Growing up, I was possibly the fussiest eater ever. It drove my friends, friends parents and family members crazy. I didn’t like food and the more people tried to force me to eat, the more I hated it.
I never used to like food. When I was younger I lived off mainly bread, potatoes, beans and countless amounts of milk. I was happy with my diet but my family weren’t so impressed. They were always trying to make me eat different foods, but the more they tried the more I hated the food. I can be stubborn sometimes. When I feel forced into something, my stubbornness kicks in and I retaliate. The more I’m forced, the more I’m gonna tell you to basically fuck off. So my family either bribed me to eat food or tried to hide food in my meals. The one memory I won’t ever forget is being sat with my mum at our dinner room table. She had cooked chicken and I could never ever eat chicken or any meat without beans (beans were my life). So I had a plate full of beans, mash potato and some chicken. I hated the texture of the chicken in my mouth so my mum mashed the beans and chicken together. The thought of it now makes me feel slightly sick, but back then it was the only way I would eat it. It probably took about half an hour for me to finish the meal, along with some tears but I finished it. When we got Barney, I used to sneakily feed him my food when mum wasn’t looking or if I had mashed potatoes with my meal, I would hide food under the mash potato to try to convince my mum I ate it.
In Primary school I normally had packed lunches as we couldn’t always guarantee I’d like what the school had to offer. My mum normally made me sandwiches. Sandwiches that I wasn’t always a fan of. I remember the dinner ladies used to check up on me to make sure I had eaten them. Sometimes my friend C would dump the sandwiches in the ginnel behind her house and I would tell my mum I ate them. If you read this one day mum, I’m sorry! Fruit wasn’t always much of an issue for me. I normally had a piece of fruit in every pack lunch that I actually ate but vegetables urgh. No thank you. Tea time (Yes it’s tea time, not dinner time) was something I always dreaded. Tea time brought a wider variety of food to the table which I didn’t like. It was also a chance for my family to mock me and my diet which I possibly hated even more. I didn’t want to be as restricted with my diet as I was, I just hated food and it was hard to make others understand that. Over time, my diet became a big insecurity for me. I was annoyed at myself for having this fear of food and I was jealous of others who could just eat all the foods that I wanted to eat. Nobody else ever saw it like that though, which is I think why I became so insecure about it.
I think as soon as I hit puberty I started eating more. I was still fussy. Whenever we went out for Indian food I’d only have chips and naan bread. I couldn’t bare to eat Chinese food which pains me now, knowing how many years I wasted hated Chinese food. It’s now my favourite! Oh god, Chinese is amazing! As I was eating more, it was becoming obvious to me that I needed to branch out on my diet. I was getting bored with the same foods and the fuss that was being made at meal times about me. I’ve always loved the smell of food. No matter what type of food it was, the smell I’ve always loved but the first thing that normally put me off food was the appearance. If it didn’t look good or didn’t look familiar I was not eating it. The appearance and texture of the food was a big decider as to whether I ate it or not. As the years went on I stopped caring so much about the appearance/texture of the food and I started to take notice of the taste of the food. As soon as I started doing that I went from a fussy eater to someone who likes to experiment with different foods.
I missed out on a lot of food growing up. I’ve only recently had my first waffle and it was only a couple of years ago I started eating strawberries. I remember an old school teacher of mine once telling me that I will reach a point where I love food and I think its safe to say I have now reached that point. I truly love food! If I could continuously eat without worrying about my health, I would.
I’ll admit, there are still some foods I won’t touch like salmon or peas, but who knows, maybe this time next year I might have started to enjoy their taste (I said maybe).
To friends and family who thought I would always be a fussy eater, I’ve proved you wrong.
To friends who think I’m a fussy eater now, you really don’t know how bad I used to be.
To fellow fussy eaters out there, I feel your frustration. Maybe one day you’ll also reach a point where you will love food too.
Sending love to you all,