Eyek Ntekim 

Writer + Content Creator

Hello and welcome to my blog! AfrikanRising is a place where I (Eyek) discuss (complete) health, beauty, and social justice. As a twentysomething year old Nigerian, I'm sharing my stories, from my struggles with self acceptance, to my favorite skincare products.

 I created this blog because I want you to feel something, whether that's joy, sadness or a desire to self-reflect. I'm learning and growing everyday and I want you to learn and grow with me. Join me on this journey and watch this African rise. 

 

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Food: A Love-Hate Thing

Hey guys, I was planning on making this post into a video, but the way my hair is set up....

Anyways, as promised, I'm going to be talking about food. Within this very broad topic, I want to talk about the love-hate relationship that many people (including me) have with food. Personally, for as long as I can remember I had a very negative outlook on food. I saw it as something that kept me from fitting into that jumpsuit that I (purposely) ordered two sizes too small, or what existed to comfort me when I was stressed.

*I'm not going to lie, I just (purposely) ordered my graduation outfit one size smaller as a goal setting thing. I'll keep you all updated on how that's going*

Whether we are aware of it or not, we are constantly being fed (ha!) two types of messages:

1.) Food is good for you, you need it to live.

2.) Avoid *any given carb, fat, or mineral* at all cost!

On one end we are told to love food, and on the other, we are told not to. If I say that I love food, I am often met with a smirk or a sly remark regarding the fact that  I'm fitting into the stereotype that people have about big people;  if I say I don't love food, people begin to wonder whether I have an eating disorder. 

The mixed messages we recieve from the world, in many cases, our family members can be all so confusing and detrimental. Not to say that men and boys don't feel this pressure, but these messages are connected to vanity and in most cases when we are taking vainity, we are talking about women and girls. It is no secret thatvalue is placed on girls and women based on how she looks. From a young age, girls are told to watch what they eat and not because of the risks associated with excessive eating but out of fear of getting "fat". As I said in an earlier post, elementary school is when I went on my first diet. I didn't go on the diet because I wanted to be healthy, I honestly didn't care about all that. What I wanted was to look good and look a bit more like my peers.

For the most part, we don't even think about having a relationship with food, talkless of a good relationship with food. Whether we think about it or not, the relationship we have with foods has a very serious impact on our lives and health. This impact can affect more than just our physical health, for example, being afraid of "getting fat" or being afraid of foods that would make us become what we percieve as fat.  I can't count the amount of times that I hear people say things like "I'm going to be 'fat' tonight and order Chinese" or "I want that cupcake, but I don't want to be 'fat'". (As if being "fat" is a state of existence, versus a description, lol) 

Fear is not the only emotion that dicatates our relationship with food; another common concern when discussing a person's relationship with food is control. Many people feel like they are not in control, they feel that food controls them. They feel pressured to eat certain things or eat a certain way when they are in front of the food. 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if people were encouraged to have positive relationships with food, quite a bit of the fear and lack of control that people feel around food would subside. Not everyone is in a postiton where they are constantly bombarded with postive messages about having good relationships with food. The reality is that most of us aren't. Now I can sit here and try to hit you with a motivational speech about how you thinking good thoughts will change this and detoxifying your life will make things better, but even I don't know how to avoid negative messaging about food.

What I can say is this: I firmly believe that self reflection is a  major key (*DJ Khaled's voice*) to understanding and exploring the state of your relationship with food. Start there and examine your patterns. Think about what you hear and say daily when the topic of food is brought up. Come up with ways that work for you and that will help you  change any negative, potentially dangerous mentalities you have with food. If you are spiritual, prayer and meditiation will -in my opinion- bring more clarity to navigating this issue as well. 

I would really love to hear from you guys how you feel about your personal relationship with food and how you have or intend to make changes to make that relationship better. If you are willing to share, please comment below or email me at afrikanrisngblog@gmail.com. (there's no 'I' in rising).

Thanks so much for reading and as far as the graduation outfit goes, I guess we will just have to wait until May 8th to see whether it was worth it or not!

-Eyek 

 

Love yo'self!

Love yo'self!

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