Recently we received a phone call from a journalist asking us about our experience with Orthorexia. She mentioned that it’s something that is being talked more and more about and although it’s not listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders if you’re wondering)… our prediction is that it probably will be added, sooner rather than later. You can read the story here.
Orthorexia (Mr Google says) is “the term for a condition that includes symptoms of obsessive behaviour in pursuit of a healthy diet. Sufferers often display signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders.”
Yeah, we googled it… but we know first hand what it feels like to suffer from Orthorexia (Emma also suffered from Bulimia). We pretty much had the realisation that we used to have Orthorexia TODAY after the conversation with the journalist.
And seriously. That way we used to live… SUCKED. BIG TIME.
The conversation started around us giving up ‘paleo’. “Was that your rock bottom?” “Did you feel most anxious then?” but we quickly realised that this wasn’t our rock bottom of Orthorexia. No way. Our rock bottom would have been in 2012 when we both went on some crazy Body Sculpting Diet that Carla borrowed from a friend. It consisted of 1200 calories: protein shakes, chicken, veg, apples, rice crackers. The boring-est of boring diets you can imagine. No good fats. No mixing it up. Stick to this for 12 weeks and you will lose weight. Well duh, of course, you would.
But what we weren’t told was that we’d also lose our periods (therefore some level of bone density), that you’ll have so little energy that all you’ll be able to do is wake up, go to the gym, eat, sleep, repeat. That your brain will feel like it has a thick fog in front of it, you won’t be able to think about anything else EXCEPT FOOD. Your life will become what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat… oh and how long you spend on the treadmill and lifting weights. Sound good? Hell NO.
That was our rock bottom. If you guys know the story, the story goes: then we found paleo, it changed our lives (alleviated the anxiety/stress around food), we felt amazing, started sharing this online and Merrymakers was born.
If you know the story REALLY well then you’ll know that we ‘quit’ the paleo label about 2 years ago. Why? Because these similar feelings that we’d felt during rock bottom/12 weeks of hell started to creep back in.
The feelings of guilt around certain foods we’d eaten (sometimes guilt trips lasting up to a week!). Feelings of anxiety of what the hell are we gonna eat when we go to family dinner? The feelings of not being skinny enough, pretty enough, don’t look like that enough started to creep back in.
We were lucky in that we had the self-awareness to realise this and quickly make the decision to ditch labels… FOREVER. We realised: far out, we’re spending the majority of our lives thinking about food… and not in a positive way.
Ditching the label: now THAT was a good decision. Quit the labels and just focus on adding more good. Good food, good thoughts and good people.
Afterall, what you focus on grows.
So that’s what we did and continue to do now.
We don’t follow a certain diet. We don’t count ANYTHING… seriously, ain’t no body got time for that!
We just eat REAL FOOD and we make it fun and yum. Choosing what to make for dinner shouldn’t be stressful because when you really think about it… far OUT, how blessed are we that we get to even eat dinner? Like… sah blessed.
THIS is why we started our #GetMerry Challenges 2 years ago. To bring people together going through similar situations, to help bring awareness to where you might be able to add more GOOD, more JOY, more LIFE into your every day.
Hope to see you in there so we can all make the world a little (or a lot) more Merry! Early bird closes tomorrow <3
Emma + Carla