College Student: ‘I Feel Fat’ and Am Becoming Depressed

By October 3, 2012

I am 19 years old, 5’3, and I weigh 131 pounds. I know that I am not extremely overweight, but to me I feel fat. After starting college, I gained about 17 pounds, and I actually think I am becoming depressed. My family has always given me a hard time about being “chubby,” but lately it seems to get to me more than it used to. I know I don’t eat healthy enough, and I don’t exercise enough, but between working full time, and going to school full time, there are just not enough hours in the day! I don’t know how to find balance in my life, and I am at the point where I don’t know what to do! If you have any advice for me, i would love to hear it! -sa

You have brought up some important points! First, the only “right” weight for you is the weight at which you can function best without centering your life around avoiding food, over-exercising, binge eating or other compulsive behaviors. Secondly, maybe you could ask your family not to comment on your weight. This may be hard to do, but it’s much more helpful when others don’t comment on our weight. Third, perhaps you don’t need to worry about getting enough exercise if you are an active college student who walks to class and the library and meals, etc. Exercise should be for fun and to help us feel more alive in our bodies, not just “work”. Lastly, since you have wondered if you are becoming depressed, I suggest that you visit with a counselor in your college counseling center or someone in your hometown. Counselors in college settings are usually familiar with the very issues you bring up. I hope you allow yourself to give counseling a try. Seeking balance is a very good reason to ask for help! Be good to yourself.