Anorexia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa. EDNOS. These are probably the terms that one usually thinks of when the topic of eating disorders comes up. They are the most well-known and, here on the fitblr community, they are the ones that most people are dedicated to preventing, mainly by promoting healthy eating and exercise habits.
However, these disorders are only one end of the spectrum when it comes to disordered eating. Two conditions that aren’t officially considered eating disorders are orthorexia and exercise bulimia, but they are nevertheless damaging to those who suffer from them.
Orthorexia is an unofficial term for someone who develops an obsession with eating cleanly and avoiding unhealthy foods, so much that it can lead to malnutrition. It is closely related to obsessive compulsive disorder, since the person has to have extreme control over what he or she is eating. [x]
Exercise bulimia is a subset of bulimia, where the person treats exercise as a form of purging for what he or she has eaten throughout the day. They may miss school or work because of their need to burn off the calories, or they might continue to exercise even with an injury or illness. They may not take rest days and may become depressed if they’re not able to exercise. [x]
Now, I’m not making this post to scare anyone, but I do think it’s necessary that the fitblr community be aware that the other extreme can be just as damaging. A healthy lifestyle requires moderation, both with food and exercise. Working out nonstop can be just as bad as other purging techniques — not just for your body, but for your mind. Same with becoming obsessive about only eating certain types of foods, even if they are healthy.
Just as one can fall victim to AN or BN while trying to lose weight, one can also fall into detrimental exercising and eating habits without realizing it. Be aware of yourself and your mental processes while you go through this weight loss journey!