Your freshman year of college can be a difficult and stressful time. You're getting used to being away from home and having a new class schedule. All the while you're trying to make new friends and get used to a wacky eating schedule.
I think I speak for most college students when I say that freshman year was a weird experience. It took some getting used to, but I did eventually find my groove.
However, one thing that remained unstable was my eating schedule. For the first few months of school I went days without having a full meal. Eating became something that I did on the go and when I did get a chance to eat a full meal, it was always dining-hall food.
Like any freshman, I started gradually gaining weight. I've never been an active person so I never stepped foot in the huge and overwhelming recreation center on campus. Christmas rolled after fall semester and I ate out of boredom. Everything that I put in my body was either junk food or leftover Christmas candy.
I gradually got better with my eating habits and made sure that I had at least one full meal a day. I felt better and more energized but I was still eating terribly. Having almost three dining halls within walking distance of my dorm made it so hard to resist the greasy hamburgers, quesadillas and sandwiches.
When my first year of college ended, I hated my body. I really don't like using that word, but I truly did. The summer clothes that used to be loose on me were now too tight to wear in public. I didn't even feel comfortable in shorts and t-shirts because I felt like my stomach showed through my shirt. Every time I would go out looking decent, all I could think about was if people were staring at me or if they could tell that I've gained weight.
Whenever I did feel cute and I took a selfie, I automatically deleted it because I felt like my face looked chubby. When people took pictures of me, I inspected every inch of visible fat on my body. I didn't matter how good my outfit, hair or makeup looked, that was all I looked at.
I felt like was in a body that wasn't my own.
I've always been naturally thin and never felt like I had to try hard to get the figure that I had, but never felt completely disgusted by my body until this year.
I started regularly exercising and eating healthier during this summer when I started getting a steady schedule. My mind feels clearer and I feel a lot better about myself, but I still have a long way to go in terms of loving my body.
Even though this is not how I wanted to look when I finished college, I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I was taught the hard way that I should really pay attention to what I put in my body and that I was taking care of it.
Throughout this whole experience of negative talk about my body, I realized a few things.
I realized that it can be really hard to not compare myself to every other girl on my Instagram feed. But then I remembered that I was made to look a way that is unique to myself and that I realized that I only have one body and it doesn't matter what others think of it.
I also realized that no one can love me until I love myself.
While there are so many parts of my body that I don't like, there are also parts that I love and I should focus on the good to outweigh the bad.