My name is Betsy Blitch and I am a student at Duke University majoring in Neuroscience with a certificate in Decision Sciences.
If you have ever been around me in a food setting, you might know that one of my favorite things to say is BGGE (Big Girl Gotta Eat). I originally started this joke within my friends because I found it funny and wanted to turn any mindset of someone going to get seconds or a plate of dessert into an accepting one. I was pleased with the laughs I got and therefore kept saying it. But over time, I realized BGGE was a saying with a purpose far greater than to just draw attention to myself.
The reality is that the culture at one of the top institutions in the country is one that strives for nothing short of perfection. This takes shape in many forms -- grades, social standing/greek life, clothing brands, extracurriculars, leadership opportunities, summer internships, connections ... the list goes on. But what most people don't realize is how this competitive and perfectionist environment affects how we perceive our body image. In the same way that we feel the need to stand our academically, there is this underlying pressure to also have the "instagram perfect" body. And as a result, I have watched some of the smartest people I know make some of the least intelligent decisions when it comes to putting food on their plate, or lack thereof.
Why do people share that they skipped a meal with a sense of pride in their tone of voice? Why is dessert only supposed to follow small meals or fall on the days we exercise? Why is calorie counting always running in the back of our brains? These are questions that I have been asking myself for far too long.
After watching this culture develop and manifest for over a year and a half now, I've decided I can't just sit back and be a spectator anymore. We need to change the way we think about food -- it doesn't just affect our waistline. Instead, the nutrients we put in our body affect our brain health, thus influencing how we learn, our ability to remember things, energy levels, attitude, sleep, and more. The purpose of this blog is to change the far-too-common mindset that more calories means more trouble. I hope that you will join me in this movement.