Friday, 6 March 2009

Fear? Ha! I Laugh In the Face Of Fear

First of all, I want to say thank you for your supportive comment's on yesterday's post. I was reluctant to hit the "publish" button for fear of sounding like a bitch, or completely crazy. It seems I'm not the only one who struggles with these issues and it's nice to know I'm not alone.

And, WELCOME to any new readers out there- I love it when you guys comment, even just to say "hi"!


Onto today...

I slept really well and feel a hundred times better for it. What felt like humongous stresses yesterday don't seem like such a big deal today- it's amazing what proper rest can do for your emotional state!

Having said that, today's been filled with the obsessing/calculating stuff that hasn't been at the forefront of my mind today. The trigger? Yesterday's cheese. Yes, 1oz of cheese has my brain in a complete spin and I'm not sure why. Well, that's not entirely true. It's scaring me because I enjoyed it. *gasps in horror* What does this mean? It means I want to start including it on a regular basis. It tasted good, was a nice change from my usual foods and I want to eat it again. So WHY is this a problem?

I am scared of cheese.

When I was much younger, my mom went on a diet (she was overweight) and lost a lot of weight through a healthy meal plan. When asked how she did it, she always attributed her weight loss to cutting cheese out of her diet. I've never been a huge cheese-lover, but it's stayed ingrained in my mind that cheese is something to be avoided, that it's not a food to be eaten on a regular basis.

The truth? Cheese is a source of calcium and protein. It adds great flavour and a funky gooey texture when it melts. It's not something I love enough to WANT to eat every day, but I don't want to avoid it forever.

I think I am more scared of the fact that it tasted good. I struggle to acknowledge that there are foods I like, particularly ones that are "scary"- but that's crazy. Food isn't scary or safe or good or bad or ANY of the labels I attach to it. Food is food. Nothing more, nothing less. Some tastes better than other, some is prettier than others, some is more expensive than others. But at the end of the day, there is nothing to be scared of.

Will I eat it again? Yes. The very fact that today's turmoil has been so pertinent is a clear sign to me that I need to be facing my fears head on. I refuse to be controlled by anxieties over things that in the great context of LIFE, are no big deal.

I ate cheese pretty frequently in treatment, alongside a whole multitude of foods that I have been avoiding more and more. I still ate them during the months that followed, despite struggling and relapsing. it's been pretty recent that I have completely cut out certain foods, and looking back, I was so much happier when I had just that little bit more freedom around my meals. My head was clearer because I wasn't obsessing about it so much and my body was getting a wider variety of nutrients. I had more time to do enjoyable things because I wasn't (like today) spending hours writing lists/meal plans/panicking about a little piece of 'whatever' 2/3/4 days before.

When I was unpacking some of my things, I came across some of my old worksheets from treatment a couple of years ago. One of them was a list I had made as part of a "fear exposure therapy" group- we had to make a list of our top ten most challenging foods. I left soon after so never got round to doing the full group, but I have my list and am going to come up with my own "exposure therapy" plan to conquer these fears.

Anyone got tips on how to confront this list I have or want to join me in setting some goals around this? (shout out to PAM for our virtual snack yesterday!)

I don't want a life that revolves around anxiety over eating. I want to enjoy food without guilt or fear. I want to eat my meals and go on with my day. I want freedom.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
- Anais Nis

A couple of food pics from today...

Raisin, date and walnut oatmeal (I swear this tastes like cookie dough once it's cooled) topped with fage and a jumbo banana:

A non-bar snack! Pumpkin spice trail mix with fromage frais. Fromage frais has been around in the UK much longer than the Greek yogurts hitting the shelves- it's much thinner/runnier, but has pretty much identical nutritional stats/taste, and is half the price. The trail mix is from Target- a friend sent me 3 bags a couple of months ago. Love it!


margarida said...

of course you're not alone swettie :)
i'm sorry for this bad comment but i have no time right now :(

your eats just look super yummy :)

kiss kiss

Anonymous said...

I am with you and the cheese. I think I tried to convince mysel that I did not like cheese very much. But I have recently started adding it slowly back into my diet and realize, I do like it.
For your exposure list, maybe try to incoorporate one thing every few days, then move to every other day and then to everyday.
Our body does need fat to function, and cheese is a great source of nurtients that make our body healthy. There is no doubt in my mind that you can do it!

Can I ask what are some of your other fear foods?

Danielle said...

Those oats look great, and you say they taste like cookie dough? they must be really good, you were right about the fage tasting like cheesecake so i totally trust your tastes now.

Nutritious is Delicious said...

The eats look delicious girl!

And cheese is tasty, so FACE THAT FEAR!! :D

Hunger to Recover said...

haha cheese used to be a huge fear food of mine too!!! i actually wouldn't have it at all during my first week of treatment. my mom is also the same way... she has done a bunch of diets (like weight watchers and jenny craig) and still pretty much thinks that cheese is horrible. she will only buy the fat free kind (but even that is pretty rare). she's still not really losing weight though. & that's because the truth is that cheese is not what causes people to gain. seriously that would only happen if you ate a lotttt of it it... but thats the same for every kind of food, not just cheese.

and i think what helped me in overcoming that fear was slowly having it more and more and remembering that there is no such thing as a "bad" or "good" food. only our perceptions make them bad or good. plus, i'm a vegetarian so it's good for me to have cheese to get more protein. protein helps with the secretion of hormones that help us in feeling full & w/ appetite regulation. it's also a good source of calcium which is SO important, especially because usually with eds, you lose some bone mass.

i hope this helps :) i'm proud of you that you want to overcome this fear. be patient with yourself :)

Sheena said...

Hey sweetie!

I actually wrote in my upcoming blog about good and bad foods -- upcoming in that I have it written but haven't posted quite yet because got busy at work.

I have fear foods as well, but no food is good and no food is bad. And I think it has been very detrimental for me to think of them that way. Anyways, your body will appreciate teh cheese and so will your taste buds. It's great you are taking on this challenge.

Take care sweetie!

Matt said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yours is great!

Pammy said...

my mom went on a lot of diets when I was younger too so I know how it feels to have certain foods labeled as "bad". congrats on the cheese and yesterdays odwalla :) stay strong love

Helen's Journey said...

I've always loved cheese and usually would cut it out when dieting, but I've compromised and choose soft cheese instead.

Lexi said...

I really liked the way you looked at cheese today. Positively and healthfully. Good work :)

aussirish said...

hi hun
your not alone with having fear foods...i think we all have a few foods that make us extremetly anxious eating,and i think the only way to get passed them is to include your diet to show yourself thats theres nothing to fear...its just food...something that nourishes us and gives us energy.
i think its a good idea to do that fear exposure thing :) keep us updated on it!
have a wonderful weekend girlie