Do we all have an eating disorder?

I usually just flick through chick and celebrity magazines when I get my hands on them as their superficiality does not arouse my interest. Yesterday, though, I get stuck at an article in the German Grazia. A columnist is telling about her odyssay criss-cross through different and often even conflicting rules, advices and restraints concerning food. The bottom line was that she’s getting concerned about herself as she constantly thinks about food and what she should eat or better avoid – what’s amongst typical symptoms of an eating disorder.

Frighteningly, I am guilty of exactly that myself. And many people around me as well. As I said in my last blog entry, I’m trying to avoid sugar in the moment. What’s a challenge if fruit is considered being „bad“ as well. Yes, I am most obviously addicted to sugar, and yes, I want to get away from it. Yes, with a BMI of nearly 28 I still have some pounds extra, and yes, I want to get to a 25 as soon as it’s healthy. But: I definitely don’t want to suffer from an eating disorder and have all my thoughts circling around food and calories all day long. That’s sick. No matter how many authors tell me to raise awareness for good versus bad food and count the calories of every single bit I eat. Before internet BMI calculators, the diet industry and high-tech gymns, people lived a healthy life, too, and were in a good shape. Why the hassle now?

Because we have lost the ability to see food as a necessity. It has become a joy, a lifestyle, an individual fulfillment, a therapy against frustration, a substitute for love. But it is not the fuel for making the engine go any longer. Due to allergies and sensibilities, I, for one, avoid: gluten, all kinds of processed foods, flavour enhancers, industrial sugar, artificial sugar substitutes, apples, pepper spice, celery, soy products, iodine filled products, soft drinks especially if containing carbonic acid and most of the time also alcohol of every kind. I prefer goat milk to cow milk, rice sirup to honey, I wouldn’t buy chocolate when the first named ingredient is sugar, and I use plenty of coco products. That might tell of an enhanced awareness and it even might be healthy (I do believe it is). But on the one hand it’s hard to find appropriate products at all, and on the other hand it’s energy and time soaking bullshit.

The second one, well: If I wouldn’t believe it’s for my good I’d stop it. As long as I think it has advantages, I’ll go on with it. And considering the facts that I objectively look younger than I am, have a firm skin and lost four sizes since January 2015, I guess I’m right there. The first one is a problem of our society, however. As to my opinion, it’s the reason that one part of the population struggles to cope with obesity, depression, diseases of civilisation or even a combination of many of these issues, while the other part of the population struggles to find unprocessed food, to earn enough money to be able to afford it, to spend hours with working out and – here the circle comes full – to find out what food is okay for the body and how to prepare it. All this might lead to actual eating disorders and exercise addiction, it damn sure leads to pressure these persons (including myself) put on themselves and less time for spontaneous fun stuff. Ice cream turns from summer fun to a dangerous enemy, a party cocktail is seen as a bowl full of empty calories and a brake to lipometabolism, and so on.

It does bother me. It should bother everyone. We (as in: we people who try to live healthy) should not feel like superiour heroes unless we find a way to live that way without thinking about it all the time. I’m not there yet. Are you? Then please tell us about it, using the comment area.

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