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How University Changed My Relationship With Food (And Myself)

Emily Carter

Before I started University, I didn’t have a very healthy relationship with food. I was eating the wrong things, eating too much and gaining weight. Before I started uni, I had to decide that enough was enough. I had to decide that I wanted to make a change. What really helped me decide to change the way ate was hearing about the ‘Fresher’s 15’. I didn’t want to gain anymore weight than I already had so I determined that I would eat healthily when I started university. 

Before I left, I found some healthy recipes so that I was ready to go as soon as I moved out. No bowls of cheesy pasta on the first few weeks for me! I started to cook in batches and freeze portions in tupperware boxes. This meant that I could just pop a meal in the microwave when I got back in an evening. Doing this meant that I didn’t have an excuse to eat a convenience meal of chicken dippers and chips or to order a takeaway because I already had my food prepared. On the days that I was having lunch at home I would make myself a bowl of salad and if I was taking it to uni with me I would take a box of carrot and pepper sticks. 

There were still things that I needed to work on. I was snacking way too much and my snack choices weren’t exactly the healthiest. The thing was, I was ashamed of my snacking so I would only eat snacks in the privacy of my own room. I had to decide to make the decision to stop this. I spent less time in my room and more time in communal areas with other people. I replaced snacks with water, so that whenever I felt hungry I would just have a drink instead. I soon realised that the changes I had made were slightly drastic. I could have more than a few vegetable sticks for lunch whilst still being healthy and I could have a snack here and there as long as I didn’t go crazy. 

I’ve managed to lose some of the weight that I was so desperate to lose. I realised that when I eat healthily I enjoy my food so much more and I feel so much better in myself. 

What has this journey done for me?  

Flashforward to the end of first year and I can honestly say that changing my relationship with food has changed my relationship with myself. I no longer look in the mirror and hate the way I look. Don’t get me wrong- I’ve still got a way to go but when I look back at where I was, I’ve come a long way. I’ve learnt a lot over the past year. I’m so glad that I decided twelve months ago that I was going to put my health first and make a change to the way I eat. It’s been an eye opening twelve months and I’m so glad that I finally made the changes that I so desperately needed to. 

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