The Jar Awareness: Orthorexia
Updated: Jul 2
Are we orthorexic? Say what, yet another brink of frenzy trends? Rather, a pretty common eating disorder - obsession with healthy food.
We admit, doesn't sound as bad at first. After all, how dangerous can healthy eating get - overeat on salad or binge them carrots on a cheat day? At this point of a quarantine, some wish they were at least a bit orthorexic.
However, it is worse than that. Eating healthy is the most common advice if not of all times then of 2020, for sure. All your problems, they say, from mental to physical go away when you balance out your breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We are not entirely sure at which point, but something breaks and healthy lifestyle becomes an obsession. This is a starting point of Orthorexia Nervosa, an eating condition when people are unhealthily fixated on eating healthy.
So, when healthy is unhealthy? Read more in our quarterly guide "Surviving the 2020 trends".
But for now, The Jar Healthy Vending shares a few signs of orthorexia to look out for. If you experience any of these, it’s time to take a moment for self reflection and rethink the meaning of “healthy” in your life.
Eating healthy becomes an obsession Who could have thought that eating healthy could also be a disorder? There goes another controversial discovery of 2020. We all want to eat the best quality food and use balanced nutrition as a source of energy and well-being. But sometimes this desire becomes an obsession and goes a little bit overboard when you start focusing way too much on specific ingredients and healthy trends. That’s the point of a wake up call, which in case of being overlooked can lead to disturbing consequences for your personal, social and work life.
Your diet controls your emotions
Fixation on healthy eating can cause serious mood swings. It’s the obsession with following the strict rules of your daily nutrition plan, which makes your so-called healthy habits turn into rather unhealthy ones. Paradox, but true.
With orthorexia, those ill-starred anxiety and self-loathing become vivid when your “healthy lifestyle” isn’t going as planned. However, when all rules and regulations are met the feelings of happiness and euphoria start to emerge. The danger here is that the more depressed you feel the farther into your obsession you may go to get that euphoric feelings again.
Some food groups are eliminated from your diet At this point, some food becomes labelled as unhealthy. Again, your rule-based lifestyle forces you to obsess over checking labels and eliminating the "unclean" ingredients, while concerns over preparing and cleaning your food become way above normal. You may also spend extensive time planning, researching, and meal-prepping which can become disturbing for other aspects of your life. Unless you are a nutritionist and this is your job.
Unfortunately, with all the propaganda around healthy lifestyle - a fear-based paranoid orthorexic mindset is progressively encouraged. You start judging others Experience shows that judging others over eating habits is a common practice among some newly-minted vegetarians. Don’t get us wrong, we love you, vegans and vegetarians, but just can’t help this stereotype - that’s what memes taught us. Turns out, people with orthorexia have difficulty accepting different lifestyle of their friends and family. Rooted in the feeling of “struggling for the good cause” and ending up in slight glares of superiority over others - such obsession leads to restriction of a social circle, supported by an excuse to stay away from “unclean” food and people with different "rules".
Physical signs of malnutrition start to emerge Over time, restrictions, and routines will force your body into a state of imbalance and malnutrition. Irritation, fatigue and weakness accompany your healthy meals, which are supposed to make you energised and inspired.
Malnutrition is dangerous and can lead to severe physical and psychological problems. We live in an unusual time, this is for sure. Under the social pressure it is easy to get those fears of missing out. However, a beautiful reminder is that beauty is in simplicity.
Being healthy should be inspiring and easy, and The Jar Healthy Vending will do our best to organise that for you!