Facing Fear Foods

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Hi everyone! Hope you’re all having a lovely day so far πŸ™‚

Well I’m happy to hear from yesterday’s post that you all definitely agree that Miss Jessica Simpson is in fact – pregnant!! Mila brought up a great point that she’s probably keeping her pregnancy a mystery since in the past there has been so much media speculation about her being pregnant when in fact it was due to weight gain. She’s pulling every media’s chain and I give her props for doing that…however a part of me wishes she’d release a statement saying that she’s pregnant since I’d love to see her show off that bump and see her embrace her maternity style πŸ™‚


There are so many facets to my disordered eating struggles that I’ve wanted to talk about with you all – from trying to be perfect, to restricting and binging, to obsessive calorie counting, to over exercising, to using wine to help ease the pain – and how I’ve overcome many of these struggles. One of which I want to talk about now is – fear foods. I used to have (and am still working on) many fear foods. During the Atkins craze and at the height of my underweight days and disordered eating, I feared one thing only, carbs. Something inside my irrational mind told me that one bite of doughy bread or perfectly al dente pasta would instantly add 5 pounds to my frame. Which you all know would obviously not happen, but a disordered mind is a tricky one to deal with and in those moments, it will not think rationally.

So how did I retrain my mind to think rationally towards carbs and eat them again without any anxiety? I ate it. I just went for it and ate it. Sure it was hard, I got anxious, started to feel guilt well up inside me…but soon enough the feeling passed, and guess what? I woke up the next day at the same weight, was perfectly fine, and noticed additional benefits such as increased energy and a feeling of happiness. Each day I continued to add more and more carbs, with that I started to feel less and less anxious…and the positive feelings I started to feel with the benefits of carbs in my everyday diet, soon outweighed the negative, irrational thoughts and I could eat a piece of bread or have a bowl of pasta without any fear.

Everyday I think I can make an improvement within myself during this journey…having had this disorder will be with me for the rest of my life, it will never go away. But at least it will never control me again and I do not have the rigidity or fear like I had, and everyday I’m determined to succeed in this journey. Now that that fear is behind me, I’m embracing all types of cuisines and am having so much fun in the kitchen. Never would I have made a bowl of pasta, never. But now, my husband and I can enjoy meals like the one we had last night for dinner…

And turkey burgers with buns that we’ll be enjoying for dinner tonight…

(recycled photo)

Sure I’m not perfect. I still have my moments where I’d rather enjoy a salad for lunch instead of a sandwich…or a 100 calorie sandwich/bagel thin instead of a real bagel or hearty ciabatta bread…but I do recognize those moments and am still a work in progress with it all. What matters to me now is that I’m happy, I have energy, I’m healthy, and I faced my fear πŸ™‚

Do you have a fear food?
How did you face that fear?
What’s a delicious dinner you’ve made or had recently?


21 thoughts on “Facing Fear Foods

    Caitlin C. said:
    October 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Fear foods: carbs, butter, desserts, anything processed (I know it’s often not healthy from a natural vs unnatural standpoint, but I often wonder about lurking sugar), anything full-fat

    Girl I totally feel you on this and I agree the way to get past it is to just DO IT. And sometimes whenever I just do it, I am more relieved after because there’s no more “should I or shouldn’t I” internal debate anymore, because I did it and it’s over with.

    Proud of you for facing your fear and enjoying that awesome dinner. Oh yeah – and I’m having spaghetti tonight! πŸ˜€

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you so much Caitlin! And lucky you you’re having spaghetti tonight! Ahh so jealous πŸ˜‰

      I totally relate to the full-fat fear…I used to always buy fat-free this and that…would drive the hubby nuts when I’d buy fat-free cheese since it tastes like crap, lol! I’ve finally overcome that fear, but it definitely took time πŸ™‚

