My Disorder

So, I am now making public how truly odd my eating habits are. Most folks either don't believe me, think I am exaggerrating or - or flat out judge me. I believe I have a disorder called 'Selective Eating Disorder'. Other people have labeled it as an over-sensitivity to taste, texture and smell. Whether it is a disorder or not, or whatever you call it, I am an odd duck when it comes to eating. I'm working on changing it.

I truly have no idea why I am the way that I am ..but I believe I take the term 'picky eater' to a whole new level. I've read several articles that indicate I am actually more of a 'resistance eater', than picky eater. A doctor actually told me he thinks I have something called a 'super taster' gene in which I am extremely sensitive to texture, taste and smell.  Honestly, I can even be sensitive to certain sounds, like whistling. The list of things I CAN eat is far shorter than the list of things that I do NOT eat. This affects social situations greatly because I never want to eat at new restaurants and definitely do not want to eat at people's houses for fear of their food making me sick. Literally, foods that I do not like will make me vomit. I throw up things that I cannot tolerate. Even smells can make me vomit.

This eating problem of mine led to severe obesity, where I topped out at 325 pounds. I now; however, have lost over 140 pounds!  Yet, even as I have expanded my diet a bit, and adopted some healthy habits, I worry about my health as I have an extreme aversion to any kind of vegetable except lima beans and potatoes, which hardly count. I cannot stand the smell of many foods, especially Asian food. I can now tolerate Spinach. I do not like sauces or condiments of any kind. Some things about me are just odd like the fact that I like chili, but only Hormel chili, and yet I do not like tomatoes or pizza or spaghetti or anything with tomatoes in it - but yet I can somehow eat Hormel Chili. Go figure. But I tell you, if I had to bite into a tomato right now, I'd hurl.

One thing I have learned over the years is to grow a thick skin and a bold tongue.  I no longer lie to people to get out of a social invitation, I just tell the straight up truth.  I am open and honest about everything, and very transparent.  I do not get offended by questions, unless someone is just being rude or condescending on purpose.  In that case, I can quiet them rather quickly with a curt word.

I now see signs of SED in my oldest son, and just fear for him to experience a lot of the frustrations I have dealt with myself.  But you know what?  I am not such a bad person to be like.  I am educated and I am teaching him how to handle himself.  One day a few years back, he through a big fit and became completely unglued because my husband accidentally put ketchup on his plate with his fish sticks, and he does not like ketchup (me neither). We had to get him a new plate and new fish sticks to calm him down. This was such a familiar scene to me from my own childhood. I do wonder if this problem or condition is hereditary. I have no idea, but I am just about convinced my first born son has SED, as I do.

Small successes so far have been integrating eggs into my diet (hated them before), eating more fruits like strawberries and blackberries, etc. I can also tolerate Spinach now, blended up in other stuff. I now like pecans and almonds, and almond butter, where I never did before.  I can now eat salmon. I can eat certain kinds of yogurt.  These are just some minor examples ... wish me luck, as I continue in this journey.  But let me be clear... it is stressful for someone with SED to try new foods, or a new version of a 'safe food', or a 'safe food' but in a new place ... so progress is slow.  Also, sometimes it will take several tries of something, but in different variations, to get it inside me, without coming back up.  But I am transparent and open about it all, so ask me anything you like.

Something else that is common for folks with SED is that they are carb freaks :)  They also will tend to eat fast food a lot, or not cook much, because nobody would like their plain or bland cooking anyway.  They gravitate to the safe/fast restaurants where they know they can get something, and usually without judgement.  So you'll see folks with SED eating a bunch of crunchy chips or french fries, plain hamburgers, etc. - - and not cooking a lot of healthy/balanced meals.  This was me, for years.  So another huge challenge for me has been learning how to cook.

This is a picture of my kitchen.  I hate my kitchen.  It is smaller than what I had before and I just need to get over it :)  We need to work with what we've got, right?  So this kitchen is MINE and it is an awesome tool for trying new foods and cooking healthy meals.  All I can say is God Bless smoothies and a good blender.