Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two New Eating Disorders?

In preparing for this week's speaking engagements, a friend of mine (ahem, Latoya) turned me to an article featured on today that explores two new types of disordered eating. Turns out... I am quite familiar with both.

1) Selective Eating-- individuals allow themselves to consume a small range of foods. Everyone gets into habits of eating certain foods, I know, but for those that have heard me speak before, you realize I took it to the EXTREME.

As a student athlete in high school, I would run upwards of 8 miles a day after having only coffee (for breakfast), and a pear and half a bag of mini pretzels (for lunch), and water throughout the day to fill an empty and noisy tummy. Today I have a strong distate for both items.

As you can imagine, this will lead to significant deficiencies. This past fall, I was hospitalized for chronic anemia. Over several days, I was given 4 units of whole blood, potassium and other essential nutrients. My body had become so accustomed to running on "E" that I showed little sign of fatigue, light headedness, shortness of breath, etc. In fact, I had run 5 miles the morning I was admitted. It's amazing what your body will do to survive.

2) Orthorexia-- it is a term used to describe a fixation with healthy eating. I.e. those affected may avoid procesed foods, animal products or other ingredients considered to be unhealthy.

My junior year in high school I decided to be a vegetarian. Much to my family's confusion, I eliminated all meats. Malnutrition ensued.

Although this idea has not been recognized as an official mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association, practioners continue to document the damaging results of these habits.

Thank you for the tip and topic of a great blog post. For the original article, visit

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