Stop Analyzing and EAT!

Stop Analyzing and EAT!

I have a confession to make. I am afraid to eat.

This fear has nothing to do with weight, with self image, with anything along those lines. This fear has come about from years of chronic health issues.

When doctors are unable to figure out what the underlying cause is- many as I did take the situation into their own hands and start to analyze and pay attention to every morsel of food that they put into their mouth. They hyper tune into the facts or myths (in many cases) of each foods properties. For example: Cauliflower can negatively affect thyroid health. Fact or Fiction? I don't know... and from here on out. I DON'T CARE.

Did you hear me? I do not care. I don't care what "doctor google" says. And let me tell you why..

Psychological Stress is a powerful thing. If I stress and fear as I take each bite of food that I'm going to have an autoimmune attack.. guess what. I'm going to have an attack. If I sit there and analyze how I feel after every bite, oh yes I'm going to find a symptom that I think I shouldn't be having. I can't tell you how many times I said to myself "Ugh I think that avocado made me feel crappy.. no more avocados. Just like that I would swipe out and limit what I allowed myself. Little by little what I allowed myself decreased, and the list of things that I felt safe eating could fit on a small piece of paper. Hello Unhealthy! Our bodies NEED variety.

It was mentally draining and was catching up to me physically. I felt deprived, sad, helpless and on top of everything I wasn't getting my nutritional needs. That'll only make any autoimmune individual MORE off balance and proned to attacks.

Food allergies and intolerances are a very real thing. But, its important that they don't control your psyche.

Another thing to understand is that food allergies/ intolerance's come about usually due to an imbalance in the body. Something else is off and needs tending too. Its so easy to fall into the "food is everything" trap as its usually the only thing we have full control of at home. Usually, if you are able to get under the other health issues- the food issues will settle as well.

If you are feeling chronically ill, and continue to lose more and more foods- please spend some time with a number of different doctors. There's something deeper going on.

The past two weeks I have added back into my life probably 10 different foods. Do I feel perfect everyday? No. But I didn't feel perfect before either, so I'm no longer pointing my finger at a green been or cauliflower as I once did. What his this brought me? I'm happier.

I'm letting go of the fear, I'm pushing away the need to analyze.

I'll always be gluten free, and I'm sure there will always be many foods beyond that I may need to avoid. But from here on out, I will enjoy my food.

Stop Analyzing and eat. Savour each bite. You might have adverse reactions here and there- But understand that living in fear of them will only create them.

To Good Health and Fearless Eating.

xo,

Brittany

ps. Please understand that I am not encouraging the consumption of foods in which you are allergic to. I'm merely talking about the negative manifestations that can come from fearing food.

Brittany Angell

31 comments | Leave your own

  1. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    Well said! I think you approached the issue from a balanced perspective and I’m glad you decided to write about this. Food phobia can really take a toll on our minds.

  2. Dianne

    Thank you for this post. I overcame my fear of food with the help of The Donut Whisperer. I’m also gluten-free with a few other food sensitivities, but I learned how to “whisper” my food and not let the fear overtake me. What a feeling of freedom. :)

  3. Rosemary Erickson

    Brittany, so beautifully stated! As a psychotherapist who specializing with eating disorders, I find it tremendously refreshing to hear you rise above the foods and their related associations that were keeping you bound! There is so much more available to us than stressfully focusing on what isn’t working, or giving into the anxiety of what might happen. Bravo..to your health and happiness :)

  4. Shannon Brown

    Been there, done that. Fear is a nasty thing. Congratulations on pushing it aside.

  5. Donna

    Wow Brittany that was great you sound exactly like me. I am 7 months into this with no definitive answers and I am losing more and more foods to eat. It is also no way about weight for me, if anything I could use a few pounds. Its about food, reactions, feeling sick all the tile blah blah blah you are also so right on the stress. Thank you for sharing yr personal journeys with everyone of us. It confirms at times when we feel all alone that in fact we are not.

  6. Shelly R

    Thank you for this. I have tears as I write, because I have lived that fear for 6 years! It began with the allergist telling me I was allergic to everything on the planet, barring cockroaches and Johnson grass. I had seen him for what was diagnosed as oral allergy syndrome, not a true food allergy, but reactions similar to anaphylaxis. I was loaded up with Benadryl, steroids and an epi-pen just in case. It wasn’t long before I was had a reaction to nearly everything I ate. Then I found my ND, found the gluten problem (celiac) I slowly started getting better eating more foods, then he had me tested for food intolerances there were 28. And he said if I did not rotate my food I would develop more. More fear. Then the gluten cross reactive test, yup have those too, to several things. Not to mention migraines from I think almonds, bananas. Then Hashimotos diagnosis from my ND. Ok there goes more foods. I am in this vicious cycle of back down to a handful of foods. And I just cry, because I feel trapped. And I think that I did not have trouble with this food before, why am I not eating it. But I cannot eat it because the fear stops me or I have worked myself up into the fact that I am going to feel bad because I ate it.

