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Orthorexia: ABC 20/20 TONIGHT



  • And I’m sorry I need to vent this here as I feel safe to do so here and would most likely not vent it all over the web elsewhere…

    All this emphasis on raw…as if it was a negative thing… but then again, look at the dietary lifestyles of those who chose to emphasis it as wrong.


    and I don’t just mean that in a standard american diet sort of way

    Is this wrong of me? bias? judgemental? or just plain logical? Does anyone agree with my gut reaction? How can we expect them to know, to fee, the uttermost joy of living healthy through RAW if they have never experienced it for themselves?

    It’s not about the eating it’s about the ATTITUDE towards food and that is something I do NOT feel was emphasized enough as that is what orthorexia is all about…the attitude, the mentality, not the food itself.

    for pete’s sake lol

    and pardon me but everyone at that potluck looked happy and full of life and the food looked delicious and so was the raw pasta i made and ate on film lololol

    My spelling sucks but I am smart in many other ways. I’m not an English major! spelling is not my best forte lol

  • MOTHMOTH Raw Newbie

    Rawdance – the world is insane. It can be hard to live in sometimes, I know, especially when you are focused on healing. From what I know of you so far, you are one of the most well-spoken, joyous and educated people I’ve encountered in life. I didn’t see the program, but I did read the article. People just don’t understand about raw because they are so deluded and addicted to their own patterning. The world always wants to blame something and because of our global and tragic disconnection to Nature, Nature is the last place they look for healing. Those of us who do are considered crackpots, which is hilarious because anyone can see how sick our species is becoming through diet. Wondrous health and healing can be experienced through raw foods, yet because it is a dramatically different way of eating then the insane entertains, these aspects are seldom acknowledged.

    You did a great job and I admire you for putting yourself out there to the world as you did. You’re right; it’s attitude that’s important.

    Keep on keeping on… ::::heart:::: We must be bold pioneers in the face of rampant madness.

  • Good for you Johnny. I think you did a great job.

  • RawDance, I have to say whether you are speaking about raw foods or eating disorders, that you are extremely articulate and clear, without judgment and coming (obviously) from a place of experience. I do agree with you that the show deliberately emphasized raw as a negative thing. Raw, like any other way of eating, can be abused, and yes, what’s important is the attitude towards food. Let’s face it, there are plenty of people on a SAD diet who don’t abuse food, just as there are plenty of raw folks who do abuse it (and vice versa). Our relationship with food is complex and can’t be summed up with making the “other guy” wrong. But what keeps folks like John Stossel going is skewed reporting. Unfortunately, most people watching T.V. don’t question that. Anyway, I again say you did a great job and I applaud your goal to educate people.

  • Hi all, Johnny, I havent seen the piece yet, but am looking forward to it. I, like everyone else here has felt the raised energy level since you came on board. It is clear you have a way and are inspiring to many, many people. That is the thing to remember. Any form of the media will always twist the truth to suit their needs. Television, more specfically, is extremely biased to producers whims and above all else, profit. There is no way that any large network would ever spin anything positively that may impact the pockets of the dairy industry, or god forbid the meat industry. The lobbyists just will not let that happen. People are so brainwashed that even when you present them with information proven to be true, they doubt if it is not what they have had beaten into their brains from years of TV.People also thrive on negativism and skepticism. Thats ok….The huge win is that you were on ABC with national coverage about a lifestyle that can and does help thousands and perhaps someday millions of people. The fact that the piece was on an eating disorder does not matter. Intelligent people will search out the truth about raw and want to know more about the subject in general,thus leading to enlightenment. That to me Johnny is what you seem to be about..enlightenment.Keep it up, never surrender, and best of luck to you in your own personal path in life and nutrition.

  • omshantiomshanti Raw Newbie

    I posted the article on other stuff guys but here it is again… makes me sad…i got the story form two of my friends that know i eat raw and are “concerned”!


  • thecavsmanthecavsman Raw Newbie

    I agree with everyone. Now I wish I didn’t tell my mother that this was coming on. Especially since I lost some weight since going raw. Now she is saying, “but you may need some whole grains”. I am trying to tell her that grains are addictive and if I buy some, I will knock it out in no time – and that I don’t buy addictive things. I don’t want to be associated with an eating disorder. Why didn’t the documentary, if they were going to get so far into raw, go and interview people like Chris and Zoe or all the people that lost weight, ended diabetes, got off medication, etc? You can’t say it’s about a disorder and then decide to incriminate a way that people eat without going farther into it. Just when my sister starts blabbing to everyone that I’m a raw vegan stuff like this starts to happen – that’s why I keep it to myself.

