When you were a freshman in college, did you ever expect to put on the "freshman 15"? I didn’t, but it happened. It was my first day home from finishing my freshman year of college when I had gone to the store with my sister to look for summer clothes. I found the cutest pair of shorts and was dying to try them on. When I got into the fitting room, my normal shorts size barely even fit me, and the next two sizes up from that didn’t, either. I remember staring at myself in the mirror wearing the shorts thinking “How did I ever get to this point?" I just started crying; never in my life had I felt so fat. I took the shorts off and proceeded to find my sister so we could go home.
When I got home, I ran upstairs and cried to my mom — I was so humiliated with how I looked. My mom is not one to sugarcoat things. When she saw me crying, she told me to get up, eat better and start exercising. From that day forward, that is exactly what I have done. I started running every single day, no matter how hot it was. In fact, the hotter it was outside, the longer I would run because it meant I would sweat more. I downloaded the calorie counter app and began counting my every calorie, and I watched what I ate way too carefully.
It took about a month for me to see changes I was semi-happy with, but by that point it still wasn’t good enough. Soon, my desire to be skinny turned into an obsession — an unhealthy one, at that. I became so obsessed with the food I was putting in my body to the point that an apple was too many calories for me. I started only eating once a day, and running crazy miles, adding insane hills and beating insane mile times. I thought running more hills at a quicker pace and eating only one meal a day was just the right diet for me — until my parents got real with me.
I grew so obsessed with how my body looked, my parents threatened to send me away to get help. I never knew it was that bad. I began realizing how annoyed my family and peers were with my obsession; it really was too much. Everyone was sick of me body shaming myself. I started eating healthy and more than only once a day. I found myself putting on all the weight I had spent an entire summer shedding off in what felt like a day.
My body went into what we know as starvation mode — a state in which your body responds to prolonged periods of low energy intake levels. Simply put, when your body loses a significant amount of weight, it starts trying to conserve energy through reducing the amount of calories burned. I noticed I was hungrier, my body began to get lazy even on my runs, and I craved certain foods like crazy. I stopped losing weight and became miserable — gaining every pound right back. My body had been storing all the fats from the only foods I had been eating that by the time I began to eat like a normal person again, I was just gaining more and more weight with every meal.The moral of this story is that starving yourself to be skinny will never work. You will always gain that weight back, if not, double it. Had it not been for my parents threatening to send me away on multiple accounts, I would probably be suffering from anorexia. With the help of my sisters, friends, and parents, I now know what a healthy diet really is. Although I still think I am fat on a daily basis, I know that I am at a healthy weight and am living a healthier lifestyle. I noticed that changing my diet from one meal a day to multiple healthy meals, I am more engaged and happier with life. Everyone’s body is different, and perfect in it’s own way. Starving myself will never be worth it.