National Eating Disorders Association

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Ansgani
Orthorexia/Anxiety/Low self confidence/

Hello,

I'm a french 27 man and I suffer of eating disorder since i'm 15 16 approximately. At that age I
started to question my nutrition after hearing french governemental dietary advices encouraging people to eat less fat, sugar and salt, more fruits, vegetables, ... (you know the script)
I think it's important for you to know that two years before that, I lost my grand mother because of an arterial disease that cause her corpse to malfunction progressively to a point where her life was a nightmare. (her organs weren't sufficiently vascularize so she coundn't eat normally and died in few months)

Since that age, i became hypochondriac and it was therefore logical for me to have a total control over my diet and my physical activities to remain in good health. But after many years of training in differents endurance sports and of "good eating", I realized that first I'm not happy, second my need to control every aspect of my life is a great source of stress and social isolation and third I don't even know even today at 27 WHAT A GOOD DIET IS. I mean there are so many differents people with so many differents nutrition guidelines to fellow (which are furthermore sometimes contradictory) that it becomes totally impossible to known how to eat well without any doubts. (paleo, vegan, vegetarian, ....)(and i don't even talk about the qualitative aspect of food with all the chemicals they are putting in our food nowadays)

So, can you help me to get ride of those doubts that are ruining my life since more than 10 years now in way to at last live a normal and fulfilling life ?

Thanks a lot for your help.

BobJ48
Ansgani.

Hey there Ansgani,

Sorry that your note sat for a while with no response. I've been trying to get things ready for winter here, before the weather gets bad, and have not been on the computer as much as I normally am.

And yes, people can become trapped by things like this alright. While it may seem reasonable to want to protect ourselves by eating right, after a while the whole thing can get obsessive, and suddenly we are not in control at all. As you said, the stress and anxiety, and the other ways that it begins to effect a person's life can become more and more constraining with time.

So yes, how does a person become more flexible. and less under the spell of things like this ?

For one thing, as I suspect you are seeing, there really is no one "perfect diet". People have all sorts of different ideas about what's best. And then there are all those people who eat pretty much whatever they want, and yet somehow they remain alive and healthy. So it seems reasonable to think that people can indeed be flexible with their intake and still be OK.

But yes, there's the food part, and then there's the anxiety and obsessiveness part. This is just me, of course, but I think a person needs to look at both of those things. Simply changing your eating habits is unlikely to address the issue in the way that you would like. The psychological parts (which are what are at the heart of the matter) will need to be addressed too. Which may mean getting some psychological counseling, as well some diet advice.

Hopefully you'll be able to break free of these obsessions, and will discover a freer and more open life. As you said, no one like's to find themselves and their lives controlled by things like this.

Keep writing ?

Bob J.