It is quite remarkable to feel the effects of not-eating slowly draining out your body. I have random bouts of total exhaustion and hunger sickness, and when I think about what I have eaten during the day it doesn’t seem like I should feel undernourished.
Every day I make sure I eat breakfast/lunch/dinner, with a small treat if I have money left over. I’m not being silly about the process and starving myself, I make sure I eat things that will keep me going, like porridge and kidney beans etc. But because I’m not filling myself up and my body lacks sugar, my movements feel heavy, I feel slow and frankly really moody. I’ve come to realize that food not only effects your physical well-being it can also change your mentality.
I have always had quite a complicated relationship with food. I have gone through various stages in my life where food has played various roles, acted as comfort, just eaten when bored or sometimes my indulgence in fatty foods like cheese left me feeling very guilty. I was brought up with a very healthy diet, home-cooked meals every dinner-time, soup lunches at the weekend and we rarely had sweets or fizzy juice in the house. I learnt to appreciate food and its natural taste without all the additives that many children are used to. I don’t like to put extra salt on my meals – I don’t know why but I see it as an insult, not only to the cook but to the food as well.
When I had my body brace I found large portions a challenge, and eating became more difficult for me as my body was restricted by how much it could take in. More recently my diet has gotten slightly worse, it is by no means bad, but I tend to indulge more in takeaways, treats and quick fixes. This leaves me feeling the hunger guilt – for example after a long day I would try and enjoy a big bag of crisps with red pepper humus, and then immediately after demolishing the whole bag I would feel terrible.
I think it is this snack-when-I-want mentality that has made my body react the way it has. My body wants more and expects me to eat something quickly to fill a hole, but I am unable to so my body has went on strike. I know things will probably get much easier as the week goes on so I am optimistic that this experience will enlighten me not only in terms of my own necessities. But the much worse circumstances that millions of people across the world live in every day of their life.
On Tuesday I ate porridge and jam for my breakfast again, veg & potato salad for lunch (only without the tomato and the peas because they were truly awful – so really all I had was carrot, sweetcorn and potato 20p) and for my dinner I had chilli sin carni (47p). My dinner was fairly enjoyable, it was a concoction of rice, kidney beans, red plum tomatoes, chickpeas, sweetcorn and onions. I under cooked the kidney beans and managed to overcook the rice so it wasn’t amazing but it was stomachable. Because I had taken out some veg from my lunch meal I had 24p left on my budget – so as I was working all day and needed the sugar boost on my break I purchased a chocolate bar for 23p. I still feel like this was cheeky, but it was within my budget and I felt like it was necessary so heigh ho!
Here’s a picture of what I face for breakfast – doesn’t it look yummy! Oh and there are my toes! x