Psyche is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
Have you ever gone to pay for your food shop and worried about how much you bought in comparison to other shoppers?
Or maybe when you go out for a meal, you worry about what people think of you for eating a certain amount or a certain type of food?
Do you get butterflies when you're standing in the queue for the checkout or when the waiter puts down your plate?
Do you simply dread eating in front of other people?
I'm no doctor, but I've dubbed this "food anxiety" and I'll tell you a secret: I have it!
For a cheeky bit of context: I suffered from anorexia (and some other issues that perhaps we'll explore another day) when I was 15-years-old. I've been recovered for years now, yet some days, this sneaky little anxiety pops up when I know I'm going out for dinner with family, or when I'm checking out at the shop with more than one bar of chocolate and maybe a pack of jaffa cakes. So I'm asking you: does anyone else feel pressured to eat smashed avocado on toast or eggs benedict each morning (and get up half an hour earlier, gross) just because it's trending on Instagram?
I know I'm not the only person who gets self conscious with regards to food—whether you've suffered from an eating disorder or not, nowadays "clean eating" is trending and it definitely heightens everyone's awareness of their diet.
Food awareness is awesome! Food anxiety is not. If you feel like maybe you have food anxiety (even if it's only occasionally), I'm going to give you some little tips which will hopefully help...
1. Avoid overthinking food related situations!
Don't look at other people's shopping at the checkout—they're probably too busy to notice your three milkshakes and four bags of onion rings! Also try to avoid getting involved in other people's food choices around the table at restaurants: if Susan tells you she's getting the light chicken caesar salad and you were eyeing up the entrecot with chips, attempt to dodge the temptation to eat the salad too just for the sake of conformity. TOP TIP: Those that make remarks or assume things about your food habits without any right or reason to do so have too much time on their hands, don't mind them.
2. Find coping mechanisms!
If you are recovering from an eating disorder or simply feel self conscious about what you eat or what you buy, one of the most useful things to do is to find or create coping mechanisms that suit you. For example, if you've picked up some biscuits and have started to feel ashamed, remind yourself repeatedly that this is your business and your food choice, or maybe you can distract yourself by thinking about how yummy those biccies will be when you're munching them! Remember to eat intuitively and all is well.
3. Breeze it!
By this, I mean fake it 'til you make it! Pretend you don't have a care in the world what people think about your food choices, as long as it helps you be happy and healthy! Eat the steak, eat the cookies, eat the sorbet, screw the caesar salad if you're not feeling it that day (sorry Susan)!
Remember, you are more than the voice that says you're too fat or too thin, the voice that says people are judging you, the voice that says no one will love you until you look a certain way. Concentrate on eating what nourishes your body and what makes you happy in the process!
We have good days, we have bad days, but you are always worthy of love and appreciation, no matter what.