Monday, 2 February 2015

The problem with food

I think now is a good time to try and explain exactly what the problem with food is. I am not sure if this is something I can really explain but I will try my best.

It's a lot more than just being fussy and its definitely not about parents just 'letting me away' with not eating vegetables. I don't know what the exact problem is but I have a real proper aversion to certain foods. Some its the smell, I cant stand the way some foods smell, therefore I don't think I like how they taste, therefore I wont eat them. it doesn't matter if I have actually tasted the food in question or not.

Other times its texture. Texture issues are common in people with selective eating disorder. I don't like the way some foods feel in my mouth, or even how I think they would feel. Take tomatoes as an example, I have never eaten an actual tomato, they look like they would feel squishy and weird and I cant bring myself to try them. However I can eat tinned tomatoes, provided they are blended so there are no lumps, therefore it stands to reason that I like the flavour of tomatoes but yet I cant bring myself to eat one.

The thing is that I understand that this makes no sense, I know its weird and definitely not right. I just cant bring myself to eat a tomato, the thought of it makes me feel a little sick. I am fully aware that my food issues are completely irrational, but it doesn't make them any less real. Many foods make me sick, I have physically vomited because my food had touched an onion and I could taste the onion flavour on it despite there being no actual onions in my food.

There are many foods I have never tasted, and many that I probably never will. However my ability to try things has actually improved a whole lot over the last few years. It started with simply eating different combinations of things I know I like, and this is something I have become quite comfortable with. I no longer necessarily need to know that I like the actual dish, just that I like everything that is in it. I know that probably doesn't sound like that much of an achievement to most people, but to someone who had rarely eaten an unfamiliar food till they were in their 20's its a huge achievement. I used to have to recognise and know I liked the actual dish, which led to me mostly eating macaroni and cheese or a cheeseburger every time I ate out. Those were two things I knew I could eat, and I knew would be as I recognised them, there would be no surprises so I was ok with it. Now I could for talks sake eat a pasta with chicken and a cream sauce because I like all those things so it stands to reason that I would like the finished dish. I am still nervous trying a new dish, but not terrified to the point where I wont do it like I used to be.

I have also added four vegetables to my diet, well I guess I regained one. I used to eat tinned carrots as a child but stopped for some reason before I was ten, I now can eat carrots tinned or not. I also eat broccoli, parsnips and mushrooms. However I am very particular about how they are cooked, broccoli and carrots have to be cooked till soft, really soft and parsnips need to be boiled then oven roasted, mushrooms have to be well fried and  can only eat them in the same mouthful as certain other foods. If I am having mushrooms with my chicken for talks sake, and I finish the chicken before I finish the mushrooms, I cant eat the rest of the mushrooms because they are too weird on their own. They have a weird texture that is sort of hidden by eating them in the same bite as something else. I eat all my veg in the same bite as something else, I can't eat any of them on my own.

I still eat no fruit, and I honestly don't know that I ever will. Unlike vegetables, I cant really hide them in the same bite as other foods. I tried to eat an apple once, but it didn't work out it was all hard but somehow still soft after I bit into it and it was also really sweet tasting and I don't really like sweet things all that much. I was proud of myself for trying though, its not an easy thing for me to do.

I would love to eat more healthily, especially since I have started to really struggle with my weight again. Believe me if I could change my diet I would, but  I am resigned to the fact that I will never have a normal diet. I can make changes though, just changing the way some things are cooked can make them at least a little healthier. That is what I have been trying to do, I have been looking at the foods I do eat and trying to figure out what I can do to make them a little less unhealthy.

I am also trying to take my own food to university and work for lunch, that way its slightly healthier than the junk food that I can eat in the uni/work canteens which is usually something incredibly unhealthy like a burger and/or chips. The problem is that in uni, there is no way to heat anything up and I don't really eat any cold food other than sandwiches which to be honest I don't really love but can tolerate if I need to. In work I have access to a microwave and toaster so I try and make something ahead of time that can be reheated in the microwave and for breakfast I will have toast (I work 12 hour shifts so we usually have breakfast and lunch breaks).

I hope I have at least given you a little insight into what my problem is with food, its a really hard thing for me to explain because to be honest, I don't understand it myself.


  1. Hi Kirsty,
    I'm a reporter at national press agency Mercury Press and I work with the national newspapers in the UK.
    I was on the lookout for someone with selective eating disorder and stumbled across your blog.
    I was hoping to chat to you a little bit to see if it is possible for me to work with you for a story.
    Please get back to me on liam(at)mercurypress (dot)co(dot)uk.
    Liam Geraghty

    1. I have sent you an email. I would be more than happy to talk to you about selective eating disorder.

  2. Hi Kirsty, that's really interesting. I take it you can also eat lasagne, then? Provided of course, there are no onions in it. I make mine with minced steak and tinned tomatoes and layer it with pasta and sauce. My mince would have onions but those could be omitted. I also add grated cheese to the sauce and on top for browning but that could be omitted too. I often add mushrooms to the ground meat when cooking it.

  3. I actually love lasagne, only if I cook it of course! I just make mine with no veg (ironically the one thing that the other half cant eat is mushrooms which is the one veg I love!). I also use a cheese sauce rather than a white sauce - its the way my mother taught me when I was little

  4. I was just re reading this post and realised that I forgot to comment on the smell point you made. Smell is probably the biggest factor in eating. If you have a cold, you can't smell anything and won't feel like eating. Taste is a much smaller effect.