Weightloss at Amherst

There comes a time in a girl’s life when she comes to the drastic yet definitive conclusion that it is time to have babies.

I’m not talking about  thinking toddlers on leashes are adorable, meeting “the one” and using advanced facial-recognition technology to create your baby online at a subscription website, or even watching too many episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker and realizing that you could absolutely definitely win, retire, and live the rest of your life remodeling your kitchen and watching even more episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker while walking on a treadmill in teal fold-over yoga pants. I am talking about the monstrous size of my pelvis.

I was not a twig-like child by any account. I have always had a Botticelli bod, and I knew growing up that someday my exterior would embrace the full potential of its succulent roundness. Well, that time has been approaching for a long while now, and at the beginning of the summer I was starting to feel resigned to the inevitability of my womanly pear shape.

Since embarking upon the great collegiate journey I have struggled desperately to hold on to my youthful shape to no avail. In high school  I spent at least 15 hours every week swimming and jumping around in the Florida heat, and athleticism had always been my excuse for eating an entire batch of cookie dough in 7 minutes following a particularly rough practice. In college, I continued the trend, but added a robust drinking habit and subtracted 8 months of intense training. And what was the result? You guessed it! Midsection morphology.

I struggled with an eating disorder in my late teens. Imagine a sport where everyone is naked all the time, and the age range of your teammates is 13-18–there were lots of different body types in the mix, and because of my type-A personality I wanted to have the best one. But “best”, of course, is relative, and after arriving at Amherst and spending about 3 months here in vomit-induced misery I realized, “Hey Girl, this isn’t the way to go”. So, bounce back to healthy me embracing her sense of self.

But continue bouncing.

And more bouncing.

And suddenly I have gained the freshmen (junior really) 25. Of course, this was a change from an unhealthily-achieved weight to a accrual of poundage gained over a 3 year period (and mostly in Russia eating blini and sweetened condensed milk with every meal), but I was still rather alarmed when I stepped on the scale this summer. However, I can’t say I was unhappy. I embraced the new me, and knew that I had a fairly healthy diet and level of athleticism (especially Nov-March) with a splish-splash of normal college binge-drinking. Studying abroad in Russia made me realize that America really is as fucked-up as we all think–humans vary, and there is no need for us all to strive for someone else’ body when we all have our own!

Fast-forward to this summer, and I realize that womanly curves are fucking GREAT. They look so good in  I am glad that my pelvis is of the baby-birthing size, because it just means less work for me in the end. But I want to be the best full-bottomed me that I can be, and I want to learn how to do this the healthy and mature way.  While I am a bomb.com practice swimmer 4 months out of the year, my era of elite athleticism is over, and has been over for quite awhile. It’s time to retire the 8-beer habit, trade in my fastskin for a gym membership and some yoga DVDs, and buy a shit-ton of celery (no pb).

That being said, Amherst (particularly VAL) is a difficult environment for weight loss. I want to go out, but I don’t want to be peer-pressured into drinking, and I want to have leisure dinners with my friends but I don’t need 3 servings of chicken pot pie. I also wish the dessert bar was located in a different room, because I HATE HATE HATE the perpetual traffic jam on the salad-bar side, but I can’t walk by raspberry crumble bars without producing a Cujo-esque level of saliva.

I believe that diet and weight-loss is almost a taboo topic for students at Amherst. We sometimes pretend that binging on beer and beer-battered things is necessary for fun, but I think that the cyclical reinforcement of mixed-message media, not to mention the examples set by the 1% of us with rabbit-like metabolisms, make binging appear essential to social success. What says ‘confident’ more than a girl who orders ribs instead of a salad at dinner, and who isn’t afraid to ‘be fun’ and drink a lot? I would love to be that girl, and I would love to have the best of both worlds–but the only way that I could theoretically maintain a tiny body while indulging in massive amounts of onion rings at 3am is through purging or not eating during the week, which is just about as fun and confidence-inspiring as it sounds.

I don’t want to bore you with weekly updates about my own battle with bagels and burgers, but hopefully as the semester progresses I can provide some tips I’ve learned about circumnavigating the social pressures to indulge at our fine institution. Or maybe I will just continue to complain about Val until they get rid of it and let us cook in kitchens like real adults.


This is definitely not a PC website, nor does it correspond with contemporary ideas of feminity. But it’s funny for certain. verymarykate.