The Prison of Food

By , Columbus, OH
To eat or not to eat.

That was the question haunting me ever since my parents split up. Before that I did have self-image problems due to my perfectionism, but now they’ve exploded into something bigger. After countless hours of lying awake and pondering why I’m the way I am, I’ve come to a conclusion. My mother and father were never very attentive towards me and often never very enthusiastic to any of my success. I pushed harder and harder, trying to get just a “wow” instead of the usual “mmhmm” but it never came. And probably never will. So for now, it’s not to eat. Until I get that “wow” and sense any drop of pride in my parents’ voices, it will remain that way.

I feed the toast my mom has given me to my dog instead of eating it, and indulge in the feeling of freedom, feeling like I have escaped the Prison of Food.

But I know better. As soon as I look at myself, look in the mirror, the doors to my prison cell will be slammed again. Fasting offers me a small escape, but it’s not permanent and will never be the way out. And the more I do it, the deeper I fall into the Prison of Food. The doors will open, allowing me to taste freedom, but I have never dared leave my prison cell. And once I miss the chance, the doors clanks back into place, and the key is turned in the lock.

But I know that eventually, I will run out of chances, and the key will be thrown away, lost forever, never to be seen again and I will never leave the Prison of Food. It calls to me endlessly, it tempts me to eat it, but I will not succumb. I know the way out of this cell. I just have to eat carelessly, not worry about calories or fat or pounds. But the cravings stand in the way of that. If I could just only eat when I’m truly hungry, not because I’m bored, I will have escaped. But finding the courage to escape is a far more challenging journey than the escape itself.

So for now, my decision is “Not to Eat.”





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