Married to Food

    It’s easy to look at someone who can’t fit through a door properly and wonder in astonishment: “How did they even get to that point?” Truth is, they are just as dismayed as you are.

    It’s easy to write out labels and stamp them onto people; you’ll soon find that there is no open space to stamp because of all the times they’ve written the words there themselves. See, it’s not the words that keep people from losing weight but rather the comfort that food provides.

    It might be hard to comprehend if food has never been a stronghold for you, but for some of us, food, you might say, takes the role of a best friend.

    Having fun wouldn’t be the same without a best friend; somehow they just seem to make you smile a little wider, laugh a little louder, enjoy yourself a little more. They make it easier to enjoy whatever situation you’re in, even if you would prefer to not be. It might seem impossible to think that food can provide such qualities, but it does.

    Whenever something goes wrong, your best friend is the first person you go to. You spill out your soul, and they sink in the emotion without asking questions. You indulge in their acceptance of you, which causes you to trust them even more and increases the likelihood that you’ll come to them the next time things go south. This becomes a too recurring event, and you soon find you can’t go a day without indulging in the pleasurable company of your best friend. You eat your way out of any situation, and seconds later you regret ever having believed that food will make everything better (just like you regret pouring your heart out to a friend for the fear that they won’t keep the secret); yet, the cycle continues, and soon enough you can’t find anyone else to go to.

    You can easily get greedy or jealous of your best friend, causing you to hide them from the world in fear of losing the acceptance and comfort you find in them. Society expects us to be perfect, and that is why the majority of people who struggle to overcome the stronghold of food don’t tell anyone because they believe that they can fix it themselves. They tell themselves that it can’t be that hard, and week after week they swear to stop eating, in vain.

    See, just as you can’t explain why your best friend makes the world a better place or why you find the most comfort in their acceptance, we can’t explain why food makes us feel accepted and complete and happier, even if just for a single moment.

    That moment is enough to keep us hooked. That moment is enough to make us justify buying a bigger size, enough to make us believe that we can fix this by ourselves, enough to make us go one more day without telling anybody.

    Even though there are many ways to overcome this, we can’t do it alone. One day we will come to you. We will ask for help, even if it is in the most hidden way. And when we do, all that is required in return is a hand to help us up and a promise that your support will sustain.

    Zéandri Rautenbach is a high school graduate with her adulthood staring her in the face. Even though her name is hard to pronounce even in her own country, South Africa, she wears it with pride. When she isn’t releasing her emotions in a book, she’s showering them out on paper. Nothing brings her more joy than supporting people through her stories, and she hopes that this will one day amount to becoming a novelist. Other than literature: antiques, classical music, and hysterical puns (even though she can’t make them) are her fuel. She can be reached on Facebook or Instagram: @zeandrirautenbach

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