Monday, February 21, 2011

the weight that no one sees

Today, I found out that one of my residents drinks celery stew every night to lose weight for spring break.

Living on an all-female hall, I see women who are unhappy with the way they look. One extreme case is a woman who wakes up at 5am every morning to jump rope in the laundry room. A more moderate example is a woman who diets, not in the sense that she deprives herself, but in the sense that she is mindful of what she eats. She explained to me that her mother, who is a nutritionist, told her to be careful of what you eat, how much you eat, but also what time you eat things. Another example is a woman who goes to the gym all the time.

Then there is me. For someone who used to run three hours for five days a week, college was hard on my body. It was hard to find time to run and even if I ran that day, it would be only for an hour and usually for short distances. I am also sitting a lot more, whether it is in class or in my room with a laptop or in the library writing my essay. It makes sense that I lost my toned muscles and lean physique for a body that was softer and had less angles. In fact, when I look at pictures like this, I am grateful for the gentleness of fat. It might be also be the natural change from having the body of a 17 year old to one of a 20 year old.

Yet as much as I try to rationalize it, I am not satisfied with the way I look. Why is this? Women? Men? How many of you can say that you feel the same?

//Edit: 02.21.11

What I found...

Celebrate Every Body Week is back again for 2011 and will be taking place February 21st-25th!

Join the U.Va. Coalition on Eating Disorders and Exercise Concerns for a week of fun and informative events to promote a more body-positive culture on grounds.

Body Groove Class

Tuesday 2/22; 7pm @ AFC.

Free! Bring your IM Rec membership ID and dance to your own unique groove!

Workshop -- Your Body Doesn't Lie: Exploring Intuitive Moments

Wednesday 2/23; 3-4:30pm @ U.Va. Women’s Center, 2ND Floor

Discuss and explore your own unique intuitive style to help improve insight and self-awareness in all areas of your life. Led by Polly Williams.

RSVP to Charlotte Chapman at by Monday, February 14 to reserve a space.

Women’s Center Open House

Wednesday 2/23; 4:30-6pm @ U.Va. Women’s Center, 2ND Floor

Come Celebrate Every Body Week with staff and interns. Enjoy refreshments and learn about our initiative to promote a body positive community at UVA!

Great Jeans Exchange!


11-2pm @ Newcomb Hall table

Instead of dieting or exercising compulsively to squeeze into too-tight jeans, donate them in exchange for a cool, FREE T-SHIRT.

For Help

Concerned about your relationship with food, exercise or your body? Free and confidential in-person eating disorders screenings available @ the Women's Center.

Call 434-982-2252 for an appointment. Also, confidential online eating disorders screening available @ .

For more info, contact: or Melanie Brede ( or Amy Chestnutt (

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