Posted by: Sara S. | December 11, 2009

I was told there’d be cake.

When I was 4, I ate so many carrots that the tip of my nose turned orange.

At age 7, I overdosed on hot dogs and cotton candy at a baseball game and vomited everywhere.

Upon arriving at college, I still didn’t know that diet soda was any different from full-sugar soda.

For 6 months freshman year, I gave up all carbohydrates and chocolate in an effort to lose weight.

While my tennis team was spending a week in Brazil, I tried surviving on only water and fruit.

For as long as I can remember,  my favorite fast-food order has been 2 hot dogs, 1 cheeseburger, French fries and a root beer at Buffalo, NY-based Ted’s.

No one can fully sum up a lifetime—erm, quarter lifetime—of eating in a singular blog post, but above are some of the more audacious entries in my fairly unremarkable life with food. Growing up, we ate like a normal family: meat and pasta and lots of milk and eggs and pancakes sometimes and green vegetables when I was being nice. Cookies were ok if accompanied by a glass of milk. Bananas were superfood. I never worried about being chubby or even thought about my weight; I was 120-130 pounds through all of high school because I played tennis like a fiend. Body type, fat, metabolism: these things never crossed my mind.

That is, until I got to college and was introduced to hyper-conscious girls and the concept of dieting.

When I decided I wanted to lose some weight freshman fall, I put myself on a regimen of tuna sandwiches, salad, hard-boiled eggs and Grape Nuts. That worked fine until I ate some chocolate one day and totally lost my willpower; it was around that time I also began eating a cup of peanut butter for dessert. I had no idea what I was doing.

For the next six years, I had some dieting and exercising flings, but they all lasted a very short while. I could never be a casual dieter and exerciser. I either had to be eating spinach for every meal and working out 2 hours a day, or wolfing down burgers and sitting on my butt. I wasn’t about to half-ass my lifestyle either way. That became especially apparent over the last year when I exercised about three times total and ate with complete reckless abandon. Hello high cholesterol; goodbye waistline.

I am telling you this because I think it’s important context for the blog and the mission. You must be curious about whether I am a chronic dieter, neophyte, food freak. I have never had an eating disorder and I have never been obsessed with my weight. I’ve always been lax and have eaten what I wanted and enjoyed food immensely. Going out to dinner was my favorite weekend activity; and it was rare when I didn’t indulge in an appetizer, entree and dessert. With such a fast metabolism, I was free to overeat and not worry my pretty little head about it.

Now, I do worry. I count calories, I try to exercise every day, I respect the food pyramid (such a noble but impossible quest). Reforming my ways has forced me to shift many aspects of my life, from social engagements to ordering takeout to alcohol consumption. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. I am not someone to whom dieting comes naturally. Dieting and restriction come to me about as naturally as the crab walk.

There is no grand point to sharing these vague and sweeping details; I am merely answering the question I assume some of you must have: What is the girl’s deal? My deal is simple. Food was once a necessity, it slowly became a free-for-all, now I’m tightening the reins. I never believed there was ever too much of a good thing—especially if that thing came in sausage casing—but it seems you have to get it together eventually.


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