As a Spoon University writer, you can imagine that I am really passionate about food. I love the endless varieties it comes in—every shape, form, flavor and texture you can possibly think of. I love how food can be made to look beautiful and flawless, but even if the same ingredients were just thrown together, the meal would taste just as good. I enjoy cooking, eating, even just looking at food, and the satisfaction that comes from eating a single, perfect bite of something I've been craving all day is unparalleled. In a word, I am a foodie

I am a foodie that doesn't like my body. I don't like how my body is proportioned, or how the skin between my neck and chin amass together when I smile. I don't like the thickness of arms, how thick my thighs are, or the way my stomach rolls with one prominent crease right above my belly button. And the thing is, I'm not overweight or unhealthy. I just don't like my body.

And these two components of my life are constantly at war.

I feel helpless

pizza, tea, coffee, beer
Meghan Flynn

There are few things in life that make me as happy as food does, and that really isn't an exaggeration. Eating good food on a rough day can vastly improve my mood, but—and there's always a but—this initial euphoria comes at a price. After the wave of bliss is gone, I look down at myself and feel sick and disgusted. I stop seeing eating as a way to get sustenance, and instead feel like I have betrayed my body, inching further away from what I want to look like. 

Knowing how much I love food, my friends will joke with me about my eating habits—like how I can just be a bottomless pit and keep consuming food no matter what time of day it is. I joke back, but internally I'm trying to brush off these comments as they don't always sit well. It's not my friends' fault. They're purely amazed by my love for food, and they don't know about my struggles with body confidence. Regardless, their remarks remind me of how little willpower I have when it comes to resisting that extra helping of food. I look down to see a softer stomach than I'd like, and I feel deflated. 

This relentless cycle of internal conflict accentuates my insecurities and pushes me deeper into my depression. It's been this way for as long as I can remember. 

Loving yourself is so damn hard. 

But I'm trying to find my way out

Nancy Chen

Ideally, I could just have an epiphany one day, and all of my insecurities would be a thing of the past, but that's just not how it works. Learning to love yourself is a process, and it's slow and painstakingly emotional. Every day I'm trying my best to think positively, so that loving food and loving myself isn't an either-or scenario.

I have days where I wake up and think damn, I look good. Other days, I once again fall prisoner to hurtful internal dialogues about my body image. Some days I eat something amazing and have no regrets. Other days, I still want to vomit.

I just want to be able to enjoy my passion for food, without a dark wave of negativity tainting every meal. I want to feel good about my body, while also being able to enjoy and revel in my love for food. But most importantly, I just want to love myself.

One day I'll get there.