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September 11, 2011 8:00 pm / takingbacksingle

Let them eat cake!

 

This post isn’t a commentary on Marie Antoinette’s ignorance regarding the French revolution but rather about eating disorders and body issues that permeate our society.

When I was a child, I ate because I was hungry and I enjoyed the taste of food. But then, at some unidentifiable point in high school, that all changed. Suddenly, all of my friends were fat, or so they told me, girls would skip dessert or maybe lunch in entirety, and the skinnier you were the better. Being naturally skinny, I was the envy of many of my friends. I felt alright, but then suddenly, I realized that I was not skinny enough. It started with cutting out chips and fried foods, and then suddenly, I was counting calories. In a week, I had lost a couple of pounds and I felt great! I didn’t need to eat much, I though.

One day, I felt lethargic and couldn’t concentrate. I saw a bag of chips in the kitchen and couldn’t stop myself. I was starving! And it was then I realized that I couldn’t continue that way. But it wasn’t that easy. Freshman year of college, I was more worried about gaining the Freshman 15 than about grades. I felt proud when my friends went for a post-party snack and I abstained. And I even lost weight my freshman year, both because I didn’t like dining hall food and I was trying very hard to be healthy. I also felt guilty whenever I didn’t go to the gym for a week.

But as time went on, I forgot about the worries and relaxed. One day, I realized how great it was to not worry about gaining weight. I was still around the same size, because I do enjoy eating healthy, but I didn’t feel guilty when I gave in to a junk food craving then and now.

I feel great now, I really do. I exercise because it makes me feel good. I eat healthy because I like the taste of the food, but I also don’t limit myself from anything.

I feel sad whenever my friends start complaining about how guilty they feel about eating dessert or having french fries at a restaurant. I try to tell them that it’s okay. But there’s nothing really that I can do, you have to make an effort to feel better, and nothing that someone else tells you will really get you to change your behavior.

But it feels so great to eat and enjoy the taste. To not spend hours after dinner agonizing, thinking that you have to eat healthy the next day to “make up” for those extra calories.

You only have one life, do you really want to spend it feeling guilty and worrying? It takes a lot of effort, but you really can’t let those bad thoughts get to you. If your friends are constantly body bashing/ dieting, get new friends because it’s impossible to be confident when no body around you is.

So that’s my story. What’s yours?

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