  • Johnny, I have a question for you if you want to answer it. I do not have an eating disorder myself so I truly don’t know and I consider you a good one to ask. Are eating disorders about deprivation or a fear of food? I know it must be a complex issue but I truly do not understand. I myself do raw because I love the energy, the health and the taste of my food now. I look at real food as a true gift from God to be enjoyed and celebrated with complete gratitude. I think that it keeps me from the “eating crazies”. I have friends that diet and write down everything they eat to keep themselves accountable. To me this would be extreme and I do wonder if it is kind of like an addict that is desperately trying to keep an addiction down to a low roar. I am not criticizing them if that is what they want to do but it is so hard to convey to people the freedom I now have with food and the joy I have when I eat it. We do live in a crazy up-side-down world but I am just trying to stay centered on a good path. Keep up the good work and I know that this stuff is just going to hit very hard in the future. The book “Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food” just came out so that tells me if they are putting out an Idiot’s book on something that is heading toward the mainstream arena. Thanks Rosemary

  • John Stossel always has a way of making anything out of main stream seem crazy. His job is to make his segments entertaining with lots of controversy. As long as everyone knows their own truth there is no harm done. I mean this is the same journalist who stated that organic food was dangerous and then had to publically apologize for falsifying information. I bless John Stossel on his path and I bless all of us who stand strong in our convictions. Thank you Johnny for educating me on Orthorexia, I’m a nurse and had never heard of it before.

  • Johnny, you were really great! Also, very brave for putting yourself out there like that on national television. I applaud you.

  • itouristitourist Raw Newbie

    I didn’t see it. And the sound on my computer is broken.

    I haven’t heard of the dangerous “orthorexia” before. Do you die of it? Does it prevent people from holding jobs?

    Deep down, people know that what they are eating isn’t good for them. I use to be a vegetarian that ate a lot of dairy. I was just not facing the truth. It took a family member getting cancer to make me read and face the truth.

    Businesses would certainly lose money if people went raw. It would totally change our economy. And we could not have that. So here’s some deoderant. Here’s some dairy. Here’s a big slab of meat. Here’s some diet pills. Here’s some blood pressure pills. Here’s some insulin. Here’s some botox. Here’s a toast to you with your favorite alcholic beverage.

    Fortunately, people appear to leave you alone if you have been doing it for years. The mysterious fountain of youth and health is undeniable. I am only 50-80% raw though. I guess I’d get some grief if I was 100%

    EDIT: I looked up orthorexia (people facing diminished quality of life because of compulsive interest in eating healthy food. Example: girl who becomes raw vegan because she finds her asthma symptoms go away after becoming raw vegan). How terrible. I don’t know about you; but I’m sure glad they put a name on these diseasedless folk. Long live pill popping and meat eating.

  • Itourist: YES people can die of any eating disorder. People can die of orthorexia nervosa due to malnutrition factors of restricting food and starvation. The body shuts down. It eats itself. Organs fail. People die. Cardiac arrest is one of the main causes of death in anorexia nervosa, as well as orthorexia nervosa – which are 2 different eating disorders that can “resemble” one another in a behavioral sense when FOOD RESTRICTION and STARVATION stars to happen. The minndset and intentions, however, are different.

    I really wish that some people didn’t feel like they would of rather not of told others to watch this. We need awareness. There are parts to the segment that are valid and good informaton, then there is the raw downfall part which sucks but is based on opinion, not fact. It would really be a hardship to have to hide something so healthy and freeing for you. I sypmthatize what caveman wrote. My Mother reacted in tears and started pleading I get more help. It caused me to get very defensive. I had to sit down and talk things over with her. I encourage anyone encountering concerns to take the time to really find a tap to reach out to these people and show them what is healthy and healing for you and what is not. People can’t be stereotyped by communities. You are your own individual. I encourage you all to fight for yourselves and who you are… and what is good for you. If they don’t understand, accept it and don’t let it ruin things for you. Anything out of mainstream and there is going to be conflict, we must learn to accept that. Raw will get increased coverage. Look how many have transitioned this far? Let’s look at the bright side my friends.

