A raw food diet isn’t orthorexia.
A paleo diet isn’t orthorexia.
A juice fast isn’t orthorexia.
A raw food diet taken on with no flexibility, and major fear of toxicity and body fat…is orthorexia.
A paleo diet taken on as a “be all end all” and accompanied by constant macro-tracking and scale-worshipping…is orthorexia.
A juice fast forced on your body out of shame for “overeating”…is orthorexia.
Orthorexia is perfectionistic, fear-based, black-and-white, obsessive, anxious, and hyper-focused on food as the source of our happiness and self-worth.
But what about the person for whom raw foods feels easy, natural and joyful?
What about the person who healed their depression and IBS after trying out a paleo diet?
What about the person who fasts for reasons having nothing to do with weight and everything to do with inner work?
How do you know if something is for you? How does it FEEL? Do you feel expansive, supported, and at ease? Or do you feel scared, restricted, and desperate to “fix” your body?
I have friends for whom eating *mostly* plant-based feels like the most intuitive thing in the world. I have other friends who have been served by eating a ketogenic style diet *most* of the time for years. I have other friends still who have been trying to change their bodies or have made it their goal to become “raw foodists” or just “good dieters” for YEARS… but are still cycling back and forth between binge eating and restriction.
We could look at two people, side-by-side, appearing to live and eat the same way. But what makes one person orthorexic and the other healthy and FREE is mindset.
The orthorexic person is waiting for food to “fix” them or allow them to reach a destination of “perfection”…or at least “perfect” weight.
The healthy and free person knows they are already whole, already enough, and already beautiful- food is just something that supports them in feeling incredible in a body they already love.
The orthorexic person spends a huge amount of their energy worrying about, overanalyzing, and just plain thinking about their diet or their next meal.
The healthy and free person is all about living LIFE, and eats in a way that supports that life.
The orthorexic person doesn’t do flexibility or nuance. They are either “on the wagon” or “off the wagon”.
The healthy and free person doesn’t do wagons, they do ALIVENESS. They’ve moved beyond perfectionism.