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I Gave Up My Social Life For The Body Of My Dreams

Mental illness presents itself in many ways. This is my way.

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I Gave Up My Social Life For The Body Of My Dreams

Some of our worst fears when heading off to college are the feelings of homesickness, making new friends, and the dreaded freshman 15. For some, the freshman 15 means gaining 15 lbs. For others, it means losing 15 lbs. For me, it meant gaining 20 lbs.

Throughout high school, I was never the skinny girl, but I wasn’t fat either. In a school that was predominantly white, my curvier body wasn’t seen as curvy, but as chubby, or too sexy for a teenager. Going into college, where I began to meet a very diverse group of people, I didn’t know whether I was skinny, fat, curvy, or average. Every doctor I’ve ever been to told me that my 130 lb. frame was pushing the weight limit for a girl of my age and height.

My friends and I would sit in the hallway of our residence hall almost every night, digging through a pack of oreos, and laughing. I ate mac and cheese, and didn’t hesitate when I wanted mexican food for the third day in a row. Nobody noticed that it was taking it’s toll on my body; I didn’t notice it was taking it’s toll on my body.

It wasn’t until I went home, and stepped on the scale for the first time since I had left for college, did I realize, I had shot up to 151 lbs. I was mortified. My clothes were fitting tighter, and my face was perpetually swollen.

That summer, I went on a health kick. I started going to the gym five days a week, and I gave my mom grocery lists filled with fruit, high-fiber cereals, and low sugar snacks. I always paid attention to my portion sizes. I even counted my mini wheats when I had them for breakfast, and I forced my “cheat days” to Fridays (and sometimes Saturdays tbh).This pattern continued throughout the summer, and when I went back to school, I tried to keep it up. With the chicken fingers at Nathan’s, and the burritos from Zona, and the sausage pizza that came with chips and soda for a meal, I quickly realized that this would be harder than I anticipated.

I stopped eating at one of the dining locations on campus. I feared the fast food, and rarely ate sandwiches, because the bun had too much bread. I still indulged in my daily cup of Starbucks, and I made up for it at the gym with my then hour and 15 minute workout routine. I had dropped from 151 lbs., to a comfortable 130 lbs. But I wanted to loose more. I wanted to be the weight that everyone always told me I should be. I kept at it. I added to my workout routine. I lifted heavier weights, and upped my cardio. I was happy with the progress I’d made at the gym. I felt stronger, and my stamina had gone way up. I was starting to see muscle definition in my arms, and I even noticed abs forming. I loved looking at myself naked in the mirror.

At the end of the fall semester 2014, I got sick. I could barely eat. It took over two weeks of barely any food for me to drop the extra 4 lbs to reach my goal of 125 lbs. I was skinny. My cheekbones were more prominent than ever before, and I could no longer put my phone in my lap, because it would fall through my thigh gap. I loved it. I loved being skinny, and slipping into my size 6 jeans. I loved seeing the thigh gap, and I loved being strong. My back was recovering from an injury, and I felt amazing.

My friends kept telling me I was disappearing, and everyone told me my butt was too small, and that I wasn’t sexy anymore. Part of me liked that. I don’t want to be sexy, for fear of being objectified. But after just under a year of restricting myself socially, and nutritionally, I dropped the ball. Summer came, and although I ate healthier because I was cooking, I couldn’t work out anymore. My 5 days at the gym had gone down to 3, and eventually, after spraining my ankle for the now 4th time, zero times a week. I gained 6 lbs., but I wasn’t unhappy. My muscle definition slowly faded, but my jeans still fit, and my 130 lb. figure looked perfect on my frame. Pan seared chicken, sauteéd onions, and a baked sweet potato was my go-to dinner almost every night. It was easy to make, affordable, and healthy. Delicious!

When my fall 2015 semester began, I was a happy 130 lbs. I had zero time to workout, and I went back to not having a kitchen, meaning I’d have to eat campus food once again. I tried to eat as healthy as I could considering my options. I still focused on portion control, and I continued to count my mini wheats.

It was winter break, and I was finally able to go home for an extended period of time. I hadn’t stepped on a scale since July. I knew I gained weight. My size 6 jeans were fitting tight, and my one pair size 8 jeans, the only pair I had left, fit like a glove. I had gone back up to 145 lbs. I was devastated. I knew my mom would tell me I was gaining too much weight, so I didn’t tell her at first. I focused on portion control again, and cut down my snacking.

Via dctchanel.wordpress.com

Going into the spring 2016 semester, I was 144 lbs. Now, I'm 145 fluctuating pounds. My doctor gave me that stern look last time I was weighed, and told me not to gain any more weight. I squeeze into my size 6 jeans still, because I can’t afford to buy new size 8s or 9s. I don’t like my curvier figure; my bigger butt is always a topic of conversation. I don’t like this body. I don’t like that I’m not strong anymore, and I don’t like squeezing into my “skinny jeans”. I don't take full-body outfit posts anymore; I hate the way I look in my clothes now.

I don’t count my mini wheats anymore, and I refuse to limit myself. I like to indulge, and I'm so busy, that I haven't found a balance between eating right, saving money, and staying sane I eat what I want, when I want it. I haven’t gained any more weight, but I haven’t lost any either except for the week to week 5lb fluctuation. There is only so much I can do, and I’ve got lots of time to get strong again. I’ve got lots of time to get abs again, and lots of time to fit into my size 6 jeans. And although I want that again, I know that this is a natural weight for me, and I can be strong later. But I don't know how sustainable that strength is for me and my body. My future and my career means more to me that getting a thigh gap, and fitting into extra skinny jeans. Even though I want to look like that again, it’s not worth it.

Indulge in the little things, and enjoy yourself. If you don’t do it now, you might not get tomorrow.

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