I never gave a second thought to what I ate my whole life, until college. In high school I was the girl that would finish the fries off your plate, or the last slice of pizza so we could throw away the box. I was always active, and always skinny. In college the only thing that changed was my involvement in sports. I still lived for pints of Ben and Jerry's, cherry coke, Oreo s and Easy Mac. It wasn't until about halfway through the year that I started to wonder if maybe these habits were starting to have a negative effect on me. I didn't feel like my clothes were fitting the same, so I started going to the gym one day a week. One day turned into two, and two into three, and so on until I had settled into regular routine. Before I knew it I was cutting things out of my diet, like chips and soda. By summers end I had sworn off fast food, and I thought I was on my way to feeling better about myself.
But through the rest of college I struggled with being happy and indulging in the foods I loved, and being skinny. I thought the two were mutually exclusive. How could I have a healthy relationship with chocolate, and my body? Part of me knew that to be happy in life you had to enjoy every moment, and live in every moment. When friends wanted to go out for ice cream I never wanted to be the one on the sidelines sipping ice water. What I didn't realize was that I didn't have to be the one taking on the ten scoop ice cream extravaganza challenge. I had gained a demented sense of pride as a child from being able to eat so much at one time it was hard to shake. There is no pride in eating yourself sick. There is no pride in starving yourself thin either. Let's face it life is too short to not indulge in our favorite rich and delicious foods every now and then. I also have taken A LOT of time to accept that the shape I was born with is the shape that will always be. I am a pear, be the pear, love the pear. Life is so much more relaxing and easy when you accept things you do not have the power to change.
I am convinced that good diet is incredibly hard to uphold in college. As much as there is a routine and an order to life, there is chaos. Chaos filled with 2am Wawa runs, pizza for breakfast, and if you are me and live in Philly, the amazingness of cheese steaks. I started to notice that during finals wees, when my diet was at it's worst I felt like I was at my worst. After all the studying, tests and projects, when I had time to feed myself good things like fruit and vegetables, my body felt so much better. It can't really be that simple can it? feed your body good things and you will in turn feel good? And not only that but I stopped telling myself that anything was "off limits" or "restricted" and just ate things I liked or wanted just not our of control portions.
I no longer believe in the word 'diet'. I personally think that they are set up for failure because they are based on restriction. But to be fair, because I do not believe in them I have not taken much time to research them. I only believe in nutrition and feeding your body one good friend once told me, "Thin people eat when they are hungry, and stop when they are full". Never have I heard a move valid piece of advice and even though my eating habits had leveled off to normal I still always keep this in the back of my mind. Somehow our culture has brainwashed people to believe you need to eat only at breakfast lunch and dinner, and that you must clean your plate at every meal. Now I am not one to advocate wasting food but if you are full, stop eating. save the rest for later. leftovers are not the enemy. And if you are hungry an hour after eating your morning bagel, eat something else! Anyone that knows me would tell you I never stop eating throughout the day, I rarely finish a meal at a restaurant, I drink a ton of water all day long, but I will also have no problem putting away half a pizza.
Have your cake, and eat it too. Enjoy every delicious chocolaty bite, smile, and love yourself.