Can Healthy Eating Become Obsessive?
IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – Anna Gonzalez looks at her trophies and pictures of when she was a competitive body builder.
“I was really happy the way I looked,” she explains “I wish I looked like that now.”
Gonzalez says it took extreme work outs and a strict diet for her to get ready for her competitions. “It kind of overtaking me and I know it’s not good,” says the Irving mother.
Gonzalez admits she became obsessed with eating healthy before her first competition. She started by boiling everything from vegetables to meats “I even weigh all my food and then I boil it.”
She refused to go to restaurants and wouldn’t eat at family gatherings. “I would go and not eat I would sit in the living room while everybody is eating and just stare and be in a bad mood,” says Gonzalez.
But she slowly started realizing she had a problem. And though she didn’t have a name for it experts call what Anna was going through as Orthorexia. It’s an eating disorder with an obsession of eating healthy.
Orthorexics restrict their diets to foods they consider pure, natural and healthy. “It becomes life limiting in that the amount of time thinking about food becomes excessive,” explains Emily Haeussler who is a Nutrition Therapist in Fort Worth “The person can become nutritionally mal-nourished.”
Anna says she’s not competing right now and just wants to take a break. Her focus is getting back on track and feeling healthy. “I’m actually giving myself more flexibility.”
Some have taken dieting to such an extreme that doctors have diagnosed two new eating disorders. Another eating disorder getting attention is Adult Selective Eating.
It doesn’t have an official name yet, but like kids adult picky eaters limit themselves to things like white or pale colored pasta or cheese pizza, french fries and chicken fingers.