Health Food Eating 'Disorders' Part 2

In Part 1 you heard about the first 3 of 8 ‘Disordered Eating Personalities’...1.The Professional Dieter - 2.The Dogmatist - 3.The Lab Experiment. In this Part 2 we review the other 5...

4. The Addiction Switcher

5. The Anorexic Raw Foodist

6. The Toxic Ostrich

7. The Serial Detoxer

8. The Quick-Fixer

4. The Addiction Switcher

Seemingly overnight the Addiction Switcher bounces from one addiction to the other.

They go from anorexia to bulimia; from juice fasting to binging on pizza, hamburgers and cheese fries; from 100% raw vegan to 100% paleolithic.

I’m not saying that eating any of these ways is inherently an addiction. Rather, the danger lies in the extreme way that the Addiction Switcher transitions. They believe they’ve overcome their addiction to the previous substance, food or activity simply by stopping it abruptly.

The truth is they’ve just transferred the addictive behaviour to another muse.

The Addiction Switcher can be helped when they are able to find and focus on their passion and accept love – otherwise the addictions will eventually burn them out.

5.The Anorexic Raw Foodist

The Anorexic Raw Foodist is a past (and present) anorexic who has found it very convenient to hide their eating disorder behind the guise of raw food.

Raw food is the perfect disguise because this personality knows that most would not criticise them for their apparently healthy diet, even if they only eat tiny morsels.

This is a self destructive personality type because by depriving their body of enough basic nutrition they can and do literally starve themselves to death in time.

I know several Anorexic Raw Foodists, so understand how at their core, they suffer from extreme feelings of rejection, abandonment, poor self image, perfectionism and lack of self love and control. They see food as an area they can control. They even deliberately deprive themselves of food to punish’ themselves for their inadequacies.

Permanently resolving the Anorexic Raw Foodists inner traumas is very challenging. That’s because by the time the need for help becomes apparent, the person is very weak and psychologically unbalanced.

Long term professional counselling together with personal care, compassion, and intense, extensive nutritional supplementation are required to re-establish basic good health. In addition, issues of control, perfectionism, self worth, and love must be addressed.

6.The Toxic Ostrich

The Toxic Ostrich obsesses about toxins.

Toxins in the body, toxins in the air, toxins in their clothes, or toxins in Antarctica. The Fukushima disaster is Agamemnon to them.

Now, I don’t think it’s bad to be worried about toxins. We all need to limit our exposure and protect ourselves with nutritious antioxidants and chelating foods.

But the Toxic Ostrich takes it too far when most of their decisions are based on the fear of being overloaded with toxins they can’t control.

Their obsessiveness is indicative of a deep fear of the unknown and of a lack of confidence in themselves and their ability to control their immediate environment.

The best way to reduce this addiction is by helping them to understand that they do indeed have a great degree of control over key aspects of their health and life such as nutritional, fitness and physical living location choices.

7. The Serial Detoxer

The Serial Detoxer is always detoxing, or ‘cleansing’ themselves, often to the point of deficiency.

If the Serial Detoxer is not detoxing, they think that any blemish, burp, hiccup or fart is caused by a toxin in the body that needs to be ‘controlled’ by eliminating it though a fast, a diet, a supplement regimen or chelation.

Along with the Anorexic Raw Foodist , this may be one of the most dangerous of these health personalities. Both endanger themselves because they can’t see that any signs the body gives them like fatigue, acne, rashes, or hospitalization could be caused by their disordered eating and nutrient deficiencies.

Like the Anorexic Raw Foodist, the Serial Detoxer shares extreme feelings of perfectionism, rejection, abandonment, poor self image and lack of self love and control. By purging themselves, they regain some control and self respect.

8.The Quick-Fixer

The Quick-Fixer wants the easy way out: the Quick Fix.

They want a foot bath to do what healthy eating does, a rebounder to replace regular exercise, a pill to cure their cancer.

Generally, the Quick-Fixer is an easy going, flexible individual who is willing to try anything if it results in instant gratification for little hard work.

The fundamental difference between this personality and many of the others is their willingness to change if they ‘see a better way’. Once they do, they can ‘convert’ quickly.

Their openness means they are most willing to listen to and be persuaded by more balanced nutritional approaches


My hope in creating this list of ‘disordered eating personalities’ is to make things fun but serious at the same provide a humorous way of asking if you recognise any of these characteristics in you. And if so, are you willing to consider correcting the imbalances?

I see a bit of the ‘Lab Experiment’ and ‘Addiction Switcher’ in me!

Please let us know your thoughts....

2 Responses

Thanks for the descriptions of the range of disordered eating there is out there. Good to raise awareness and get people to reflect on their own relationship to food…however, coming from a psych background (for my sins!) I’m not sure describing these patterns as ‘personalities’ is helpful. There is no evidence to substantiate the theory that there are ‘addictive’ personalities for example. Labelling these behaviours like this may lead to the unhelpful assumption they are somehow ‘fixed’, or that there is something fundamentally lacking in the person. As you highlight, people can switch from one pattern to another (been there, done that!). Rather, as you righfully point out, behaviours that cause (and persist despite) substantial disruption to someone’s life (and health) – one of the definitions of ‘addiction’ – are usually symptoms of other unresolved issues, which are best addressed through the ways you describe. That said – love receiving your blogs – is great to generate discussion and throw some informed light on the murky muddle of health info ‘out there’- keep up the brilliance :-)

Jo June 17 2011

What is a little scary is I see a bit of everything in me! o.O

Thanks for the article!

Josh June 16 2011

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