Although anxiety about the color of food has plagued me for a long time, some foods, regardless of color, spike my anxiety because of their actual substance. In recovery, I have overcome my anxiety of fat by welcoming the likes of cheese, nuts, and chocolate into my diet, but I remain wary of the following, either because they’re dangerously delicious – dangerously because “once you pop, you just can’t stop” – or too taboo. That said, with the goal of recovering as much as possible, I will eventually eat – in entirety or single bite form – each, though I advice not holding your breath; I may take years to muster up the courage.
Importantly, these foods are not bad; sure, fried foods are not as healthful as a meal of steamed fish with wild rice and grilled vegetables, but everything in moderation is just fine. Eating the occasional bucket of buttery theater popcorn will not result in an earlier death by any means, but depriving yourself of such deliciousness will take away from life’s joy. Guilt is self-inflicted, so once one learns to trust ones body, the guilt inherent in eating “junk” foods will disintegrate.
And this comes from personal experience.
Fear of “fatty foods” emerged in my mid teens when I became more nutritionally versed, but full-blown panic in the face of “junk” did not surface until the onset of anorexia a few years later. To me, it made perfect sense that so-called fattening foods would manifest themselves as fat on muscles, which, in turn, meant they were chopped from my diet. No questions asked.
It took several nutritionists, healthy eating websites, and books on well-being to reverse this logic, or “illogic,” as it were. Trial taught me that cake wouldn’t instantaneous make my thighs cakey, and pudding wouldn’t immediately transform my belly into a similarly gloopy substance. Proudly, not a day goes by that I don’t have a sweet treat or chunk of cheese, but I cannot deny that fat thoughts continue to taunt me. The important thing is that I challenge them. I don’t give into my former irrationality. Life is too short. And I am too smart.
Things are only as powerful as we make them, so if food wears the pants in your relationship, repossess your authority, minus the control component. The mind is a powerful entity, which can be both beneficial and harmful; in terms of the mind and food, I am a strong believer that if you think something will make you fat, it will.
Woah there, that’s a little simplistic, you may be thinking. Well yes, you have a point: it is not as though your body will morph into a human blimp if you nibble on a cookie while thinking about its caloric content, but negative thoughts will release stress hormones that interrupt the body’s ease and subsequent digestion. The point: change your take on good and bad foods and your body will change (for the better) too.
And I will not preach. The idea behind revealing ten foods I fear is to hold myself accountable to constantly bettering my relationship with food. As aforementioned, my fears of tabooed foods are so deeply rooted that I do not expect to dial-up Domino’s Pizza within the next week, but putting my goals out in the open makes them seem that much more doable. Baby steps.
Food, beware, I’m takin’ back your power; I’m on a mission for well-rounded nutrition.
Do you experience anxiety when it comes to stereotypically unhealthful foods?
What foods do you fear in particular?
How have you overcome your food fears?
What are some foods you do not allow yourself to eat but wish you could?