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Food For Thought: Too Much Thought

Joined: 3/7/2013
Posts: 2
For me, food has been connected to emotion and deep meaning. I’ve always put a lot of emphasis on what I eat, if I deserve it, how much of it I have, and if its tastes satisfy my emotional needs.

I love food. Almost a little too much. I love when varying flavors coat my tongue, leaving me to bask in delicious explosions. So what’s the problem here? The issue lies within myself, because, throughout my life, I’ve struggled with the concept of “deserving” food.

When I was ten, I would go out to eat with my twin, Kaitlyn and my father. At the diner I would order a kid’s grilled cheese with French fries. Once the food arrived, urgency would rise in my throat. Kaitlyn and my father often found their hands on my plate, grabbing fries from time to time, and to me, this was a violation of my meal. Being a twin, I hardly ever felt that anything was my own, so I needed to at least have this. I would eat fast, as if I would never have another meal again. My stomach would scream at me, urging me to stop. The minute we stepped outside the diner’s front door, I would throw up uncontrollably.

In high school I had picked up long-distance running and joined cross-country. The experience was mostly positive, but I was blinded by obsession. I didn’t realize how dangerous a simple association could become; I developed the mantra inside my head, that after each five or six-mile run, I “deserved” the food because of the amount I had burned off. Because I had worked out, I could enjoy meals in a guilt-free manner.

Last year, as I began college, food and exercise were constantly on my mind. Hardly a moment would go by when I wasn’t thinking about one or the other. When was I going to get my six-mile run in? When would I hit the pool? What would I eat for breakfast? Did I deserve it? Should I have dessert or would that make me ‘unhealthy’? Obsessive thoughts circulated my brain at such a rapid pace that I eventually chose to avoid dealing with food. If this meant not eating, then so be it. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about what I was eating or if it was too much.

This semester I entered treatment for my Eating Disorder, something that was embedded in me for much longer than I’ve known. I used food (and restricting and purging through vomiting, exercise) to numb my depression and anxiety. I’m becoming friends with food again, and learning to deal with my problems healthfully. I’m not ignoring food, but I’m also not obsessed with it either. We’re just friends, and we’re learning what lines we shouldn’t cross. I can have food in my life and enjoy a good meal, without having it at the center of my focus. Food is less on my thoughts, and I am free.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Food for Thought essay being chosen as 1 of the 11 essays in the running for 1st place for our November 2014 teen writing competition. Be proud of your accomplishment. We had almost 200 essays submitted for November’s contest.

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field.

We will post all winning essay results by December 31st. You can check this page for the results after December 31st:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Friday, December 5, 2014 12:46:48 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Food for Thought essay being selected as our third place Teen Essay for November 2014.

To view all the results of our November 2014 contest, please check our winners page on or after December 31st:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 5:00:14 PM
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