Body Image: A Relationship with Food

Editor's Note: We will be following Trinity on her journey through eating disorder recovery as she learns to accept herself and her body.  It's our hope to shed light on what this disorder looks like from the inside, as well as to provide support for Trinity through her progress.  You'll find Trinity's posts once a month.

Words by Trinity Murray

For the first time in a long time I had what I guess you could call a meltdown about food. My last class of the day had finally ended, and my roommate and I walked all the way across campus to get dinner only to find that the one place I wanted something from closed about ten minutes prior to our arrival. So, I went back to my unhealthy habit of ignoring food’s existence and chose to work instead.

As a college student just starting my second year of studying fashion, there is barely time for me to squeeze meals into my routine. Having an increasingly busy schedule and an eating disorder to try and manage poses a problem. I’m either in class or working on projects, sewing seams, drawing oddly shaped fashion figures, showering or, if I’m lucky, sleeping. With a deadline driven life, how else can I handle the situation? Managing time is difficult, but it’s imperative that I somehow make time for the non-studious aspects of life to balance out the stressors with destressors. For instance, fueling my body with what’s necessary to continue running at this pace. Another example being my roommate and I who have been dating for four years. Sometimes it’s important to take extra time with him and focus on each other. But if I can’t find the energy to walk miles and miles between classes and do every homework assignment known to man, then how can I find the energy to do anything else?

So I’ve had this thought in my head all day, of course, and as I passed many students on campus with their noses in their phones this is what I have come up with. Humans are like cell phones in that we have 100% energy when we wake up each morning. As the day goes on, we may use more energy for certain tasks than others. Maybe thirty percent goes to taking out the trash and vacuuming, fifty-five percent goes to doing our job, and before we know it our low battery alert goes off and finding an outlet to plug into becomes more urgent than ever if we don’t want to exhaust ourselves and shut ourselves off from the world. Food is the energy source that we are most familiar with, as there are typically three breaks in the day for us to recharge. From this it’s clear that in order to find the energy we need we must find an outlet that can supply us. But what do we do if we don’t have the time to search for an outlet?

The answer is obviously to make time for what’s necessary, because even if it’s not a want it is most certainly a need. In my psychology class the other day, my professor started by saying “some things in lecture today might promote your general well-being”. So, I sat up in my seat and paid extra attention as she discussed the link between mind and body. We covered everything from Stages of Change that demonstrate the many phases of recovery to tips on how to manage stress like getting enough sleep and socializing. I found myself drawing bubbles around the word “motivation” about a hundred times while the professor mentioned that people who are more motivated to make a change in their life to promote healthier habits are more likely to actually make the change. There’s this thing called self-efficacy which she noted in a relatable context means “believing you can do what you set your mind to do”.

So, in theory we should be able to accomplish all that we have in front of us if we think positively and stay motivated. Starting each day with a full battery is the best way to make sure we have what it takes to get things done. We must be able to recharge periodically throughout the day to keep up with daily demands. Even if we only have time for a snack or a cat nap, a little energy is better than none at all. And finally, stay connected with friends and family who know of your goals and will help you achieve them on good days and bad.

Read more from Trinity here.

Trinity is a small town girl studying Fashion Design at Kent State University holding onto the hope of becoming a fashion journalist. Though her passion is for fashion, she enjoys good conversation, great books, and lots of coffee.