The Collegian
Saturday, July 02, 2022

Eat, drink and be merry

I love myself and I hate myself, but my diet starts tomorrow.

I am perpetually hungry. Literally, there isn't really a time I can remember when I was too stuffed to eat more.

I mean, I may have said I couldn't take another bite, but that was a matter of tricking myself into thinking for a moment that I could maybe practice some vague self-control to avoid the actual physical discomfort of a full belly.

There's something about college that makes me eat like I'm one of those starving third-world country kids on the commercials who, by some strange twist of fate, found herself in a supermarket with Oprah's AMEX.

When I'm at home, I eat a very "normal" amount of food (note: I mean normal for a chick who has a butt big enough to cause some Richter scale movement when she hops out of bed), but I pretty much eat my three meals and call it a day.

On the other hand, when I'm at school I eat breakfast, a snack, lunch, dessert, a snack, dinner, a snack, second dinner, and then, let's be real, probably another snack if I'm staying up late.

It's not like I burn more calories at school; it's not like my meals are any smaller; it's not like I'm eating for two. So, I have decided that it must be a special mix of people around me eating and my total and utter lack of will power.

Therein lies the world of college eating.

Let me just run this scenario by you and see if it strikes any sort of chords with some of my fellow female Richmonders (not that the boys can't also identify with this situation, but I think that for the most part this eating frenzy is the distinctly chick mix of hormones, frustration, boredom, D-Hall hanging out, stress, an insatiable sweet tooth and just a twinge of self-doubt)

OK, so scenario:

You go to D-Hall with a few friends. You drop off your stuff, most of you head to the panini line and the others scatter to one of the other less popular D-Hall alternatives.

You come back to the table with a great meal.

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The panini is spot on, the lady actually put more than one piece of mozzarella on it, the bread is perfectly toasted and you also got yourself a salad because those leafy greens will keep your skin looking great, your butt looking smaller and your tray looking healthier.

A couple of your more slender friends got French fries and pasta (Lauren Butler), but you smile to yourself knowing that you have a salad and that eventually those French fries will creep up on them when their metabolisms slow down.

But let's get real, you secretly love that they get French fries because you can snag a few off their plates.

It's only a few, it's not gonna hurt, and my general rule is that if you eat off of someone else's plate, calories don't count.

Then, mid-meal, a few more friends show up, drop their Longchamp bags, keys and cells at the table, exchange a quick hello, and navigate their ways through the maze of chairs to make their lunching decisions (the very same one that you had to make about 30 minutes earlier).

By this point you've grazed on the rest of your skinny friend's fries.

And by the time that your second group of friends has gotten through the panini line, you've started to get bored, all of your crushes have walked by so the people-watching is mediocre at this point and your mind starts wandering to the possibility of getting more food.

While your second wave of friends starts to enjoy its meals, you make the executive decision to get something else.

You don't know exactly what you want just yet so you sort of meander around and see what you can find.

You decide that you probably need some fruit, and maybe some more protein, so you get yourself an apple or banana with peanut butter. You go back to your table and keep talking to your girlfriends.

Then one of your friends proposes that you all go up and get dessert.

You hesitate for a moment, but then realize that everyone is nodding in agreement and you don't want to awkwardly sit at the table alone so you tell yourself that you'll just get up and look around with them but you won't get anything.

You come back to the table with froyo (the healthy dessert alternative, you tell yourself) and settle into some more conversation.

Twenty minutes later you all get up to leave and you see that they just put out a whole tray of new peanut butter M&M cookies -- your favorite.

You know they won't have them again for a few more days, so you can't help it. You grab two and tell yourself that you'll just work out for a bit longer today.

What I'm getting at is the fact that eating is such a part of the social college culture.

I certainly can't speak for every girl, but there is nothing more satisfying to me than coming back after a long day of classes and extracurriculars, putting on some fat pants and eating a bag of Hershey kisses while discussing some of the more dramatic points of the day with my roommate (Allie Miller).

Like the D-Hall situation, this scenario might also sound familiar. He (eat a Hershey kiss) didn't text me back for (eat a Hershey kiss) 20 minutes. Pause. Eat two more Hershey kisses. Roll your eyes. Eat another kiss. And then eat them continually while friend tells similar story. It's a recipe for bigger jean sizes.

But, instead of letting it upset me, I have adopted a new college strategy.

Since the chances of me finding my husband at Richmond are pretty slim, and eating with girlfriends is legitimately my idea of a great day, I'm just gonna be OK with the fact that my high school size two pants will not be fitting me anytime soon.

I mean, I'm gonna get fat when I get pregnant anyway, so maybe I can just wait until after I birth my two kids and then lose all my college/pregnancy weight in one pop and call it a day!

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