When it comes to comfort zones, one of the biggest ones I have found myself in revolves around food. I had gotten into a routine I was comfortable with, eating foods on my meal plan and getting the right amount of nutrients, but I was not challenging myself with new foods.
I was recovering physically, but mentally I wasn’t making as much progress as I could.
So why is it so important to step outside of our comfort zones when it comes to safe foods? Why isn’t it okay to just get to a healthy weight eating foods we are comfortable with?
It is of paramount importance because recovery is about so much more than weight restoration.
An eating disorder is a mental illness, and thus recovery must involve more than just a physical restoration of health.
A large part of recovery is normalizing our relationship with food and stepping out of our food comfort zones is a huge part of this.
Overcoming our fear foods and stepping out of our food safe zones are important for our recovery because they allow us to live a normal life. Many social events and normal life in general involve food. We eat three or more times a day and often with others. So naturally it is important we are able to deal with foods that will be served, even if they aren’t what we are normally used to.
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For example, if we are at a family gathering and bacon and eggs are served, we can’t simply not eat because we only eat egg whites and turkey bacon. Is it possible to follow our meal plan this way? Possibly, but it isn’t a healthy attitude to have, and it certainly won’t get you where you want to be in your recovery.
So how should we go about stepping out of our food comfort zones?
1. Try new foods.
It is quite simple in theory, but can be quite difficult in practice. Of course the best way to start to feel comfortable with new foods is by trying new foods, but I think we all know this is easier said than done. The best way I have found to challenge myself with new foods is by challenging myself in a safe environment. For example, I find it a lot easier to try a fear food at home than when I am out.
2. Have support.
It also helps to have friends or family with you as you are challenging yourself with fear foods because it helps me keep from ruminating on the food and keeps my mind on other things.
3. Change the environment.
Lastly, it helps to try familiar foods in an unfamiliar environment such as a restaurant or a friend’s house. This provides yet another way to challenge yourself and normalize your relationship with food.
So I encourage you to challenge yourself with fear foods and step out of your food comfort zones.
Normalizing your relationship with food is a huge part of the recovery process and this is a great step towards this goal. By simply trying to introduce a fear food into your meals a few times a week and trying to change up the setting in which you eat, you will be able to make a big impact on your long-term recovery goals.
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The opinions and information shared in this article may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process.