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Tonight, I am writing to you from a hangry state-of-mind. As you might be able to imagine, the food in Chicago is a bit more expensive than food in State College. Coupled with the fact that I don’t have any kitchen supplies to cook anything in my apartment, I have been eating out a lot and have spent a lot on food (but no regrets). All of this to say that I wanted to save money today, so I have been scrounging off peanut butter and Ritz crackers all day. Not exactly a “Bon Appétit” moment.

The very reputable Urban Dictionary defines being “hangry” as: when you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both. I get hangry more often than the average person. I guess I am very sensitive to low blood sugar or something, but I put a lot of focus on making sure I never go too long without eating. 90% of my bad moods are cured by a granola bar or other snack. If I am hangry and I eat something, I can feel the positive mood resurging in my body. You know those Snickers Satisfies commercials from a couple years ago? That’s me in a nutshell.

Like a lot of people, food is one of the things I think about the most. Some people eat to live, but I live to eat. I have friends at school who forget to eat for an entire day because they are so busy. That kind of life is so incredibly foreign to me. I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day and sometimes an extra meal thrown in there if I can swing it. When I go home for a weekend or a break, I try to get my parents to take us out to some nice restaurant so I can indulge. Whenever somebody asks “where should we eat?”, I have always had an opinion, even if I don’t always express it. Also, Melissa and Amanda can attest that I have very strong preferences about the food we enjoy on PLA trips.

Maybe you guessed from these character traits, but, yes, I am a former fat kid. Never like “obese” fat kid, but I definitely was on the border between the “overweight” and “obese” BMI scales. From about grades 3-10, I was a chunky fellow. 10th grade was when a growth spurt and starting marching band combined to help me thin out. I’ve realized in recent years how much my history as a fat kid influences the way that I look at food. When I see a pan of brownies, I want to eat the entire thing. Same thing with Scooby Doo fruit snacks. One of the interns that I’m working with this summer spends his summers with his family in France, and lives by the philosophy “Eat well, live well.” I’m still trying to square how I can balance the love I get from eating a bomb-ass crème brulee with the health benefits of eating healthy. Until then, I am trying to live well in my summer in Chicago, and if that means spending a lot on food to prevent myself from being hangry, I’m gonna do it.

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