We are scared to share this with you. It was even scary and hard for us to admit to ourselves as it was something we struggled with for a few years. Especially when we first started blogging. We don’t like to label things and it’s hard to admit we had a problem.
We admit to suffering from Orthorexia.
We remember we had people commenting on our blog posts and videos mentioning we might have orthorexia.
Our thoughts when we saw those comments – “No way! Not us. We are just trying to be healthy, what is wrong with that? We just want to feel better, look better, get that flawless skin and long lasting energy!”
But our bodies – health were giving us big signs that something had to change because we were becoming obsessed with being perfectly healthy.
Admitting something is an important step to healing, right?
Our orthorexia eating disorder story
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At the beginning of our “trying to eat healthier” journey we slowly started to cut things out of our diet. And each time we cut something at first we felt pretty damn good.
Obviously we did looking back. Eating no sugar, eating less processed foods, no refined carbs, no gluten and more veggies.
We have always loved to be in the kitchen so it was easy for us to start cooking more from scratch. We would read every health magazine, article, listen to podcasts, read cookbooks, etc to make sure we were eating the very best.
We learned that sugars, fat and even salt were bad.
Our diet changed each day it felt like.
Then we discovered blogging back in 2009 our world of eating changed even more. Following all these healthy living bloggers to raw vegans etc our minds started to go crazy on what to believe or what to do.
For months it seemed all we were eating was green smoothie after green smoothie.
Now you might be thinking that doesn’t sound so bad. But the key thing about orthorexia that we have learned is that it takes over your life.
We wanted to control our fears and anxiety about our bodies, health and skin, and we did this by controlling our food to be as healthy as possible at that time.
We’ve already dove deeper into our binge eating story. We shared things that we’d never shared before in that post. Today we are doing it again with admitting to something that we have been fighting with ourselves.
If you are not familiar with Orthorexia it is the obsessing over the purity of food. An obsession with righteous eating. Or an unhealthy obsession with being perfectly healthy and eating clean.
It is something that slowly creeped into our lives without us even realizing it. Orthorexia can be a very tricky thing.
Dr. Steven Bratman’s website is a great place to learn more about it.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to eat healthy as we mentioned in the video. The problem comes when it becomes too restrictive or so obsessive it takes over your life, your thoughts. Essentially you do it to feel in control, but really you are out of control.
And it did for us.
We took health and diet trends to an unhealthy extreme.
Wait! But what’s so bad about wanting to eat healthy?
Nothing really as we mentioned, but more of the mentality behind it.
Eating “good” foods can become bad…quickly. Yes, you can overdo it on healthy foods. Again something that was hard for us to admit.
Yes, we do feel taking some foods out of your diet may help you feel better and/or you might be allergic to it (just as Michelle discovered with her eczema journey). That’s not what we are saying. It’s when eating the cleanest foods becomes your life.
You might be like us and not really realizing it or ready to admit it.
We understand. But we do want you to start being more mindful, aware of your patterns and thoughts around diet and food.
Are you afraid to break the rules?
Do you obsess over making sure you don’t eat this or that?
Do you have anxiety eating out because someone else made your food?
Do you freak out if your friends or loved ones don’t eat the food that abide by your rules?
Do you worry over when your next meal is because you have to make sure it is “right”?
Are you feeling loads of guilt and shame when you eat something off your list?
We remember freaking out about – is the food organic? where did it come from? wonder how many toxins are in it? etc.
We noticed the tighter and more restrictive we held ourselves with our diet and then if we slipped up we would feel horrible about ourselves. Not a fun balanced way to live. We knew there had to be another way. We would see girls on social media and even some of our friends just so relaxed around food. We wanted that.
When food no longer becomes pleasurable and fun but more of a job that drains you this is when something needs to change. Especially when it robs you of joy like we mentioned in the video.
Food should bring us together, not tear us apart.
So how do you improve your relationship with food and drop the obsession?
First you have to admit it.
Then you have to be willing and open to change.
You have to be willing to let go of your control over food.
Start seeing food as good.
Slowly start eating foods that scare you.
Work on being open, flexible around food.
Realize food is fuel for you emotionally and physically.
There is no need to be perfect with your diet…or with anything in life.
We hope us sharing our story helps you realize if you have this problem you are not alone. And we share our story as inspiration that you can overcome it too.
We no longer fear food. We no longer have anxiety eating in social settings. We no longer obsess if something is healthy or not because we trust ourselves.
Decide today you want to stop watching your life pass you by and start actually living your life. You’re meant for big things. Don’t let your food and body obsessions hold you back anymore.
We are living proof that you can get to the other side. Let us help you.
Lori and Michelle