That’s the number that glared at me on the scale. At 5 foot 10, I was a mere 115 pounds. Looking in the mirror, I felt beautiful. Finally, I thought to myself. I’ve finally reached the goal! After months of paying excruciating detail to my eating, exercising way more than my body could handle, and cutting every meal in half, I had lost 25 pounds. All while being involved in several ministries, including a Christian sorority, Bible studies, and our local church.
My freshman year of college looked drastically different than I imagined. Going into school, I felt confident and prepared. In high school, I was a leader in our youth group, on homecoming court every year, and involved in several activities. My parents encouraged me each day, and every morning my dad would greet me when I walked down the steps with a cheerful “Morning Princess!” My worth and beauty were affirmed through what I did and the words of my parents. I didn’t realize how much I relied on them to satisfy that longing in my heart.
Before I left for college, I made a surefire plan for my first year. The first thing on the list? Do not gain the dreaded freshman fifteen. I had been warned by many friends of this terrible thing that happens to freshman college students. Within months of stepping foot on campus, they gain 15 pounds. I had determined that this would not happen to me. So I made my infamous plan. I read books on how not to gain weight in college and went in with a mind that felt it was in total control of my eating and exercise.
The changes that college brought seemed overwhelming. No longer did I have my parents to encourage me every morning. No longer was I well known like I was at my school and church. I was starting fresh, which was exciting and scary at the same time. The possibilities for who I could be were endless. Without realizing it, I began a pursuit for beauty that would lead me down a narrow path of destruction.