hello, hello, and welcome back!
if you are reading this, THANK YOU SO MUCH. all I want to do here is share my experience, and I’m definitely not looking for pity or anything like that! (after I tell the story it might make more sense why I’m saying this now). I just want people to know that not everything in life is all sunshine and rainbows..although I’m sure we sometimes wish that is the case. Okay, before I start ramble on, here you go:
and if you missed part i, here it is!
So I mentioned that I left the first school I went to for multiple reasons, which is very true! But I would say that one issue stood out above the rest, and that was that
I had an eating disorder.
I don’t know if I would say that I still do, but some days are easier than others.
I started restricting when I was just 13 years old, so it was on and off during high school, but I’ll just give you the shortened/college version here!
I’ve always been obsessed with my weight. I wasn’t the skinniest girl growing up, and was always jealous of the girls who were. So going off to college, of course I was worried about what I looked like: you’re meeting new people, your on a campus full of gorgeous girls, etc. etc. It’s hard not to compare yourself.
As mentioned in (part i), I couldn’t rush a sorority because of my grades. I was devastated. On the flip side though, I became closer friends with my roommate (we’re still friends!), got my grades up, and made more friends.
HOWEVER, I was slowly eating less and less. At first it was healthy [giving up late night pizza and breadsticks probably wasn’t the worst thing to do!], I was working out more and walking a huge campus! I was heading to Panama City Beach, FL for spring break with my friends (side note:: I can’t believe my parents let me go on this trip LOL), and wanted to look my best. I honestly felt pretty good when we went!
In the middle of the trip though I got sick, and had to head to the health center when we got back to school. No big deal, but they weighed me so I could get antibiotics. To my surprise, I had dropped 15 pounds in just a few months. I was happy! This motivated me to continue to eat healthy, workout, etc. But I slowly slipped back into my restrictive ways that I think will always be in the back of my mind.
I remember one day eating a cup of grapes for lunch. I was scared to eat anything else. This seemed totally normal to me though.
Over the summer this pattern continued. My diet pretty much consisted of fruit, coffee, hummus and pita chips, and FiberOne bars. One day my mom noted that she thought I was looking too thin…this was like music to my ears. I loved being seen as “too thin” in someone’s eyes.
I had really weird eating patterns. I didn’t feel hungry a lot of the time, and was still working out. I was anxious and depressed and couldn’t think straight. I would fight with my mom about meals that I was refusing to eat. I don’t want to get toooo personal (ha!), but my body wasn’t functioning in certain ways that are pretty tell-tale signs that something bigger is going on.
(me that summer– the one in the middle!)
I began seeing a therapist for anxiety, and when I told her about some of the things I was noticing, she was quick to pick up on the fact that I wasn’t eating much. I brought my mom along to a session, and the therapist said the words “I think you have anorexia.” For some people struggling with an eating disorder, they would be angry and deny it. For me, I felt so relieved that someone could see how much pain I was in– physically and mentally. She recommended that I go to a treatment center, and I started soon after. (at this point I had lost another 15 pounds, and my doctor was also worried about what was going on).
I would restrict as much as I could during the day because I knew I would HAVE to eat a meal at the treatment center. I didn’t do anything the dietician said I should. I went back to school even though the therapists and doctors didn’t think it was a good idea. I would cry with anxiety about eating a meal.
When going to school and trying to make friends, I was terrified to eat in front of them. I didn’t want them to think I was fat. People that I knew from the year before had given me compliments on my weight loss (I don’t say this in a blaming way!), and I felt like complete crap. I made myself walk everywhere on a huge campus– even to a friends apartment that was a 45-minute walk away with essentially no sidewalks. I saw a therapist in Bloomington and pretty much sobbed the (3) times I was there. She begged that I eat a “real” breakfast and I couldn’t do it. But when she finally suggested that I take a semester off, I felt both fear and relief. To make a long story short, I left 2 days later.
I felt so weak I couldn’t move much of the things in my dorm room out on my own. I only told 5 people from the school that I was leaving.
I began PHP (partial hospitalization) treatment soon after I got home. When I learned that it was a program that lasted 7 hours 7 days a week, I again cried. I couldn’t imagine the idea of being told what to eat 7 days a week. ps:: Treatment is a whole other story, (and I’m sure I have bored you by now!), but it ended up being one of the best and most eye-opening experiences in my life.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re a trooper. This is essentially the beginning of my eating disorder story, and I thank you so much for listening.
I only share this to show that whatever is going on in your life, as cliche as it is to say, things slowly but surely do get better (I definitely didn’t believe this at first). Life certainly is not all sunshine and rainbows, but it’s not all thunderstorms either.
Being a young adult/college student/HUMAN definitely has it’s ups, but there are plenty of downs too. Remember that whatever you see on the surface is definitely not always the full story. We all have our own shit going on, and we’re all just trying to figure it out.
well enough of me boring you, I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving filled with FOOD and fun.
until next time,
And just like that, the holidays are back! We still have some time before Christmas is here, but every year it seems like the prep for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s begins earlier and earlier. And what comes with these holidays? Family, friends, and (most importantly) food & drinks! This year, be bold and host a Christmas cocktail party! With these tips, your party is sure to steal the holiday season!
- Know your audience: How many guests will be attending? If hosting a smaller gathering, make sure you know what each guest typically drinks and have it on hand (estimating 2-3 drinks per person). If having a bigger crowd, decide between having a full bar or creating a drink menu (still estimating 2-3 drinks per guest). Having a full bar is a great option if you already have a well-stocked bar, and creating a drink menu is ideal if you’re trying to save a bit of money!
- Have a festive drink ready when guests arrive: Something like this Cranberry Martini is sure to get your guests in the Christmas spirit! Garnish each drink with a blood orange for an extra touch.
- Make sure everything is ready to go: This might go without saying, but make sure all the glassware you plan on using is clean and sparkling! Put your bar accessories out (shot glasses, martini shaker, cutting board, utensils, etc.), and have plenty of cocktail napkins on hand. This way you won’t be running around looking for these things later on in evening.
- Create an ambiance: No Christmas party is complete without Christmas music! Turn on the classics and add some simple yet chic decorations. Put a wreath on the front door, have some festive-colored candles burning, and maybe add some reindeer to your mantel or bar.
- Whip up some easy appetizers: It’s important not to drink on an empty stomach. Have a few finger foods ready to go such as cut up veggies with dip, spiced pecans, or a charcuterie platter. Guests won’t become “hangry” (anger due to hunger!), and food will help prevent any guest from becoming tipsy too quickly.
- Have non-alcoholic beverages on hand: In addition to eating while having a few drinks, it’s also crucial to stay hydrated. Make sure you have a pitcher of ice cold lemon water, or maybe even some sparkling water. If any guests don’t drink, have other options like pop, coffee, and tea.
And there you have it! With these tricks up your sleeve, your Christmas cocktail party is sure to be a success!