Orthorexia: Health or Obsession?

Date: Aug 22, 2021

What’s your relationship with food?

Are you an emotional eater? Do you seek for fulfillment in food? Do you eat to be in control? Or are your food choices influenced by self love and desire to be healthy?

As someone who struggled with yo-yo dieting and orthorexia in the past, I know what it is like to eat to be in control or escape.

If you’re not familiar with what orthorexia is, it is basically the obsession with eating so “healthy” that you begin to prohibit yourself from perfectly healthy foods until you’re left with only a handful of things you can eat.

Orthorexia does not translate into eating healthy. It is rather the obsession with eating healthy based on FEAR.

Eating healthy because you love yourself, your health, and foods that make you feel good is actually great and a goal we should all have. But fearing food is where the real problem lies.

So the issue is not so much with food but with what food becomes to us.

For me, only eating certain foods was how I took control of circumstances such as my mother being sick with terminal cancer. If I could only help her heal then I could beat death and my mom could be with me forever. I thought I could avoid my own mortality and that of my loved ones. Eventually, you realize you’re clinging to food for the wrong reasons and this is a powerful tool because this the beginning of healing our relationship with food.

It’s important to understand balance because any extreme is unhealthy.

As I’ve learned to guide others into developing healthy habits, I stress the importance of enjoying the foods they love without restricting themselves. Whether these foods are deemed as “healthy” or not.

Eating to fill a void or not eating certain foods based on fear is what I love educating others about because I’ve been there. I’ve experienced the struggles that come with an ED and diet culture but have also experienced the beauty of healing from this perception and fear of food.

Food is meant to be pleasurable and/or nurture us. Some days I’ll have legume pasta and some days I’ll have regular pasta or non-dairy ice cream if I want it.

I think it’s important to eat for both reasons, to nurture ourselves but also to enjoy the food itself. You can enjoy a salad and ice cream too.

While I no longer suffer from orthorexia, I do choose to eat a certain way now because I love myself and how nutrient dense whole foods make me feel(they give me energy and aid my digestive system). Like I said, I still eat foods like pizza, regular pasta, burgers, or dairy when I want them but I don’t eat them every day just because they don’t work all that great for my body when eaten on a constant basis.

What works for me doesn’t work for everyone and vice versa. I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all formula for healthy living. We have to consider our lifestyles and individual goals, learning to eat mindfully to understand what our bodies really need. And that’s an individual journey that begins with the right guidance but ultimately, only we can make happen.

Some things I strive for in order to feel good and maintain balance are the following:

1.Portioning (sometimes I’m not perfect at this but I try)

2.Energizing Foods

3.Healthy Digestion


My goal is to empower you through knowledge so you can develop a healthy relationship with  your body, fitness, and food. The key is in integrating healthy habits slowly that lead to a sustainable wellness routine and lifestyle without restricting ourselves along the way.

I hope you have found this post helpful and enlightening in some way. Please reach out if you have any questions or requests.