The other day I was on the hunt for chocolate fruit dip. Why I don't know, but that is what I seemed to be craving. A part of me thought that this was a positive sign. I was indulging my craving versus holding it back like if I'd been in ED Land. However, another part of me was slightly worried about the calories still and opted to stay on the safe side and find something low calorie, not fattening (Even if I am in recovery, those pesky ED thoughts still like to worm its way into my brain).
Well, then I found this:
ED part of my brain thought I'd scored! Zero everything, my gosh, how I could eat whatever of it and not feel GUILTY.
Once home, I tried it, and it was utterly, absolutely GROSS! Realistically, how could I have thought anything with just zeroes on its label would have any taste at all? I took one spoonful, spit it out and never touched the stuff again. I suppose if I have been really adamant about my chocolate fruit dip, I could have added sugar or fat or something to make it slightly palatable But by this point, my craving indulgence had passed and I was onto something else.
This lesson reminded me about taste. Often times those with eating disorders cannot judge taste well. Studies have shown that taste is simply not rewarding in that part of the brain like it is for other people. Another study has also shown that individuals with restrictive eating disorders have a reduced number of taste papillae on their tongue which alters their taste response and food preferences.
While I think all this research is true, I still think that when I was in the worst throes of an eating disorder, I "convinced" myself these really low calorie/no calorie food was good, that I could eat it without so much thought or guilt. Because where was the guilt in eating nothing substantial?
In recovery, not only have I been trying to "taste" more which includes eating foods with fat, but I've also noticed that my taste receptors seem to be more "aware" if we want to give it a voice. In general, I have done fairly well with including foods like peanut butter, ice cream, avocados, ice cream, pizza, etc. which used to be on "Tiptoe's Do Not Eat Food List" which is progress from several years ago. Though these foods with the exception of peanut butter are still not something I eat on any kind of regular basis, the fear has lessened a little. Don't get me wrong, it is still there, but just not to the anxiety provoking capacity of excuse making if I was invited somewhere or endless amounts of exercise to rid myself of that glutton.
I guess the reminder of this post is that in order for something to taste "good," there must be substantial nutrients in the product. Otherwise, what is it that we are really eating?
Note--*This is only my opinion of this particular brand. Who knows other products may be good but it is doubtful that I will be trying them anytime soon.