Dear Dr. Archer,
I have a strange food issue. Each day of the week, I have a color theme for what I'm going to eat. My meals are all nutritionally balanced and healthy, and I am in good shape, but if there is no food to meet my criteria, I feel really anxious and often skip a meal.
For example: Mondays I only eat red foods, Tuesdays are orange, Wednesdays are yellow, Thursdays are green, Fridays are blue or purple. Saturdays are white or beige foods, and Sundays I binge and eat nothing but crap. I have to bring my lunch to work every day, because there's no place to get the foods to match.
I even have colored plates for each day of the week. I make beautiful meals for myself and get really excited about making it, especially on Thursdays, because there is more variety on Green Day.
Going out to dinner with friends is almost out of the question, unless I can pick the restaurant and I know I can get something as a side dish to work with my color scheme.
I’m healthy and happy and exercise every day. My friends think I’m crazy, and I worry a bit. What do you think, Dr. Archer?
This is a new one for me. This clearly falls on the OCD scale, for no other reason than you must have impeccable organizational skills just to keep up with your diet on any given day. I wonder why you would have such a need to have such strict control?
I suspect you had eating disorder issues when you were younger, since what you describe falls within the realm of exercising power and control.
However, you have friends, you exercise and you seem to be quite happy, so evidently this is not affecting the way you want to live your life. Assuming you have a normal body weight for your height and frame, I see no harm done and no reason why you would need to stop.
One thing that may help is to pick one "wild card day" per week, other than Sunday. Anything goes on this day…and any color. Go out to a restaurant with friends, throw caution to the wind and eat a multi-colored meal and just have fun. Think of it as a vacation day!