By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I’ve been looking at a blank page trying to think of something to draw that represents this week’s topic for Illustration Friday, “Nourishment.” I guess I’ll just have to paint with words.

Sometimes I eat when I’m not hungry. I eat because it’s the prescribed meal time. I eat because I’m scared of getting too hungry. I eat because I’m sad or happy or some other emotion that is wholly disconnected from hunger. It makes me think that the food that I’m eating is feeding something other than my body. How can I feed it without abusing my body?

Sure, I keep an eye on nutrition to deflect the damage, but almost every bit of food that passes my lips is feeding something other than my body. What is it? Is there something else I can give it instead of food?

I don’t want to believe it is a demon inside of me. It doesn’t feel like a demon that needs to be fought or a dragon that needs to be slain. I think it’s something closer to a wounded animal that always eats everything you give it because it knows that tomorrow there may be no food.

I was starved every summer by my grandmother. Could it be that this thing inside of me screaming to be fed is my inner child? She was told she was fat so many times that she believed it. Fat people eat all the time, don’t they? Fat people eat whatever they want whenever they want, right?

Well, no… When I was fat, I was always on a diet. I was either on a diet or a post-diet binge. I never just ate whatever I felt like. I ate according to “The Rules” or I ate against “The Rules.” Worse still, “The Rules” changed for each diet, but they were always basically the same. Even now, I’m eating according to “The Rules.” I’ve just figured out how to keep that little girl inside me full.

So, what’s the answer? How do I eat for nourishment instead of eating for this damaged child? What else could I give her that would heal her? What does she need?


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