Sunday, July 4, 2010

my food challenge

I gave myself a food challenge yesterday but I am having a difficult time figuring out whether it was a success or not....

The challenge:eat popcorn at the movie theater!

(and asking for no butter or salt is not allowed, she has to eat it as prepared...omg!)

The details behind this particular challenge:I don't eat movie theater popcorn - it is a huge fear food for me because it is so buttery, salty, fatteni....(I won't finish that word) But I wanted to challenge myself and try to take a step closer to recovery. Plus, I knew my sister (whom I went to the movie with) would share it with me. There are not very many people that I feel comfortable eating in front of - especially fear foods - but my sister (well my whole family) is one of those people that I do feel comfortable around.

How did it go?:Well, here is where it gets confusing for me. We had planned to go to the movies a few days in advance, so I had time to prepare (and obsess) about this challenge. I didn't eat much (I pretty much didn't eat anything) before we went to the movie which was at 4pm. I was hella nervous. But - I ate the popcorn, and I ate a pretty good amount of it too! Did I enjoy it? I want to say yes, but I don't think I did because it was sooooo buttery and salty and all I could think about was how buttery my hand was from the popcorn! And that all that fat and salt was going to invade my body and find refuge. It was not a mindful experience at all!! I just ate it very mechanically to get it over with. When it was over, I was relieved. So it was a success......right? It's hard to say. The movie (Eclipse) was amazing and thankfully it did a pretty good job of distracting me from what I had just done!
And therefore, I really did have a hard time eating anything else for the rest of the day too. And I felt incredible guilt for eating something like that when I didn't have to, if you know what I mean... When I eat things like this on my "own free will" I STILL feel like I am doing something wrong! I feel guilty for eating it, I feel like it's unhealthy and bad, and I feel like it's going to just make me fat(!!) - because that's what my fear foods have been to me for so long! So... Was it too much? Was I not ready? Did it backfire??

I think it's good that I want to challenge myself. I think it's a step in the right direction. Especially since the variety of foods I am comfortable eating are pretty dang limited right now. But is it good to challenge yourself when it's going to backfire like it did yesterday???

I want to be proud of myself for eating something that is a huge huge fear food for me, but - I didn't really enjoy it because I was too pre-occupied with how calorically fattening it was. But I did it! I didn't back down like I was so tempted to do - because no one forced me to eat it. I didn't have to eat it. I made the choice to eat it. I just also made a lot of other bad choices yesterday too...


  1. Well I don't think it was a failure at all, because you DID IT. And I think that is one key to all of this -- exposure. It's something that you need to push yourself to do on a regular basis. Otherwise it will remain a fear. It's like public speaking or some other phobia, you know? Exposure therapy really does work...

    You should try making regular challenges for yourself and rate the level of anxiety before/during/after and as you go along (say you do 10 of them), see if the fear is reduced at the end.

    Of course it's not good that you restricted before and after to make up for it. And the obsessive thinking is certainly awful. But I think the eating disorder wants you to call this whole thing a failure so you don't have to do it again, when in reality this is exactly what you need to be doing.

  2. You were brave to challenge yourself, and although you can't go back and change the other choices you made afterwards, you can choose to learn from this experience in order to better incorporate future challenges.

    It's useful I think to forward plan and consider how trying something new will impact on the rest of your day - there's alot to be said for being prepared and having extra support just in case.

    Don't forget the positive here, that you tried something new, and hopefully this in itself will give you confidence.

    Sarah x

  3. Good for you for eating the popcorn!! You should be proud!

    Now, with that being said..I dont think you were ready to be honest. It's so much better for you if you eat healthy food and meet your caloric intake goal then eat 1 fear food but barely get in enough calories for the day. Yes a bag of popcorn probally has aroun 1000 calories but if thats all you ate for the day im sure your losing weight..

    Maybe you should just work on upping your intake. That is what all my doctors did with me. Then once I was at a good intake I slowly introduced fear foods.

    I'm sorry if any of this came off as rude & I know im being a bit blunt but Im just trying to help.. I know how much you want to recover, you can tell by your post and even just trying pop corn is such a huge step. .I just hate to hear that you didnt realy each much the rest of the day :(

    Dana xo

  4. it's good you tried but I do agree that maybe it was too soon. I guess that time would be when you are eating enough to meet the requirements your treatment team have given you and you don't feel you need to compensate for that one food that you have, like the popcorn. I hope you are feeling a little better now though that it's over and are getting back on track, because I KNOW you can do it.

  5. yay for food challenges! that;s AWESOME! I hope you can continue to challenge your ED! I did today- mine was to eat a hamburger at the family cookout (my ULTIMATE fear food) and I did it! xoxo