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A Chip Off the Shoulder


Photos by Madison Herel and Words by Kiersten Utegg

It was finally January—the first month of the year, the first month of a new semester, and the first month for new beginnings.  Many people around the world kick off the month of January with good intentions, the most popular being the effort to stay healthy.  I made that New Years resolution myself this year.  After coming home from college for winter break, eating my mother’s delicious meals that ranged from sizzling salmon to lean meats accompanied by lush, colorful vegetables, I realized just how terrible my college diet had become.  I exercised almost every day and hardly ate any processed foods at home and by the end of my three-week stint, I felt more energized and lively than I had in weeks.  Not only had I decided that being healthy was beneficial to my body, but it would also help my schoolwork.  Eating well for those three weeks proved to me how important a healthy diet was, which I had forgotten somewhere in the fall semester at BU.  So after hugging my family goodbye as I ventured back to my dorm, I was ready to take the leap into healthy eating…or so I thought. About a week into the spring semester I had upheld my healthy goal, but I started to feel the temptations of college snacking once again.  Late at night I craved the cheesy, the greasy, the chocolatey, the fruity, the cold, the hot, the all around unhealthy snacks that resided in neon vending machines I passed and in the ever-present City Convenience placed directly downstairs.  It is important for a University to always make food available to their hungry, ravenous students but for me, the junk was all too accessible.  That first weekend back, having lasted seven days without a single snack, in a moment of weakness I rushed to find a bag of chips to feed my nagging hunger.  Let me be clear that I had eaten all three meals that day and had not been depriving myself of food but I couldn’t bear the temptation anymore.  Just as the apple on the forbidden tree drew Eve to her demise, the bag of Sour Cream & Cheddar Ruffles called me closer.  The bag crinkled in my hand as I lifted it off the shelf.  I could already taste the cheddar cheesy crisps that would crunch in my mouth with each bite as the cashier swiped my card.  I was off in a flash, and over the course of two hours while watching a movie in my room I ate the entire bag.


The chip.  He offers such satisfaction to the human mouth, crunching, breaking, disintegrating and exploding with flavor as soon as he reaches the tongue.  He calls out to the hungry with a crackling symphony, beckoning the hands to reach deeper into the bag of flavor.  He comes in many shapes and sizes and seasonings; it is no wonder that so many can find solace in him.  But beware, for the chip is a devious fellow that lurks within the crinkling walls of plastic.  After having only one, the rest beckon your hand closer until another has you hooked.  With my bag of Sour Cream & Cheddar, I had not noticed my unvarying reaches into the bag until I reached once more and could not grasp another whole chip.  All that was left was the dustings from the fallen and the leftovers of those injured in the war against my hand.

I had been satisfied with crunching away the salty crisps while watching my film but once I realized that the whole bag was now in my stomach, I recoiled in disgust.  It had only taken a week for my notorious chip craving to grab ahold of my mind and I had been too weak to fight back.

Many people have similar good intentions to eat healthfully at the start of the New Year; similarly, many people find themselves, at one point or another, disappointed with their efforts.  However, the most important part of eating well is perseverance.  One slip will not ruin you if you are truly determined.  Food is an amazing part of every culture and there are so many ways to enjoy it.  So be healthy and eat what is good for you and expand your palate to match your curiosity.  Let us all eat the good stuff and be merry once more.