Hubbie and I sit at the dining room table planning out the menu for the work week. For most families, this is a one person job. I, however, am unable to plan meals without assistance. My thoughts are paralysed when it comes to food. I have such a hard time making a decision about what to eat. It’s even worse if I have to make a spur of the moment decision.
This food is unhealthy. This food is too healthy. I can only have a little bit of this food. This food doesn’t satisfy me emotionally. This food is only for special occasions. I don’t like how this food tastes. This food tastes too good and I may eat all of it.
With all the diet speak and rebel against the diet speak floating around in my head; you can see why I have a tough time with meal planning.
Through therapy, I discovered that I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to food. This comes from 20 years of flipping between diet mode and planning to diet mode. You may be familiar with planning to diet mode: eating big helpings of all those off-limit foods because you will no longer be able to eat said foods once you go into portion-controlled, restricting-your-food diet mode again.
The problem with anxiety is that it makes you hungry. I suspect that many people like me do not like feeling anxiety and eat to make it go away. To tackle anxiety, I had to learn (and believe) the following:
- I can eat it if I really want it. (But, I will try to delay or distract myself before having another helping.)
- I can have more/buy more/make more if I need it.
- I'm feeling the anxiety because I think I must limit myself.
- I must learn to sit with the anxiety. It will pass.