The Truth About Orthorexia – Is Veganism An Eating Disorder?
In recent years we have seen a phenomena called ‘Orthorexia’.
Orthorexia is a so called eating disorder which makes the person seek healthier and healthier foods. Alright, alright, alright – last time I checked this is not what is contributing to our leading causes of death but anyway.
The person that suffers from that disease, seems to be never satisfied with their health and performance.
Now is this a bad thing? Apparently it can be.
As vegans we are people that are rather strict with our eating behavior. So should we worry about orthorexia? Is this the secret killer of our western society, that no one talks about?
I actually have been accused of ‘eating too healthy’ before. Sounds shocking until you know that the person that accused me of being too healthy, was morbidly overweight.
I’ve also been named ‘boring’ after I’ve declined an offer to try drugs. Sounds shocking until you know that the guy that called me ‘boring’ turned out to be a ‘burned out’ cocaine addict.
Some people have also called me ‘weird’, because I don’t choose to numb myself with beer or cigarettes. The people that call me ‘weird’ are getting ‘wasted’ on a daily basis.
The truth is that you can’t please all the people all the time.
While we all say that we’re independent and we simply do not care, I think the truth of the matter is that most of us have absolutely no thick skin.
We’re afraid to be disliked. We have a deep fear of getting criticized. Last time I checked there’s no dislike button in Facebook. There’s no such button because the programmers realized that people probably would spend less time on the platform if there would be such.
Fear cripples us on a daily basis. We’re afraid of everything, when in reality the thing that we should truly be afraid of, is fear.
1. The crippling power of fear
What prevents us from starting a business is not actual lawsuits or bankruptcy, but the fear of those two possibilities.
What cripples us from recreating our physique is not an actual injury, but a fear of failure, public ridicule or shame.
The moment I left Switzerland to go to southeast Asia for atleast 3 months, a girl hit me up and asked me: “How do you do this?” What she truly meant is: “I want to do the same thing, yet I’m crippled by fear.”
Sure healthy eating is a clinical disorder in 2019 when over half of the US population is overweight. And over a third are obese.
But are those people truly the ones you would like to get advise from. Last time I checked I’d rather be eating too healthy, than be so overweight that I have to take shots of insulin on a daily basis.
Take Drew Canole, he’s the founder of an incredibly successful business called “Organifi” and is able to display an extraordinary physique. He eats 30 fruit servings a week contrary to the ordinary 9 servings. He also gets his blood tested every 90 days.
Does this sound extreme? I mean most people would easily change their lives with this guy.
We just need to follow this one thing:
2. Make sure your diet is actually healthy
I think this point is crucial.
Do we think our diet is healthy or is there actually scientific truth behind that eating behaviour?
I think a lot of *ex-vegans* are actually suffering from orthorexia. Take Tim Shieff, Tim was constantly looking to improve his performance and health to the degree that he even started drinking his piss.
I agree with orthorexia to that degree, that some of us have an unrealistic expectation of our daily performance. It doesn’t matter how well we eat or how good we exercise, our life will never be all sunshine and rainbows.
This fantasy doesn’t freaking exist.
Nonetheless I think it’s still important that we:
3. Strive for performance
Tim Shieff was a top-level athlete. And if we take a look at top-level athletes, business owners and people that change something in this world – they’re willing to do everything for increased performance.
Tom Brady, an all-star player in the NFL, stated that: “If you’re going to compete against me, you better be willing to give up your life – because I’m giving up mine.”
Now I’m not saying that this is the path that is right for everyone, I’m just saying that sacrifice is a common practice among all top performers.
Cristiano Ronaldo started following a ridiculously restrictive sleep schedule of five 90 minute sleeping blocks sprinkled over a 24 hour period. According to this article, Cristiano always sleep in the same foetal position, wearing new laundry and on exactly 10 centimeters of foam.
The article also writes that during the London Olympics, Sir Chris Hoy a racing driver and track cyclist, was given a 5-star hotel room. The bed stayed unused though. Because the athlete slept on the floor on a sleep kit, tailored to his body shape.
Gandhi had less than 10 things to his name the day he died. He constantly tried to minimize what he owns. He constantly tried to put more restrictions on himself.
4. The fear of restriction (BONUS POINT!)
It seems nowadays that there’s a huge fear of restriction.
We don’t want to put any label on ourselves because god-forbit we don’t want to restrict our choices.
When in reality, unknown to us, 99% of our existence is restrictions. Our working contract with a company restricts us from working somewhere else due to conflicting interests.
Our relationship with a partner restricts us from f*cking that hot guy or chick at the bar.
Our residence in one country and to some degree our social circle, restricts us in staying in different countries.
Life is full of restrictions, and then the explanation of why a certain eating behavior is not good is suddenly “Restrictions though”?
Or because some vegans dream about meat?
Now have you ever dreamt about living in the Bahamas while you’re actually stuck in Colorado? Have you ever dreamed of getting in a nasty threesome while you’re in a happy marriage?
I have dreamt about eating meat, but guess what I’ve also dreamt about throwing a grenade in a class room. Does this mean I stop being a vegan or I actually have violent intentions? Goddammit no.
Dreaming is a way for your brain to simulate experiences without dealing with actual consequences. And guess what, after both of those dreams I woke up and thought: “How the hell did you fabricate that brain?”
I have absolutely no urge in eating meat or blowing up a class room – yes, you can stop your recording now NSA.
Our dreams are an experimental ground for your brain where it links seemingly unrelated experiences with each other to see how they’d plan out.
What I want to get across is that depending on our long-term goals, some restrictions are actually good for us.
Conclusion – The Truth About Orthorexia:
I believe that orthorexia exists, but not in the way that the media may portray it to you. I mean if the alternative to orthorexia is being morbidly overweight while getting frequent insulin shots, I’d rather choose the diet form which just makes a certain key group of people dislike me.
But orthorexia can be a thing if our eating behaviour doesn’t contain enough calories or micronutrients. It also is an important issue if our diet choices are not founded on scientific evidence and principles.
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I think our current generation has an unreasonable fear of restrictions, when in reality it’s usually restrictions on unessential things, that will move us closer to the abundance of essential ones.