      Yes that internal debate is the worst!! Just doing it and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone is the best solution…and in the end you feel proud of yourself for accomplishing and overcoming that fear πŸ™‚

    loftyappetite said:
    October 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing bits of your story with us. I can relate to that mindset. I went through a phase like that back in college. A combination of gaining the freshman 15 and then taking a nutrion class, made me crazy! I felt so gulity eating foods I used to enjoy, and avoided drinking (which in college is kind of nuts!). Bagels used to be my favorite and then suddenly I was terrified of them. I thought if I ate a bagel, I’d have to spend more time at the gym that day.
    Luckily this phase didn’t last very long when I started noticing how I looked like a skeleton in photos. I learned to enjoy everything I like, and be able to socialize with friends without guilt, and take it all in moderation and balance. Like you said, Just do it and enjoy it! and balance it out later.
    I’m still a health nut, but I also bake every Sunday, and have learned to spread it out throughout the whole week, so I enjoy it properly!

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you for sharing this Mila! In college I used to avoid drinking as well because of the many calories…but then I turned to it in an unhealthy manner to help with my disordered eating…I’ll leave that for a future post! πŸ˜‰

      Ahhh I used to love love bagels without any hesitation whatsoever…a real one straight out of the oven with melted butter…I still have a slight fear towards eating one of those and am still working on that one. For instance, I’m more comfortable enjoying a hearty bagel on a Sunday since the weekends are my more relaxed eating days πŸ™‚

      Isn’t it nice to finally be able to enjoy food again and go out of your comfort zone with friends without living in that fear…like you said, it’s all about moderation and balance and I’m so happy and proud of you that you’ve found that πŸ™‚

    Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life said:
    October 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    What a great post! You are such a strong person and I’m so happy you faced your fears and have been able to make such great strides on your journey.

    I used to restrict my carbs a little bit, but I’ve always found I’m much more energetic and feel better when I eat them. I’m a huge believer in eating fruits and carbs (whole grain of course). I’m also a huge believer in moderation, so if I have a heavy carb day, I don’t sweat it and just try and eat a little more protein at my next meal or the following day. For example we had pasta last night for dinner and will finish up the leftovers tonight. But, Wednesday and Thursday nights will probably be salads or meat and salad to counterbalance the pasta nights. Life is too short to beat yourself up over little things, but at the same time you must take a balanced approach to food just like you would any other aspect of your life! You pasta dinner with mushrooms looks so fab! You should post the recipe!

    If I had to pick a fear food, it would be anything that isn’t a whole food, anything overly processed and I’m also a bit of an organic snob and especially hate eating nonorganic fruits, veggies and meats.

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you so much Kjirsten! πŸ™‚

      I totally agree with you in balancing it all out, it’s such a great approach to still being able to enjoy all these foods while still being healthy and maintaining our physiques πŸ˜‰ I can definitely relate to your balanced approach in that since I ate pasta last night and turkey burgers tonight, tomorrow will most likely be a hefty salad with avocados, nuts, and cheese and more protein based.

      That pasta dinner was sooo good…it’s a take off of one of Giada’s and I’ll post it tomorrow!

      I should actually be better and buying more organic veggies and fruit, eek! πŸ˜‰

    Shanna, like Banana said:
    October 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    You’re pretty amazing Miss Shayla! Any time you can face a fear and conquer it is just plain bad@ss πŸ˜‰

    While I was 100% vegetarian I ate soooo many carbs and totally packed on the pounds, but that is because I wasn’t eating the right balance of foods to ever make me feel full. Now that I eat some meat, I also seem to eat more veggies and less carbs. And while I “watch” my carb intake, I try not to ever restrict.

    My biggest fear foods are splurging with take out on the weekdays since I’m so disciplined. I feel like that one takeout meal will throw me off for the entire week (and weeks to come!).

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Awww thank you Shanna, you’re so awesome πŸ™‚ xoxo

      That’s the key, to try and not ever restrict…that will just set us up for the ultimate binge.

