So the question I’m here to answer is, “Can you really become too healthy?” I’m going to answer with a big fat YES! I personally have struggled with this and I am here to tell you there is so much more to a healthy lifestyle than just food! DIETS just don’t work! For example, when someone says, “Today is the day I start ONLY eating healthy foods and no more alcohol, sugar, dessert, and bread,” they will undoubtedly do well for a short amount of time. I am quite confident in that. They will start to feel better because more often than not, they are eating healthier foods than they were before and are reaping the benefits of providing their bodies with much needed nutrients. Unfortunately, being 100% restrictive to that way of eating is just not going to last. You will end up resenting the healthy foods because you are depriving yourself of a much needed balanced lifestyle. Finding a balance is much easier said than done, but it IS possible!
My story falls along that same path. When times get rough in my life I turn towards something that I can control. For me, I have always turned towards food. About 8 months ago I was not a happy camper. I was working very long hours (all my doing), I was unhappy with my job, and I turned to food to try and balance out the negativity. Unfortunately, I was just adding to it. My healthy eating became an unhealthy obsession. I ended up losing weight, I was still extremely stressed, and I isolated myself even more from my current relationships. I did not want to go out to eat because then I would feel guilty about eating ‘unhealthy’ foods. I ONLY wanted to cook the food I wanted to because heaven forbid it was ‘unhealthy.’ All I thought about was food, food, and more food.
There is a term called Orthorexia and it is defined as an unhealthy obsession with healthy foods. It is not currently recognized as a clinical diagnosis but many often struggle with similar symptoms. For example, do you feel you are in control if you stick to the ‘correct diet?’ Do you feel guilt when you stray from your diet? Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you? Do you ever wish you could spend less time on food and more time living and loving? or Does it seem beyond your ability to eat a meal prepared with love by someone else and not try to control what is served? If you have answered YES to many of these questions, then according to health professionals, you might want to consider your true motivations behind the reasons you are eating ‘healthy.’
Honestly, I answered yes to every question and I really had to rethink the ‘why’ behind my reasons for healthy eating. I kept thinking to myself, “I am eating healthy. How can this be a bad thing?” I was only putting nourishing foods into my body, but my mind was still consumed with negativity. That is why living a healthy lifestyle is not ONLY about the foods we eat. Having a balanced and healthy mindset is WAY more important! I was eating 100% ‘healthy’ and I mentally felt horrible. I remember it got to the point where if I had to steam another vegetable, I would have screamed! 100% of anything will only create an imbalance. Man, was that a fun spiral to get out of, BUT I did! Even though I often struggle with depression and an eating disorder, it will never fully consume me. I am a fighter! Once again, I fought my way through the battle of an unhealthy obsession with food and I have come out better on the other side. Do I still struggle with looking into the mirror every day and just ‘liking’ what I see? Yup! Am I learning to accept and love the body I am in? Yup! There is so much more to life than being consumed with having to be ‘perfect’ with eating, exercising, your career, and relationships. Everyday I am learning the meaning of ‘living’ and it feels great!
So, let’s just sum up the reasons why you can definitely become TOO healthy. If someone told you that you had to eat ONLY ‘healthy’ foods for the rest of your life, you would say “NO!” No one likes to get told what to think, wear, and act, so why would you want to get told what to eat?! I personally had gotten so consumed in creating the ‘perfect healthy’ lifestyle that I almost lost myself in it. It seems a tad ironic to say that I almost lost myself in eating TOO healthy, but it’s true! There are an enormous amount of diet books out there circulating the internet and bookshelves that are just waiting for someone’s need to be ‘healthy’ to generate their revenue. I am here to say STOP! Stop with the fad dieting and focus on creating a sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle that works for you! Everyone is different and for me, eating plant based diet where 80% of the time I eat whole foods that are full of nutrients while the remaining 20% of the time I eat cookies, bread, desserts, and all the things I also enjoy works for me! I have tried the 90/10 but that was too restrictive for me and only added to the unhealthy obsessions. It may take some trial and errors but stick with it and to do what works for you!
We are all in this world to try and live a more balanced lifestyle. Some find it easier to do than others, but we are all striving towards the same goal! I am here to listen to anyone who wants to be heard. I can help guide you to where you want to go. Why can I do that? Because I am doing it too! A healthy mind just isn’t the same without a healthy body!
I end with this picture because I really do see happiness. It’s not a perfect smile, it’s not at a perfect angle, BUT I was laughing and enjoying life!