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10-years-old: Dodgeball and Diets
I can't remember a time when I wasn't watching my weight. At 10-years-old, I can remember staring at my body in the dance studio mirror and comparing myself to the other girls in the room. I wanted to be as skinny and as lean as the other girls on my team, and naturally my young brain couldn't comprehend that they were older, taller, and furthered matured than I was. Throughout high school I went through bouts of counting calories and being overtly cautious of what I put in my mouth. It's difficult to remember a time when I wasn't on a diet.
17-years-old: Chocolate and Cab Sauv.
A pivotal point for me was when I lived in Germany when I was 17-years-old. I gained so much weight indulging in their amazing cuisine that I barely recognized myself in the mirror. I told myself that it was all part of the experience, but secretly I HATED myself. It certainly didn't help that every girl who went to my school looked like the next Heidi Klum, and I was this stocky 5'1 girl who ate a Milka alone every day on the way home from school. Combined with getting into heavy drinking, as one does when they move to Europe alone as a teenager, I gained 40 pounds in about 6 months. I felt completely and utterly disgusted with myself.
20-years-old: Vegan and Vapid
A few years passed, and I truly had done every diet that a teenager could get their hands on. One that sticks out in my memory was basically Atkins on crack. I only ate meat and celery for a solid six months in high school. After that, I became a strict vegan, terrified of dairy and animal products for more than three years. I weighed the least I had in recent memory, probably about 110 pounds, and I was ecstatic. A tough breakup and a bout of strep throat left me unable to eat for weeks, which naturally thrilled me. The funny thing is, I have a huge appetite. I love to eat. Anyone who knew me would say that I ate whatever I want without thinking. Little did they know, I was calculating the calories in my head with every bite.
23-years-old: Intuitive and Informed
Today I am 23, writing this at the end of a day filled with delicious salads, eggs and some dark chocolate. I would be lying if I said I have been able to stuff these insane ideals for myself away, and eat without guilt every day, because I can't. But I am trying. Each day is a new step towards finally treating my body the way I should. After all, it's the only one I've got.