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Freshman Fifteen

As some of you may know last year (as in my Freshman year of college) I was sick a lot and there were a lot of other stressors happening in my life. In the chaos of it all I was struggling to find time in my schedule to eat. I did not see the big deal and I almost did not even realize it. At one point someone asked me what I had eaten and I honestly could not tell them the last thing I had eaten. At that point I was lucky enough to have friends around to help me remember to eat. This sounds terrible and like I was doing this to myself and to an extent I was and to an extent I wasn’t.

My freshman year of college I had the Freshman Fifteen, I had just lost the weight instead of gained it.

This was not due to my own choice, nor my own desire. I was on the go: from hospital visits (9 times), to 3 different doctors, classes, homework, family, friends at college, friends at home, Wesley a campus ministry I am a part of, trying to find a home church in Kennesaw, moving 3 times, the move being due to my assigned roommate that said some terrible things, boy problems, and normal freshmen adjusting to college and living away from home problems. I truly had 99 problems, but eating wasn’t one. It was one of the last things on my list to worry about and it honestly did not bother me. It kind of pleased me, actually.

My extended family has always made comments about my weight and it never seemed to affect me. This time they made positive comments. It was shocking, but satisfying. They looked into my pale face with bags under my eyes and angular features and told me I looked good. I thought I did too. It fit in with what society is saying.

In reality, I was beginning to look sickly and unhealthy. I was constantly weak and getting weaker. I was often worn out. My heart rate rose faster. I was continually sick and close to passing out. Merely walking around a museum was too much for me to handle.

This is NOT how things should be.

There were so many things going on that I never realized this. Thankfully as the school year came to a close so most of my problems had been resolved or brought to a point where they were not stressing me out anymore. I still was not in a great eating schedule though I was getting better thanks to 2 friends specifically who continually tough loved me. Thankfully for me, my looks, and everyone who has to look at me, God gave me a solid group of friends in the grade below me. So, by the time summer came around, came their graduations and their graduation parties. Food galore. I was aware at that point that I had lost a significant amount of weight. By the grace of God I also, somehow, got into my head that it did not matter what I ate at these parties because I had 15 pounds to make up for.

This is where God turned this mess into a blessing. I have never been a very hungry person and I have never eaten a lot of food at a time. So, through this year of basically ignoring my hunger impulses, I essentially shut them off. Which is bad, but I also shut off my sense of full. That was good. When it came to the grad parties I knew in my head I should be full, but I did not really feel it and I knew I had plenty of weight to make up for, so I kept eating. Which is a blessing because that food was good and I needed to gain some weight.

I very recently came to a spot where I realized the problem that this was becoming, with help. This also brought me to a spot where I am beginning to see how great the place I am in now is. I now only have a few problems and eating is one. I look healthier, I have more energy, and I am healthier. Zero hospital trips so far (knock on wood), zero times I have almost passed out, very few times my heart rate has gone up for bad reasons and I have walked around museums and even participated in Co-Rec Flag Football.

Also there have been zero positive comments from my extended family. There have been no negative ones (knock on wood), but they have not seen me since I have gained over the Freshman Fifteen back nor since I dyed my hair three colors and pierced my nose, but that is a different story.

All this to say I am not fully back from this, I did not know where I was going when I started this, I only knew that God pulled me to write about this, and I would love to talk. I do not know where you have been in this struggle or if you have been here at all. I would love for you to talk to me even not about this. I just hope this opens the door. I was incredibly lucky to be made aware of this when I was, but sometimes that is not the case. That is okay. What does need to be known is that there is help. There are many people and organizations that would love to talk to you and help you work through this. A simple Google search or ask of someone with the knowledge will help you head in the right direction. Do not be afraid, getting help is beautiful and oh so worth it.

I pray that you find help in the places you need it most at the time you need it most.

I have so much love in my heart for you,


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