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  • What if you could only eat one food for 17 years?

  • What food would you choose?

  • No cheating either, it has to be the same exact food with no modifications.

  • This may seem like an impossible question to answer, but for Austin Davis the only food

  • he has eaten in 17 years has been mac and cheese.

  • His story is much more complicated than you might think.

  • What causes someone to eat only mac and cheese for 17 years of their life?

  • Is it even possible?

  • Will this diet cause lasting damage?

  • Let's find out.

  • When you think of mac and cheese you may think of specialty dishes you can get in restaurants,

  • or a family recipe that includes breadcrumbs and bacon, but this is not the type of mac

  • and cheese Austin has been eating.

  • Instead, he only eats boxed mac and cheese.

  • Not only that, but 9 times out of 10, the mac and cheese is just traditional Velveeta

  • Shells and Cheese.

  • Imagine only eating the same brand, and type, of mac and cheese every day for 17 years.

  • This may seem unthinkable to you, but for Austin it is reality.

  • Austin is addicted to mac and cheese.

  • He has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, which in his case, was brought on by events

  • from his past.

  • But before we get into the surprising reasons about how and why this man came to only eat

  • mac and cheese, let's take a look at what his diet actually consists of.

  • Austin prefers Velveeta Shells and Cheese, but in dire situations he will eat other types

  • of mac and cheese.

  • The reason he prefers Velveeta is because it consistently tastes the same, there has

  • been little to no change in recipe for 17 years apparently.

  • When in dire straits, Austin will eat Deluxe four cheese and Kraft mac and cheese, but

  • for 17 years Velveeta has been his go to.

  • Austin has never bought anything other than mac and cheese for himself at the grocery

  • store.

  • Even while standing in line he is never tempted by impulse items like candy bars or bags of

  • chips.

  • Austin eats mac and cheese, and only mac and cheese.

  • When describing his eating habits there are some foods that cause him more anxiety than

  • others.

  • For example, there is something about meat that Austin finds particularly hard to stomach.

  • When he is in the meat section of the grocery store, he sees it as a form of hell.

  • When he describes meat, he talks about how eating muscle and veins freaks him out.

  • Plenty of people are vegetarians and live healthy lives, so meat isn't absolutely

  • necessary, but what about fruits and vegetables?

  • Austin doesn't eat those either.

  • Fruits and veggies are less repulsive than meat to him, but he will still only eat mac

  • and cheese.

  • His doctor unsurprisingly warned him that as he gets older a broader diet will be necessary.

  • Only eating mac and cheese can sustain the body for a time, but needs to be supplemented,

  • and this is where Austin runs into trouble.

  • He is literally addicted to mac and cheese.

  • It is like an addiction to alcohol or drugs, his brain is chemically wired to only see

  • mac and cheese as a viable option.

  • There are a few more idiosyncrasies that we need to explore before going more in depth

  • as to what caused Austin to develop this eating disorder.

  • The mac and cheese is almost always cooked in the same pot.

  • It is Austin's go to pot.

  • In special circumstances he will use his Grandma's pot, but this is rare, and changes the taste

  • slightly.

  • If someone else makes mac and cheese for him not using his pan, he can tell.

  • Austin admits he will still eat it, but it is not the same.

  • It is also important to Austin that he keeps a week of mac and cheese stocked in the cabinet

  • at all times.

  • It would be disastrous to run out, because his body physically wouldn't let him eat

  • anything else.

  • Austin explains experiencing other foods in this way.

  • He starts by stressing over trying something new.

  • This ramps up into full blown anxiety, even before the food touches his lips.

  • His gag reflex is ready to kick in at a moment's notice.

  • The way that Austin describes trying new food is like a bell curve of anxiety.

  • The closer the new food comes to his mouth, the higher up the anxiety curve he gets.

  • The pinnacle happens once the food enters his mouth.

  • Regardless of if he likes the taste or texture, he starts to gag.

