It’s a new year and I want to get something off my chest. It’s a secret I’m selective in telling because it makes me sound like a child. But there are millions of people out there like me. One of the most famous people is Anderson Cooper.
I often will eat the same foods over and over again for weeks.
I, Febe Moss, am an adult picky eater. I was super picky as a child. I wouldn’t eat any Italian food. Parmesan cheese was terrifying and forget any kind of noodles. My parents tried to get me to try different foods to no avail. They even sent me to my room without dinner. But alas, my dear sweet mother couldn’t see me suffer. We had an arrangement. After everyone went to bed, I knew there’d be macaroni and cheese waiting for me. As I’ve grown older, my tastes have broadened. I actually eat fish and buffalo wings. I love many kinds of noodles and Parmesan cheese is a favorite. I still hate all vegetables except for lettuce. I’m a sucker for olive garden salad and their dressing. My husband is like a guru for picky eaters. I don’t know if it’s because he’s cute or it’s his svengali ways, but I am more open to try new foods when I’m with him. People often ask me what do I eat. I have plenty. I eat hamburgers with only mustard, turkey bacon and regular bacon, tacos, enchiladas, beans, rice, spaghetti, ziti pasta, lots of bread, lots of cereal, peanut butter sandwiches, popcorn, all kinds of fast food, chicken, certain kinds of white gravy, mashed potatoes from certain places, hot dogs with mustard, chili, frito pie, waffles just to name a few. Did I mention dieting for a picky eater is incredibly difficult? I’ve tried numerous diets. These days I try and control my portion sizes and choose lower sodium items of my favorite things and find healthier ways to cook these items. I’m making small progress. Did I also mention I have acid reflux and am also lactose intolerant? Thank heaven for lactose supplements. Both conditions have impacted my picky eating. I try not to eat anything too spicy and I have to monitor my dairy intake. One of the scariest things about picky eating is eating out of your comfort zone.
Buffets are incredibly terrifying. When most people come back to the table with the plates overflowing, I’m lucky if I can find two or three things to eat. I call it a win if there’s desert. The lingering hunger isn’t the worst part, it’s the stares from your table mates.
“Is that all you got? There’s a ton of food!”
I often say I wasn’t that hungry and smile and dive into what little food I have.
Buffets aren’t the only battleground. Holidays are even worse. People often invite you to their house and try to stuff you with awful things like cranberry sauce. Or as I call it underworld sauce for it’s the blood that comes from Tartarus. Sitting down to a meal at Christmas can be filled with as much anxiety as there is stuffing.
Picky eaters often keep their tastes to themselves. We will even go so far as to swallow horrible foods in attempt to fit in. Swallowing pot roast is akin to taking lashes from Davy Jones on his doomed ship.* We perfect the art of the polite smile, the graceful head nod, and the masterful delivery of the words, “It’s delicious!” when really we would rather slink away and eat a PB sandwich.
Unless we feel we can trust you with our secret, you will never know we hated your sweet and sour chicken. We are food ninjas. You won’t see us spit out the food into our napkin, fold it up hide it under our plate, or slip it to your dog.
But knowing our secret can be a burden too. My poor husband hasn’t eaten at Red Lobster in years, hasn’t stepped foot inside an Asian restaurant in months, and dreams of Texas Roadhouse. This is his sacrifice for our love. Maybe one day, I’ll be as excited for unlimited shrimp as he is, but it’s not likely.
I’m not sure how or why I’m a picky eater. I wouldn’t choose it for myself. It’s not as easy as trying foods. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Just try it. You’ll like it if you try it.” No I won’t. The smell alone makes me run for the hills. I have to like the look of the food and the smell of it. If it looks weird I won’t go near it. It’s the same with the smell of the food.
Now my confession is complete. I hope this post gives other picky eaters the courage to come into the light. You are not alone. Picky eaters, unite! If you aren’t a picky eater, what questions do you have for me?
To close up, I found this great Nova episode all about picky eating. Enjoy!
*Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead’s man’s chest reference.