The SheHawk: Treat yourself this Thanksgiving—carbs or no carbs


Genevieve Guenther

Cierra Noffke, Staff Writer

Happy Thanksgiving! Regardless of whether you celebrate the holiday or not, it is a blip in our end-of-the-semester rituals which include, but are not limited to: staying awake until your eyes become a rosy shade of red, writing an end term paper the night before it is due and seeing for yourself just how lethal a Red Bull and coffee cocktail really is.

The week of Thanksgiving break is a short and well-deserved pause in the midst of this battle. It is a time for turkey or tofurkey, family or friends, a long nap in the middle of day.

When the holidays roll around, we hear a lot of jokes about getting our “fat pants” ready. We make mental plans to squeeze the gym back into our day after Thanksgiving. We make jokes about “being fat” when, really, we are not, and really, we would rather not be.

I have flirted with eating disorders for a while now.

They seemed unspeakable to me learning about them when I was younger. I did not understand how you could force yourself to vomit everything you had just eaten or why you would force yourself to vomit everything you had just eaten.

I did not understand the range and variety of eating disorders. I did not even understand how they began until high school when they unfolded before my eyes.

It begins with simple self-hatred: you would rather not have cellulite on your thigh, but it is there anyway and it makes you cringe.

Eventually, it becomes a dangerous game of eating sometimes nothing, sometimes just an apple or a banana. It involves weighing yourself, lifting up your shirt to look at your tummy, committing yourself to a new workout routine.

But something that has evolved for me is the idea of healthy eating and unhealthy eating. Sometimes the lines are crossed, and that is okay because healthy eating is not just eating your fruits and veggies and abstaining from all sugars and carbs. Healthy eating comes from a place of self-acceptance and self-love. It is eating healthy because you respect your body not because you want to change it.

Healthy eating can and does involve carbs. And sweets. And comfort food like buttered popcorn or your mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls, and that is because healthy eating is whatever is healthiest for you mentally as well as physically.

A life measured by the fear of gaining too much weight—of looking imperfect—is a life fraught with anxiety and self-hatred, which are dangerous and lethal when combined (like our good friends Coffee and Red Bull).

We should measure our lives by the love we shared with each other and ourselves instead of measuring it by the fear we had of eating another slice of pumpkin pie or not looking slim enough, toned enough, enough.

Do not let your fear of stretch marks stop you from enjoying yourself this Thanksgiving, or this upcoming winter break either.

You deserve a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top.