Why I’m Worried About Fasting on Yom Kippur

by Etta Washburn
Also Featured on KCBS

Why I’m Worried About Fasting on Yom Kippur

by Etta Washburn
Also Featured on KCBS
10.07.19
Photo: Adan Barrera/YR Media
10.07.19

A year ago, I used to food restrict. So Yom Kippur, a holiday where many Jews fast all day, is complicated for me.

I struggle with body image issues. For a while, eating less made me feel better — like I had some control over how I looked.

It wasn’t until I confided in a friend who struggles with an eating disorder that I decided to seek professional help. She warned me, “This is the kind of behavior that gets people hospitalized.”

I’ve worked hard to unlearn my old toxic thought patterns. Still, a part of me is anxious about fasting because I’m worried it will trigger some of my old habits. 

At the same time, Yom Kippur is a celebration that is incredibly important to me. Knowing I’m partaking in the same tradition as my loved ones makes me feel proud of my heritage and culture. It grounds me in my community and reminds me that I am loved. 

And so, I’ve decided to fast this year. I know I can trust my community to support me during this holiday, just like they always have.

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