Time to Change: Adding New Food to My Diet

I think I’m ready for change. I’m ready to take the next step to eating “normally” among society. I’m ready to get out of this rut.
It’s weird how those feelings suddenly come; when you realize the food you deemed “fattening” was only so because it became a rule in your head. The voice whispers to you day after day that you must eat perfectly, that you cannot mess up, that if you do mess up, bad things will happen.
And suddenly, I dared myself to change, dared myself to face my fear, because as scared as I am to move on, I know I must move on; that the only thing scarier than staying in one place, is thinking that you may stay in one place forever if you don’t do something about it.

This took months. Months and months of the same routine because I felt too scared to move on, but today, I realized, this is it. I might fall back again, but at least I’m making an effort to try something different, and try something I wouldn’t normally do. I told myself I could go back if I didn’t feel comfortable enough, but I encouraged myself to at least try.
For instance, I am eating food on a plate. Like, a regular plate, instead of trying to hide any food I deem as embarrassment in a tiny bowl. Also, I decided I needed variety. As in, I hear about this thing called “enjoying” food, and maybe it’s time to really savor and relish what I am eating. Not to say I’ve never liked the taste of the foods I usually eat, but I do find it a rare treat when I “have” to go out to eat and find myself with a plate of “sinful” food and love the taste of it; tastes as simple as sauteed quinoa and grilled tofu with crunchy, caramelized vegetables, and god-forbid, sauce.
I want to enjoy foods like these all the time. So what is stopping me?
Fear. Fear of taste, of loving or wanting something too much, of feeling like my body will run away with food and I will not be able to slow down. But then I figured, if everyone else can do it, then why can’t I? Why don’t I deserve to eat different foods like they do?
Until now, I never realized how true it is that you have to want to change. People don’t want eating disorders, but they fear life without it.

From my own experience, I realized I just had to be patient with myself. When my dietician encouraged new foods like pasta or even peanut butter, I couldn’t convert to them right away. I had to want to change, and eventually it came. Something finally clicked in my brain, something finally broke in my emotional state, and I realized I wanted to feel different, wanted to break out of my own prison. It took a lot of thinking and experimentation on my part, but something finally released again and I moved on.
I want more than just oatmeal, tuna, eggs, coconut oil, and vegetables for every meal, every day. I will eat quinoa again. I will add some oil to my meals. I’m going to eat hummus. I may even eat pasta. Don’t ask why I deem some of these healthy foods as “evil.” I think anyone with an eating disorder has their own rules, and these are a few that happen to be mine at the moment. They were constantly changing, and I don’t recommend anyone reading this to suddenly see these foods as “bad” just because I had a period where I wouldn’t allow myself to eat them.
I went to the store today and spent nearly two hours shopping for “new” foods. I have never seen so much variety in my shopping cart in years. I felt anxiety and reluctance putting some items in my cart, but I knew that at least half of me was okay with what I put in, and I began to think of all the cool recipes I could start cooking up with them. I also began to think about how much more fun food could be with this change.
Many ask what helped me to recover. I say, take the time to keep learning about yourself, to keep thinking over what and why you fear certain things, and allow others (like a dietician) to work with you to move past fears. You don’t have to rush yourself. You don’t have to stick with everything you try. All I ask, encourage, and support you with is that you at least try.

About Rachael

Rachael Steil is a graduate from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts. Steil an author, speaker, and a recipient of the Spirit and Outstanding Runner award for the Aquinas College cross country team and has received 6th place All-American accolades in cross country as well as 7th place in the NAIA track nationals.
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10 Responses to Time to Change: Adding New Food to My Diet

  1. Rachel says:

    Rachael, I am overjoyed to read this post! I know that this does not mean that you are in anyway out of the clear yet, but it shows so much growth! As for the “new” foods, as they say about doing something new: the first time is always the hardest.

    My favorite moment is when you said this: “That the only thing scarier than staying in one place, is thinking that you may stay in one place forever if you don’t do something about it.” BINGO! I think this happens to almost everyone (or at least should.) Whether it’s a relationship, a frame of mind, a weight, a location, etc. there comes a point when everyone faces either the fear of change (for the better) or risks sticking with something that is no longer healthy.

  2. sue Nicolaidis says:

    how about quinoa pasta? Costco has some quinoa penne:))

  3. Dale Bales says:

    Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you… For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

  4. Tamara Steil says:

    This is a huge paradigm shift for you. I feel EXCITED at the progress you are making.

  5. Florence says:

    This is so wonderful. You deserve so much credit for your honesty and your effort. Change is hard and scary but so worth it. Your progress is amazing :)

  6. Kate says:


    I so support your writing this post – and completely empathize. I used to have tons of rules regarding what was good and bad. Everything was so black and white. Buuut with the help of this lady’s website http://isabelfoxenduke.com/ I started to realize tha a certain kind of food is not “wrong” or “right” – rather, some foods are more nutritionally dense/you *need* less of other foods (perhaps), etc.

    Good luck!


    • rachael says:

      Thanks Kate! And wow, that site is FANTASTIC! I definitely encourage anyone else to take a look. Can’t wait to read through more of it, thank you!

  7. Taryn Streasick says:

    I really loved this post! It’s amazing to see the little steps you’ve had to overcome mentally in order to do things which so many take for granted. I especially appreciated your description of grocery shopping, and how after recognizing your desire to change, you were able to see this activity in a whole new way. I think everyone can relate to that moment where you decide to make a change, and suddenly your perspective on so many things shifts.

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