Being the Bigger Person

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Okay, so maybe my favorite pair of jeans was hugging my hips a little tighter, and maybe when I bent over to stretch during warm ups, I could feel my stomach roll up more than before. During high school, all it would take was cutting back on the cookies and doing a couple extra sit-ups, nothing that couldn’t be fixed. Being a petite Asian female at 5’ 0’’ exactly, I genetically never had to be too worried about being overweight. But living in a media-saturated society, we constantly have images of photoshopped bodies shoved down our throats, distorting our perceptions of reality. Inevitably, as almost any high school girl would, I became self-conscious, and this was natural. Although it was a constant battle between my stomach and my brain, looking back, I was always able to return to a healthy weight and put my worries out of my mind.

Whether a myth or not, every freshman has heard about the unavoidable “freshman 15” or the ten to twenty pound weight gain bestowed on any adolescent leaving home and starting their first year on their own. I had never paid much attention, figuring I had been raised to understand the importance of making healthy choices and exercising regularly. A pound or two possibly, but never an issue I imagined would become an unavoidable and at some point, obsessive.

Faced with a plethora of new food options, I experienced both the goods and mostly the bads of campus dining, and with a brand new gym and a variety of fitness classes, I felt I was maintaining a balance between the inescapable unhealthy foods and staying active. Unfortunately, in addition to poor quality food options, the stresses and pressures of a new environment, trying to fit in, while staying on top of academics led to careless eating habits. In effect, I found myself stress eating because of the anxieties I faced, eating to combat emotions from homesickness, and snacking late at night to fuel my brain through my midnight studies. And surely enough, the consequences...
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