    Rose: Eating disorders are deep rooted. They are far more than the obvious outside issues. I once made a video and drew a figure using a tree for theory. The roots, buried underneath the surface, were the roots to the problem – the outside issues, the tree that grew into branches of mental health issues/etc… The roots are the development of the disease. I can speak for myself only and say my roots have come from: genetics (mother: anorexia nervosa, binge eating, laxative abuse) and father (bigorexia – ex body builder, obsession with getting BIGGER through excessive working out, protein shakes, weight gain, etc.), sister (anorexia nervosa); childhood upbringing and enviornment, gender identity issues/dysphoria, trauma and abuse (emotional, physical, sexual), and so on – that’s a lot of junk in my trunk… we find ways to run, to escape the pain we do not wish to face – with this comes a lot of mental health issues like eating disorders which are addictions of their own. We numb, we run, we use control and power on the surface level because inside we are dealing with so much stuff that is out of control and hard to face. I could really sit here and write a novel on this topic but I’ll keep it at that so I can get my point across sharp and clear without overpowering you with too much text. BIG HUGS.

    Thank you all my lovely new supportive friends. Let me be the first to say that if I can get more public coverage from this interview – on this topic – I will be one of the FIRST to respond back and notify everyone my reaction to how raw was used in the document. I have already posted my opinion on the public comments page linked to the article. When you agree to participate in something like this you have no idea how thing swill turn out. It’s beyond your control. I agreed to do it so I could help others by sharing my story. I feel what was shown on my end was true. I feel that the way they link raw food into the story was an inapproperiate way to try to articulate orthorexia nervosa. It’s going to confuse people… which is why people need to step in and defend (best choice of word at the moment) what is healthy and not orthorexic. The line gets crossed when healthy becomes unhealthy and that starts in the mindset and is followed by behaviors, etc

  • TheRawDance: I just want to applaud you also for your appearance on ABC. Was sorry to see the bad spin on eating raw. Much of it is fear based I guess. From what I know of Victoras Kulvinskis I think he would readily admit that he was unstable and had eating disorders in the past.

    I think you’re an amazing, highly intelligent, insightful and highly evolved soul. I wish you the best in your healing. I enjoy reading your posts.

  • Regardless of HOW it was portrayed, there will always be naysayers, those who agree, and those who will proseletyze one view or another. The good thing is as many have posted, this raises awareness, hopefully a form of compassion. And MOST people will at least be intrigued and want to know more about whole, natural, raw living. (whether they believe everything they hear or not). They will be led to sites like this when they look into it for themselves. EVEN when presented with true facts, people will sometimes be blinded and believe what they want to anyway…. Let our own lives be the change and testimony. We can only change ourselves to be better and hopefully impact this world with love and compassion for ALL.

  • Thank you all, again, from the bottom of my hello kitty glittered heart.

    Mamamilk: You bring up a very honest point. I agree with you 100%. Thank you for your feedback. One of my first reaction to a lot of those comments was: people believe what they want to believe…I know a lot of commenters on the article comment section are doing backflips with panties in a twist. Words like this are soothing to those anxious over the document’s outcome.

    I encourage you all to post your opinions on the public forum. This might help create some sort of harmony between opposing points of views… never hurts to try and most likely would only hurt to hold back. I am happy to see you all posting here and speaking up. It’s quite empowering to stand up for what you believe in. Many hugs to you all. Have a blessed weekend!

  • Johnny, my love, can I just tell you how much I admire your strength? ABC did a disservice to you and your healing path. That’s unfortunate. But what really matters is that you have brought education to the masses re: orthorexia and that you are healing. You came across as an intelligent and wonderful man. I only hope that we can meet in person some day. You have all my adoration and gratitude-and yes, your hello kitty fork rocked! smooches from afar, your sister in love and spirit. ZS

  • ZS I really needed this today. I am hella down today and not handling stress productively or maturely. Your comment came at a time of tears and I need this kind of release, it’s the soul cleansing itself. I really and truly appreciate receiving this today. Thank you for your kind and supportive offering.

  • Johnny, I’m sorry you’re going through this today, and I understand what you mean by “the soul cleaning itself.” I won’t offer any mindless, hackneyed platitudes, but will send you hugs and energy. I don’t really “know” you, but your loving spirit and intelligence have shone through every post, and you have added so much to this community. You will get to the other side of this, and in the meantime, know you have support.

