“If I don´t feel safe eating pizza, I am just not going to make myself any pizza” Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right? Just avoid them forever and you don´t have to take up a fight with the screaming eating disorder voice. The bad news are: it´s not that simple and avoiding your fear foods has a great impact on your overall well being and quality of life.
Let me give you some examples. Even though, these are by far not all reasons, why you should face your fear foods!
What are fear foods
First of all: not everyone has fear foods even in restrictive eating disorders. So, if you don´t have any fear foods, it doesn´t mean your eating disorder is less severe or valid.
Why you should face them
Just think about all the events you ended up not going to because food might be involved. Cancelling pizza dinner nights, leaving parties early and not being able to go meet friends spontaneously because that will mess with your meal- and eating schedule.
Not to forget in what kind inedible person you can turn into when the fear and guilt around food are taking over your thoughts.
The best diet is the one that includes all kind of foods. Because – no joke: Different kind of foods contain different nutrients.
Doesn´t sound too bad at first, does it? But malnutrition leads to hormonal imbalances, decreased gut health and weakened immune system. In conclusion: that will make you feel like shit, mess with your anxiety, hunger and fullness regulation.
avoiding food = avoiding pleasure in life
It´s not only allowed to find pleasure in food, you actually also should find pleasure in food. Food is SO much more than just nutrition. Food brings people together, the best conversations are hold over a plate of good food, all kind of celebrations include food.
And how are you supposed to enjoy all these things, when all that is on your mind is food and the guilt and shame around it.
Increased thoughts revolving around food
When you not just have to think about what and when you are going to eat, but also spend time before and after eating certain foods, it means that you are spending more time than needed thinking about food. Especially because not honoring your cravings increases the desire.
Best thing you can do: Eat the food and then move on with your day.
Neglecting and trying to push away the desire to eat a certain food might feel right shortly. But on the long term it will increase your desire for it. Avoiding something means it´s still on your mind, even though you´re trying so hard to not think about it.
And when the desire increases you´re very likely to overindulge in it or even binge on it.
CONCLUSION: To fully recover and live a life outside from food thoughts and guilt, you have to face your fear foods and make peace with ALL kind of foods. And there is absolutely no reason why you should hold on to your eating disorder any longer.