Below is the concluding half of my blog: The Day I Chose Not to Eat…
Thirdly I was not free to live my life the way I wanted to. I could not just pick up a food item and enjoy its taste, texture and nutritional benefits. I could not eat anything without feeling guilty. I could not stop thinking about food. I was constantly coming up with different ways of doing a “cleansing” fast or a “sentimental” fast. It consumed me. I might argue this was a case of social poverty. Society was a significant contributor to this issue and it was within social situations that I felt most vulnerable.
Today I am glad to say I have a healthy relationship with food. I decided one day last September that I would just try eating for sustenance and enjoyment (rather than comfort); allowing myself to eat what I wanted when I wanted to. This was a scary step for me, because mentally I could not fathom allowing myself to eat exactly what I wanted. It seemed like a trap, I mean, how would I ever lose weight if I ate whatever I wanted to?!
I followed through, however, and have found freedom from food (and a much healthier body image) since then. Unfortunately development work takes more than a change of perspective. Just because someone decides they will not allow their family to experience hunger caused by structural violence does not mean that they will find freedom by stealing a loaf of bread, for example.
The world is itself in disorder, maybe not a literal eating disorder, but a disorder nonetheless. This program (international development) would not exist if the world were in order *chuckles to self*. Therefore the conversation and struggle to end poverty continues. Unlike my approach of secrecy to the disorder, however this one is tackled through open conversation, a key catalyst in any road to healing.
Post script: I am at the point now where I enjoy talking about my struggle because it reminds me of how far I’ve come and allows people to become familiar with a significant part of what makes me, me. If you have any comments or questions for me please ask, I’m an open book.