8 Reasons Why Being Healthy is Bad For Your Health
Let me clarify what I mean by this title. These are the top 8 reasons why focusing too much on what you think is healthy can compromise your actual health. When I was suffering form orthorexia, a severe eating disorder based on eating only pure foods, I convinced myself I was healthy. I ran two miles per day, practiced yoga, ate only organic and vegan foods, and meditated often. I also weighed 67 pounds, had no sex drive, no social life, and was super irritable. As a long-time member of the yoga and holistic health community, I find it is important to understand that health is not about extremes… it’s about getting back to our natural state and finding ease and balance in all regions of life—not micro-managing life and stressing out about whether or not the half of a bite of the cookie you had contains gluten.
8. Too many whole raw vegetables can cause digestive issues.
Of course everyone is different, however many vegetables in their raw state (especially the infamous kale and broccoli) contain insoluble fiber, which means that they are extremely difficult to break down. Alternatives for easier digestion and assimilation of nutrients include blending, juicing, puree into a soup, lightly steaming, or sautéing.
7. No one will want to go out for dinner with you.
The more obsessive you get about what you ’can’ and ‘can’t’ eat, the more difficult it is to dine out, unless you live in a city that offers lots of healthy restaurants. Either way, the social experience of dining out can become a stressful situation if you are highly concerned with the little details. I notice that I actually eat slower and feel better physically when I dine out with friends… even if the food I eat isn’t 100% ‘pure.’
6. You may experience cravings.
I remember when I was a strict vegan raw foodist, I ate absolutely no grains for almost two whole years… however, the entire time, I had massive cravings for things such as bagels, bread, and pizza. I eventually ended up binge-ing on entire bags of organic sprouted spelt pretzels (yeah, my binges involved ‘healthy’ foods, but no binge is healthy… even a binge on kale). The truth is, I could have probably satisfied these cravings with whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa, but I wouldn’t even allow myself to have those (except for the occasional sprouted raw quinoa which was ridiculously time consuming to prepare and not the most palatable thing on the planet). Give yourself a little of what you really want…
5. You will be stressed out.
There is more and more research revealing the negative impacts of stress on your overall health—mental AND physical. The stress of trying to control every aspect of your health can actually bring forth digestive issues, weight gain, depression, and anxiety.
4. You will have limited travel options.
I remember when I was offered a job in Thailand teaching yoga, but I refused it because the food offered was not organic. I mean, come on.
3. You will lose the connection with your intuition
The more you use your ‘mind’ to do what you ‘think’ is healthy, the less you are tapped into your ‘gut’, which ultimately knows exactly what you need in each moment, both physically, mentally, and spiritually. For example, when you feed a baby, he or she will stop eating when he or she is full. There is an instinct present that gets more and more clouded and dusted over the more you ‘try’ to control your health. You are ALREADY healthy. It’s time to trust your gut.
2. It will be difficult to maintain relationships
Unless your friends, family, and lovers are as crazy specific about their food and lifestyle choices (which is actually quite possible), it is very difficult to maintain relationships. Being ‘healthy’ is a full time job! When I was orthorexic, my day was totally booked with yoga, preparing food, thinking about food, reading about health, getting massage and acupuncture, etc. No time for friends and lovers! I remember one holiday I actually stayed home by myself when my family gathered together at my cousin’s house, because I wanted to use my own non-toxic pots and pans. Ummm…
1. IT’S UNHEALTHY!
Who wants to be unhealthy?! Trust yourself. Do great things for your body and mind. Eat vegetables, eat dark chocolate, drink water, dance, be grateful, connect and share with others, do what you love, work… it’s not only your food and exercise that constitute good health. Pleasure and relaxation are not only essential to long-term vitality but are the actual FOUNDATION to sustainable wellness. Without it, you will feel exhausted and never truly fulfilled in your health and your life. I encourage you to re-consider your definition of ‘health’, and start nourishing the part of you that is already whole, healthy, and free…