Selective Eating Disorder

Glad that the first two parts of the exam trilogy have ended. There were targets achieved and some disappointments but at least it's over.

Now, I can focus on my university application, entrance test and especially SBMPTN. Aside from that, I'll have to learn several skills that'd be handful as I grow older, such as driving, cooking and waking up earlier. But most importantly, I have a few issues with my health that I'll have to learn to deal with as well-- my parents may not be around later and this scares me.

I discovered the term "selective eating disorder" in the beginning of my grade 12 year and I've had a strong feeling that it sums up my eating habit or lifestyle that's been practiced since I was in elementary, ever since. Or at least it's a close description to that I have been doing. What is selective eating disorder? As the name suggests, people with SED are picky-eaters, but worse, more selective and irritates people even more, especially when you're a teenager or adult. This is what you see in children, which is normal, but commonly it's over as they grow older. This isn't about the intention to reject some foods in a diet, because even if people with no SED choose to not eat some foods, they'll still be able to eat them anyway. They just choose not to. Nor it's similar to anorexic, orthorexic or food phobia. It's a different thing-- people with SED are just highly selective and specific. When I eat food cooked in a a particular way, that I never ate before, it's either I like it or I immediately spit it out and feel traumatic about eating it again. Removing food out of my mouth happens in a fraction of a second-- after the moment I first start chewing it. Mostly, I don't like something -too new- in my mouth. This is not an exaggeration.

I heard someone with SED only wants to eat fries her for entire life. That's insane. I consider myself lucky despite of the short-list of foods that I am comfortable with:
anything that isn't spicy
anything that does not have too much herbs and onion
chicken: breast only, only the white seasoned part; thighs are accepted only if it's fillet or chopped, like karage
duck: breast, roasted or soup; only if it's not as a piece altogether with the bone (?)
beef: only tenderloin and obviously not too chewy. sliced, minced, or as a sausage
squid: fried, until I can't feel the texture
pork: only roasted or chopped
fish: grouper has to be steamed, gourami has to be fried, crevally has to be charchoal-grilled, and no sushi. that's all.
fruit: only tomato, avocado, orange and pear, as juice...
green vegetables: none of them. not even chopped herbs. salad? only carrot with mayonnaise (a lot) or boiled until soft (I am told that it's too soft for most people)
cakes: anything that does not include fruit or dried fruit, but definitely, chocolate
corn: roasted or shredded, like in bakwan, is fine, as long as it's not cooked in sayur asem,
fried red onion: only if it's still crunchy
It's self-diagnosed, but this is pathetic anyway. While everyone is trying out different foods in different restaurants, putting effort to be healthier; I am stuck with only those options. FYI, I know when I just don't like some foods, e.g. I prefer chocolate instead of strawberry ice cream, and I can still compromise.

Lacking green vegetables and fruit is currently my concern-- finally, it concerns me after 18 years. The reason why I am concerned about having zero green vegetables and extreme lack of fruit, is because

1) I was studying Biology for my exam, and I got a bigger picture of how foods affect my body
2) Two people that I know, died of cardiac disease. One person passed away because of complicated diabetic-related issues. Meanwhile, I was struggling so hard in my P.E class and I've been afraid that my heart isn't healthy anymore
3) At the same time, I was thinking of my grandmother, who passed away, and how disappointing it must have been for her that I still couldn't eat healthier which she'd always asked
I was afraid that I will not survive my 40, heck, even I don't think I can survive in my 30 with all the demands of working hard 24/7. I have a lot of plans and goals but what if I can't even have the enough time? I will waste my parents' hard work. What if all the food that I've eaten affect how I look, how I think and how I behave? If it's true, then my foods are what trigger my insecurities, which have been horrible for the past six years.
Then I reached another low point in my life, when my stress became physical again-- combined with the exhaustion, one dietary mistake etc, my digestion screwed up, my abdominal and my head was in pain, my back and shoulders felt so heavy, and I started to lose weight again. I had to skip one exam day because of this.

I tried to figure out how to get out of this situation as fast as I could.

I am thinking about smoothies, but the books and recipes don't tell much about them-- they only say they are delicious. Please be reminded that I am picky. When people tell me that something is delicious, it does not have any effect on me. Even when perfectly-photographed, garnished and designed on the plate like it's a palace. There'll be a thousands of follow-up questions. So if anyone knows people who love smoothies, it'll be helpful if I can ask them some more specific questions (um, most likely it's going to be a lot). And I am also thinking about chopping green vegetables, since I am planning to start learning how to cook anyway-- so I'll start eating them from smaller pieces, until I get used to the leafy texture. If anyone figures out another way of doing it, it'd very appreciated. Also, I do not know anyone who managed to get rid of being picky-eater, um, adult picky-eaters or anyone who is still a picky-eater so if anyone knows people having similar issues like me, I'd like to get in contact with them because I just have to learn from other people's experience.

I never told this to anyone, my parents always see me just being short-minded, when in fact, it is just so hard for me to try a new thing. They seem to believe that I just have to force myself, which I've tried and failed for so many times. I've tried so many times to force myself eat several of these but I always spitted it out instantly I don't know why. I also do not want them to worry about their son having a disorder, because there's the stigma that when you have an eating, or mental disorder, you just can't get rid of that and that's more embarrassing than a cancer.

But this is treatable. I am sure of that. I have to get my mind used to new things. I had to remove my carrot salad out of my sight, now I am perfectly fine. I did not eat fried red onion until I ate my first mie goreng Jawa. It can be a snack now. I unknowingly ate -something-green- in my homestay parents' homemade guotie. If only that green stuff never existed. I tried eating a strawberry, watermelon and pear, as a fruit, and I couldn't last for another bite. I tried a Mongolian hot pot and Fujian bamboo dishes because I mistakenly thought it was just a regular chicken-broth soup and biscuit. But least I know how they taste although I feel traumatic. It still scares me until now. I just have to get used to it. (And believe that I can *cheesy*)

There are three things that I hope I'll be able to change; my over-reaction toward smell, texture and taste. I know that most people will tell me that eating isn't supposed to be a pressure (well I don't want it to be a pressure too) so I guess I'll have to start having a mindset that every new food encountered will extend one day of my trip somewhere-- healthier lifestyle can help to prolong our lives, right? Hopefully, everything works!


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