As some of you are aware, and others maybe not, college has been a time of difficulty between myself, food, and my body, as it unfortunately is for most. The girl who started out her freshman year with zero cares in the world about what she put in her body, the girl who grabbed endless amounts of cookies from the dining hall, has long been replaced with different versions of herself she never could have imagined.
I’ve always been passionate about food, but these past few years have put that to a test. What started as an innocent attempt to eat healthier and live a more active lifestyle quickly turned into an obsession and disorder as I used food and exercise as a way to have some control over my life during the crazy time that college is.
However, things backfired when that obsession started to control me and my happiness.
These past few years have been a roller coaster for me of highs and lows in regards to my relationship with food and my body. It’s been a time of laughs over margaritas and tacos that lead to the inevitable food comas; a time of balance as I strive to find a middle ground between my love of sweet potatoes and my love of anything with sugar; a time of learning about what foods to be eating and what foods to avoid, as well as how to work out to achieve my fitness goals; a time of restriction and overexertion as I worked my body far too hard while simultaneously planning out all my caloric intake for the day; a time of pure bliss but also a time of feeling helplessly alone.
Throughout my continuing battle to find peace with food, I have been able to discover so much about myself and what is truly important at this time in my life. All of this has been through experiences involving you, my best friends. Whether you know it or not, have supported me so much along this journey to regain strength with my relationship with food, my body, and myself.
This is my letter of thanks.
Thank you staying up until 3 am every weekend of freshman year to wait for our late night pizza to be delivered.
Thank you for sitting in the dining hall for hours every weekend morning eating tater tots and waffles and gossiping about the night before.
Thank you for letting me drag you to every food festival I become aware of and sharing my excitement.
Thank you for letting me take pictures of every meal for my food Instagram, even if you roll your eyes at me.
Thank you for encouraging me to get that bowl of pasta you know I want, even if I bail and get a salad.
Thank you for suggesting a day of doing nothing but staying in our PJ’s and watching movies, reminding me it’s okay to go a day without the gym.
Thank you for exploring new places to eat with me and bringing excitement about food back into my life.
Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to not be okay, but it’s really all going to be fine.
Thank you for not de-friending me for bringing a sweet potato to the library to snack on.
Thank you for not evicting me from the apartment when I’m up before the sun to ensure I get in a workout.
Thank you for providing me with nothing but comfort as I try to explain the obsession and control about food that goes on in my mind.
Thank you for sending me unhealthy recipes like buffalo chicken dip and insisting I make it for you.
Thank you for creating memories that will last so much longer than the guilt for eating a slice of pizza.
Thank you for crying with me in the middle of the night when I doubt my ability to ever find peace with food and my body again.
Thank you for eating all of the desserts (and the burnt rejects) I make.
Thank you for constantly supporting me in all areas of my life, showing me that I am so much more than my size.
Thank you for being patient as I struggle to pick the perfect thing on the menu every time we go to eat.
Thank you for laughing with me over beer games and chips and salsa as I’m reminded that this is the time to be young and have fun.
Thank you for forcing me out of my comfort zone.
Finally, thank you, all of you, for being a constant source happiness and love in my life. I know I still have a lot to work on, but having people like all of you in my life leaves me with no doubt that I’m on the right path.