My name is Quincy and I am a college junior. I have been interested in health and wellness for a long time, which is why I created this blog to share what I am passionate about.
At this time, I am very healthy. However, it has not always been this way. Throughout middle school, I began to develop an obsession with diet and losing weight. I tried various methods (diet pills, purging, food restriction) to alter my weight and shape. I had a very fast metabolism and was already small for my height, but I was determined to change my body.
Whether I was scheming over weight-loss plans or not, my weight stayed relatively stable. I stayed active by dancing four days a week, and I ate healthier meals than most of my peers. It wasn't until I got to high school that things really started to go down hill.
I started running track in ninth grade. This was also the year that I decided to become a vegetarian. Between the dietary switch and my increase in exercise, I dropped weight at the blink of an eye. Once the first few pounds were lost, I was hooked. I was convinced that I was "just being healthy" and wanted to see how far I could go.
I soon began to cut refined sugars out of my diet. I then restricted all refined flours, and then saturated fat. I do not think that it is bad to limit these foods. In fact, I believe that it is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. The problem wasn't necessarilly that I was making changes in my diet; the problem was where my mind went with it.
I quickly became obsessed with nutrition and healthy eating. It was all I would think about and all I would talk about. I can recall a handful of times where my refusal to eat certain foods lead to very awkward and embarassing social situations. My inability to be flexible affected my whole family in a very negative way.
Within a few months, I had dropped over 10 pounds off of my 5'2 frame and had developed a full-blown eating disorder. My parents were constantly worried about me and fed up with my behavior. In the summer of 2009, they decided to put me into treatment at Duke University.
My time at Duke saved my life with the path I was headed down. I learned how to overcome my disorder (which I later learned to be called Orthorexia). Ortherexia is not officially recognized as an eating disorder yet. It is now seen as a mental disorder where one exhibits an obsession with whatever diet they consider to be healthy. Straying from that diet or eating "unclean" foods can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and more.
It has taken me years to find a balance with diet and exercise. I have had bouts of slaving at the gym for hours at a time. I have forced myself to eat foods I hated just because I needed an exact amount of those nutrients for the day. I am thankful to say that today, I do not feel the need to give in to my dietary obsessions and compulsions. Sure, I'll still think about them from time to time, but I let go of the thoughts and move on.
I currently follow a vegan diet and I have learned to listen to my body. I eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm full, and make sure to always stay hydrated. I exercise because it's a fun way to stay healthy, not because I'm scared of what will happen if I don't. If I'm not feeling it one day, I'll take a break. I now know that it's okay because tomorrow is another day.
I want to share my knowledge of nutrition throughout my life, but I want to share my experience with disordered eating even more. Every individual is different and must figure out what way of living is best for them. It took me a while to realize this, but now I want to preach that message and prevent future disorders in others.