  • Cleansing and Healing to you RawDance. Sleep in peace tonight and awake tomorrow with the sunshiney promise of a whole new day full of God’s mercies. Blessings and Peace. May Hope continue to arise… : )

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    Bravo!. I’m so sorry I missed it Friday, Johnny, but I grabbed all i could tonight. Honestly, though. I think any Raw press is good press. Maybe that’s just me looking at the glass as half-full. So I want to know(and Johnny i know you’re tired, so when you can) where do we go from looking so vibrant to looking so ill? I don’t think this is raw as much as i think this is ultimately disordered eating. Even if you found the perfect raw organic apple, would’nt you eat enough of them to keep the weight on? So is eating raw a recovery from anorexia and bulimia? Are you better for raw? I have read your profile and your website. I care deeply for your well-being and so my inquiries are genuine. I’m just thinking of a typical raw day for me-32 oz. green smoothie, more fruit,an avo and a cacao yummy, fruit and a meal of salad, maybe a couple of raw burgers. Maybe froz. banana ice cream for dessert. I don’t wait for hunger. If i did, I’d be too thin. No restrictions, just raw. We’ve talked about all these “restrictions” before in “Why isn’t raw enough?” forum from last week and I’m still unclear because if i found my perfect pear, organic and “clean”. I might eat 20 of them a day. Somewhere there are still anorexic messages coming through for true orthorexics and I know them. There’s so much delicious and raw and you’re worthy of all of it. No restrictions, just love…

  • Hi RawDance,

    I watched with open ears. Although they portrayed the raw lifestyle in a negative light, and to me, they made it seem like all those who engage in the raw lifestyle suffer from orthorexia, at least the word got out about raw living so that it is more known. They say negative attention is better than no attention at all. So sad, that is what television is all about.

    You, on the other hand, did an amazing job. I was so proud of you. It is so courageous of you to go on national television and show how you cope with a weakness. Not everyone can do that.

    P.S. That raw pasta you were eating really did look good!

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    Johnny, I saw this on 20/20 (well, the clip online), then read your profile. I can’t believe they didn’t say how much being raw HELPED you. As a person recovering from chronic illness with raw, this is ridiculous. I wish they would have focused on the disease and not the raw diet. It is just too confusing for the general public to figure out between the two. Anyhow, I really wish you well and I am so glad I got the real story as I have been worried about you since seeing this. (hugs)

  • Hope you are feeling better today sweet brother. I left you a message on your site.

    Have a wonderful health-filled day. Happy thoughts! Happy thoughts! :P


  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    rawdance-I watched the 20/20. I hadn’t been on here so I didn’t know what I was in for. Basically as soon as I heard about two seconds of it I knew that it was about orthorexia and then I saw you. I’ve been to your site and seen you post on here so I knew who you were and what raw food had done for you. I was immediately appalled by the general theme of the show and almost second guessed what I already knew about you because they put you in such a bad light! On Sunday I went to church and was immediately bombarded by people who had seen it and who knew that I was raw and they kept saying things like “you aren’t going to end up like that boy are you?” I couldn’t believe it. I tried to explain things but they only remember “shocking images” and that basically raw food will make you crazy.

    Maybe some day the general public will understand but with shows like that I’d say it’ll be a while.

  • itouristitourist Raw Newbie

    I watched the show from 20/20’s website (click John Stossel) from a different computer with sound.

    I hope you find health Johnny. I think that the fact that you have been attracted to the raw food diet has made you last longer than you would have eating other foods with your propensity for food disorders. You need to up the volume. Your organs require calories to function. You must consume calories or your organs will draw upon themselves. Food doesn’t have to be specially prepared to be raw. You can up the calories by eating fruits, or by drinking green drinks. I know you know this. Think of the good things you can do to help others if you get better.

    John Stossel does look young for a meat head. Since Victor is mysteriously prematurely aged and looks as old as old can be, I am going to guess that John Stossel is 50. (Victor is 8 years older than John)....I am 43 BTW.

    People live longer because medicines are better and people are medicine dependent period. They don’t live longer because their incomes went up and they started eating meat. John Stossel needs to watch Dr G.

    The show didn’t portray raw foodism in a positive light. But all being said and done, there will be no fewer raw foodist resulting from the show. People are either observant or they are not.

    I am concerned for Johnny’s health from watching the show. God bless you child. You are worthy of health. Please embrace it.

  • rawmamarawmama Raw Newbie

    I am surprised that Viktoras didn’t mention that he had also recently lost his wife which has also been a hardship I’m sure, in addition to travel causing him to lose a few pounds. Comparing what one man’s looks like to another is ridiculous unless they are brothers and raised in the same country, same family, town, eating same foods, same life experiences, etc, etc. I believe that Kulvinskas had a much harder life than Stossel from reading his life experiences. That was sort of a low blow I think, sounded like he just was trying to “fire up” Kulvinskas, which didn’t happen :) Glad he managed to keep his cool with the obvious, harsh questions that were meant to make the interview sound like, or turn into, an argument instead of a discussion. I hate interviews like that, nothing is learned from them, it’s a total waste of my time when it’s all about grabbing everybody’s emotions and making them “hate” the person and what they stand for, but not teaching what the person has accomplished or is doing for others.

