By the time I got to College, I’d lost significantly more weight throughout the rest of my senior year and the Summer break. I now weighed around 160 pounds, and fit into a size 8-10 pants. The only problem was, I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue skipping meals like I was so used to.
First of all, my devoted mother had purchased the full-meal plan along with my dorm room, which included 3 meals a day and an a-la-carte option, in case I just wanted a snack or dessert whenever. Second, I lived in the on-campus dorms and was attached at the hip with my awesome new roommate, who always ate 3 square meals a day and was perfectly svelte! Plus, as much as I hated to admit it, I “knew” that skipping meals was “not healthy,” and saw this as opportunity to get my body back in sync with a “normal” eating regime.
So, every morning before our 8 o’clock class, I’d roll myself out of bed and drag myself to the cafeteria to eat an oh-so-healthy breakfast of oatmeal with a splash of milk, artificial sweetener, cinnamon and some fruit. I never really enjoyed breakfast, but I chalked it up to me not being a morning person. Then after our 3rd morning class, we’d head back to the cafeteria for lunch, in which I usually ended up eating much more than I was used to simply because there were so many options to choose from! I would get a salad, because I knew it was good for me, and a sandwich filled with veggies to fill me up, then a burger or other entrée, of which I would only take a couple of bites just to taste. Then I would finish my meal off with a piece of fruit for dessert.
Then after our evening study groups, we’d head back to the cafeteria for dinner, at which point I would be absolutely ravenous! At this point in the day, I was so tired and hungry that I would just skip the salad, figuring I’d already taken care of that requirement at lunch, and eat whatever entrée was on special that night. And what better way to finish off a long day of school work, studying, and church activities than with a piece of cake, cookies, or an ice cream cone? And the next day, we’d do it ALL…OVER…AGAIN.
As you can imagine, my weight flew back up and I gained about 15-20 pounds within the first semester of college. My clothes got tighter and my confidence diminished. Surprisingly, the worst part was not necessary gaining weight, it was the loss of control over my eating habits! Breakfast was always pretty easy, because I was never really hungry at breakfast. I simply ate oatmeal, fruit, or an egg white omelet because I knew it was good for me and it would “rev my metabolism” up to burn more fat. At lunch, I was never really hungry either, but for some reason found it harder to limit myself to healthier food options, as I did at breakfast. By the time dinner rolled around – all bets were off! I had lost all sense of self-control by this time and ate everything with reckless abandon. Afterwards, I’d feel guilty and promise myself that the next day would be different.