This might sound silly to those of you who have a healthy relationship with food but to people with ED, this is the one thing that it all comes down to. Well, many things, actually, as you need to develop a habit of doing them again and again, like a normal person would.
I am talking about fear foods. Say what, fear foods? Dude, chill, it’s called an eating disorder for a reason.
A lot of people with ED’s develop anxiety in the face of certain food items. Those are different for every person but the general pattern is unhealthy, junk, fatty, chocolate… You get the idea. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have lost my appetite for sweet things – most of them, – but I had (and still do, on occasion) a hard time with anything that is caloric or ‘fatty’ – especially red meat and any kind of sauces. Call it completely irrational if you will, but I would avoid these kinds of things all the time, and go for the leaner, cleaner option.
Well, yesterday, it was time for me to finally face up to my fears. My boyfriend took me out to an Italian restaurant and even though I debated pizza for a while, I remembered my doctor’s recommendations (‘Take it slow’) and went for the scalopini al limon. Number one, it had sauce. Lots of it. Number two, it was red meat – veal, something I haven’t eaten in a very long time. Number three, the size of the portion (depicted above) was formidable.
My heart was pounding at first but then I realized, I was psyching myself up for nothing. This wasn’t me being anxious. This was ED. And I didn’t want to listen to that voice when I had a nice juicy plate of meat in front of me. So I picked up the fork.
And you know what? I loved it. I’m not saying I’m a big fan of overcooked meat (I used to like my steaks on the rare side) and dressing but it wasn’t the taste of the escalope that I had on my tongue, it was the taste of victory. It was a bit anticlimatic, as most people with ED make a huge deal out of fear food accomplishments, and you know what? That is just fine by me.
Food is just food.
Not something scary.
Not something special, either.
And, by the way, if you’re ever in Madrid and craving some good Italian, this is the way to go.