Let’s talk about FEAR FOODS, not just in eating disorder recovery but in general.
I’m sure we all have (or have had) moments where we feel uncomfortable around food & guess what? It’s normal.
- maybe there’s a food you deem “unsafe” or “off limits” because you have a misconception about what it’ll do to your body or you’re worried you won’t digest it properly
- maybe you had a past bad experience with it
- maybe you’re stuck in a “eat the same thing everyday” rut & you’re afraid to divert
- maybe your ED taught you to restrict certain foods & convinced you that you don’t deserve to eat them because they make you feel good, healthy + well-nourished
Irrespective of the reason for your fear, the only way to get over it is to face it. The underlying issue for the fear fed your mind with thoughts conducive to continuing to be afraid & that’s where your job comes in: feeding your mind with the opposite of what your fear wants.
My eating disorder taught me that avocados are bad because they’re high in healthy fats & due to their high fat content, they lead to weight gain. Part of the process of reincorporating avocados into my diet consisted of feeding my mind with different thoughts: the healthy fat content in avocado means it keeps me full, fights inflammation, regulates hormones + makes it amazing for my skin & gut health.
Feeding your mind with positive thoughts about fear foods is step one but it’s NOT the only step.
Once your thoughts are more positive, it becomes about EXPOSURE. When I started recovery, I slowly incorporated fear foods, 1 or 2 at a time but I did so in a way that was still unhealthy in hindsight. I weighed, measured them & logged to ensure I got enough calories to achieve weight restoration.
But, I realized it wasn’t helping overcome my fear.
The fact I felt compelled to measure chunks of avocado meant I was still afraid & that’s when I realized the only way to get over the fear was to eat HALF or the WHOLE avocado if that’s what I was feeling & not because it’s what I preemptively logged. And then I stopped logging.
Slowly but surely, the fear went away & I eat avocado almost daily now!
In the same way you have to get on a roller coaster to overcome your fear of heights, you have to eat the fear food to stop being afraid of it.
It’s tough & it takes hard work, but it’s SO worth it. If I can do it’d & YOU CAN too.