… Grumble…

Two things got the best of me today during lunch.  But before I get to complaining, I should congratulate myself.  I’m not ignoring my hunger and I’m ate lunch.  I’m plan to continue not psyching myself out with my assumed eating problems. Good Job Z.

Now to the rant. I love salad bars with lots of choices,  but they can also be a source of trouble. Sometimes there will be ingredients mixed in that I don’t expect. Today, there was something stringy mixed in with some pasta.  It has a crunch while I was chewing that reminded me of uncooked onions,  which made me want to stop eating it,  but I mostly finished.  I also tried to be brave and grabbed some potatoes with an unknown orange sauce stuff.  I tasted the sauce,  which didn’t taste horrible,  but I couldn’t bring myself to eat the potatoes. While I’m still pulling some of the stringy stuff from my teeth, I still consider today to be a victory.

Baby Steps

Aside

I’m trying to do me right, I swear.

Today, I mistook hunger for anxiety while at work and tried to ignore it. This is a nasty habit that I think I picked up in college. It’s  very easy for me to ignore my bodies signals while I’m working. Which I think happens because I don’t trust that I can get back into work mode.

Within an hour it was obvious to me that my blood sugar had started to drop. I gathered my outdoor clothes and headed to the kantine (cafeteria).What I wanted to do, is sit and ruminate about how I had fucked up.  But that’s not the case! I corrected a problem before it was too late. It could have ended much worse. Several times I’ve delayed eating to the point where the kantine is closed.

I will keep at it.  Before long I hope eating meals will become more automatic.  Eating IS NOT a distraction. Food is fuel and I need it to do my job. I may have a track record for forgetting to eat, but that doesn’t mean I will be stuck in that pattern!

I think I’ll be focusing on eating regularly before I take the plunge to try new foods again.

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gardening

Aside

There was a brief year, where I was unusually (for me) open to trying new vegetables. I was living in a town with a wonderful, twice weekly farmers market, a block from a food co-op, and had a 500 sq ft veggie garden. In my current town, there are plenty of wonderful grocery stores, and an amazing, weekly farmers market. I’m missing the veggie garden. I’ve got room near my parking spot for a raised bed, unfortunately it’s not the sunniest area. I’m definitely going to get back to gardening once I’m back in the states.

Bad Day

Today has not been a good day. I won’t go into excruciating detail, but my energy level has been low and I’m stressed out (mostly homesick). Unfortunately for me, when I’m stressed, my appetite disappears. It’s a double whammy being an extremely picky eater and can lead to big mood swing.

I started to acknowledge the link between quality/quantity of food eaten and my mood about two months ago. My goals since have been to eat regularly. A huge problem with the way I eat, has often been eating when I’m hungry; but I can ignore hunger, so that was a horrible strategy (or lack thereof). I’d say one of the hardest parts so far has been getting comfortable with what’s available locally. I’m out of my comfort zone and I’m pushing myself further by trying to make big changes in my life. I often get worked up and feel hopeless; when I calm myself down, I just tell myself “It’s OK, just make baby steps.”

I’ve got less than eight weeks left here, I really wish food wasn’t such an obstacle. I’m going to go take a shower, call home and head out to a Super Bowl party. Hopefully I’ll feel better after meeting new people in my expat group…

 

Picky judging picky

This event didn’t come back into mind until lately. I remember going to a coffee shop with a friend, there was someone eating in a strange way; you could tell she was uncomfortable in the shop, where everyone could see her eat and judge away. She looked stressed and was eating because she had to.

My friend had pointed her, out. “Psst,” getting my attention, “that lady a few chairs down is tearing the middle out of her bagel and avoiding the crust entirely.” I could see in her eyes something I felt an innumerable number of times previous. It really stands out in my memory, but I missed it entirely. I proceeded to think “why the hell would you do that?” also, “the crust is the best part of bread!” and, “I sure do love bagels!”

But hindsight sure is 20/20: I used to refuse to eat crust on sliced breads; I used to only eat white bread, because I hated the texture whole grains added; shoot, I used to have such a problem with foods of non-uniform texture that it made me cry. Don’t even get me started on colors! I’ve grown a lot, since I was a child but I’ll never forget how scary food used to be for me. Not just food, but also the ridiculous amount of attention directed towards me with respect to food.

Back to the coffee shop. Imagine if you discovered something about the food on your plate and it bugged you so much you lost all appetite; either afraid you’d gag in public or having it turn into sand in your mouth instantly. Reanalyzing this situation, I can only guess this lady was a picky eater like me. Perhaps she came in hoping for a coffee and a plain bagel, but they were out of plain and only had garlic or super-seed. If she has texture issues, like many fellow picky eaters, perhaps she found something in the crust or it was too tough for her to chew. Something happened that made that bagel unpleasant, but she was brave, powered through her fear, and ate as much as she could.

I feel slightly bad for judging her. But in reality, I kept my thoughts to myself and did nothing wrong. If I were in a situation like this, again I’d jump to defend.

F1RST P0ST!!

Hello there, Internet!

I am a really, really picky eater. Some might even call it extreme. It is likely that I am a prime candidate for the upcoming DSM 5 diagnosis of an adult suffering from Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Unfortunately, there is a huge stigma associated with being mentally ill (NOT ALL PICK EATERS ARE), and not to mention the misunderstandings from our friends, family, and strangers about our feeding habits.

With this blog I plan to share things from my point of view, discuss misunderstandings ‘normal’ eaters have with us, vent to the world when my pickiness gets me down, and most importantly: learn and grow from my experiences. You’re more than welcome to join me for the ride, play nice.