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How a Vegan Blogger’s Healthy Lifestyle Escalated Into an Eating Disorder

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A little over a year ago, Jordan Younger began her blog “The Blonde Vegan”- now “The Balanced Blonde”- to chronicle her vegan journey. Younger had suffered from stomach problems her whole life and for the first time she felt good about the healthy diet she was following.

Younger’s blog gained a large following and she left grad school to pursue growing The Blonde Vegan’s brand. As her brand expanded, Younger’s vegan and healthy lifestyle habits shifted into more obsessive eating behaviors and an eating disorder called Orthorexia.

“I wanted to feel as healthy as I could so I got really carried away with reading about veganism, doing research and following other blogs,” Younger said. “I developed fears around food and was constantly trying to find different ways to be as clean internally as I possibly could.”

Orthorexia is an eating disorder characterized by the fear of eating anything that is not completely pure or clean. It can start out as an attempt to eat healthier, but escalates into an obsession with eating only healthy foods, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

“I was obsessed with health, not being super skinny,” Younger said.

While suffering from Orthorexia, Younger tried to mask her healthy obsessions, she said. She went out to eat with friends, but would eat beforehand to make sure she got in a healthy meal. When going out, Younger checked that there was an organic grocery store around and panicked about when and what her next meal would be.

With eating disorders, many people assume it’s something written on your body that you can notice, Younger said. But with Orthorexia, Younger was suffering more psychologically.

Jordan Young

“I was almost thinking about food 100 percent of the time,” Younger said. “It was confusing because you’re trying to think about other things, but in the back of your mind, you’re always thinking about food.”

According to Younger, it was a very scary and dark time in her life.

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EmpowHER Guest

Being healthy doesn't mean being herbivore. Do not torture yourself, you're not a goat! Healthy Lifestyle means living in a balanced way!
From “The Blonde Vegan” to “The Balanced Blonde”
Now you're starting to live healthy. :)

April 1, 2015 - 12:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

Many people find help in Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. Some of us have been diagnosed as morbidly obese while others are undereaters. Among us are those who were severely bulimic, who have harmed themselves with compulsive exercise, or whose quality of life was impaired by constant obsession with food or weight. We tend to be people who, in the long-term, have failed at every solution we tried, including therapy, support groups, diets, fasting, exercise, and in-patient treatment programs.

FA has over 500 meetings throughout the United States in large and small cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, Grand Rapids, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, and Washington, D.C. Internationally, FA currently has groups in England, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. If you would like more information about FA, please check out our website at www [dot] foodaddicts [dot] org. If there aren’t any meetings in your area, you can contact the office by emailing FA at foodaddicts [dot] org, where someone will help you.

September 5, 2014 - 12:19pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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