Health & Fitness

Signs That You Are Too Healthy For Your Own Good

My personal thoughts

To test myself, every time I did not want to eat something either at a gathering or simply someone offering, I ask myself one simple question; “why is it that I don’t want to eat this food item?” Thank God my answers have never been, ” because I don’t want to get fat” or “because I will have to force myself to regurgitate later.” This is not me making fun of or judging people for whom these are reasons they choose to eat or not eat. Eating disorders are serious illnesses and I am glad that the light has shone on them lately. From celebrities to family and friends, we all know or have heard of someone who suffers from some sort of eating disorder. At first it was something women were afraid to admit and were suffering from. In the past few years, we have learned that men and women suffer from eating disorders.

Below is another article I received from Fitness Magazine in regards to healthy living and what to look out for on your healthy living journey. We all want to be and live healthy lives. A lot of us are making the effort to make that happen. In the midst of a two-hour hibernation at the gym or measuring servings, please take a moment to test your reasoning as to why you are doing what you are doing. To stay healthy? To get fit? To gain muscle strength? To become toned? To relieve stress? Why?

 

By Nicole Zeman

“You work out and eat right to get or stay in shape, but there’s a fine line between being disciplined and letting your commitment turn compulsive. Here’s what you need to know about a stealthy new disorder affecting women.” ( Men are suffering as well, it’s just that women are easier to notice)

The Silent Sufferer

When a normal-weight friend skips one social event after another for Spinning class or looks visibly distraught after nibbling a brownie at an office party, you may think she’s being too hardcore, but you probably don’t suspect that she has an eating disorder – she might. Such behaviors are bigger red flags than a sinking BMI. In fact, a below-average body weight is no longer a criterion even for anorexia, according to diagnostic guidelines updated last year. And while someone with orthorexia may drop pounds as a side effect of restrictive eating, she’s typically more focused on eating right and getting fit than becoming stick thin.

“When assessing a patient for any eating disorder, including orthorexia, we look for a fear of gaining weight, eating the wrong thing or not exercising. Is the person obsessively checking her body in the mirror? Is she dominated by thoughts of food?” says Jane Miceli, MD, the medical director of adult services for the Eating Recovery Center in Denver. Another sign that therapists watch for is a level of self-discipline that goes beyond what’s rational. “Anytime someone is exceedingly strict about their eating or exercise habits to the point of neglecting close relationships or becoming agitated if they slip up in some way, it’s a reason for concern,” Dr. Miceli says.

When something stressful happens — starting or losing a job, going through a breakup — women who are genetically predisposed to these disorders may be more likely to turn to compulsive eating and exercising as a coping mechanism. “Transitional events like these can set off an eating disorder because they can leave a person feeling anxious and powerless,” says Cynthia Bulik, PhD, the director of the University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders and author of Midlife Eating Disorders: Your Journey to Recovery. Hypercorrect eating and exercise are ways to compensate — and help sufferers regain a false and temporary sense of control.

What causes a health-food devotee and avid exerciser to cross the line from passionate and committed to pathologically obsessed? Heredity, for one. “Between 50 and 75 percent of the reasons some women develop eating disorders and others don’t can be attributed to differences in their genes,” says Kelly Klump, PhD, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University. “The specific genes involved are still being identified, but we know they are closely associated with those that control anxiety and/or depression.” Women who exhibit certain personality traits are also at higher risk, research shows. Perfectionists, for example, may be vulnerable because they place a high value on self-discipline and attaining the perfect body. With the best intentions, eating healthy foods and working out, then a compulsive pattern develops and turns into a true disorder.” When that happens, the organic-food aisles and fitness studios that most of us breeze in and out of become the center of an orthorexic’s life. “I’ve seen women who belong to multiple gyms so that they can take several exercise classes a day,” Krumholz says. “Others will swear off one ‘unhealthy’ ingredient after another until there’s barely anything they feel safe eating.”

The same women who seem admiringly disciplined about their raw-food diets and 5:00 a.m. runs can be dangerously out of control. “An orthorexic will often be so convinced her behavior is healthy that she doesn’t realize she needs help until her fixation on food and exercise takes a terrible toll on her body or starts to destroy other aspects of her life,” Krumholz says. The more restricted an orthorexic’s diet, the less likely she’s getting the nutrition she needs, which can trigger a host of health problems, including anemia, hormonal dysfunction, low blood pressure and heart failure. “Unfortunately, instead of feeling exhausted because of overexercise and lack of nourishment, the thrill of control often fills orthorexics with energy and excitement, driving them to push harder to the point of injury or severe illness,” Dr. Sacker says. As their obsession grows, so does their eating disorder — approximately 40 percent of people with EDNOS go on to develop anorexia or bulimia within two years. The good news: You can stop orthorexia before it reaches that point.

When Healthy Turns Harmful

Given that so many fitness-loving women run marathons and try paleo diets for fun, it can be tricky to determine if you’re just another health nut or a dangerously fixated one. “Some things to look for are guilt for not sticking to your eating regimen, turning down opportunities to socialize because they could interfere with eating healthfully, prioritizing food and exercise over your relationships or job, and thinking about your diet and workouts at times when you should be focused on something else,” says Dr. Bulik. Some prime examples:

Healthy: You sleep through your alarm and don’t have time to do the tempo run on your half-marathon training schedule, so you do it when you get home from work.

Obsessive: You sleep through your alarm and don’t have time to do the tempo run on your half-marathon schedule, but you do it anyway, show up late for work and miss an important meeting.

Healthy: You eat a decadent dessert at a friend’s birthday dinner and think, Well, at least I worked out today!

Obsessive: You eat a decadent dessert at a friend’s birthday dinner and think, That’s the last time I’m eating out with friends!

Healthy: You’re so into your new high-protein, low-carb diet that you think about it all the way to the grocery store.

Obsessive: You’re so into your new high-protein, low-carb diet that you think about it during sex.

Healthy: You have no time to cook, so you scan a takeout menu, attempting to choose something that isn’t a total fat and calorie bomb.

Obsessive: You have no time to cook, so you scan a takeout menu, attempting to calculate the exact number of calories and fat grams in each option.

Healthy: You strain a quad in Spinning class, so you take a week off before getting back in the saddle.

Obsessive: You strain a quad in Spinning class, so you ice it, heat it, wrap it, pop some ibuprofen and get back in the saddle the next day.

I am a 26 year-old educator on the run of becoming all that I can in the time that I have. A few years ago, I embarked on a journey filled with spiritual discoveries, healthy habits, and a passion for education stronger than I've ever had. Learning what to do to become a better person have always interest me. One of my passions is to know a little about everything in order to gain the capability of forming my own opinion so others won't have to do it for me. Another passion that was buried deep inside finally came to the surface and allowed me to see the adventurous side of me. I am on a journey to see the world and do things outside of my comfort zone. I will write all about it along the way!

This article has 1 comment

  1. Seohyun

    Great read, Thank you for sharing the link.

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