Why Culinary School?

Yes, I know – I’ve been slacking, but I barely have time to eat anymore. JK, eating will always be a priority for me (that’s ironic…as you will see). For real though, I am significantly busier than last year so blogging doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Like I said before, it really isn’t all that exciting right now. Honestly, it feels a lot like regular school with projects, presentations and midterms, but knowing what’s to come keeps me going. Considering there isn’t much to share about school right now, I think I’ll explain why I decided to go to culinary school in the first place. A little background, eh?

Leading up to my freshman year of college, I had a change of pace in my habits. I was working out a lot more and eating a lot less, but I didn’t realize it at the time – I thought I was just eating healthier and cleaner. As a result, I lost weight. At first I didn’t think much of it. It didn’t really hit me until my friends would say something about my body every once in a while and my parents expressed some concern about my weight. I kept it up though because I felt good and I didn’t think I appeared oddly thin.

During this time, I discovered a new love for cooking and baking. I loved finding new recipes, especially for sweets. Unfortunately, I never really let myself eat them. As a matter of fact, I didn’t let myself eat much of anything I considered unhealthy. But I really didn’t think I was depriving myself because I was succeeding physically.

During that summer and into my first semester at OU, I was running a 5k almost every weekend and I kicked butt. I won first place in an OKC 5k around the capitol and my times were faster than ever. It was such a good feeling, but I knew something was off when I couldn’t bring myself to take a break from running or working out without feeling entirely guilty.

Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to cook as often as I did at home, my thoughts were consumed by food. I browsed Pinterest recipes constantly and spent countless hours watching food shows and clips. I was mentally obsessed with food, but could bring myself to eat enough for my physical output.

Eventually, my mom stepped in and decided something needed to change when she found out my weight was under 90 lbs. I started seeing a therapist, a nutritionist and a physician on a regular basis in order to get back to a healthy weight. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve been through.

So yes, I was diagnosed as anorexic, but I didn’t not eat food all together. I ate all three meals daily even before seeing the nutritionist. I just didn’t take in enough for what I was putting out. And I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I needed to eat more and workout less. It was extremely difficult to take days off. I felt guilty and gross when I did because I was just as driven about working out everyday. I blame my Type A personality.

After trying to get better all semester, I decided it would be best if I went home for a semester to focus on my health. I felt the most at ease at home and more comfortable about eating foods I had previously omitted from my diet. Eventually, I gained the weight back and I was happy again.

So what about my obsession with food? Well, it definitely toned down, but it stuck around and I was glad. I was worried that it was just part of the disorder. When I realized it was still there, I knew it was something I couldn’t give up on.

Working as the culinary intern at D Magazine really sealed the deal for me. It rocked. I loved the job and I discovered a way to combine my two passions: writing and food. I learned I could find a career as a food writer or working at a food magazine.

Now that I have my journalism degree, I decided I should learn more about what brought me through my worst and hopefully will bring me to my best. Who knows, maybe food is my one true love and it will lead me to open a restaurant of my own one day. You’ll just have to stay tuned.


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