I think the first post is the hardest. Do I write about a specific eating disorder topic, or do I write about a specific challenge I’m currently facing? Hmmm….hmmmm….I think current challenge. Here goes!
Food Fears. That’s right. You didn’t misread. Food fears. Fear of food. Yep, that’s me! There are certain foods I’ve labeled as “bad” for one reason or another. Perhaps it’s too fatty. Maybe it’s loaded with sugar. It might even be a heavy, sturdy, fill-you-up-and-keep-you-full dish. Some of these fears are unexplainable…I don’t even understand them! So then how does one go about dealing with such issues?
1. Face the fears head on
This is one of the hardest things for someone with an eating disorder to do. Plunge head first, specifically mouth first, into a juicy burger? Insane. Slurp a huge milkshake? Crazy. But, if the person in question here is stable and feeling well enough to do it, this idea can be infinitely useful. Why? Because the next morning, when they get up…their jeans still fit. They’re not suddenly huge. BUT…as I’ve experienced, one can’t always just jump in.
2. Find a less threatening food
It seems so weird to talk about food like this…threatening, scary…what the heck? Food is good and it’s generally good for you! This is how food is perceived by those with eating disorders, though. If this doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. It’s still confusing to me. But back to the point here…
A less threatening food is one that isn’t as scary. Maybe it’s not totally comfortable (we can’t just live on apples, after all), but it’s not the ultimate…not the big kahuna.
Here’s a story for an example:
I decided the time had come for me to try eating a burger. I set up a date with some friends, and we were excited! This marked a huge advance in my recovery. When the day came, though, I honestly felt nervous. And I didn’t feel well…the last thing I wanted to eat was a greasy burger. So instead, those same friends and I went out for milkshakes and fries. We found a happy medium. And guess what? My jeans fit just fine the next morning. The key here is to push gently, and be excited for the little steps of progress made.
So what brings this food fear up today? And why am I picking on burgers? Well. Some friends invited my family over for a BBQ tonight. Although I don’t know whats on the menu, I’m guessing burgers will be involved. Usually, we bring something to an event like this, and I always ALWAYS opt for something healthy, comprised mostly of veggies so I know there will be a “safe” food on the table. But when mom asked what we could bring, we were asked to bring chips. So not only do I have no idea whats on the menu, I have no control over my blessed veggies! But guess what? I have to face this head on. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t get some green salad tonight. And here’s a couple other things I’ll be trying to remember:
1. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean I have to eat it. I only have to eat what sounds good and tastes good.
2. It’s okay to have a fun night – a “splurge” night.
3. My pants will fit tomorrow!
Tonight, the goal is to not let a burger ruin my evening…and who knows…maybe I’ll actually LIKE them!