Liz thinks of herself as a healthy and happy person. She lives with her husband and pet dog in the suburbs and holds down a stable job. On the weekends the couple head to the beach or get out of the city to go camping. Liz goes to weekly yoga classes and her husband works out at the local gym. They enjoy cooking at home during the week and regularly go grocery shopping together at the large supermarket in town.
But despite her lifestyle, Liz doesn’t feel well. She’s tired all the time, even when she gets a good night sleep. She feels heavy and low on energy, even though her doctor assures her she’s a normal weight. Food she has always eaten without thinking twice leaves her feeling uncomfortable and nauseous. Her morning toast makes her bloat. Her afternoon sugar fix leave her dizzy and dehydrated.
She tries to tell her husband, but he doesn’t understand. She tells her doctor, who runs some tests, but they all come back inconclusive. Except one.
When Liz discovers she is pregnant she is overjoyed. Eager to hope for the best, she accepts the opinion of her doctor and her friends who tell her that it is the pregnancy, not her lifestyle, that is making her feel unwell. She accepts the negative changes to her body. She accepts the nausea and the bloating, the discomfort and the headaches. She accepts her fatigue and lack of energy. She accepts the packaged foods that her husband buys from the supermarket – the quick microwave dinners, the canned foods and the frozen vegetables.
When Liz miscarries five months into the pregnancy she must accept that the decisions she made about her body have not only affected her own life, but the life of another.
While she can never retrieve that life lost, she can start a new one. Which is exactly what she does.
Liz starts fresh. She clears out the pantry. She says no to packaged and processed foods. No to chemicals and preservatives and all the things written in such small print she never took the time to read. She says no to wastage, buying only what she needs from the local organic grocery store and growing the rest in her backyard vegetable patch. She starts her own compost system, fertilises her garden. She stews the leftover fruit in the fruit bowl. She preserves the nutrients in her food. She says yes to nurturing her body. Yes to growth. Life. The future.
Liz used to consider herself healthy and happy. Now she knows she is.
And her newborn daughter is the living proof.
Mother Organics. Growing a healthier future.
The Obstructions project presents authors with creative obstacles designed to challenge their writing prowess.
ROUND 2 CHALLENGES
- Rewrite the original as a work of propaganda. The story needs to scare people into worrying about food security.