  • TzefiraTzefira Raw Newbie

    So it took the young lady 3 hours to prepare her meal FOR THE DAY. Does anyone know how long it takes to make a pot of spagetti( homemade) ...... ALL DAY!

    3 hours verse all day … Hmm…

  • rawmamarawmama Raw Newbie

    It takes way longer to prepare a full SAD dinner, a full SAD lunch, and a cooked breakfast. Was she counting clean-up time, dehydrating time, sprouting time, what was she including in that 3 hour period of time? Yes, if you do a gourmet dish, it takes longer, but making a salad, raw soup, cut up fruit, smoothies, etc doesn’t take that long. Maybe if you compare it to popping open a can of soup, microwaving a frozen dinner, pouring cereal into a bowl, and a glass of orange juice out of a plastic jug, and unwrapping a protein bar from the mini-market, then it would make a difference in time. Difference in health too. I still think that it was a dumb, one-sided interview, meant to lean people away from the raw food diet maybe? All I know is that when I eat raw, I feel better and when I eat processed I am a grump :) I don’t get it, when we were young they tried to FORCE veggies and fruit down our throats, and now it is considered “extreme” to eat them??? To each his own, I do agree, people are living longer, but at Viktoras said, it’s quality that matters and whether the chemicals are keeping you alive or if you are living healthily without the means of pills and shots.

  • i’m late to the party – just got around to watching this today. but i’ve got to agree with everyone else that john stossel is DUMB. i cannot believe this guy. he’s totally villainizing viktoras and raw food, making the connection that, essentially, raw foodism is the cause of orthorexia, even stretches it to seem like raw foodism IS orthorexia. he’s all like “i look so young blahblah” but of course you’d look young if you are on tv and have people PAID to dye your hair, rub antiwrinkle cream on your face, etc. i’d like to punch him in the face.

    i also think it’s weird that “raw food” is so bad just because the food is raw. rarely is it any different from cooked food besides the fact that it’s cooked – grains, nuts, beans, fruits, veggies, all are things that “they” are trying to get us to eat more of.

    but johnny, i think you did a great job, and you held up really well under pressure. i really, really want you to RECOVER! sending thoughts and lots of love your way… s

  • I appreciate all of your support. I will be typing up a public response and posting it on my website. I spoke with the producer today and he knows my opinions on this.

    I asked him straight up why he chose to use the raw food diet in the document. It’s because 3 of the main people there are raw foodists, bratman being an ex raw foodist. It’s a poor way to link raw food to a disease.

    I have been contacted by the tyra banks show. I’m sure I will get more media coverage and trust me – I will go to bat for the raw food lifestyle as it’s works wonders for me and needs to be acknowledged for what it is – not what it is not, like shown on abc.

    I can only speak for myself

    and I have a lot to say

    and that is not the last of my voice

    Believe me

    Ps. come join me for some of that raw zucchini pasta, fabulous heart dishes for all~

    And asking about why I am so thin. I suffer anorexia, it’s my primary ed. I was 60something lbs awhile back, you must keep in mind I am FIGHTING to gain weight and it must be done slowly to prevent going into severe feeding syndrome again. A body that has suffered this much damage must be refed slowly, I could literally die if it’s done too aggressively. My doctor will not even IV me on an outpatient level. Please do not focus on my body, it’s not up for discussion. I am aware that I am not healthy and I am doing the best I can do to work on it. I have gotten myself out of the brink of death and must accept that I am how I am now and working to change that. I am lucky to be alive and I am lucky to still have a body that functions to the best of it’s ability. I pray for willpower to continue to fight and reach optimal health.

    To learn more about eds, go to www.somethingfishy.org

    and to read about the dangers of refeeding someone with acute anorexia who is underweight – search the web for “refeeding syndrome” and you will learn how the heart can stop, other organ failure, severe edema that can go to the brain and kill someone, radical shifts in electrolyes that can kill someone, and so on.

    I also need to say that it’s very triggering to talk about this stuff and I did not come to gone raw to discuss it. I have a website and youtube account for that so if we can please focus on more positive stuff and the life we do have and love we have, I would greatly appreciate it.

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