Reflections on Food

By Aziza Azura

I don’t remember when my relationship with food had first started. It’s one that has taken many forms, shapes, and breakups and it exists until the present moment.

I’ve always felt that food was gifted to me in abundance. I’ve never had to fear starvation, worry that I may just not eat enough to survive.

In fact, it’s always been a battle to not eat so goddamn much of it, like a bright stream of sunlight shining right into my face, no matter what I do to avoid it.

At 13 I decided I was eating too much.

Surely it wasn’t normal to be this chubby, to be this round in these areas; and I admit, it wasn’t, but the problem wasn’t food, the problem was just not moving enough.

A few years later and I seem to have grown a bit into my chubbiness. I’m not that worried about how I look, but food is still a huge issue in my psyche. I am either worrying about eating too much of the wrong things, or too little of the right things. I am worried about emotional eating as I tearfully tear a buttery crust into two and seduce my tastebuds while regretting it already.

Who made us so shameful of this mundane, yet critical, yet overrated, yet underrated activity and source of fuel?!

I am deeply passionate about abolishing the shame surrounding sexuality – and now I am seeing food and eating being tinged with the same anxious, nail-biting franticness that seems to seep in everywhere… Especially for young girls. At 13 I believed I was obese, and for me, there could be nothing worse.

I believe in education on eating habits; gut health and our overall dietary lifestyles are incredibly beneficial for both physical and mental development.

And at the same time, I think it’s important to acknowledge the insane heaps of fear that are lumped onto young adults when encouraged to make the right choices – it essentially boils down to, “you don’t want to be fat, do you?”

Because when you’re fat, it’s as if you’re less human, and become worthless in the eyes of the World Governing Party, those who deem this, that, and you, you.

And the psychological strain that dieting and conscious eating has induced in many of us may prove to be long-lasting and far more dangerous than some extra padding around my middle.

I was asked to write about Food, and all I felt was fear.

Food is what I sometimes run to for comfort, and yet I feel like running away as well.

I feel ashamed of my appreciation and love for it.

Sometimes, a few days before my period, I am both amazed and horrified by my appetite, and instead of acknowledging it for what it is, I am wracked with guilt and shame.

The same guilt and shame tied to my sexuality.

The same guilt and shame tied to these fundamental, yet elusive aspects of our daily lives.

With this piece of writing, I aim to call out the bullshit of food shaming.

I acknowledge that anything in excess is not healthy – that cannot be argued with.

I also acknowledge that food, when done right, is one of the most stunning sensory explosions you can experience in this lifetime.

All hail the tastebuds,
And all hail the potatoes,
And the grain,
And the wheat,
And the sugars,
And the beans,
And the eggs,
And the poultry,
And the red meats,
And the beetroots,
And butternuts,
And watermelons,
And mangoes,
And sweet melons,
And dates,
And grapes,
And chocolate!

All thanks and gratitude to that which flows to us in abundance and leaves us feeling stronger, inspired and connected with the seeds and soil of the Divine.

May we see the sacredness in everything through our senses, and be connected to all, with the breakthrough of fear and worry that keeps ourselves from meeting ourselves ❤️🙏