Not eating as a way of control in an uncontrollable world

Forget what the motivational speakers say, the reality is that we have no control over much of what goes on in our lives.

We can’t control the train delays.

We can’t control the network going down.

We can’t control management’s decisions.

We can’t control numerous other things that create stress in our day.

And that’s OK.

But sometimes it’s just a bit too much.

Sometimes the things we can’t control get the better of us. Our positive thinking skills fail.

We can’t cope.

And that’s OK too. It happens. External pressures happen and it’s how we deal with them that makes the difference.

But some days we can’t deal. Some days we clutch to something, anything, that we can control. Something those external factors can’t hold over you.

Something you call the shots on.

I can control what I eat.

When everything feels like it’s spiralling out of control, when the factors I cannot change become too much. I can skip a meal.

It’s empowering.

It’s also habit forming.

It can be dangerous.

But I know I think this way so I can control it.

Another thing I can control: my choice to not exercise my control.

The temptation is there, though.

Control freak? Maybe.

But when the pressures mount, is it any worse than learned helplessness?

Wanting to maintain a scrap of autonomy. Is it so bad?

In religion, it’s called fasting.

Faith may be the motivator but the outcome is still about self control.

How many eating disorders are masked by faith-based fasting?

I don’t mask my desires to control my eating with religion. I hide them with the taboo that is talking about mental health.

This isn’t about body image. Not this time.

It’s about dealing with stress.

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