I usually show you some crazy dessert I’ve eaten recently or a decadent restaurant dish I’ve tried on WIAW. Today, I’m going to peel back the name of the pickyrunner and show you what it’s really like.
But first, I want to share something with you. Yesterday was not a great day. I was feeling pretty under the weather with a cough coming on, I am overtired, and I had a full day of classes and an internship before the most difficult practice I’ve ever had (and wasn’t able to finish.. that’s for another post). I got home and received some pretty disappointing news that really pushed me even further into my funk. I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t upset and I’m trying to make the best of the situation, but there’s nothing worse than feeling let down by people. While I was reading up on colorblind cuttlefish for my chemistry class, I received this email from my nutritionist and I just had to share it with all of you.
It’s so nice to have someone who actually cares about me and my wellbeing. She is going above and beyond the call of duty. I’m not paying for her services right now seeing as all of our communication is via email- she genuinely wants to help me and that’s a pretty amazing feeling. I’m so lucky to have found someone like this. She has made such a big difference in the recovery process. Starting with tackling the picky eating dilemma.
When someone says to you that they’re a picky eater, what does that mean to you? Obviously, there are different degrees of pickyness. I’ve met people who eat nothing but cereal, nothing but white foods, nothing but American food. Those are pretty extreme if you ask me.
I don’t consider myself as picky as other people do when they meet me. When anyone asks if I’m still picky, I say I’ve grown into myself a lot. But then there are times like this past weekend when I realize that I still have a long way to go.
When planning our dinner on Saturday night at my aunt and uncle’s house:
Uncle- “you’re not one of those vegetarians are you?”
Me- “absolutely not”
Uncle- “good, we’re going to have steak then”
Me- “YES. That’s my favorite!”
A few hours later…
Aunt- “You didn’t take out steak, you took out fish and pork”
Uncle- “it said omaha steak on the package”
Aunt- “well it’s not”
Me- “that’s fine, I’ll eat pork”
Aunt- “With applesauce or cranberry sauce?”
Aunt- “Okay. We can have it plain. what do you like with it? Scalloped potatoes?”
Aunt- “so no rice, no scalloped potatoes… what do you usually eat?”
Me- “Well I like a lot of different things as long as they’re plain. baked potatoes, lots of pasta”
Aunt- “okay we’ll have pasta. Do you like the brown kind? Whole wheat?”
me- “Yes. perfect. I love it.”
Aunt- “What about salad? Do you like ceasar salad?”
Me- “well, I don’t like dressing but I do eat ceasar salad. lettuce is good”
Aunt- “ok no ceasar salad. You can’t just have lettuce. What about mixed vegetables, will you eat those?”
Me- “sure, that’s fine. I like most of the things in that”
Aunt (with skepticism about my vague answer, but I was feeling bad)- “okay. That’s what we’ll have.”
This is pretty typical of an interaction for me when it comes to planning meals. See, I LOVE a lot of vegetables, I love fruits, I eat different types of meat, potatoes and bread and pasta, cheese and milk, a wide variety if you ask me. But to the outside person, I’m picky because I don’t like anything on stuff and it can’t be mixed together. They wanted to put applesauce or cranberry sauce on the pork, I asked for mine plain. They wanted tomatoes in the salad, I picked around them. Dessert is the one thing I’m not as picky about (go figure…) which is why I tend to eat more of it when I’m in other places that I’m not comfortable with. I fill myself up on that so I can pick around the other meals that I’m not as crazy about and still get enough calories into me for the day, even if it isn’t the healthiest at times.
That’s actually one of my biggest pet peeves. When I go somewhere and people say “wow, you sure eat a lot of desserts. How do you eat so much crap and still stay thin?” Well, the answer is pretty simple. I don’t eat that stuff on a regular basis. Sure, there are days when I go absolutely nuts with my consumption of cake, ice cream, and candy. But it’s not an everyday occurrence.
So at surface value, I seem pretty difficult. But I’ve also never been in a situation where I can’t make what’s in front of me work. If they had made the pork with sauce on it, I could have scraped it off. With the vegetables, I picked around the cooked carrots. I hate feeling like I’m being high-maintenance when I’m with people I’m not as familiar with. My parents accept it, my friends joke about it, but if I don’t know someone, I fear that I’m acting stuck up or ridiculous.
Pickiness isn’t something I’ve chosen to be all of my life. Maybe I have, subconsciously, and never outgrew it like most kids do. I don’t know where it began or why I wasn’t able to break out of it. Slowly but surely, especially in recent months, I’ve been able to try tiny bites of things and eventually call them a new favorite. Corn nuts? Love them now. Sesame sticks? Same deal. Tortellini- you couldn’t have paid me to eat it two years ago. Now it’s a staple. I try things on my terms. I’m finally at a stage in my life where I’m not AS afraid to try something and hate it. I used to immediately say “oh, I don’t like that” with no explanation as to why not. Too bad it took 21 years to get there. Contrary to popular belief, I really don’t enjoy being a picky eater. I try to change it, but there are these irrational fears in my head that I really have a hard time getting rid of.
Were you picky when you grew up?
How do you handle situations where you don’t like something?