Food Neophobia

School: that's why I haven't posted in a long time.

I've talked before about my fears. I mentioned in the post I linked right there that I know myself to have two main phobias: phobophobia and food neophobia. I've also come to the realization recently that I have cnidophobia, the fear of stinging insects. Maybe that's why winter's my favorite time of year--along with the holidays, school being out, IKKiCON, and the winter air, I don't have to deal with the insects. Anyway, the one I want to talk about today is the second.

Most people (or at least one person who's very important to me) refuse to believe that food neophobia is a thing. Well if you just do a quick little Google search, it totally is. Here I am to just add my experience into the mixing pot.

To give you an idea, here are my main food groups: chicken tenders, french fries, pizza, bread, chips, fruit, soda, and water...that's usually about all I eat on a regular basis. When I was younger I used to blamed my parents--specifically my mom, who was around me the most when I was younger--for the way I grew up. Now, I know it's not their fault. I still remember certain experiences associated with trying food vividly, like the time my mom tried to get me to try something new and I threw a toy at her head viciously and ran away. I'm still traumatized from that time she got me to try squash--that still has to be the grossest thing I've ever tried to this day. Who knows where this fear stemmed from? My parents and my brothers for all I know are perfectly normal. From what I've heard my step nephews always eat their food when my brother and his wife tell them to, which astounds not only me but my parents.

Being almost an adult now, I can't get away with this much longer. It was okay when I was a kid because supposedly that's what kids do. But now that I'm seventeen and I have kids way younger than me enjoying food that I won't even touch, it's becoming a time pressure to start new foods that I keep trying to put off.

I really started having to deal my fear when I started dating Preston. Preston grew up in the same kind of way that I did when it came to eating habits with a bunch of idiosyncrasies his Asperger's gave him added in--things like he would freak out if he even had food he didn't like on his plate, and once he got past that if his foods touched at all. (I'm still like the latter--at least I'm better about picking off the pepperonis on my pizza without freaking out.) Eventually he moved out of his fear of food and embraced it long before he even met me, something I've yet to do.

Like most couples, I could probably count on one hand all the main things me and Preston fight about, and one of them is my eating habits. He's worried that I'm not getting the nutrition I need, which my parents and I have already dealt with--they make things easy for me by getting me fast food and ordering pizza. I'm not as thin as I'd want to be, but I'm not obese either so I think that's a good sign--but I know I'm not getting the nutrition I need either way. When I was younger, my mom would make up for this by giving multivitamins; I still remember that one liquid one she made me take that had iron in it, giving it a very nice metal taste.

Preston's favorite type of food is Asian food--Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, all of it. His favorite fast food is Panda Express and it seems like he's constantly asking his parents to go there. He recently got a job and he says when he gets his first paycheck he's going to take me to this Japanese restaurant in the next town over and honestly I'm pretty terrified. One time I tried orange chicken at his house and spit it out. I was so upset that I started crying in front of him and his parents.

When anyone talks about getting me to try food, I may as well break out in a sweat I get so scared--I get the same feeling I do when I see a bee or a wasp, or someone's trying to get me to watch a scary movie, or monsters in my non-existent basement are trying to eat me. No one really ever tried to get me to try new food before I dated Preston, so I never really encountered it to this severity before.

Honestly, what I think will bring me out of this is Preston and his family and my love for anime. In anime and even songs, there's a bunch of food you always see and hear about that always seems interesting. The next character I'm cosplaying as has this obsession with taiyaki and since it's a sweet kind of thing, I'd love to try it. The ending theme for the anime Clannad is all about a dango family. (Funny enough, the visual novels that both those anime are based off of are made by the same company.) From my research there is endless different kinds of dangos, and I think I'd like to try the sweeter kind. There was a Japanese tea ceremony during the summer program at the library this year and they had dangos that I tried, but apparently they weren't the good kind--even Preston tried them and he said he was disappointed. I already love Japanese candy like Hello Panda and Pocky and drinks like Ramune...at this rate, what's stopping me from trying "normal" food?

One of biggest fears about growing up is I won't ever break out of this--that I'll get married and my husband will get irritated that I only make stuff that I like and forget about what he likes, and especially that when I get pregnant I won't eat the right foods. I'm worried that I'll never be the weight I want because I can't stop eating junk. But even after seventeen years of dealing with this, I know that, one day, I will eventually be able to break the cycle.