  • If he does not like the taste or texture he vomits.

  • Either way his body rejects the food.

  • Once he moves away from other foods and back to mac and cheese the anxiety slides back

  • down the bell curve and dissipates.

  • You might have some questions right now like why does Austin's body only allow him to

  • eat mac and cheese, and can he survive on just that diet for much longer?

  • Or maybe you're wondering what changed in his life that caused him to stop eating all

  • other food except mac and cheese?

  • These are questions that have answers, but the answers might surprise and shock you.

  • The reason that Austin's body will not allow him to eat anything but mac and cheese is

  • because he has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.

  • This is a rare eating disorder where the brain has been programmed to only eat one particular

  • food.

  • It is like a very extreme case of addiction to one specific thing.

  • It was not until Austin was out of high school that he found out about the disorder.

  • The way he explains finding out about Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is that it was like a

  • huge weight had been lifted off of him, because now maybe he could be treated.

  • Until that point he thought that he was just quirky or an incredibly picky eater.

  • Austin did not choose to only eat mac and cheese, and as you can imagine this diet caused

  • stresses in his social life.

  • He didn't feel comfortable eating out, or around other people, because he would have

  • to explain that he could only eat that one food.

  • When he found out about Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder his life changed.

  • He reached out to therapists who specialized in eating disorders.

  • Unfortunately, living in the United States, it is hard for Austin to find a specialist

  • who will take his insurance.

  • Insurance companies often times market mental health as more of a luxury than a necessity.

  • So, although Austin had pinpointed the problem that was restricting from eating other foods,

  • he could not afford the solution.

  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is a mental block, but can Austin survive

  • on eating only mac and cheese for the rest of his life if he has to?

  • What are the negative effects of this one food diet?

  • Surprisingly, Austin's doctor informed him that for now his diet was okay, as long as

  • he took some vitamins to supplement it.

  • However, as he gets older, his diet of strictly mac and cheese will end up killing him.

  • There are a couple of problems with only eating mac and cheese, or just one food in general.

  • There is no single food that has all of the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs

  • to survive.

  • In the case of mac and cheese there are a lot of fats and cholesterol associated with

  • it.

  • Austin's diet was causing him to gain weight at an alarming rate.

  • In order to combat the weight gain Austin took up boxing.

  • He sticks to a work out regimen that is rigorous and high intensity.

  • This allows him to burn hundreds of calories every time he works out, offsetting what he

  • takes in by only eating mac and cheese.

  • Unfortunately, this workout routine will not be sustainable forever.

  • There was a period of time when Austin stopped boxing; he immediately started gaining weight.

  • He reached an unhealthy weight level, and out of necessity, returned to his boxing routine.

  • Eating only mac and cheese requires a lot of exercise just to keep the weight down.

  • At this point boxing is not optional for Austin, but necessary.

  • So what caused Austin to go from eating a variety of food to solely mac and cheese 17

  • years ago?

  • Unfortunately, as with most eating disorders, Austin's is connected to childhood trauma.

  • During his childhood Austin was diagnosed with PTSD from a number of altercations in

  • his home.

  • He was removed from the toxic environment by the Department of Children and Families.

  • He was then placed in the custody of his grandparents, who raised him, and helped him through the

  • rest of his formative years.

  • It was around this time that Austin's Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder for only mac and cheese

  • manifested itself.

  • It is not one hundred percent clear why Austin's brain retreated to the comforts of mac and

  • cheese, but the way Austin describes his memories, it probably has to do with a sense of control.

  • Austin remembers mac and cheese always being something he could look forward to and could

  • make himself during turbulent times.

  • Austin knew that no matter what was happening that day, he could always look forward to

  • a bowl of mac and cheese for dinner.

  • He also describes mac and cheese as a comfort food.

  • He says there is something about the texture and way it looks that is appealing to him;

  • something that other food just doesn't have.

  • The causes of Austin's Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder are connected to his

  • childhood trauma and the comfort that mac and cheese gave him.