      I relate to your fear as well…basically eating any kind meal out of my “norm” for me during the work week is hard for me and I’ve been acting on it to overcome it. Like when we went for Indian food and fro yo on Wednesday…in the past that would have been very hard for me to do and in the back of my mind it still lingers, but I push it away and remind myself that life is too short to not go out with a great friend πŸ™‚

      Girl we still have so much more to talk about…when’s our next fro yo date?! πŸ˜‰

    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries said:
    October 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    That’s awesome, Shayla. It’s all about the baby steps! πŸ™‚ I can definitely relate to having some fear foods in my past, and I still will randomly find myself “fearing” them at times. I’ve always had a hard time with cheese, and still do at times. I’m slowly trying to add it back into my meals because I do like it, and I don’t want to deprive myself of it. It also has health benefits in small portions, so I try to remind myself of that.

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you Ashley!

      Cheese used to be a hard one for me too…especially pizza, cheese and carbs, gah! Like you said, it’s all about baby steps and as long as we recognize this in ourselves we can take steps to overcome it and slowly but surely enjoy those foods again…especially when those foods have health benefits to them πŸ™‚

    Mo said:
    October 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Great post shayla, and a good way to keep yourself accountable in continuing the battle against disordered eating. Would love if you shared how you overcame some of the other issues ie wine and binging.

    Ten years ago or so, I feared fats. I never used butter, oil, or ate food like nuts, olives or avocados. When I got over that phobia, I noticed my skin and hair were much healthier and I wasn’t hungry all the time. Now I include them all and enjoy every tasty bite.

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you Mo! I will definitely be writing posts to share with you all about those other issues and how I overcame them πŸ™‚

      I most definitely relate to the fear I had of those fats…I remember back when I was dating my husband then boyfriend, I would be overwhelmed with anxiety at the slightest bit of olive oil or butter he used when he cooked for me. I look back on those days and am so sad I lived in those dark fears…but now like you, since overcoming them, my hair is thick and shiny again, I feel better, and am enjoying every morsel of it πŸ™‚

    Lauren said:
    October 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I can definitely relate to this – pretty much meal out of the norm (read: out to eat), throws me off and gives me bit of fear. Ice cream also does this to me, but I’m getting through it.

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      I totally relate to the ice cream too…would always get the fat-free fro yo or ice cream and was fearful of the low or full fat varieties. I’m proud of you for getting through it Lauren…it’s hard but I know you can do it. πŸ™‚

    Mrs. Pancakes said:
    October 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I am new to your blog and thank you for sharing your story. I don’t have a fear of food but sometimes I think I fear myself because of my lack of will power to eat the right foods. It’s definitely important to know where you good and bad moments lie…only way to make changes!!

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

      Hi there and thanks so much for stopping by! There are some days I struggle with that lack of will power too and like you said, recognizing those moments is the right step towards making changes! πŸ™‚

    lapiattini said:
    October 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you for opening up about your fear foods. It’s great to read that you took steps to incorporate carbs back into your diet.
    I wouldn’t say I have a fear food- I would say I have more of a fear or breaking my normal eating habits or of eating too much.
    It’s all about baby steps and moving forward to beat these disorders. You’re doing wonderfully πŸ™‚

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

      Thanks so much girl, you’re the sweetest πŸ™‚

      Yes I’m so glad I’ve gotten over that fear because carbs are such an essential part to having a healthy diet…how good they made me feel and the energy it gave me was such a key moment in overcoming that fear. Breaking normal eating habits is still a struggle for me to this day, especially during the work week, but like you said it’s all about baby steps and moving forward one day at a time πŸ™‚

    Kristin @ STUFT Mama said:
    October 27, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Fear foods- anything processed. Crackers, cookies, etc. Pretty much anything in a box= no bueno. πŸ™‚ Good for you for opening up and sharing your struggles and facing them DEAD ON! πŸ™‚

      Shayla @ The Good Life responded:
      October 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

      Thanks so much Kristin! Yeah packaged cookies freak me out a bit…when I see them all I see are those unhealthy preservatives and sugar!! πŸ˜‰

    Simple and Satisfying | The Good Life said:
    October 27, 2011 at 11:34 am

    […] navigation ← Facing Fear Foods Oct 27 […]

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