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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 July 18, 2019

What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

1. They Manage Their Expectations

They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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4. They’re Not Materialistic

There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

5. They Don’t Dwell

They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

6. They Care About Themselves First

They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

7. They Enjoy the Little Things

They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

8. They Can Adapt

They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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9. They Experiment

They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

10. They Take Their Time

They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

11. They Employ Different Perspectives

They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

12. They Seek to Learn

Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

13. They Always Have a Plan

They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

14. They Give Respect to Get It

They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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15. They Consider Every Opportunity

They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

16. They Always Seek to Improve

Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

18. They Live in the Moment

They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

19. They Say Yes

Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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20. They’re Self-Aware

Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

Final Thoughts

The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

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Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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