I used to have a fear of toast.
Yep. You read that right. I used to be scared of toast. In fact, I used to have a fear of everything food-related. I couldn’t look at any type of food. If I was watching TV and a scene came on where someone was eating, or an advert for McDonald’s (other food outlets are available) or something, I would have to turn the TV over, or off. Actually, for a while it made me fear watching TV as I wouldn’t know if and when food of some sort would pop up on the screen.
Let me explain..
Because of my health battles in the past, eating has always been a challenge. You see, when I was younger – everyone, including doctors, didn’t detect any serious problem when it came to me eating. Like, they knew I struggled but they thought it was just a case of me having to just keep trying. Every time I tried to eat something, it would either go down fine but affect me a couple of days later (later on in my teenage years, they discovered food that I was eating was sitting in my stomach for a couple of days instead of going through the whole system – I won’t go into detail haha – thus making my body think its being poisoned. Kinda like food poisoning I suppose) OR I would be sick straight away.
My portions of meals and that have always been on the small side too. Even now, they’re still not what most would consider “normal” size portions but its still bigger than what I have had in the past.
I remember in primary school. I’d only have a couple of bites of a sandwich before feeling “full” and then sick. And when I did eat a bit more and pretty well for me, a couple of days later I would suffer for it. It was horrible.
There was a time where my parents thought maybe my lack of eating was due to something psycological (don’t think I’ve spelt it right😅). But it wasn’t. I wasn’t being fussy. I wasn’t telling myself not to eat. I was suffering from a mental eating disorder. I was physically unwell. But it was hard to find out why. I remember once finishing a whole plate of sausage and chips. I was so proud of myself for finishing it, as were my parents. A few seconds later, it all came back up. It was something I couldn’t control. I felt like I had failed. I felt like I wasn’t actually trying. When in fact I was, I just had a physical condition that was taking over my body.
It wasn’t until I was 15, when the problem was discovered. My stomach had grown to a large size and had grown horizontally up the left side of my body. That’s why food was going off in my stomach because it had enough room to just sit there.
Eventually I had the surgery and I started to get sorted physically. But now, mentally, I had started to struggle. Physically I knew my body could take food. I knew it would take time but physically my body could cope. When I could eventually eat, after the surgery, I remember trying a piece of toast. Well, I say trying.. I just stared at it and just felt petrified. People would offer me food too but I now was scarred with what happened in the past. I was scared I’d feel pain and sickness again from eating. In my mind, subconsciously, food was bad. A psychologist got involved in my care. I remeber chatting to her and saying how it’s like a bully in my mind telling me that food is bad. Food will make you ill. Deep down I knew food was good. Food is something to enjoy not think of as part of a chore. But there was this ‘message’ in my head. Telling me that food will harm me. And that goes for any type of food.
When I came home from the hospital, I asked that my family don’t eat near me. I locked myself away in my room some days. Not even turning on the TV. All I could do is sit and listen to music. I was in a no-food zone in my mind. Going out with friends petrified me. Because, I wanted to see them and spend time with them, but I was scared that they’d suggest eating out somewhere.
Whenever someone near me had food, whatever it was, the sight and smell of it would make me have a panic attack.
Well… Masterchef is now one of my favourite shows haha😂.
After years of training my brain to realise that food is good. Food is something to enjoy. Food is amazing! I feel like I’ve jumped a massive hurdle! I can eat so many slices of toast now. I enjoy toast. Toast is good. I’m not a fussy eater, and I’m not allergic to anything so I can eat anything really.
I’ve also got into baking and cooking recently which I really enjoy. If you would have told me 5/6 years ago that I would be cooking a roast for dinner on mother’s day and then baking a cake for afters I would have laughed at you and said nah, that’s not me.
My fear of food hasn’t gone completely I’m not going to lie, I still get a tiny bit anxious around food when I’m feeling sick, and also if I feel pressured to eat – which happens very rarely now as the people around me now know not to pressure me to eat. I will eat when I feel up to eating. And at the moment….. That’s pretty much all the time!! 😂
The last 3 weeks or so my appetite has been amazing! I’ve had short spells of good appetite in the past but they’ve only really lasted a couple of days at a time. This is the first time ever that I’ve had a good non-stop appetite for 3 weeks – almost 4! I’m craving loads of different foods and I’m enjoying the tastes and satisfaction it gives!
Younger me would be surprised I’m saying this but.. I love eating! 😁😂