How to tell if your ‘healthy diet’ has crossed the line into disordered thinking:
1. You make fun of, or hang out with people who make fun of, people who make different dietary choices than you do.
2. You use your valuable free time to visit other people’s blogs and argue with them about their dietary choices.
3. You’ve completely eliminated foods from your diet that you enjoy eating, and that you have no intolerance to, because your guru has told you they aren’t ‘optimal’.
4. You experience stress, shame or guilt when you eat (or WANT to eat) something forbidden by your diet.
5. You’ve alienated your real life friends and family by constantly criticizing their dietary choices, and you are ok with that because your ‘real’ family is your group of online friends who share your dietary philosophy.
6. You believe that your diet is the one true ‘optimal’ human diet, and that anyone who makes different dietary choices than you simply hasn’t heard the ‘truth’ yet.
7. You focus on diet to the exclusion of other healthy lifestyle choices like regular exercise, proper sleep, stress management and sunlight, and believe that eating the ‘right’ diet can make up for not practicing those other lifestyle choices.
8. You believe that if you just eat ‘right’ all your health problems will go away, and that if someone is still experiencing health problems on your diet they just aren’t ‘doing it right’.
9. You believe, because you’ve been taught by your guru, that the entire medical establishment is out to get you.
10. When your diet is not producing results you keep on doing it because you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t eat any other way.
Your diet doesn’t have to consume your life, produce stress and shame, and alienate your friends and family. There is another way. Diet is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle, and if your diet is producing negative emotions in your life, it is not promoting health.
Well said, Amber!
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Great post! I love how this is already showing signs of going viral; saw a couple of FB pages re-share this yesterday. If any words are worthy of a re-share, these are they.
Heh, I did the whole 30 in August, and yes I feel like I made myself a bit crazy, and I did lose 6 pounds, but you are right, I think that you can kind of stress yourself out eating “bad” foods. For me, there does seem a bit of community in the Paleo community, but like any group of people, there can be the bad apples!
I am really glad to have found your blog. I have stopped following so many “health” and “real food” blogs over the past several years because the food puritanism, sensationalized hysteria (“YOU WILL DIE IF YOU EAT SOY!”), and constant critique of others’ dietary choices became too much to handle. I am thinking of several bloggers I followed who actually had the nerve to post about how they would look at what others had in their grocery carts and relate it back to some physical characteristic they observed about them — or how they lecture people buying/eating food they consider sub-par, in an effort to “convert” them. I’ve even read about people who carry around little pamphlets outlining “correct food choices” to hand out in the grocery store. Perhaps most disturbing of all, there are food puritans who isolate themselves and their children from family members because of food, for Chrissake!
What it all boils down to is this: the more your diet looks like a cultish religious dogma, the more dysfunctional your thinking is. It’s FOOD, not RELIGION.
You have a great attitude!
I have followed you on Facebook for a while now. I am always impressed by your posts. But today you touched my heart. Thank you for posting the NEDA link and mentioning that this week is Eating Disorder Awareness week. I have struggled with bulimia for almost half of my life. I have “recovered” and relapsed more times that I can count. I am actively trying to take back control of my life and my eating habits and beat ED. More importantly, I am trying to remember how to live and not survive, how to enjoy food and working out without a constant calorie count in my head and how to find peace with how God made me. Thank you because today I was starting to waver and reading your two posts made me realize I am not alone.
I’m going through a very rough time on not obsessing and stressing over my eating and workouts. Your last few post have really hit home. THANKS!
Seems I’ve always been on a “diet” of some kind or another! Good post, really hit home!
Sounds like if someone is doing any of those things they’re giving an awful lot of power to their “diet”.
I realise this is a late response to this post, but it is timely for me. I’m frustrated today from dealing with 3 separate “One True Diet” folk, all of whom criticised me at some point, for what I eat, and what I feed my children. A militant vegan screamed at me in the park for feeding my toddler cheese. A militant paleo type did much the same in the grocery store (these first 2 strangers) and a third mediterranean diet buff at my house.
Argh. Usually it isn’t quite so ‘in my face’ that I resort to googling “evangelical one true diet”
You need to change your diet to more healthy foods, but you also need vitamins to boost up a
system that is compromised. Oat bran (found in oatmeal and whole
oats) may cause gas or bloating. Mucus is necessary to protect and lubricate different parts of the body.
It is unknown how many adults and children suffer with other serious, significant eating disorders, including one category of eating disorders called eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). EDNOS includes eating disorders that do not meet the criteria for anorexia or bulimia nervosa. Binge-eating disorder is a type of eating disorder called EDNOS. :.:.
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