Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Question # 16: Forbidden Foods & What It's Really About

The next question comes from Kia. She asks:

"In these years of anorexia, I've stopped eating a lot of different foods (most of them, except fruits, vegetables, yogurt and meat), and some of the foods I've stopped eating, they have become some kind of 'forbidden': I still can't eat some of them (such as pizza, ice-cream, hamburgers, wrustel, etc...), while I eat hardly some others... So, I wanted to ask you: have you lived something similar? If yes, have you solved the problem, or are there 'forbidden' food to you, right now? Moreover: how did you solve this problem? How can you resist to put out again some foods from your nutrition?"

It may surprise you to know that I have no "forbidden" foods. I also have no "safe" foods. I eat everything, and I do mean everything. I'm not even a picky eater. There are a few foods I naturally dislike like creamed corn, french onion soup, and scallops, but I've disliked them since childhood. Other than those and a very few others, I eat anything and everything.

When I was dealing with my anorexia, I definitely ate very few foods. I had certain foods that I considered safe - usually low calorie foods. I had such little variety in my diet it was amazing (actually boring is a better word). I also had, as you call them, "forbidden" foods. At one point, I wouldn't eat anything with fat content. I had to have fat-free everything. I wouldn't eat sweets. I wouldn't eat hamburgers. The list went on and on.

I had to re-learn what it means to eat. I used food as a coping mechanism. As a form of control. There were problems behind the food - food wasn't really the problem. Once I was able to deal with the problems, I was able to realize that food was just food. It's what eating disordered individuals strive to learn every day - that food is just food. What a concept, you know? But it's true - food is to nourish and to be enjoyed. It's not a violent entity. It's not a weapon. It's not a punishment. It's not a reward. It just is.

I also had to slowly re-introduce foods that I had previously given up. Foods that used to scare me, I had to bring back into my diet one by one. It's really as simple as that. I can't promise you won't have moments of freaking out or feeling bad, but keep pushing through.

The following video can answer this question better than anything else I can say, and surprisingly enough it was this week's "Wednesday Warriors" video for the ED recovery collaboration on YouTube. Check it out! :)


6 comments:

Jessie said...

Thanks for sharing this. I really am hoping to get to a place where I have no fear foods and seeing how other people have done it is such a help!

Veggie said...

I never had "forbidden" foods too. Even in my worst period of anorexia, I ate everything... obviously, in very, very, VERY small amounts... not enough to die, but not enough to stay alive. I was sitting in the middle waiting.
Maybe it's not about food in itself. It' about what food MEANS. All the things we put on the food. All the problems we put on the food... as we feel that we can't control the problems... but we can control the food.
Right now I'm following the "diet" that my nutritionist gave to me. I think I'm not able yet to eat without it. But with this "diet", I stopped restricting and now I have a normal weight.
Not too much, but it could be a first step...

Kia said...

Thanks a lot, Arielle!...
You're great!...

Lou Lou said...

i hope I get there! i have faith. thank you

i love bows:) said...

you are fabulous and so helpful

thankyou

Vics xx

imaginenamaste said...

I'm so glad you posted this. It was just what I needed to read as I am working on getting through the phase where I eat less boring. It is good to know that it is "normal" to be at this phase in the recovery process.