Wednesday, 14 September 2016

You Need To Eat. You just do...

Hi there friendly friends and welcome back to the blog of foodie, fitness-y, fun-y (or just plain funny for that matter.. :P)-ness.

Yep. That was my intro.

Save the applause until the end.

Alrighty- but in all seriousness guys, today I want to talk about something that isn't quite as light-hearted or delicious as this post about raw choc fudge avocado brownies and an overnight stuffed papaya recipe! (So, if you're in the  mood for food and not me blabbering on passionately about a topic I feel extremely strongly about then go check out those recipes!)
Today I want to talk about eating. And not just eating, because I think we can all say we know how to eat (I think from a very early age we discovered that the mouth takes it in, the teeth chew and the food is presently swallowed.), but one thing a lot of us (particularly us girls) seems to struggle with is the why surrounding eating.

Now, what am I going on about here? Well, basically, the struggle lies with the motives of eating we each have. For example; do you eat to suppress emotions. Do you eat to maintain a healthy weight. Do you eat to lose weight. Do you eat the bare minimum to simply survive... in the most unhealthy way. And I wanted to focus on that last one in particular.

Too often I hear the proud phrases of a group of girls commenting on the strength and ability they all had to only eat an apple the day before, or simply skip breakfast that morning, or have a lunch of celery and carrot sticks. And call it lunch. LUNCH.

*That's like my making-lunch-pre-lunch-snack!!

Not eating. It's just not ok.

I don't want to preach though. I don't want to reprimand, tell-off, chastise or blame anyone, because believe it or not, I get how hard it is to get out of that mainframe where self-worth and achievement results from limiting one's food intake. Feeling strong, powerful, successful... although a few hours later? Stuck with that empty naming and crying out of hunger from an underfed body crying out for nourishment resulting in tormenting hunger and the almost uncontrollable urge to eat- say hello to your bodies survival mechanisms kicking in.

The scariest part about all this is that over a lengthy period of time of restricting food and eating the bare minimum; these survival mechanisms begin to shut down and the body simply does not have the energy to cry out for food. For life. The resounding noise of hunger screaming suddenly becomes an eery silence covered up by the shutting down of the body... and that is just plain terrifying.

Of course, I am not in witness of many people who are quite at this stage where there is practically no food entering their bodies and the extent of their disorder has effected them so much to this point that they have no chance of struggling out of that mindset without a little extra help but the scenes of girls skipping lunch, or picking at their salads, or feeling gratified and proud of the little amounts of food they have ingested leaves me with that same terrified feeling.

The terrified feeling of what this mindset and way of living can develop into. The long-run implications of this restriction. The inevitable obsession that results from the feeling of power and 'success' that results from the single apple that made up the entire days meals.

There's a single quote I must have read on a blog somewhere at some time that really stuck with me and keeps ringing through my mind as I write this post and it's the fact that with a disorder as debilitating and consuming as anorexia, or any other eating disorder for that matter, you're either working to beat your eating disorder or your dying from it. Your choice. And whilst this quote alone can send shivers down most people's spines, the brutal honesty of it should be appreciated for the truth it does provide.

The gnawing, deep hunger that has become a natural state of living. The successful feeling felt by limiting the food eaten each day to a bare minimum that barely caters for survival. The unsaid pleasure of seeing your bones become more prominent, your cheeks become increasingly hollow, your friends commenting on the 'stick-thin-ness' of your arms. The picture of sitting down to a meal, dreading the bites that have to take place to please concerned families. The constant thoughts of food. The constant dread of meals. The inevitable downward spiral into a mind filled with darkness, void of light, laughter and happiness, consumed by a sickness like any other but hidden behind the label; 'Mental illness'

An illness is an illness like any other but the stigma around 'mental illnesses' can be passed off, swept under the rug, shrugged off as something that will sort itself out, heal itself, magically resolve with ignorance. So saying Eat, just eat, is not the magic pill. It's just not but unfortunately it's the simplified, stripped-back, one-and-only solution. Eat.

So, what's my purpose for this post? It's to those people. Those teens. Those girls finding self-gratification through eating as little as possible-EAT. Eat for your body. Eat for your health. Eat for your life. Because even though I may not have the most experience with those extreme cases of eating disorders, I do know how hard it is to pull oneself out of the dark depths of a mental illness and if help is not offered, the outcome can be extremely terrifying.

Stop before it starts.

Eat to fuel your body,

Food is necessary. Food is good. We need food. And a heck of a lot of it for simple day-today tasks. To thrive. To achieve your goals. To simply live; eat those whole, nourishing foods that your body is literally yelling at you to consume. Behind to your body and your body will do great things!
Wow that was quite the lengthy post and I commend you if you made it through the whole thing!! As you can tell, this is something I'm so so so so so passionate about and these past few years have shown me this is the field I want to go into when I finish studying nutrition and dietetics in uni (starting next year!! Yes!!!!!)- working in a hospital with eating disorders, in particular; adolescence.

I want to help. And I know I can.

No questions fro today, just leave any comments you wish- would love to hear your thoughts!

Have yourself a truly wonderful day, be kind to your body, do something you love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D

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