Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Had Forgotten the Sacrifice

You know how sometimes you forget the struggles you have been through until someone does or says something that reminds you of exactly how far you have come in this life?
When I was in my early twenties, I moved from one State to another to start a new life with my two young children.
I found a job, but it didn't pay much more than my rent and daycare expenses.  Food was something I spent as little money as possible on as it was the only place where I could control the spending.  In order for my kids to have enough, I didn't eat breakfast and I didn't eat lunch save for some coffee and one or two pieces of cheese that I stole from the place I worked.  For dinner, I cooked enough for my children to eat and whatever they didn't eat was what my one meal for the day was.
They attended a daycare that fed them both breakfast and lunch.  Without that, we would never have made it.
I sacrificed my own nutrition so that my children wouldn't know that one of us was going hungry.  They were young enough that they didn't realize that the story time we had while they ate dinner happened because I didn't have a plate of food.  They didn't notice that while they were washing up after dinner, I was eating what they hadn't.
If we hadn't received food from our local food bank once a week, my children would have known hunger too.
I went from a size 10 in women's to a size 16 in girls (smaller than a size 1) over the course of approximately one year.
I've never told anyone about this sacrifice I made so that my children would have full bellies.  It has now been almost fourteen years.
I certainly do not recommend this to anyone.  It is not a weight loss tool.  It was an incredible struggle and definitely not healthy.  I actually ended up hospitalized with a 'nervous breakdown' that resulted because of the lack of nutrition and the incredible amount of stress I was under just trying to survive.

If you know or suspect anyone you know is going hungry, please put them in touch with your local food bank, charitable organization or help them out yourself if you have the means.  Even something as simple as dropping off a casserole to a neighbour can do so much more than you might imagine.

Until Next Time,

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