The safe word is: Potato

I guess I should probably begin by explaining what it is I actually eat, as ARFID manifests differently in each individual, with no two cases being exactly the same.

Essentially my diet consists of:

  • Potatoes – Sweet and regular
  • Most fruits excluding bananas and kiwi
  • Fish – no seafood
  • Meat
  • Bread
  • Yoghurt
  • Milk – only with cereal or used to make a milkshake.
  • Sweets/cakes
  • Crisps – Ready salted only.
  • Cheddar Cheese – only in a burger or with Jacket potato.
  • Yorkshire puddings ❤

Which means No:

  • Pasta
  • Vegetables of any kind
  • Sauces (gravy included, sorry! Dry roast dinners for me!)
  • Spices (pepper is as spicy as I get)
  • Rice

My unusual and extremely restrictive diet means I eat a potato every single day in one form or another, be that chips, baked, or fried etc. Hence the title of this post. Potatoes are my ultimate safe food because they are bland in nature, colour, and can be adapted to fit most meals.

My daily cooked meals usually contain 1 meat or fish product, a potato cooked in one of the various aforementioned ways, and Yorkshire puddings (handmade when I’m feeling fancy!)

I have literally eaten the same set meals over and over, week in, week out for 20 years. Imagine. It sucks. It also means that any outing to a restaurant first requires extensive menu research to see if they serve anything remotely edible within my weird eating-bracket. As you can imagine this puts a huge strain on my social life, my relationship and family events, as everyone usually ends up catering to my needs and eating where I can instead of where they want to.

I could continue to live this way for the rest of my life, not happily, but I’ve coped for 20 years and I’m sure I could continue as I am. But I cannot allow this to affect the lives of those I care about any longer, so I’m trying to cure myself for them more than for me.

As for why I can’t eat these foods… I don’t have the answers, which is where cognitive behavioural therapy comes into play. The medical powers-that-be believe that they can help to figure out why my brain simply won’t let me even attempt to try these foods let alone enjoy them.

To any non-sufferer of ARFID, I can only describe my aversion as an irrational fear of foreign foods. Even if i manage to try a new food and the taste is okay, my brain actively works against me to make me either gag, or mentally fear and hate this food from now on, for absolutely no reason.

It is possible it has something to do with colour, as most of my diet is a shade of beige, and foods that I avoid, in particular vegetables, are colourful and vibrant. It could also be to do with my upbringing, as my Dad and his Dad are both un-diagnosed sufferers of what I believe to also be ARFID (I will make a separate post about their impact on me at a later date.) Being raised in an environment where my role model figure in life has an aversion to foods could well be why I myself have a similar issue.

WHO KNOWS! I wish I did. Hopefully both you and I will soon have an idea as to what caused me to live a 20 year love affair with potatoes and all things beige in colour.

For now, ciao!

~Callum

28/06/2017

Next Post: Don’t Cry for Pea Argentina

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