Orthorexia: How She Changed My Life

I'm Xanthe Freed and I'm another teenager with a secret. Mine is bigger than most. It's not relevant to boys, it's not relevant to bitches. I'm just a girl with a problem- and that problem is Orthorexia Nervosa.
I'm Xanthe Freed and this is my story.


7. Some Weekend

My appointment didn't go according to plan. Dr Kauffman started by reviewing my notes, looking at my previous weight and checking my current weight. I had my blood pressure taken and then the fun began in the form of reviewing my food diary. This is when things started to go horribly wrong.

"So, I've looked at your food diary and compared that to your activity log and weight, and I'm sorry to say that I have reason to believe that you've relapsed, Xanthe." I blinked at him, not taking in what he'd said to me. My mother let out a muffled sob.

"H-how. I can't have relapsed. I've been doing everything right! I've not been bingeing and purging!" I cried, beginning to get touchy.

"Xanthe, I know you've been trying, but your behaviour, weight loss and food diary says otherwise."

"In what way?"

Dr Kauffman pushed his glasses up his nose, holding my food diary at arm's length and my activity log in his lap. He cleared his throat. "'Wednesday 15th of March,'" he quoted. "'Breakfast: a medium sized apple. Lunch: green salad. Dinner: grilled sea bass with spinach. Snacks: none. Drinks: half a glass of orange juice, two litres of water, a skinny latte. Activities: an hour of trampolining, thirty minutes jogging and forty-five minutes swimming'." He looked at me. "Xanthe, you're over-exercising and under-eating. You're more concerned about what is going into your body than you are about keeping a regular food routine."

A tear slid down my cheek. I quickly wiped it with my sleeve.

"So? How does that extract prove anything?"

"'Sunday 19th of March. Breakfast: half a banana. Lunch: two slices of halloumi cheese, side salad. Dinner: mixed bean stew and brown rice. Snacks: a handful of dried apricots, a small box of raisins. Drinks: 4 litres of water, an iced tea. Activities: thirty minutes jogging, an hour cycling, 100 abdominal crunches, 50 press-ups'."

I shook my head. It wasn't happening. It couldn't be happening! I had been strict with myself: no over-exercising. It didn't seem like that much at the time. I was sure that I'd eaten more than that. 

"Xanthe, you've relapsed, and this time, you've got over-exercising instead of bingeing and purging. Another thing is, I'm swaying towards diagnosing you with Anorexia Nervosa because you're beginning to show all the right signs."

"Oh God, no," my mum muttered.

And in the middle of my doctor's office, I vomited all over the floor. It wasn't the best thing I could've done, but there was nothing I could've done to have stopped myself.

Once the sick had been cleared and I had stopped crying, Dr Kauffman arranged another time and mum took me home.

I've been in my room since then. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to think about it. I don't know how or why it happened. Orthorexia is one thing- but Anorexia is so much worse. I did well to avoid that diagnosis the first time round. Now, I just feel deflated- as if all of my hard work has gone to waste.

Gretchen and my dad were still out when we got home, but I heard mum telling them about it earlier when I came out of the bathroom after my shower. Gretchen will probably hate me forever now that I've relapsed. Some sister I am. I'm waiting to see how long it takes for word to get out at school. Joel definitely won't let me talk to Avery then, and that poor girl could end up in a state even worse than me.

What am I going to do?

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