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Dealing with “The Freshman 15” while in ED Recovery

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Elon chapter.

I do not think I have ever said out loud that I struggle with eating. I think it may be because I never got treatment, saw a therapist, or even spoke to my mom about it. I feel like I do not deserve to call what I am dealing with an “Eating Disorder.” But it is. And I have to deal with it. 

To give a little bit of background, this is how the story of how I developed disordered eating. In my junior year of high school, roughly around September of 2019, I decided I wanted to lose weight. Volleyball season had arrived, and it felt like the perfect time to start. I did end up losing weight. I went from 160 to 130 in less than 3 months. Once I got to 130, though, I could not lose any more weight. I was eating about 700 calories a day and working out for 2-4 hours a day. My body could not burn off anything else because it had gotten used to the tiny amount of food I was giving it. This meant that if I decided to eat more than usual one weekend, I would quickly gain back the weight. This, in turn, would make me eat less and less, which again would dig me into a deeper hole. 

Today, I am almost back to the weight I originally started at before the start of Junior year. Of course, I miss how skinny my legs got and how my arms were so tiny. 

But I do not miss constantly thinking about food and when I would allow myself to have it. I do not miss ignoring my stomach growling in the middle of my afternoon math class because I had only had a small coffee all day. I do not miss crying when stepping on the scale after school because I had gained .1 of a pound. I do not miss deciding if I could have carbs at dinner based on how much weight I had lost that day. I do not miss any of those things. 

Today, I am still trying to figure out what works for me. Right now, I follow a Pescatarian diet and have been following it for a few years. I try to limit my dairy intake because I know not having it makes me feel better. I eat gluten-free bread and lots of fruits and vegetables. I am happy now. Not fully happy, but I am getting better. 

I do struggle some days more than others. On Tik Tok recently, I saw that Elon was ranked as having a campus with the most “attractive students.” When I saw that video, I went to the gym and started to think about the salad I would have for dinner. College is stressful alone, but going into freshman year with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia puts a little extra stress on top of it all. 

It is now the start of November, and although I do continue to have good days and bad days, I think I am genuinely healing. I make sure to get the amount of fuel I need while still eating foods that make me feel healthy. I exercise when I can, and I try to not get down if I do not have time to work out every day. The “Freshman 15” is much more daunting when dealing with bad eating habits. I am proud, though, that in this crazy time of my life, I can put my mental well-being as a top priority while still succeeding in school. I hope to continue this journey to a more sustainable and happy lifestyle, and I encourage you all to join me. 

In 50 years from now, no one will remember the size of your waist. No one will care that you did not have a six-pack. People will care about how you positively affect their lives. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start your journey to happiness.

Hi! I am a first year at Elon! I love writing and I am so happy to be a member of Her Campus!