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Selective Eating Disorder

I’m a fussy eater. I remember once when a friend felt embarrassed because he didn’t eat onion. I laughed and explained that it is easier for me to list the foods I do eat, rather than the foods I don’t eat.

I’m writing this post because it’s something that most people don’t talk about. I’ve only found another person like me. Both of us are smart and had quoted the same study. It caused a lot of social problems growing up and a lot of confusion as I became an adult.

What do I eat?

This is just the main food groups I eat. I primarily eat chips, baked in the oven. I vary the meals by buying different brands and types of chips, and different types of salt. A lot of people with selective eating favour chips. It’s easily accessible when out of the house, and unlikely to taste yuck.

Dairy:

  • Ice Cream
  • Yoghurt

Meat:

  • Salami
  • Kabana
  • Pizza (Aussie, no Egg)
  • Sausages (beef, preferably Coles Country Style)

Fruit:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries (slowly, as are very sweet)
  • Orange Juice
  • The odd other fruit but have to eat slowly

Grains:

  • Bread (vegemite broth)
  • Salada

Junk:

  • Specific brands of chocolate
  • Specific brands of biscuits

When did it start?

My mum said it started when I was a baby. Apparently, I used to store baby food in my cheeks and just spit it out. There were some foods I remember liking that I no longer eat. Baby Corn, and cheese. I remember one Christmas, mum tried to get me to eat a sausage roll. I refused and was sent to bed, and wasn’t allowed to watch a muppets Christmas Carol.

I know she consulted with dieticians and doctors, and worked with my grandma to get me to eat normally. I did make some progress:

  • I eventually transition to fish and chips and oven baked chips, rather then chips cooked in the deep fry
  • I was able to eat and enjoy bananas thanks to banana lollys
  • I added a lot of bland foods to my diet.

“But I eat foods that I don’t like”

For me, my eating is the same as sexuality. It is something that I can’t control and it feels unnatural to try foods that I don’t like. Someone described it as being like eating grass. That is the best description I can find. A lot of foods feel foreign and the taste is too overpowering. Sometimes, the texture alone can make me feel nauseous. I have been working on it. It didn’t really affect my weight – my antidepressants, Effexor, caused the weight gain. I’ve found that my anxiety disorder had little effect on my eating.

It didn’t really cause any problems until I got to high school

I went on a 7 day camp in early highschool. It was the first time I really had to deal with my eating. I didn’t eat most of the foods they served. I ended up creating a routine where I would have toast, with nothing on it, for breakfast. I would eat apples during breaks (they supplied them for three) and would skip dinner and use my $1 canteen money to get an ice cream for dinner. I scoffed the pizza shapes mum brought on visitors day.

I was ridiculed a lot, especially when I was seen being happy on the night we had chips. I was in a separate room and heard the other girls making fun of me and started crying. I didn’t go on a school camp after that. I did go on a school camp in primary school, but that was only for 3 nights. No-one really remembered that I had Arnotts shapes for meals. A few people joked about it but it didn’t worry me.

I learned to adjust to social situations

When it came to meetups, I’d just say I wasn’t hungry. It was accepted to eat junk during breaks at high school, and when out. When leaving the house, you can justify it as a treat. I could also make the excuse that I had already eaten, even when I was starving. I’d pack food whenever I left the house. It got to a point where it got easy to handle.

Now I’ve got a boyfriend, it’s different

My boyfriend understands it, but it’s something I always worry about. How can I encourage possible children to eat healthily if I can’t? I also worry that my eating will make it harder for him should we socialize with his friends, or if he is craving a type of food that I don’t eat.

We’ve worked out good patterns so far. We usually eat at different times, so it doesn’t really affect dinner. I’ll encourage him to get a different type of meal or take out if he’s craving it. I’ll also try stuff if he recommends it. My partner recently turned 40 and got two types of cake that he loved. I tried eating one and couldn’t take more then two bites. He is really accepting but I am concerned