Dedicated vs disordered: what’s the difference?
Common trends, diet culture, and the health and fitness industry have blurred the lines between dedicated and disordered when it comes to how we approach our goals. More and more disordered behaviours are being normalised and celebrated, so it’s important to check in with yourself regularly and make sure that you are achieving your goals in a healthy and sustainable way.
The best way to do this is to identify where your behaviours lie on the dedicated to disordered spectrum. There is a very fine line between being disciplined and committed to your goals, and being obsessive and disordered in your approach to health and fitness. Use the lists below to help you figure out what category your behaviours sit in.
- You prioritise your training, but you’re okay with missing a session here or there
- You take rest days, and are comfortable taking time off when ill or injured
- You make time during the day to hit your step target, but don’t stress if you don’t hit it
- You meal prep and track your food, but can be flexible
- You can take time off tracking for special occasions, and feel comfortable eating meals out
- You record your weight regularly to monitor your progress, but you don’t obsess over the number or let it dictate your mood
- You make some sacrifices when it comes to your food, but you still keep your favourite treats in your diet and don’t cut out entire food groups
- You cannot miss a training session for any reason
- You don’t take many rest days and struggle to rest when sick or injured
- You have to get your steps every day no matter what
- You cannot have an untracked meal or eat a meal out
- You let the number on the scale get to you and it affects your mood
- You see foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and cut whole food groups out of your diet
If most of your behaviours are in the disordered category, then it may be time to reflect on your methods and change your approach to your health and fitness. Recognise which behaviours are not serving you, and work on adopting a more health-seeking approach when it comes to your goals. Remember, ‘health’ isn’t just about our physical health and how we look. It is about our mindset, mental health, emotional health, and stability as well.