  • This is an incredibly rare, and extreme, reaction to events by his brain, but it was never within

  • his control.

  • It is important to remember that Austin didn't choose to be like this, and that his eating

  • habits have negatively impacted several parts of his life.

  • Now you may be wondering if there are other people who have similar eating disorders as

  • Austin.

  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is extremely uncommon, but it does happen.

  • There are other people around the world who only eat one or two foods.

  • We know that someone can survive off of mac and cheese for 17 years as Austin has.

  • We also know that trauma can induce eating disorders, and that the brain can exert immense

  • control over someone's body and eating habits.

  • Let's take a look at a few more examples of people only eating one type of food.

  • If you found Austin's story of only eating mac and cheese for 17 years surprising, then

  • you won't believe some of these other people's eating habits.

  • Jay Campbell only ate french fries for 15 years.

  • Unlike Austin, Jay had a physiological issue that led her down the path of only eating

  • one type of food.

  • At age 12, Jay was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux.

  • This meant that when she ate, her body would experience intense burning pain as the stomach

  • acid flowed up into the esophagus.

  • It is like having intense acid reflux every time you eat.

  • For Jay the only food that did not cause her stomach to flare up was french fries, and

  • for 15 years that is all she ate.

  • Recently she was diagnosed with a phobia of food and worked with psychologists to expand

  • her diet.

  • Although Dave Nunely does not eat the mac part of mac and cheese, he does eat the cheese

  • part.

  • In fact Dave only eats cheese.

  • His diet consists of plates of grated cheese, and like Jay, has been diagnosed with Cibophobia,

  • or a phobia of foods.

  • This phobia can manifest itself as only being afraid of certain types of foods, or, as in

  • Dave's case, all types of food except one.

  • Now imagine eating only chicken nuggets every day.

  • This was the diet of Stacey Irvine for 15 years.

  • At the age of 17 she collapsed at work and had to be rushed to the hospital.

  • You're probably not surprised that the reason she collapsed was because of the unhealthiness

  • of her diet.

  • The human body cannot survive on chicken nuggets alone.

  • In fact, the diet caused Stacey to develop anemia and for her veins to swell.

  • This caused constriction of blood vessels to vital organs, and eventually led to her

  • body shutting down until she was treated at the hospital.

  • The doctors were horrified to find out what her diet consisted of, and told her that if

  • she did not start eating fruits and vegetables, she would die.

  • Derek Nance has taken the Paleo diet to a whole new level.

  • He only eats raw meat.

  • Unlike Austin this diet is by choice.

  • Derek was battling constant nausea and found that eating raw meat helped with the symptoms.

  • He now eats every part of an animal, so his diet is not just one specific type of food.

  • However, he does not eat fruits or vegetables.

  • To get probiotic nutrients Derek will even eat rotten meat, so technically he eats bacteria

  • as well.

  • This brings us back to Austin.

  • Eating mac and cheese for 17 years is not healthy, but it is also not by choice.

  • Austin's Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder developed because of childhood trauma,

  • so there is very little he can do to force his body to change its behavior.

  • That being said, Austin has been working with therapists to find ways to manage the anxiety

  • of eating other foods, so hopefully one day he can expand his diet.

  • He has said that his goal is to be able to go to a restaurant with friends, order a meal

  • other than mac and cheese, and eat it.

  • Mental health is important and often not talked about enough.

  • If you or someone you know has an eating disorder please reach out to a doctor or therapist

  • for help.

  • You are not alone.

  • Now check outWhat Would Happen If You Only Ate Meat and Nothing Else?”

  • Or watchDo These Bipolar Disorder Symptoms Sound Familiar?”

  • Thanks for watching, and, as always, don't forget to like, share, and subscribe.

  • See you next time!

What if you could only eat one food for 17 years?

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B1 austin mac cheese eating diet disorder

Man Eats Only Mac and Cheese for 17 Years and This Happens

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/20
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