So part of my daily routine always consists of taking some time out in the mornings to catch up on news, read through some of my favorite blogs, etc. This is probably one of my more cherished times of the day to be completely honest. Today, I found myself becoming really interested in and shocked by one of the features on People Magazine. Granted this story broke almost a month ago, but People ran it yesterday, thats where I saw it, it resonated with me, here we are.
The story begins innocently enough: a 23 year old girl who is passionate about her vegan and clean eating lifestyle decides to start a blog. Said blog blows up to the tune of 70,000 Instagram followers and thousands of hits a day (something this little blogger wannabe could only dream of). What happened to Jordan Younger of The Blonde Vegan next is where it gets more than a little interesting.
A quick search on instagram for TheBlondeVegan (now known as TheBalancedBlonde) will bring up tons of happy go lucky food pics, recipes, yoga pics, etc. On the surface it seemed as tho Jordan Younger had it all together, but deep down she was suffering from Orthorexia, which is defined as a “fixation on righteous eating” by the National Eating Disorders Association.
What started as a healthy habit ultimately turned Dangerous.
“Food was not enjoyable anymore, I was spending the entire day obsessing about eating only vegetables, green juices, fruits and occasionally nuts and grains.”…”I restricted myself from certain foods – even some that fell under the vegan umbrella – because they were not 100 percent clean or 100 percent raw. I was following thousands of rules in my head that were making me sick.”
Jordan says that she started having major health concerns and even stopped getting her period.
“I grew extremely deficient in a variety of vitamins and hormones and knocked myself way out of whack. I injured my ankle doing something that would have never injured me in the past, I lost my period for several months and I experienced a major lack of energy. I ignored my body’s internal cues… And that wasn’t cool.”
“I realized that a lot of my health problems could be attributed to veganism.”
At that point she forced herself to order a piece of wild salmon, and went home and ate it alone. Her period returned two days later, she began feeling better, and consulted a nutritionist. It turns out that Jordan was seriously lacking in proteins and vitamins.
“My hormones were out of whack because I had damaged my biochemistry.”
That one piece of fish ended up being what turned it all around.
On June 23, 2014 Jordan, AKA, The Blonde Vegan made a very brave “Coming out” post. She admitted her struggles with her 70,000 followers, and made it clear that in order to be healthy again, she was transitioning away from this extreme veganism based lifestyle.
Within minutes of publishing the post, her site crashed from such a huge amount of reader traffic. It eventually made the rounds to news outlets such as Nightline and Good Morning America, and spread across the blogosphere like wild fire. It was received by a mixture of emotions. Ultimately, the post ended up with Jordan losing followers by the thousands and receiving a number of death threats.
Wait…. DEATH THREATS?!?!?!
Ya’ll, I just don’t get it. Why can’t we just love and be loved?
First, Why does a blogger feel the need to hide who she really is just so she doesn’t piss off her audience? Second, Why are people so upset over one person’s dietary choices that death threats seem to be the only logical solution? Third, Who made these people so high and mighty that only they get to decide what a person can and can’t eat? Fourth, since when do we have to have “Coming Out” posts for dietary changes?
This is absolutely mind blowing to me that as a society we feel it’s OK to send death threats to someone who has so bravely shared their issues with the world! Last week I made a post titled Why I Stopped Praying for Things, where I basically put on my big girl panties and had to deal with my actual feelings. I don’t know if I could have handled actual death threats as a result of publishing it. Kudos to this girl for her bravery and strength to not only deal with her issues, but for also putting them out there publicly.
Imagine if all the energy that was put into those death threats was redirected and used for something good…
I don’t know why this story resonated with me the way it did this morning. Maybe it’s because I’ve started gaining somewhat of an audience with this blog, and it’s becoming really exciting, and I could relate somewhat (I’m just saying I don’t like death threats). Maybe it’s because I hate to see someone get persecuted so badly for a choice they make regarding anything much less a dietary choice. Whatever it is, I guess what I’m just trying to put out there is that we’ve got to lighten up, stop focusing on labels, be a little nicer, and show some frickin’ love, folks.
Ultimately, Jordan handled the death threats like a champ, and is continuing to lead a more balanced life. You can check her out at her new blog and instagram The Balanced Blonde.