support and raising awareness on this issue. Sending so move love. ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashley
    March 30, 2015

    Happy to contribute and share ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy Levine
    April 6, 2015

    Superb post. This will inform and help many.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Am I Too Obsessed With Healthy Living? Is It Black And White? | Mireille's Journey To Health

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