If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it? In a word, yes. Well, sort of.
Food is one of my anxiety triggers. I don’t like eating in front of people. Even a lunch with good friends can feel taxing. Of course I love to go out to eat with my family. We know each other and love each other unconditionally. Anyone else and I feel very self-conscious.
I have a tendency to overeat at home to avoid any possibility of a low blood sugar reaction. Eating in front of people is hard enough. Eating to correct a low is horrible. I’m shaking, I’m sweaty, I feel like I’m going to die. And there are people around.
My other issue is food prep. I don’t have adult ADD unless I’m cooking. Distraction equals disaster when it comes to cooking or baking. I don’t have the attention span to make anything. Mostly because I don’t care. If I had to choose between cooking and baking I would choose cooking. Baking takes a lot of time and creates a huge mess with the end result being food I don’t crave. Cookies are nice and I have been known to overeat my fair share. I would much rather murder my blood sugar with chips. Like baking, cooking takes a lot of time, creates a mess, and yields little satisfaction. It takes a fraction of the time to eat a meal than it took to prepare it. In the end everyone just poops it out anyway! Cooking is a giant waste of time. That’s why I like paying for restaurant employees to do it for me. Yummy comfort food with no cleanup required? Twist my arm!
Anxiety colors a lot of my issues with food. I struggle with agoraphobia, or a fear of being out in public. I can force myself to do a lot of things I would rather not do. More often than not I even enjoy myself. The social gatherings I hope to avoid at all costs involve food. It’s fairly easy to not eat in front of people at a social gathering. My worst nightmare is when I have to help serve food, particularly portion food out to be served. Social anxiety mixed with food in this way is a deadly combination for me. The best way I can describe it is I feel like a little kid. My brain shuts down and the simplest task of even spreading butter on bread takes all my concentration. I can’t see or think straight. I hate being asked to help with food.
Lately I haven’t been eating very well. I find excuses to not do it. When I do eat none of the food is actually good for me. I’ve been a terrible diabetic lately. I’m too busy to eat or I wait till it’s too late to eat a real meal so I have a small snack to tide me over. Some of these issues are solved with a drink. That’s what weight loss shakes were created for right? Meal replacements for lazy people like me?
Consumable liquids are my weakness. Given the choice between eating and drinking I think I would almost always choose drinking. Food commercials don’t make me feel hungry. There have been times when food commercials made me downright nauseated. Any beverage commercial makes my mouth water for something to drink. The summer before I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes was a drinking binge fest for me. I was so thirsty all the time because my blood sugar was so high and thirst is a natural symptom of that. I could not get enough to drink. I knew any sip meant I was in the bathroom 30 seconds later but I didn’t care. My thirst was insatiable. In the moment, whatever I was drinking almost filled an emotional void. That hobby, if you will, has never completely left. I love drinking.
Not like bar drinking. Alcohol is very tempting to me. Between seeing the effects of alcohol and my own religious standards, I don’t even want to try it. Diet Coke is as dangerous as I get. I will be the first to admit I have an unhealthy relationship with plastic bottles filled with dark sparkling liquid happiness. The fact that I call it liquid courage or liquid happiness, or liquid any-positive-emotion is the first sign of a problem! That’s a lot of power to give to a billion dollar soda industry. Why do you do what you do when you know what you know? Good question.
I drink it emotionally and socially. Sometimes my hands don’t know what to do unless they have a condensation clouded bottle nearby. It’s my happy place and I don’t mind admitting that. If Diet Coke could give me my daily nutrition requirements I would never eat again.
The original question was about pills though. To be honest, pills don’t do it for me. I have never been tempted to overdose on pills. I don’t even like taking the pills I have to take. Heaven help me if I get sick and can’t find the medicine as a liquid. My fear with a magic nutrition pill is size. I can’t swallow most pills. That ability shut down along with the baby making factory. Ah but if I could drink my nutrition, that would be something. I remember being at Diabetic Camp and telling friends I wished I could drink my meals. My anxiety was overwhelming at the time. The thought of drinking meals does sound more appealing than eating. If scientists could create a nutritional pill, perhaps they could also make a liquid form. And maybe unicorns will fly and world peace will be the headline of the century. One can always hope. Until then I guess I better keep eating.