    Oh my, I could go on and on and on. But thank you Brittany. You sharing your journey, really gives me hope! I am so happy that you are enjoying your food! :)

  7. Danielle @ Fresh4Five

    Great Post!
    I know I went through this.. fell into a state of rebellion/depression eating EVERYTHING who cares I am allergic to EVERYTHING what else is there?! Some things actually dangerous for me.
    Happily I have found peace and acceptance finally, really just since December 2011, and you are right food isn’t everything…letting go of the fear, and looking into other internal issues helped me move forward. I have added back a number of foods, and hope to add more, I also accept the ones I truely just cannot eat…but it isn’t sooo overwhelming now, as I just don’t let it have power over my happiness anymore

    ((((HUGS))))

  8. Amy

    Thank you so much for this! I have been really struggling with this lately. It seems like every time I turn around I am reading about something I shouldn’t be eating, especially when you have multiple issues like Hashi’s, yeast overgrowth, etc. etc. then it all starts running together and before you know it you are left with “so what the heck do I eat then?!”. I get so tired of life revolving around food & overanalyzing everything so, again, thank you for this perspective!

  9. pdw

    Wow, this is something that I am going to have to think on for a while. Make sure I am not limiting myself any more than I need to. I have several levels of food allergies and intolerances. The ones that I will never try. The ones that are okay as long as I don’t eat too much at a time, or have to make sure that they are prepared a certain way (eg. cooked pineapple but not raw). Then there are the ingredients that I like to avoid – additives, preservatives, high sugars, etc. – but will eat if I need to.

    Luckily, I enjoy cooking and love eating the fruits of my labours. Cooking is like a puzzle for me, I love to figure out how to make a wonderful food that meets my dietary requirements, and if I am sharing with other people, that they can eat too. So in spite of the fact that I have numerous restrictions, I still really enjoy eating, look forward to cooking and eating, and am able to relax and enjoy my food.

  10. Alyssa @ Queen of Quinoa

    Beautiful, thank you so much for posting and sharing! It’s an inspiration for those of us who feel that we can control exactly how we feel by controlling every bite we take. Although we enjoy and love food, too many times we treat it like the enemy and avoid whole food groups just because we think it’s the right thing for our bodies. It’s so important to take a step back sometimes and really take a good look at your diet – good and bad. I too will always be gluten-free and dairy-free, but limiting a ton of other foods, quite honestly gets tiring. I want to enjoy my food like everyone else.

    Thanks again! This is great :) xo Alyssa

  11. Sara

    Thank you so much for posting this! You said exactly what I have been feeling for the past 3 years. I also just recently realized I need to get over this fear and have been eating things I have not had in a long time. Its wonderful having corn tortilla chips again and I also tried goat cheese, but its an every day struggle trying to remember not to dwell. What has helped me is saying an affirmation right before I eat all of my meals..I usually say “my body loves and accepts all of the food I consume”. It has helped me tremendously!

  12. Karen Rogina

    I so understand your fear regarding food. I was off all meat for the longest time because it caused stomach upset. Now no gluten, dairy and now no grains. I’m never quite sure how I might react to certain foods. I was able to tolerate meat over the past several months just fine and then today after eating some roast beff I ended up with stomach pain. It can be frustrating when it hits without warning. Now I’m going to restrict myself to eggs, chicken & fish for awhile.
    I’m doing a liver detox with whole vegetables & fruit and hopefully will be able to tolerate the occasional gluten free flour product. My TSH levels have come down but my Free T4 remains very low. The T4 is changed to T3 in the liver and brain, the liver detox may help with the T4 level, it certainly can’t hurt. I don’t have any thyroid antibodies so Hashimoto’s was ruled out. This thyroid business complicates the diet so much. Thank you once again for your blog, it has helped me so much.

  13. Stephanie

    Amen to this. I was just in Amsterdam and I was very diligent about eating within my restrictions but was super paranoid about accidentally eating something I wasn’t supposed to. Even now I would rather eat at home because I know it’s safe. Letting go of that fear is hard to do.

  14. Suzanne Nemec

    Well said Brittany! I have a long list of my Hashimoto’s foods that I’m not suppose to have at all. I followed it to the letter most of the first year. Then I began adding things back. Most things are fine in moderation like you follow. It was easier to tell which things effected me for real by doing this. You are so right. We need to live, love and enjoy our foods not stressing so much. The worry and stress alone brings on an attack and not the food we may have been warned not to have. I have begun to eat out again with my husband and friends. What a wonderful feeling it is to go out to dinner and not be so worried that a touch of butter may be in my meal or bit of night shade veggie,etc. Heck- I’m Italian-lord knows to us Food is Life! Live, love, eat, drink, and enjoy life:)

  15. Gaile

    Bravo!!! Well said. It’s just very hard eating something that bothered you in the past and to forget that it could make you sick and lose a nights sleep.

