Monday, February 21, 2011

Attitude change.

I had a mini-revelation today. I have completely changed my attitude towards food.

Pre-ED I enjoyed food, but not more so then the avarage person. I didn't give it much thought actually, I would eat whatever was put in front of me or available at the time, even if I didn't particularly enjoy it. I focused my attention on other things, so food never really played a major role.

During my ED I went to the opposite extreme. I ate a whole lot of things I hated and that were (admittendly) really gross, just because they were low calorie. Think oats cooked in water, celery sticks, lettuce dunked in mustard and water soup (that is really all it was, with a few veggies floating around in it). It leaves a nasty taste in my mouth just thinking of these diet staples I used to have. I talked myself into the fact that I "liked" these foods when very little could be further from the truth.

When I first started recovering I was scared of enjoying food. For some reason food and enjoying it seemed wrong, like I was enjoying something dirty or morally unacceptable. I treated food like medicine - nothing more. I ate what I had to in order to gain weight while secretly enjoying some of it, but never being able to admit it to myself or others.

I'm so happy to say I have come so far since then. I now not only enjoy food, but am able to experiment with it, create my own recipes and really savor the results. I don't feel guilty for enjoying food, or admitting something tastes good. Actually, I have a certain sense of pride in discovering new and tasty combinations and flavors. I have more of an appreciation for what I put in my body and how it benefits me and my health, but at the same time I am able to extend my focus to other things as well such as flavor, texture and presentation. I don't always put a lot of effort into my food, usually because of lack of time. But when I do I rarely ever regret it.

Sitting down to eat a meal is not a waste of time. Experimenting with a new recipe is not a waste of time. And adding something "higher calorie" to your food is not wrong. Food is meant to be enjoyed as well, otherwise we might as well all be hooked up to feeding tubes all the time. Food is a social event, a pleasant conversation, a moment to stop and relax. I never realized this till recently.

Today for instance I tried some chocolate oat bran. It was
a bit too chocolaty for my taste, so I added some coconut (gasp -extra fat and calories). Did it taste better afterwards? - It sure did. So instead of suffering through a lower calorie, but unappealing owl of oat-bran I was able to savor a satisfying, nutritious breakfast.

Another thing I did today is I made a curried chicken, broccoli and carrot stir fry just so I could try out the new mango chutney someone gave me. In times past this would be unthinkable, because chutney is almost like a savory jam.

(Fortunately, or unfortunately because I have such a small jar of this delightful condiment it is terribly addicting and I could eat out of the jar plain - and already have :P)

All these realizations have brought me to one conclusion. I like food. And I am (slowly) learning to accept that.


  1. I am so glad that you can now see the joy that food brings to life. When I think back to the things that I used to eat, I truly believed that I liked them but at the same time, I was wishing that I could eat what everyone else was eating because, for some reason, I wasn't allowed it.

    Your oats are stir fry look so yummy!!


  2. It's so strange how getting over our EDs sometimes open up the world of food to us like this!
    I'm the same way that I have been experimenting and cooking with new things!
    Tonight I used olive oil! Sauteed some veggies..
    It's always been very scary for me.. a fear food, if you consider it a 'food'.
    But I did it, and they were delish :)

    Anyway, it's so great to see your progress and read this happy post :)
    <3 Haley

  3. Kind of odd and funny how we actually "fear" food when it's something that we should love and cherish and enjoy! I'm glad you're changing your focus, I'm trying by best to do the same and it's working for the most part. If something doesn't taste great, I add a bit more to it! The thing I'm working on the most is salt and sugar. While they may not really provide much in terms of my total calories consumed, I suppose it really wouldn't hurt me to use a bit of each a little more often. I'm just afraid (there it is again... haha) of needing salt or sugar to have foods taste good and I like the "pure" taste of what something is meant to taste like.

    Food is so interesting. :P

  4. I'm glad your attitude toward food is changing! After depriving myself for so long, I swear that everything tastes so much more delicious than I remember. I never know what to choose for a meal because it all tastes so good! Now I just need to learn to listen to the foods that my body wants.

    Once again, your food creations look amazing! Take care!

  5. This post made me smile L.! I love this new attitude you've got toward food. It was so hard for me too, to grasp the concept that food can be eaten for more than just "medcine." It is EQUALLY important for mental and emotional health as it is for physical health. I'm very proud of you for adding the coconut to you oats (which look delish by the way!), and enjoying that chutney.

    Food IS meant to be enjoyed! That's why it's there, that's why we eat. I'm so happy you've discovered you DO like food. You're making such amazing progress!