Food issues

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Food issues

Postby FutureGirl92 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:55 am

I've had issues with my self-confidence for years. I've got issues with food- I can't eat in front of people I don't know very well. It took me 3 months to work up the courage to eat a piece of toast in front of my boyfriend, and two years on, I'm still unable to eat in front of his family. They're always having parties, and his mum puts on a lovely spread, but I just can't eat any of it! For example, last Saturday it was my boyfriend's brother's 21st birthday party. I had an early shift at work that day, so I missed breakfast. During my break, the queues at food court were so long that I ate a cookie for lunch. Then I went back to my boyfriend's, got ready and went to the party. It was 2am before I ate anything else. My issues with food make my boyfriend feel awful- he knows I'm hungry, but can't do anything about it to make me eat. I've been brought up with three meals a day, whereas my boyfriend and his family eat a big dinner at 3pm and that's it. So when I'm staying with them and I'm hungry in the morning, it makes me feel so greedy and guilty, so I don't eat anything, and just drink sugary tea to keep my energy up. This sporadic eating isn't doing me any good; I went to the doctor's a few weeks back, and he told me to "keep an eye on my weight." I know that if you don't eat properly at the appropriate times, your weight balloons. I just really want to feel like I can eat in front of people without being worried about it. Nobody else seems to worry about it! Please help x
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Re: Food issues

Postby earthchild » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:14 am

Hey Futuregirl92

i feel for you, I had a friend with the same problems, she use to run, hide and eat in a toilet cubicle.
Im not sure i can offer you any advice other than to go and maybe see a councilor, they will be able to help you discover the cause of your fear which may actually be a result of something else like your self confidence issues.
for the mean time, its so important to get some food in you, does your bf's family know and understand your situation?
if so maybe they would be kind enough to let you eat on your own?
regarding work, i take it theres nowhere where you can sit quitely by yourself to eat?
im worried for your organs and weight as im sure you are too, please go and see someone.
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Re: Food issues

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:21 am

My mam has s friend who can't eat in front of people either.

I agree with earthchild maybe talk to a councillor about your problem, something will have triggered it.

If your boyfriends family only eat one big meal a day where you've always had 3, you could always ask for a sandwich or a couple of slices of toast; it's not normal eating one meal a day!
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Re: Food issues

Postby snail » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:51 am

Oh my god. This is my eating disorder. I've never told anyone before other than my counsellor because I thought I was the only one who had this and it sounded so mad. It was the main reason I sought counselling. I have been to eating disorder websites, but they only seemed to talk about bulimia and anorexia. And now this thread mentions three other people straight away! Phew, you don't know what a relief that is for me :D

Mine came on a couple of years ago when I was going through a terrible time in my life with my ex, Phil. I was extremely stressed anyway, and then suddenly my grandmother died - not unexpectedly, she was in her mid-nineties - but it seemed that was the final straw. I suddenly became too stressed to eat, at all. I felt like I just couldn't swallow the food. I felt like I was choking. This only lasted about a week, then I gradually began to eat again (good job, as I had obviously lost weight in that time). But after that I couldn't eat in front of people in case this feeling came back and I had to spit the food out. I would get food in my mouth and panic terribly, thinking, what can I do, I can't swallow it and I can't spit it out in front of these people. I can eat in front of people I really trust and who know about it, but no one else (some family members, my ex-boyfriend, etc). I suppose I feel those people would understand if I had to run to the bathroom and spit the food out, and I know they won't press me to eat if I don't feel I can.

My counsellor has theories as to why I'm doing this. She has suggested I am doing it to keep myself safe, by preventing myself from mixing with anyone whom I don't trust, or meeting anyone new who is harsh and not understanding. (For example, my ex-boyfriend Chris, who came after Phil, is a lovely man and still a great friend, and he accepted this about me when he met me). Because of this problem my social life is quite restricted. It thus keeps me away from anyone like Phil again. But I haven't managed to really get to the bottom of this yet.

I would really like to have more of a social life, other than just with those people I can eat around. But in order to do this I would have to say to new people, sorry, I'm not able to eat in front of people I don't know well. Can I ask the other PP-ers, if you met someone who said this, how shocked would you be? Would you think they had serious problems and were best avoided, or would you be able to accept it?
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Re: Food issues

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:56 am

snail wrote:I would really like to have more of a social life, other than just with those people I can eat around. But in order to do this I would have to say to new people, sorry, I'm not able to eat in front of people I don't know well. Can I ask the other PP-ers, if you met someone who said this, how shocked would you be? Would you think they had serious problems and were best avoided, or would you be able to accept it?


