Eating Well Fuels Mental Health

My house is so quiet today! It’s the first day my college kids are back at school and now I clearly know who the noisy ones are. (Just kidding! I love them so much, but they are very loud.)

Yesterday, on her last day at home, my daughter Grace posted a guide with tips and tricks for eating well at college on her Instagram account @graceliveswell. She really wanted to do this as a way to help others avoid some of the pitfalls she fell into during her first year of college.

When Grace was a second semester freshman, she developed an eating disorder where she would over-exercise and restrict what she was eating. By the time she came home that May, she had lost about 15 pounds from her already slim frame. Even though she started talking to a counselor on campus when I started to worry she needed help, it wasn’t until she was home with us that she decided to face what was happening head on.

With the help of a wonderful counselor, Grace was able to identify that she was controlling her exercise and food as a way to deal with the anxiety she was having–controlling the things she could when her world felt chaotic. I think there are lots of us who are naturally anxious, and then when you’re put into a stressful situation like a high-performing college where it seems like everyone is stressed out all of the time, it just dials everything up to a 10.

Thankfully, Grace was able to turn this around and get herself to healthy place. But since stress will always be a part of her life, she reminds herself daily that she has to make good choices when it comes to exercise and food. She documents this daily journey through her Instagram posts, and I have to tell you how much I’ve learned from her writing. As her mother, I’ve asked her over and over if there is anything I could have done to keep her from having to learn these lessons the hard way. She says “no,” but I know I will always wonder. In the mean time, I wanted to share her post from yesterday as a way to at least help facilitate a conversation with your child if you suspect something similar might be happening.

Grace’s post from yesterday received the most “saves” and “sends” of any post she has ever written. This topic is definitely connecting with a lot of people, and I know that Grace feels compelled to help as many as she can by sharing her experience.

While Grace wrote this post to help her Notre Dame classmates, I think it could easily apply to wherever your child is. If you know of anyone who might have a question for Grace, please encourage them to send her a message. She would love to help!

And moms, feel free to reach out to me, too. Having this happen right under my nose was a real low point for me, but I’ve learned no one is served when we beat ourselves up, especially our children.

Love and hugs to all of you!


Photography by Jenn Marie Edwards

My name is Ann Marie Scheidler and I'm thrilled you've decided to check out my blog. I'm a pearl-loving yogi with a thing for travel, a weakness for beautiful bags, and a passion for storytelling. In this space, I'll be sharing stories about my family, go-to recipes, my wellness journey, fashion and beauty favorites, and my love for Chicago’s North Shore. I find new inspiration wherever I go. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!


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  1. D'Arcy Toffolo wrote:

    Ann Marie, thank you so much for sharing Grace’s story. I am on a path to recovering from years of disordered eating, subjecting myself to diet cultures mantras of “eating clean” and “fueling for performance.” As an athlete, I was really bought in to all of it. Through the help and support of an intuitive-eating dietician, I’m now on a path that neutralizes food (the idea that food does not have morality – good v bad). 🙂 Here is my blog where I share more about the journey, if you’re interested. Wishing Grace a great semester!XOXO

    Posted 2.3.21 Reply
    • Ann Marie Scheidler wrote:

      D’arcy, thank you for sharing this. We all have our “stuff” and I continue to be grateful that so many of us have similar journeys. Somehow it makes us all stronger. Love you sweet girl. xo

      Posted 2.3.21 Reply