A thing about food, and orthorexia, and some rage

I do get frustrated writing on here sometimes (ditto pretty much anywhere else I write) as I forget that unless I explicitly say something, it’s otherwise not implied. E.g. things like my intersectional feminism, my history of discovering fat acceptance & accepting myself before I started lifting. I feel as if what I’ve tried to say just hasn’t come across. So in the avoidance of doubt:

Posts like the previous one, and this one, are basically me saying: “Loads of lifting blogs out there are blogs about how the writer was unhappy with their body and/or had food issues before they started lifting, and how they fought and/or resolved those issues through lifting. For me, I have developed for the first time (admittedly quite mild) food issues and lost confidence in my body because of lifting and the culture surrounding it”.

I just want to put it out there, you know? In case anyone else has developed food issues or body confidence issues because of lifting. Just like I wanted to put my post about endometriosis out there, in case anyone was Googling “powerlifting endometriosis” like I was, and finding nothing.

I say I have food issues – but yes, they are very mild. It’s more like niggles and doubts, and inner conflicts as my FA conditioning causes me to push back against them. I’m not going to pretend those doubts don’t exist, but if I express them I don’t want people to rush in thinking I’m an ingenue or completely unschooled in self-positivity. I went through 6 years of pyschoanalytic psychotherapy, so one thing I’m really good at is self-reflection (sometimes too good).

I write about these things on here to show that having doubts and niggles about stuff you’re otherwise positive about is normal. I just can’t bring myself to be the sparkly fountain of advice and positivity that other bloggers often are.

(Melissa A Fabello basically nails it in this thread)

I read the recent glut of news stories about orthorexia with interest because I think it is a thing; that “healthy eating” is now such a bloated and disgusting monster that people argue about the kind of coconut oil you buy and is it good enough, not just IF you use coconut oil or not (hence my comment about KTC brand yesterday). Among many, many other examples. It has got utterly ridiculous, IMHO.

I am definitely not an orthorexic (although the head weasels love to tell me I should be) but probably more a rage-orexic, when people claim they only care about “health” eat foods that indirectly cause other people to live in poverty and hardship (I guess “health” doesn’t extend to people outside their circle). Or who endlessly go on about only eating pasture-raised animals while promoting the consumption of foods that contribute to the extinction of other animals.

Or maybe I’m a fuck-you-rexic, because every time I see someone going on about the evils of something I consume (like low-fat yogurt) I just want to eat more of it in a fuck-you gesture.

One thing that annoys me in particular is that I get a ton of fitness/nutrition followers on Twitter who seem to be all about leanness and paleo, which I never understand (I try to emphasise the “hello I’m fat” thing in my bio) and then they go & bloody favourite my photos of the kind of foods they themselves would never eat. Are they going “Oh wow yeah, yummy pizza”? If so, I really hate that falseness; you’d never eat that, so piss off, it’s not for you. It reminds me a bit of You Did Not Eat That, which I’m not going to pass any judgement on.

Incidentally, if you want a nice intersection of capital-P Paleo & orthorexia, this is pretty fantastic.

It's probably Obama's fault.

It’s probably Obama’s fault.

Whew, that was possibly my angriest post for a while, eh? Feels good to get it all out though.

Last night I went to Bethnal Green & met a new lady who just started lifting there while I was away. Exclamation point! She seems pretty good so far – can squat with ease & already squatting 40kg & benching 30kg. Many thumbs up! Unfortunately she asked me if I had any nutrition advice (hah) and all I could offer was my discount code for MyProtein & that she should probably ask someone else.

  • Squats: worked up to 5 sets of 3 @ 70kg. Still feeling so out of shape post-holiday!
  • Romanian deadlifts: 3 sets of 8 @ 50kg
  • Dimel deadlifts: 2 sets of 20 @ 40kg
  • Machine rows: 3 sets of 5 @ 20kg each hand; then 2 sets of 3 @ 25kg each hand
  • V-sit ups: 3 sets of 10
  • Glute & ham raises: 3 sets of 10

I had intended to go to my other gym for either a jog on the treadmill or a spin class today (I know!) but as per usual I ended up lunching at my desk.

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4 thoughts on “A thing about food, and orthorexia, and some rage

  1. Jennifer

    I was once a happy eat-whatever-I-want kinda gal.. I am genetically thin, so it was eat whatever, don’t exercise, life is grand. Then I started lifting.. and then Crossfit.. then paleo.. and then down the rabbit hole. of things not being “paleo enough”.. like my boyfriend at the time’s version of paleo was beef jerky and almonds, where I’m like well, it’s nto grass-fed beef.. and not organic almonds.. and those people who posted about paleo treats, well that’s really not paleo.. and you’re using honey? is it local? it is organic? and so on.

    It got UGLY.

    I wrote a post about my downward spiral with the “healthy eating” world.. I was a mess! With never any regard, and then nothing was ever good enough, pure enough, “right.’.

    Looking back, I laugh.. I still carry some of the tendencies today – I prefer grass fed local meats over conventional, but eat my fair share of things I would scoff at about a year ago.

    1. lozette Post author

      I remember that post… It definitely can get ugly, until you’re counting and analysing every morsel that goes in your mouth. NOT HEALTHY, no matter what they might say!

      I find the in-fighting ridiculous as well. X person saying Y person isn’t healthy or paleo enough because they eat butter or drink coffee… ugh. Reminds me of some Christians factions saying other Christian factions aren’t going to heaven because of what they believe. Oh shut up!

  2. Jem

    Quietly reading your blog & following you on twitter for a couple of months or so now and every time I read a post, I think of something to say but never quite get round to saying it. However, this post struck such a chord with me that I thought I should finally get over myself and do it! Anyway..

    When I was ‘fat’ and ate whatever I wanted I didn’t really have body issues as such. I ate cake and chips and pizza and anything I fancied at whatever portion size I wanted. And then I started running, then lifting, and I’ve lost a shitload of weight and for the first time in my life I actually feel insecure about myself. I’m not used to be a “skinny girl” (still not skinny but whatever). I have days when I’m “not skinny enough”. Days where I start analysing whether or not I’m eating the right ratio of carbs, protein and fat. Days where I wonder if my muscles are big enough yet? Am I sexy enough yet?

    I miss being fat and comfy sometimes. I know that I’m healthier overall though so I am *trying* to wrap my head around being comfortable in this ‘new’ body and getting used to it before it develops into full on obsession and ultimately something like orthorexia. I’ll be ok, just as soon as I’ve finished this whole30 challenge…. 😉

    1. lozette Post author

      Thank you for your lovely comment! I can totally relate – I went through a period of tracking my food and analysing macronutrients etc. It became exhausting and rubbish for me eventually, but of course YMMV!

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