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10 Things Only People With Orthorexia (Eating Disorder) Would Understand

10 Things Only People With Orthorexia (Eating Disorder) Would Understand

Orthorexia nervosa is a disorder characterised by an obsession with being healthy. People who suffer from this fixate on establishing and maintaining a “clean” diet and lifestyle. This type of lifestyle will vary depending on the individuals perception of “clean” or “healthy.” For example some may focus on being vegetarian or vegan, others may focus on eating solely organic foods but it is common for people with othorexia to eliminate entire food groups from their diets.

Unfortunately, it is not only adults who suffer from orthorexia but young adolescents have been known to develop a preoccupation with healthy living. It is hard to distinguish the line between normal healthy eating and orthorexia nervosa, however, questionnaires have been developed to clarify where differences can be made. Orthorexia nervosa is not recognised as a clinical eating disorder like bulimia, anorexia or binge eating.

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So when is help needed?

Eliminating entire food groups can lead to extreme cases of food avoidance, which result in the individual not eating much at all. Consequences of this can lead to dizziness, fatigue, becoming too thin, becoming anaemic, menstrual cycle problems in women and low blood pressure.

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While variations occur in the lifestyle choices of those with this disorder common traits can be found:

1. Avoiding certain foods, entire food groups or avoiding chemicals completely out of fear, because they’re “bad” or because they’re “unhealthy.”

2. Not eating out due to lack of control over what is put in food, how its prepared or not knowing the calorific quantity of each dish.

3. Not eating dessert or cake on their birthday or having an alcoholic drink to celebrate because it will break their chosen lifestyle habits.

4. Spends a lot of time reading food labels and fixating on what ingredients have been used.

5. Suffer anxiety at the thought of having to eat a type of food that isn’t “clean.”

6. Hours are spent preparing food meticulously so that quantities are met and foods are cooked and stored in a specific way.

7. Spending an immoderate amount of time each day thinking about food and healthy lifestyle choices.

8. Having feelings of guilt or failure when an unhealthy choice is made and finding it hard to forgive yourself because of it.

9. Feelings of self control, satisfaction and self confidence only when eating healthy foods.

10. Decreased quality of life as may withdraw from friends and socialising out of fear of conflict with a healthy lifestyle.

Further to relating to these characteristics you can take the ‘Bratman Test for Orthorexia’:

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⦁ Do you spend more than 3 hours a day thinking about your diet?
⦁ Do you plan your meals several days ahead?
⦁ Is the nutritional value of your meal more important than the pleasure of eating it?
⦁ Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet has increased?
⦁ Have you become stricter with yourself lately?
⦁ Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthily?
⦁ Have you given up foods you used to enjoy in order to eat the ‘right’ foods
⦁ Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat out, distancing you from family and friends?
⦁ Do you feel guilty when you stray from your diet?
⦁ Do you feel at peace with yourself and in total control when you eat healthily?

Yes to 4 or 5 of the above questions means it is time to relax more about food.
Yes to all of them means a full-blown obsession with eating
healthy food.

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It is no surprise in the increase number of people developing this particular disorder given the amount of focus from the media that is put on the ‘right’ type of foods, healthy meal plans and new health detox diets. Whereas more focus should be put on eating a balanced diet consisting of all food groups and the importance of each to lead a healthy life, which includes indulging in something sweet every once in a while.

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Last Updated on September 12, 2019

12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

Here are 12 things to remember:

1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

10. Journal During This Time

Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

Final Thoughts

Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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