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Tahira's story

Foodible began as a self-healing project, inspired heavily by my own experience with an eating disorder as a South Asian woman growing up in Bangladesh and the UK.

I've struggled with food for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of food being an issue was on a shopping trip my mum took my cousins and I to buy us our first pair of fancy jeans. We were all around 7 or 8 at the time and I remember none of the jeans fitting me because of how much weight I had lost. I resorted to buying a very nice dressing gown while everybody else got jeans.

My weight and appearance has been a subject of discussion and discussion amongst inconsiderate extended members of my family for as long as I can remember. I'd unfortunately like to attribute this to toxic body image and beauty standards many people in the South Asian community harbour. As an adult, having spent a lot of time healing from those insecurities, I can now reflect on my experiences and work through them. However, as a child, these comments were incredibly difficult to ignore.

Everybody's bodies are different. They process food differently, distribute weight differently, metabolise differently and grow differently. And learning to love my own, regardless of how much I weigh or what I eat has been extremely healthy for me.

Despite initially being worried to discuss my food anxiety and later a medically diagnosed eating disorder with close friends and family, I slowly began opening up and asking for help. Support from my friends and family did way more for me than the healthcare services I was waiting to receive. I started going to restaurants I had never been to try cuisines I never tried with a close friend of mine, Hadia. She helped me pick out things from menus which she thought I would be comfortable trying. This went on for months till I felt confident enough to not turn down big dinner invitations with larger group of friends.

My experience with food anxiety is by no means over and I still need people around me to remind me to eat most days. However, Foodible was born out of that very same spirit, with the intention of creating a virtual food buddy, who much like my real friends could take care of me throughout the day from my pocket.

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