If you know me, then you know that I love chocolate—seriously love it. I’m honestly addicted to the stuff. Thanks to the Easter holiday, I’ve recently had a lot more desserts and candy than normal, but you won’t catch me complaining. I’m definitely a firm believer in enjoying the finer, and sweeter, things in life. Although that can sometimes be difficult or have negative consequences.
Everyone knows about the dreaded ‘freshmen fifteen,’ that myth that college students gain fifteen pounds their first year. That was certainly true for me, though I didn’t realize I’d been putting on weight for a long time. College and stress will do that to you, as well as unlimited meal swipes and hundreds of dollars in flex. I’ve struggled before with my looks, and I know I don’t fit into unrealistic—yet somehow expected—size zero beauty standards for women. There are times when I overeat. There are times when I don’t think I should eat at all. And there are times when I’m just craving some chocolate. Okay, that’s actually most of the time.
But still, I know I overindulge on foods I shouldn’t, and I’ve never been much on moderation; I can and should do better with my eating habits. I’m in the process of buying a whole new summer wardrobe because hardly any of my clothes from two years ago fit anymore. I felt devastated at first, I really did, and I kept thinking I would lose all that weight miraculously or something. Then I accepted my situation and came to appreciate that size is only a number.
Look on the bright side, I bought some cute clothes that fit me and are comfortable. Plus, I’m still healthy. You can be healthy at almost any size. That’s really all that should matter. If I choose to exercise or eat better, I’d be doing it for me and to feel good and not just to simply lose weight. And I’m sure with summer quickly approaching, I’ll have so many more opportunities to exercise, which I’m actually looking forward to. It can be hard to eat right, exercise and be healthy in college, with limited food options and no time to visit the Rec. I mean, I barely have time to write this column, and I’m eating chocolate as I do so.
Living in a time where body positivity is becoming increasingly important has helped me to feel good about myself for the first time in a long time. Many of us are learning to accept ourselves and navigate in a world that’s changing its perception of beauty. Beauty really is on the inside. We often focus too much on our outward appearance that we start diminishing ourselves, our talents and our amazing qualities. It’s time to appreciate who we are, inside and out.
If I’m advocating for anything at all here, it’s that you should eat that piece of cake or those chips. Sure, health issues and dietary restrictions exist, but outside of that, I think we should all indulge ourselves sometimes, when we can. Never give up the sugary things in life entirely, because then your life will be devoid of sweetness, and who wants that? Not me.
Amanda Larch can be contacted at [email protected]