The Day I Chose Not to Eat: Part Two

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.

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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.

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6 comments

  1. I just read both parts of this post and that was really brave of you to share! I’m glad to see that your journey took a positive turn and I liked how you linked your experience to international development!

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  2. Thanks so much Jenn, it’s been a journey for sure! The everyday life, especially in our achievement and goal-oriented society is not acknowledged enough, and it is evidently something that every part of the 100% is strongly influenced by.

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  3. I’m so glad you shared this so honestly and openly. Every person struggles with different disorders, whatever they may be, and like you said, open conversation is the best way to bring change. You are going to have such a great impact on many people in your life, I just know it 🙂

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    1. Thanks Meagan, I appreciate that. Keeping secrets (unless it’s a surprise birthday party or something like that) usually seems to have more detrimental effects than sharing them does. I’ve been surrounded by much support as well, which I’m so grateful for.

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  4. I am so proud of you Margaret for sharing such an intimate experience. I am so happy for you that you are healthy now. Eating disorders are a horrible experience that more than one of my friends have experienced. I would like to share a quote with you from one of my mentors: “Please remember that you are important and you are beautiful and what you give to this world is worth so much more than you’ll ever know.” ❤

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    1. Thank you Lexi! It was such a normal thing to me when I was going through it that I assumed everyone else was going through (and hiding) it too. I know that wasn’t true, but it’s definitely something too many people in our society struggle with.

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