The first chapter, Eat, focuses on the importance of diet, showing how the basic need to eat can become a defining feature of our lives, whether we are calculating carbohydrates, seeking the nutrition that our bodies need, or controlling their shape and size. Through eating, the processes and practices that create routines, rules, cures, and rituals of care become visible, and the ways in which the body is reconfigured by its material needs become apparent. As a significant form of managing illness eating is a way of caring for the body, but it is one that creates conflict, turning eating into a duty and a reward. Ava has rheumatoid arthritis. In her search for a magic bullet to cure her of her daily aches and pains, she has consulted nutritionists, bought supplements, subscribed to diet and nutrition email lists, and read countless magazines, books and websites. Disciplined eating forms part of Ava’s strategy for health, and routines structured around food provide a sense of security and control, revealing significant dedication to caring for the body.
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