I have, for a very long time, had an obsession about food and what food contains as the ingredients, nutritional facts, calories, sugar, fat, protein, carbohydrates etc. and within this I had thus created an obsession about finding out what everything that I eat contains/consist of before I consume it – I would never eat anything without getting all the facts first. So I would start to automatically always check the ingredient-list on the back of the label, checking how much calories it consisted of and how much sugar/fat/protein/carbohydrates it contained - I wouldn’t eat products without first finding out what it contained/consisted of and within this would make an assessment if the product was “okay” for me to eat or not based on the knowledge and information I had collected through the research I had done in relation to what is apparently healthy to eat and what is unhealthy to eat.
It all started when I was really young as a form of control in where I wanted to make sure that I did not eat anything that wasn’t “healthy” for me and my body. Or, no, that’s not the truth – I didn’t give a fuck about my bodies “health” - that was just what I was saying to myself and others as a deliberate manipulation-tactic to get away with what I was doing – because deep inside me I knew that what I was doing was sick and I didn’t want anybody to take it away from me through me, admitting that it was obsessive – because within me I kind of liked the obsession, the “control” that I experienced. What it was really all about was that I wanted to lose weight and feared gaining weight – I only cared about my external appearance, not about my physical body’s internal health. But after a while it became more than just a point of control – it became a complete obsession and possession in where I was unable to eat anything without first making research on the item/product. If the item didn’t have any label or if I didn’t have access to the internet in where I could search for information about the food I would simply just not eat it. Within this I would close myself of from my social reality and this world through not being able to eat out on restaurants, at friend’s houses, in school, on family-gatherings – I started to close myself off more and more through fearing being in a situation that would include food – so I stopped participating within all the social events that I normally attended.
For many years I would take the obsession so far that the only thing I did during my days was sitting in front of the computer on the internet making research and comparing different facts about what specific foods contained. Within this cross-referencing different sources of information and decide what to trust and what to not. I would spend all my awakening time calculating calories, assessing what I could eat and what I was not allowed to eat according to the information/knowledge I collected. Everything that would contain over a certain amount of calories/fat/sugars/carbohydrates/proteins I would stay away from.
I created a list of what foods I could eat according to my knowledge and information in relation to what was healthy/unhealthy and would only write down the foods that I would consider as “healthy” (more like what foods contains a small amount of calories and what foods contains a large quantity of calories and within that taking away everything that I had defined as “foods with a large quantity of calories”) – the list would be my religion and I would never eat anything that was not on that list. As I walked along the list became shorter and shorter because after a while some foods that I had previously defined as “okay” would suddenly become “not okay” through me changing my perception of what “a lot of calories” meant and what “a small amount of calories” meant. Eventually the list only contained one single item; cucumber.
I still have this automatic behavior in where I always check the list of ingredients and nutritional facts before I eat something – it is still an obsession in where I experience it as if I can’t eat something if I do not first know exactly what it contains. I have created something I have called “safe foods” and “unsafe foods” and within this have divided it into two different categories within my mind in where I consciously know when I am eating something unsafe and expect that to be unpleasant – within this feeling bad when I have eaten something from the category “unsafe foods” and feeling better if I have eaten from the category “safe foods”. Within this I have just accepted it to be this way, not done much about it except pushing myself to eat stuff that I have defined as “unsafe foods” and breathed through the fears, anxieties and resistances towards it. But there is still that point of accepting myself to feel bad when I have eaten something outside of the category “safe foods” – because apparently I am supposed to feel bad if I have eaten something that is “not okay”.
I have created a complete database within me in where I can tell you pretty much everything about every single item/food-product that is out there because I spent so much time of my life reading up on what every single food contains in relation to calories/protein/carbohydrates/fats/nutritional values etc. So within this I usually don’t even have to check the label as the ingredient-list for me to be able to know exactly what a product contains – but still I do it, over and over again – just to make sure that I got the facts right. Lol. This is where I have realized that it is an obsession – because it is completely ridiculous, since I know what the product contains – why should I look?
I do realize that it is fine to care about what you eat, it is fine to support your body through making sure that you give it what it requires and within this making research on the food that you consume. But in my case it has gone too far because I am not doing it out of caring for my physical and making sure that my physical gets what it needs – for me it has become about an obsession in where I fear letting go of the idea of control that I have created around this. I see that it is an obsession when I am picking up a product, because I would never buy an item before checking the ingredient-list – that makes me totally anxious. So within this I am actually not cross-referencing with my body in where I check what my body actually get supported by but I am merely living after ideas/knowledge/information in relation to what is healthy/unhealthy and within this am actually not supporting my body – because the information/knowledge that is “out there” is not trustworthy – only the body can tell me what it needs/requires/works well on. So within this I realize that I have to change my starting-point in relation to what I choose to eat – to within this re-learn what my body actually get supported by, not allowing my knowledge and information decide what I give my body and not.
This obsession was a huge part of my anorexia and it is a point that I am still to some extent not completely clear on – it’s like I have swept up all the big chunks from the anorexia within me but there are still small pieces left that I haven’t cleaned up properly/completely. So within this I see that I have to clean it all up meticulously because otherwise the mind will still have a weak-point that it can use “against me” – this proves that I am still not completely clear on the point and that I need to make sure that I wipe myself clean from all the bits and pieces that remains from the anorexia to be able to stand completely clear with the point and not risk falling ever again. I have lead myself to think that I am in control when I check the ingredient-list on the back of the label – when all the while the obsession is what is controlling me.
More about this in my upcoming blog-posts;
Day 105. Healthy Obsession
Day 105. Healthy Obsession