Let’s Eat Together. It’s a Virtual Date! by Dra. Aridia Vasquez MD
Special International Chapter Chair Blog translated from Spanish
Let’s Eat Together. It’s a Virtual Date!
We are living an irrefutable reality. We are living something that none of us had experienced before. We have done telemedicine; we have been at home longer than required sometimes; we have watched Netflix non-stop … but we have not done telemedicine in the middle of a pandemic. We have not had to stay home without going out due to a pandemic. We have not had to watch Netflix non-stop for a pandemic and very likely we have not had to eat alone because we are quarantined in the middle of a lockdown.
So starting from this reality we must start by having more self compassion. Eating time is quite difficult for anyone suffering from an Eating Disorder and doing it alone …ufff… it is just painful in the midst of all these anxiety triggers.
To support patients with Eating Disorders and those who simply need company at mealtime, 2 Instagram accounts have been created in both English (@covid19eatingsupport) and Spanish (@comamosjuntxs) where each hour is being virtually accompanied by an ED professional oriented on the HAES (Health at Every Size) approach. Far from therapy or consultation, the idea is to offer our time and company. You can share books, poems, songs, an instrument or just be there while we eat.
Thanks to Haica Rosenfeld, PsyD, CEDS-S for inviting me to be part of the professionals of her brilliant idea of @comamosjuntxs for Latin America after being inspired by @covid19eatingsupport understanding the needs of the spanish speaking community as well. This has been an initiative charged with love from where I have been able to feel the commitment of its organizers in a miraculous way.
From my experiences of these past weeks, I had such beautiful testimonies! I have met wonderful people. With or without an epidemic, food continues to have the same effect when two or more people sit together at a table: the bond of affection!
Little by little people are connecting, sharing what they are eating and as the days pass, they started to write to my DM to remind me that on our next Live eating date they can’t wait to share about new books.
A person with an AN history wrote: “Today I don’t want to eat, but we are talking about music and that specific artist reminded me of my grandmother, who liked to cook so much… my appetite appeared and I looked for something quick in the kitchen to join you all and honor her. ” How beautiful, right? So, I took the opportunity and talked about the taste of our memories. There…in our plates where joy, enjoyment, melancholy always fit, there in the flavors fits the whole life.
Every week I see more and more health professionals joining this initiative, donating their time and unquestionable love. When we give, we can see more clearly all that we received.
In the midst of this Covid19 pandemic it is good to remember that life is full of good and bad things. Good things don’t always soften the bad ones but the bad things don’t make the good things unimportant . A great example is that neither birds have stopped singing nor the flowers blooming.
Dra. Aridia Vasquez. MD
Eating Disorders Specialist
Body Image Healer
iaedp™ International Chapter Co Chair. Dominican Republic.