Posts Tagged ‘dieting’

My Body’s Intuition

Tuesday, July 16th, 2024

I grew up in a culture where being “overweight” was one of the worst things that could happen to you. Eating plenty of food without guilt was rare and starvation to lose the extra kilos was normal. By culture I don’t mean my country, I mean most of the world. After all, I grew up in the early 2000s when people would call Jennifer Aniston “fat.” Early 2000s JENNIFER ANISTON. 

Naturally, I developed a complicated relationship with food. When I was a teenager, my appetite was insatiable. I would eat more than any adult in my family and barely gain any weight. Some people would call me lucky while others warned that my body would eventually change, and I would need to control my food intake. The pleasure food gave me was always followed by an almost silent whisper of regret. Still, I continued to eat unbalanced food in abundance. Although I was skinny—underweight really—and my body was often described as beautiful and “desirable,” I remember that time as my most unhealthy years. I would get sick often, visiting urgent care at least once a month for respiratory issues; I would feel tired all the time and have no strength in my muscles. Above all else, I would look in the mirror and see fat sitting in places where there was none. I had body dysmorphia, and I wasn’t aware of what that was. 

Like it often happens when you emigrate, my life changed completely after I moved to the US, including my food habits. I don’t know if my body finally changed like people used to warn me or if this new country’s food was different, but after a month of eating endless American food, I finally gained some weight. And then I gained some more. I became aware of how much bigger I was from my time in Venezuela, and I started to freak out. Without understanding a thing about dieting, I simply did what I had learned from the women around me: I starved myself. I started eating only two meals a day, sometimes one. I would go on like that for a month, and then have a rampage of food intake the next. It became a cycle where my body weight fluctuated aggressively. Consequently, my health paid the price. I would continue to get sick constantly and feel weak. What I didn’t realize is that the symptoms were more severe during my starvation mode than when I would eat whatever I wanted. Still, both habits were damaging. 

When I finally decided to seek help, I had been meeting my extreme habits in the middle. I would skip one meal a day—often breakfast—and eat big portions for the remaining two. Although I wasn’t getting sick anymore, the sense of tiredness remained, and my weight was slowly increasing. Around the same time, I did a lot of unlearning about body weight and although I wasn’t comfortable with the extra pounds, I convinced myself that I was beautiful nonetheless. For the first time in my life, my biggest concern was how I felt, not how I looked. I wanted to feel energized and strong but, how could I accomplish this?

Food Tracker for my trainer. Noticing patterns.

I was lucky to have made friends with a very generous woman who was also a personal trainer who educated me about my food habits. She made me track two weeks of meals and pointed out my meal skips, uncontrolled snacking, and massive dinners. She showed me how the unbalanced meals—mostly consisting of carbs and fats—were partly the source of my tiredness. Additionally, she tracked my daily steps and exercise, which was near zero. With this information, we planned to increase my protein and vitamin intake and my workouts. Although strict, this plan was heavily based on my body’s intuition. My trainer helped me differentiate healthy cravings from my eating disorder. We did this by tracking my menstrual cycle, understanding that in certain weeks of the month, my body would crave more fatty and sugary meals and that this was okay. Slowly, the guilt I would feel after every meal disappeared. I created disciplined habits filled with compassion. By the end of our regiment, I had lost some weight, but the most important thing was that I felt the strongest I’ve ever been. I barely had stomach problems or got sick, and I had the energy necessary to go through my day.

I would change the “but” for “and” because you can listen to both. Both are right.

It’s been a year now since I learned about my body’s intuition. It is still hard to fight my eating disorders which crave the “comfort meals” that ultimately harm my body. It is a battle I am still in, but I fight it with patience and lots of love for myself. My body weight continues to fluctuate, but how it is supposed to. It is normal to fluctuate between five to ten pounds, but I don’t really keep track. I measure my health not on the scale any longer; I do so with how my body reacts to exercise, with how energized I feel. It has been life-changing learning to listen to my body because it made me appreciate the wonderful things it does for me.

Every meal should be a “guilt-free” meal! Enjoy this delicious free cookie with your student ID

By Roxanna Cardenas

Roxanna is a Venezuelan writer living in New York City. Her works include essays, poetry, screenplays, and short stories. She explores fiction and non-fiction genres, with a special interest in horror and sci-fi. She has an A.A. in Writing and Literature and is working on her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.



Monday, February 7th, 2011

During my jaunts around the block these past two days, I noticed something different in the air. That sort of sweet, light, coolness that you associate with the coming of spring. It’s still a couple of months away, yes, but the hint of happier, more pleasant times is in the air! One thing I love and cherish during the warmer months is ice cream. Down in the south, Blue Bell Ice Cream is a family favorite. I haven’t been able to find the brand on the mean streets of New York, but I’ve found something’s that just as good: Haagen-Dazs ice cream. I love the variety of flavors they have! And not only can you enjoy ice cream, you can also enjoy their sorbet and frozen yogurt.

And if you’re a student, you can also enjoy this great coupon! Get a free scoop of ice cream with the purchase of any regular or large ice cream. Now you’ve got just the right creamy flavor to usher in the spring months! Let’s say you love ice cream, but you don’t love the calories. Never fear, you can make the “right” choice for your diet at The Lite Choice. Their flavors are low on fat and calories, but not low on taste.

Written by Megan Soyars, Campus Clipper Blogger