  16. Heather

    Thank you for posting this. I recently found out my son is allergic to wheat, oats, eggs, cow’s milk, beef, pork, strawberries, peanuts, and soy. I am so afraid to let him eat anything. I definitely don’t want him to grow up with a fear of food and carry that burden. I will take this to heart and keep the paranoia to a minimum.

  17. Elizabeth

    Beautifully said. I am going to tweet this out to my followers. It is truly a spiritual/emotional journey for many of us sensitives to find peace with our food. Thank you for your sharing.

  18. Sarah @ The Healthy Diva

    Love this post brittany! So true that our bodies need variety and it can be hard to add things back in when you think they are negatively affecting you. One day at a time though and over time it will get better. I’m working on doing the same and have taken up meditation which has alleviated much of the mental anxiety I experience. Keep up the good work :)

  19. Christina

    Wow! Inspired! I struggle with this off and on too…it’s definitely a Day at a Time Journey! Thanks for sharing!!!

  20. Ruthie

    Thank you so much. I just needed to hear that today. My body keeps reacting badly to food but is it food or is it the stress of eating?. I can’t have gluten, dairy or cane sugar, my body keeps going insulin resistant so alternative sweeteners I had used like coconut palm sugar and medjool dates are now on the must not consume list – this list is set by my doctor not me. You do start becoming afraid of food because when your body bloats up you wonder what’s causing it this time. I’m going to take your advice and just enjoy what I still can. You are a blessing Brittany! Thanks again :)

  21. Kate

    THANK YOU!!! It’s so funny – I just reached the conclusion of this the other day. I couldn’t figure out why I had such a headache and was so tired – after all, I had been avoiding every food that could possibly make me feel bad – and then I realised I wasn’t able to eat enough food because I was so freaked out every time I went to eat that I decided it just wasn’t worth it. I’ve been letting myself eat more (and ftr, I’ve never had any ED or body issues) and not analysing whether *this* was the item or maybe *that.*

    I feel so much better. I’m eating more calories and I have tummy issues about the same amount, maybe less, than before but I feel better. My wife had suggested this was the case but I was sure that someone somewhere on the internet would have a better answer. Thanks, brain, for leading me astray! I still have foods I can’t eat and/or don’t want to, but overall, I’m done with being afraid of food. Thank you for sharing this, Brittany!

  22. Carmen

    Here here! Great post. Thanks for saying what a lot of us are thinking. I had my “enough already!” thoughts last week sometime – this post is perfect timing!

    I love “fearless eating”! That’s fabulous. :)

  23. Jessica

    THANK YOU!! Just like you, I completely stress myself out over food due to Hashimoto’s and a fear of an adverse reactions or autoimmune attack. Everyday, I have to actively talk myself down from panic attacks about what to eat/how much I should eat/what I need to avoid. I LOVE food too much to be afraid of it. This post really speaks volumes to me and I’m SO appreciative!!

  24. Kiri

    I appreciate this article. I finally gave in and did a food intolerance test. It has given me a few more answers. I wasn’t intolerant to wheat but I know it really does me no good with my thyroid issues. I know these tests are controversial but I needed some help/direction. I found out i was eating some of the stuff I reacted to on a daily basis, like basil and turkey. Anyhow good article. Its kind of a journey we are on..

  25. Courtney S.

    That brought me to tears! I have suffered with Crohn’s disease for years, and have had so many doctor’s tell me a variety of foods are making me sick. The result? A fear of food, and I am still sick. A week ago I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet, and I have never felt better! I just downloaded your book, and I am so excited to start baking. Thank you for those inspiring words, I am going to try my best to follow them!

  26. shannon korczynski

    I know exactly how you feel. I found my start to feeling better one year ago when I consulted with a holistic nutritionist that teaches a low carb life style. I wasnt progressing like many of her clients, so she suggested allergy testing. I started with stool sample testing through enterolab.com for gluten and dairy, both showing a positive test. My internist referred me to an ENT who did blood tests that were not consistent, but showed soy and eggs. I have taken all these things out of my diet and feel great but still not 100%. In March I went for my 10 year colonoscopy and my gastroenterologist recommended an ALCAT test to check on intolerances. OMG! My past life has become so clear to me. I am currently doing a rotation diet based on the results.Again changing my diet and all my personal hygiene products., trying to desensitize myself. I can eat with confidence now and enjoy the challenge with the knowledge I have acquired. You recipes and blog have been a real interest of mine. If the recipes arent on point for me, I have modifications that will work. I appreciate all that you do…keep at it! :)

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