Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thank God for the Food We Don't Like

I have a problem with food shopping. I went to the store after swimming today with three items on my list: cereal, blueberries, and yogurt. I left with three bags full of stuff.

Well, Powerade was 10 for $10, so that filled up my basket pretty quickly. In fact, that was the bulk of what I bought (which is what happens when your car says it’s 100 degrees and you just finished a workout). I was proud that I limited myself to only two kinds of cereal bars. But I spent waaay longer than I needed to in there, just ogling all the food, because it ALL looked so good!

The same thing happened to me after I saw the nutritionist the first time. Everything sounded so delicious. I thought of all the foods I used to love and I couldn’t wait to eat them again. I wanted them all at once, they made my mouth water that much. It didn’t matter what it was, I would imagine how good it would taste and then…

Truthfully, I got a lot of disappointments. I basically had to relearn what foods I liked. I put them all on such a high pedestal that of course they were never going to live up to my expectations. There were a few exceptions, such as grilled cheese sandwiches and peanut butter, but the majority of what I tried in the beginning lacked greatness.

For example, my grandparents threw a pizza party that very weekend. With Papa John’s. Oh my God I haven’t had Papa John’s in at least six years!! I can’t tell you how excited I was about that party. I looked up appetizers to bring along, and we ended up making some spinach-and-cheese squares and baked cheesy potatoes. I couldn’t wait to try everything, because it was all so new and exciting.

My mind loved all of it. But when it came down to it, my mouth just said, “Meh.” The pizza was all right, though it wasn’t warm by the time we got around to eating it. I took one bite of my potato, but it was really dry so I gave the rest to my dad. I did enjoy the spinach, though.

(OK, brief interruption here. I probably sound spoiled, complaining all the time…but I didn’t really care because the evening was about being with family, not just eating so it was still a fun time! This is just me analyzing a weird observation that’s been bugging me.)

There are a lot of things that I convinced myself I didn’t like before I changed my diet. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, it was that I didn’t like their calories. But since I started eating more normally (wouldn’t say I’m totally normal J) I’ve learned the difference between avoiding a food and genuinely not liking it. I’ve tried really, really hard to like potatoes. Baked, mashed, French fries, with cheese…but I’ve come to face the facts. I simply do not like potatoes and all their mouthwatering glory.

And I’m OK with that. There’s an element of mystery when trying new things in that you’re not sure if you’ll enjoy them, but for me that’s part of the fun. Maybe I can just appreciate it more because I haven’t had the privilege for so long that all this rediscovery (even of gross foods) is cool. That’s part of why I’m playing around with the food-review idea here.

So hopefully the cereal bars I bought today are worth it. If not, oh well. If that’s the price I pay for freedom…well, I’ve never been so happy to have something leave a bad taste in my mouth!

What about you? Are there foods you avoid? What fears or other factors weigh into your choices?
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