Am I Orthorexic?

These are my current thoughts about how "orthorexia" or "correct" or "right" eating (a scientifically yet unrecognized term/ eating disorder coined by Steven Bratman, MD, author of Health Food Junkies and current owner of
I am writing this, inasmuch to get it into my brain as to either introduce it to others or see if others can relate to this... Honestly, I could use support around this, accountability... Also, I'd like to create an orthorexia meeting...
To me, orthorexia is an eating disorder, that is akin to anorexia where a person only eats food they deem "pure" and "holy", this was and still can be me. In my case, I was trying to treat rare incurable health condition (taking matters into my own hands)... While this condition may be helped with some dietary watching, perhaps not to the degree in which I took it, after reading all I could get my hands on for "alternative eating/ lifestyle". In fact part of my recovery came from my friends literally restricting my reading of these books, as each new diet I was trying was rapidly decreasing my health, to the point where I almost died. I feel that part of my disease (and perhaps, for others as well) stems from believing that I do not "deserve" to participate in life the way that others do, I do not deserve to be a "part of" parties, enjoyment, or anywhere that people gather together. This may be due to my upbringing. During the time in which this illness plagued me severely, I was so afraid of my health condition and so angry with myself if I couldn't cure it. For those who are anorexic, and looking to see if they have orthorexic components or for those who simply find they may relate and want to learn more about the illness, I have thought about what an orthorexic and anorexic comparison may look like, this is some of what I've come up with:
An anorexic is focused on weight and calories and an orthorexic is often focused on digestion and meal timing and food purity; both are highly afraid of their food fears of choice. Both are focused on food, just in a different way.
Anorexics generally have a hard time reading magazines about the latest diets for losing weight and seeing really super thin models without being triggered to want to do this and be this way and orthorexics are triggered by seeing magazines or reading books about the latest "new age health craze" and by seeing people who look like they are glowing with health as a result of eating only the healthiest, unsprayed strawberries and want to try the latest diet and cleanse.
An orthorexics version of "purging" can take the form of physical cleanses as they want to get the toxins out of their system from their last poor, toxic meal choice and not using pills or exercising. At least for me, it was so interesting to see this parallel. I was cleaning and cleaning and their was literally nothing left in me to be cleaned!! It was tragic!
Orthorexia has yet to be put in the DSM as they are still gathering information on it and they need a larger sample group (they say that most orthorexics do no recover as they believe that they are really healthy, and any health issues they may have, they believe can be cured through another health change/detox). At any rate, thought I'd bring up my version and thoughts on this eating disorder, has anyone else hear heard of this or have had it and have their own take on it?

Your comparisons are very accurate, and the book by Steven Bratman has been touted to be a good resource.
As you stated, either 'type' of ED can be fatal, and that is one thing that everyone needs to remember. There is no virtue in starving to death, period.
Thank you for sharing this, and I hope that everyone can see how critical it is to challenge the rules and limitations that any ED puts on a person's life, realizing that it may only lead to the worst...death. Sad, but true.
Thanks again...Jan ♥

Thank you, Jan! Looks like I need to get ahold of the Health Food Junkies book... I think, from what you say, I will find benefit in it.

Thank you for reading my post!! I'm hoping others will read too... :)

This particular ED is becoming more of a problem, with the strong emphasis on 'healthy' eating in our society. The truth? Eating all foods in moderation and truly LIVING, is a far better option than dying from an eating disorder.
I hope others read your Post as well...Jan ♥

Thank you! That makes sense, what you said... I may even put this topic out under a different title: "Am I Orthorexic?"... and then share my story... I'm trying to start an Orthorexics Anonymous in In the Rooms... What do you think?

It might be worth a try. CHANGE is the important emphasis for any support group. Once cannot just talk about things without make changes, and expect anything to get better.
Good luck!!
Jan ♥

steeni, hon-

please forgive my very UN-timely reading of this post. as gina so kindly referenced: i have limited access to the internet these days- due to my laptop crash.

i am curious... you said that something in my picture reminded you of yourself. can i ask what that *something* is?

orthorexia is an enigma to me... as are all other eating disorders. i don't pigeon-hole myself with one definition or another definition- simply b/c i think my behaviors have been all over the map for years. i would say that at this point, today, that i display more anorexic and orthorexic tendencies than any other. but the fear of overeating can squeeze the life out of me, rendering me basically paralyzed with fear that the *boa constricter* will squeeze me so tightly that i'll somehow begin eating and never stop. charming that snake shoves me to the edge of bulimic tendencies... all over the map.

the concept of orthorexia is a difficult one for me to grasp. sadly a lot of the supposed *criteria* suits me.

sometimes my quest for knowledge is strong enough for me to really focus on definitions and criteria. and other times i just don't care- i just want all my oddities to GO AWAY.

skip reading the book, my friend. getting caught up in definitions and in the pursuit of knowledge can sometimes do more harm than good. in fact, it FEELS very much like *action*... but it is far from. i'm not dissing fact-finding missions nor am i dissing the pursuit of knowledge about ourselves. what i am suggesting is that it is very easy to get caught up in all that- *thinking* that we are *doing* when we are actually simply spinning our wheels.

please note: i am the pot calling the kettle black, here. i read everything i can get my hands on. i have twisted and turned trying to NOT fit anything that defined me as eating disordered. and? i was successful--- but it never changed the fact that the foundation of my issues still exists and that my behaviors flare up and cause me distress. talking myself OUT of being eating disordered simply fueled the fires.........

well, that was a lot about me. how about you? how are you? are you in therapy or any kind of treatment? has *defining* yourself in terms of an eating disorder helped you? or has it created the quicksand that disables our abilities to *act*?

thank you for sharing and for responding to my post. i wish you the best and hope that ACTION becomes more a part of your life.

amy xo