One therapist told me repeatedly to allow myself to experience the taste and food of England. This comment annoyed me greatly. How could I allow myself to do that? What was he thinking? Of course I could not enjoy food.
However, I am beginning to allow myself to do that. It is terrifying but also fun. Plus, the confidence that my parents are helping me and supportive of me reminds me to take care of my body.
Food is a fuel for our bodies. That makes it good although too much of it is certainly not healthy. Being scared of it makes no sense to many people. However I cannot force myself to like it or eat it without feeling guilty.
Thus, realizing that I would miss out on this experience if I did not eat was difficult. Why couldn’t I just skip over that part? What was the importance of it anyway? Needing food to make the travel complete seemed silly. Sure, my body needed fuel, but what did it matter if it was with others or from Oxford? Food is just food. That is all. There is nothing special about the food here as opposed to home.
Yet, there is something unique about having food from another cultures. Although I am getting my same amount of food, I am doing it in different ways than I can in the United States.
Today, I went to The Eagle and Child, where C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien met with the Inklings. The girls with me convinced me to have a few chips along with my veggie burger. Despite my fear, I had this classic British food. The environment, friendly people on the table over, and history as well as the food made this experience wonderful.
Earlier in the day, I also enjoyed a tiny pudding (which is what the British call every dessert) with my tea. Instead of panicking when these types of situations arise, I am learning to try to adapt. “This will fit into my meal plan,” is my continual chant. Sure, I feel disgusting and fat. However those miseries wear off. My memories of eating food here and enjoying the experience will not fade away.