Fear food ; Eating disorder patients often have a conviction and morbid fear that types or amounts of food will lead to instant and discernable weight gain. These may include any high-calorie items or groups of food such as fats, "junk food", or meat. Treatment aims to reintegrate these foods into the diet of the sufferer either gradually or, in the case of Maudsley/FBT, almost immediately. An integral part of the recovery process is developing a healthy relationship with food, eating and one's body; and this includes viewing food as neutral and fuel, not good or bad, safe or unsafe. (http://glossary.feast-ed.org/5-psychology-and-therapies/fear--foods)
Over the years I have to come to have multitudes of "fear foods". My fears around them are irrational and many times I have no clue where the intense fear around these foods came from.
Any type of sweet is probably my biggest fear food. When I was binging, it was rarely on anything but super sweet foods. Now that I have been binge free for over a year, I am scared to eat any food in this category for fear that it will lead to a full on binge.
Since conquering these fear foods is essential in the recovery process, I decided it was time to face one of them; so the other day I went for it and have no regrets about doing so.
A friend asked if I wanted to go for ice cream and I instantly said no and that there was no way I would be able to eat that. She suggested I simply come along and maybe I would change my mind. I did as suggested and went along with her.
Yes, I wanted to eat ice cream, I love ice cream, but I was nervous (terrified to be exact). Something inside me however shouted "eat the damn ice cream, you'll be able to handle it". When arriving at the shop I gathered all the self energy I had and began to browse all the flavors. I saw one that looked delicious and began to reason with myself.
Why would I deny myself of a treat? I wouldn't deny anyone else of ice cream, so why shouldn't I let myself have it? As these thoughts lingered the fear began to break and I ordered a small scoop of the "damn ice cream".
The fear completely disappeared when I had the courage to eat the first spoonful. I ate consciously, really letting myself enjoy this treat. I knew if I was mindful while eating there wouldn't be an urge to binge because I would be satisfied with my small scoop. And there wasn't. When I finished what was in my cup I told myself that this was done and I wasn't going to let thoughts of what this ice cream would "do to my body" haunt me.
I am filled with pride knowing that I took a giant step in my recovery that night. Allowing food to be neutral makes it lose the overwhelming power it has over us. I am grateful to have had a friend by my side who unknowingly gave me the little push I needed to take on this challenge.
In time I will take on each of my fear foods one at a time. I think the ice cream challenge was a great start and it gives me motivation to keep moving along. Champion!