Counting calories ruined my life

‘Now I’m here at Rutgers, surrounded by people who are doing great things while looking fantastic’

Everyone thinks weight loss is the key to happiness. It wasn’t for me.

It began with 17-year-old me being disgusted by my junior prom photos.

I looked up countless ways to lose weight and the keyword was calories, a word which still haunts me today.

17 years

Me at 17 years old

I started consuming half of the recommended calories. I trained myself to chew extremely slow and take small bites, with a giant gulp of water in between each. I gave up all junk food and solely ate veggies and fruits. My exercise regime started at a minimum of an hour including running, HIIT workouts and yoga.

I measured my weight on a scale in the morning and before I went to bed. Within a week, I felt myself getting physically drained from all the workouts, but I kept striving for more because the number on the scale kept decreasing.

The growls in my stomach became screams. I lowered my intake to a third of the recommended calories, skipped lunch and survived on coffee to suppress my appetite. I worked out for a minimum of three hours.

The mirror and my scale were my greatest enemies, yet I couldn’t stay away.

The stomach caved in.

My stomach while dieting

Never having enough food in my body, I craved everything. The days I binged were physically the most horrific days. I learned how to puke it all up, but it would leave me in such horrific pain that I had to avoid it at all costs. The numbers on the scale kept bouncing and I hated myself more and more everyday.

You know you’re fucked when you lose your period too.

Within four months of this chaos, I was able to wrap my hands around my caved in stomach. Everyone kept saying I looked great, but I felt like any minute could be my last. I hated the mess I put myself in.

So I stopped.

18 years

Now I’m here at Rutgers, surrounded by people who are doing great things while looking fantastic. Sitting in the dining hall watching stick-thin women gorge on everything fills me with envy. It’s not fair.

I can see how leaner women tend to be more attractive and happy. Why can’t I have that?

I work front desk at a gym and I’m constantly watching others accomplish what I should be focusing on. Instead I watch “Criminal Minds” and munch on Oreos in bed.

18 years

So I think to myself, “I’ve done it before – why can’t I do it again?”

Every day is a struggle to eat healthy because I want to do the complete opposite. I barely have time to sleep, study and have fun, so can’t I just skip out on eating, too?

We’re influencing an entire world to believe the false idea that once you get thin, you’ll be happy and everyone will love you. But then you find out you can’t even love yourself, especially in a place where you need yourself the most.

So don’t diet. It fucks up your mind. And your metabolism.

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