I'd accept it; although I'd try and help. I think I'd be confused as to why this person couldn't eat in front of other people. If you wanted to have a better social life you could always maybe try and order a salad or something; it's easy, you can cut it up really small and try and eat it. I don't know if it would help?
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Re: Food issues

Postby snail » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:02 am

I couldn't manage it, Dips :( The most I can do in front of complete strangers is sip a drink.

Yes, I know it's a confusing problem to have. But please be honest, it'd be useful to know what people would think.
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Re: Food issues

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:03 am

hmm, so since that one week where you kept feeling you were choking, have you ever felt it again?
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Re: Food issues

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:07 am

snail wrote:The most I can do in front of complete strangers is sip a drink.


Can you suck on or eat the ice cube out of the drink?
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Re: Food issues

Postby snail » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:07 am

Yes, that's how I feel now if I have to eat or drink in front of someone. During that one week, I felt like that all the time, even when on my own. That eased, and now I only feel like that when eating on my own if I am exceptionally stressed.

EDIT: We cross-posted there. I guess I could suck something in front of someone else (lol!)
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Re: Food issues

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:13 am

snail wrote:EDIT: We cross-posted there. I guess I could suck something in front of someone else (lol!)


Such a dirty mind there :o hehehe

snail wrote:Yes, that's how I feel now if I have to eat or drink in front of someone. During that one week, I felt like that all the time, even when on my own. That eased, and now I only feel like that when eating on my own if I am exceptionally stressed.


But have you ever felt it on your own when you aren't stressed?

I was asking innocently about the ice cube because if you eat them from your drinks then it would be the same as food, you'd just not associate it the same as it's an ice cube (I know it was a random question but one of my friends will take ice cubes out of drinks people have finished and eat them).
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Re: Food issues

Postby Skarlet » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:14 am

I wouldn't be that shocked by it, I don't like eating in front of strangers, and hate having to eat messy food in front of people. I am not as phobic as you, but i don't feel comfortable, and end up hiding my mouth when eating. It can get to the point, where I won't eat at social gatherings. I am also not good with food that is out, like sandwiches or buffet style food.
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Re: Food issues

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:24 am

alicat wrote:I am also not good with food that is out, like sandwiches or buffet style food.


Is that not just because it's out in the open and maybe you think it has more germs on it, i.e. more people grabbing sandwiches from a platter?
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Re: Food issues

Postby Skarlet » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:27 am

yeah, thats it exactly pretty much. But its not just buffet restaurants, but family gatherings. Which is much more noticeable, and I get comments about not eating at them. I tend to pick of my boyfriends plate, rather then get my own, and will only eat safe things.. like bread or sweeties- which isn't so good.
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Re: Food issues

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:41 am

It's going to be prefectly safe though. He's gotten it from the same platter you would. He's even touched it first.

You have more species of bacteria on your body than live off your body. On some comedy show ages ago they person had said "they sell all these things to clean your work surfaces yet for years we never used them and never died from the germs on them - they are basically selling a product that they are admitting we don't need".

Some bacteria and germs are good for you; kids who grow up with fields and animals close by (i.e. get more germs) grow up to have a healthier immune system then those who are steralised constantly.

When I was little we always had some pet, we moved next to a field and I was always encouraged to go out and play and get dirty so to speak, a lot of my friends were all steralised and they all have asthma, skin allergies, immune problems. Getting 'dirt' in you helps you and improves your immune system.

Nearly all of my 'steralised' friends are all fussy eaters and won't touch like you platters or food that doesn't look nice; when I was little we never had much money, so we ate what we could. If it smelled bad I'd be made to eat it, if I didn't like it I'd be made to eat it. Now as an adult I'm not that fussy, there are certain foods I don't like naturally but I'll try every food once. My bf said his mam loved me from the minute I said I'd try her relatives portuguese squid cooked in it's ink. My bf's dad also tried it for the first time because he didn't want to be upstaged. The squid in ink was disgusting but I tried it. My bf takes one look at things and goes "no it looks/smells bad" - now being the harsh witch I am, I MAKE him try everything; I tell him he has to try it otherwise I will keep moaning; now he tries a tiny bit of everything and if he doesn't like it, then that is fine, but he can't look at it and go "I don't like it". He's actually proud of the fact I now "make" him try things - he's discovered a lot of new tasty foods than he'd originally looked at and went "eugh I don't like it" - Have you tried it - "no" - so how do you know you don't like it - "it doesn't look right". ARGH!
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Re: Food issues

Postby Skarlet » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:55 am

I am not fussy about the food I will eat, its only buffet food. I will try anything pretty much, and though I get put off things by the thought I will eat it. I think its mainly because I don't know how long it has sat there, whether flies have got into it, so think its more a fear of getting sick from it, rather then that everyone touches it- I will pick things off the floor and eat them, (the 3 second rule applies) and am not that worried about being as clean as anything. I also think it may be a control issue, in that I don't know how it was made.
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