Friday 6 December 2019

'Fitness blogging gave me orthorexia'

Jordan Young, 23, is the health blogger behind 'The Blonde Vegan'. After amassing 70,000 followers, she developed orthorexia - a fixation on righteous eating.

Jordan Young
Jordan Young

Jordan Young

"My blog started as a hobby, as a way of documenting the healthy recipes and colourful food I was making as a vegan. Within a few months, I had several thousand followers.

It quickly became my whole life. Soon, I was spending my entire day obsessing about my meal plans. I was only eating raw vegetables, fruits, and occasionally nuts and seeds. I had a fear of any foods that could potentially be harmful for any reason, whether it was sugar, wheat or fat or oil. The blog made it difficult to see I had a problem.

A year later, my skin was bad, I was constantly tired and my periods had stopped. I dropped 20 or 25lbs from my 5ft 4in frame. I realised it had become an unhealthy obsession.

Eventually, I saw a nutritionist and eating disorder specialist. I was deficient in vitamins and protein, and reintroduced eggs and fish into my diet. I've since rebranded my blog as 'The Balanced Blonde'.

I think labels as far as food choices go are dangerous. Some of us need more in order to fuel our bodies properly - especially those of us with extreme all-or-nothing personalities, which happens to be a lot of people passionate about health and fitness.

You can easily go off the deep end. It's about finding what is right for you.

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