Thursday, September 18, 2008


So it turns out hoarding isn't the only obsession my Mom has... not that I'm surprised.

My hubby was watching 20/20 the other day and he kept yelling for me to come down and watch. "You have GOT to see this" he kept saying and something to do with "your Mom".  I finally made it downstairs and sat down to watch the program.  No it wasn't about hoarding, but I did see something else that might has well have been my Mom. It was just like that time my Dad told me about "the hoarding disease" for the first time and a light went on somewhere in my head.

This was about food...  FOOD of all things! The program was all about people who took eating healthy to extremes - you can check it out HERE. It even has a name - Orthorexia.

My Mom is constantly changing her diet to include this or exclude that.  I'm not talking about little things either.  A couple of days ago she informed me that she was no longer eating meat of any kind, but she had decided (after reading some book or hearing some speech by someone) that she was going to add nuts BACK into her diet (she took them out a while back after reading a different article about how they affected some thing or other in your body).  She only eats vegetables now and some fruits.  Citrus is out because of some random possible connection to migraines, same with onions.  ABSOLUTELY NO SUGAR (I don't really disagree with this one, but I don't think it's managed to cure any of her ailments - real or imagined)!  Also, no processed foods - nothing from a box or a bag and no MSG. On top of all this, you need to know that she self-diagnosed herself about 10 yrs or so ago with gluten intolerance - so no wheat or grains of any kind - EVER.  Really all it takes is someone mentioning that "this food" might cause migraines, or cancer, or intestinal problems and Mom does a little research to back up the claim (you can find anything on the internet you know) and then it's OUT!  She also regularly (yet randomly) goes on "juice fasts".  I'm not exactly sure what they are, but I know that she eats absolutely nothing but "juice" (which I think she makes with some veggies, fruits, and possibly some herbs) for at least 10 days.  Somehow this is going to rid her body of all the toxins and "bad" stuff she has in her body, thereby curing her (from what? who knows).

I'm constantly amazed at how easy it seems for her to deny herself foods and yet how difficult it is for her to throw away a plastic yogurt container (not that she has any of those anymore because she does NOT eat dairy).

I'm also wondering how it is that she is eating so healthy, yet she never seems to get any better. To me, it seems that her health is only declining. 

Personally, I believe that her poor health is directly linked to the hoarding.  I can't put my finger on it, but I know it is a major cause of her mysterious ailments.  I once told her that if she spent even half as much time researching "hoarding" as a disease, like she does with all her other "medical" issues - then she would be able to actually see the problem and FIND a solution!  I mean she can practically starve herself without even thinking twice, but throwing away a piece of paper is like pure torture.  WHY IS THAT?

Needless to say, that did NOT go over well (possibly because my Mom does not actually believe that mental issues are real or possibly because she does not actually believe she has a problem). 

Here is a direct quote from the 20/20 article "Of course, for some people, spending so much time thinking about health food is no worse than other fanatical obsessions, like hording or compulsive shopping. But orthorexia can really hurt people."   I really love how they insinuate that compulsive hoarding and shopping don't "really" hurt people.

Of course they've never met my Mom...