I’ve had to apologize for being a “picky eater” all my life. If somebody invites me over for dinner and says they’re gonna make something that I can’t eat, I get ashamed, and explain:
“I’m sorry. I’m really picky. Here are the things I can eat…”
It makes me feel like a spoiled brat.
But you know what? Something isn’t right. See, a picky person has foods they WANT TO and DON'T WANT TO eat.
I have foods I CAN and CAN'T eat.
What do I mean by that?
I’ve always had a painfully sensitive gag reflex. Sometimes, I gag for no reason whatsoever. It’s painful, it’s unpleasant, and sometimes it results in something coming up.
My stomach hurts like hell when I retch. It’s basically dry-heaving. So maybe you can understand that, where I do have control, I’d prefer to prevent myself from having to gag?
If I don’t want to eat something, it’s because I CAN’T. Some foods just bother me enough that I simply can’t swallow them. That changes from year to year, and sometimes from day to day!
Sometimes, I’ll be fine eating something at first, but then I can’t finish it. Maybe my body gets sick of it; I don’t know. I get people looking at me judgmentally, like I’m being wasteful. Like somehow, my act of throwing away that sandwich is causing global hunger. No, fuck that.
Eating is, overall, an unpleasant experience for me. I wish I didn’t have to do it at all. It has become a more unpleasant experience due to my trying to please other people and force things down my throat that I shouldn’t be forcing down. In other words, pushing myself to eat things I don’t like makes me less likely to eat regularly and healthily, because I associate eating with being forced into something unpleasant.
It’s time for this to stop. It’s time for me to stop apologizing for what is essentially the physical manifestation of a mental illness.
-I sometimes eat meat, because that’s all I can get down my throat at that time.
-I sometimes eat unhealthy food, because that’s all I can get down my throat at that time.
-I sometimes waste food, because I can’t get it down my throat.
-I sometimes refuse to eat something that was generously cooked for me, because I can’t get it down my throat.
-I sometimes eat unhealthy things/meat because I know I will like it, and it will be a positive experience for me, and I need more positive eating experiences.
And nobody has the right to shame me for that.