“I’m not skinny enough”, “I’m not muscular enough”, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at myself and be happy”, “I wished I looked like her”, “I look too thin”, “I look too curvy”, “I look too fat”. These are all thoughts that have most likely filled our heads at one point. In society, we are constantly judged on our appearance. This constant desire to look a certain way or accomplish a certain image is often what drives us in our weight loss journey. We workout and eat healthy because we want to change our current body image. However sometimes, we can become obsessed with trying to look like models or people we see in magazines. Sometimes we can get a little carried away and start to look at our bodies with hatred and only see the negative aspects we don’t like. I can personally admit that I let these perceptions and unrealistic images of what I have to look like take over my life. To be honest, it pushed me over the edge and I lost control. Why did I lose control? I lost control because I felt like my weight and body image were the only things I could control.
When I was about sixteen years old, I started to get into health and fitness. At first, it was great! I felt amazing and the pounds started coming off right before my eyes. I just assumed that everything was great because I was eating healthy and working out. Until I became obsessed. My life was taken over by working out after every single meal to burn it off. I found that I was basically starving myself and my body by cutting out almost all carbohydrates and fats. I lived on vegetables and fruit and every single day my main thoughts were focused on food. The numbers on the scale creeped lower and lower. With every pound lost, I smiled more. With every new bone that showed, it felt like an accomplishment. Every time I looked in a mirror, I checked to make sure I didn’t gain any weight since the last time I looked. This was one of the lowest points in my life, and I couldn’t even see I was suffering until I looked at a picture of myself. All I saw was a weak, fragile shell of the girl I used to be. I lost almost all of my strength and muscle tone in my arms. In that moment, it hit me that I had to make a change.
Since that negative time in my life, I have re-learned everything I know about health and fitness. I learned that gaining back weight is hard, but I had to in order to be healthy. I learned that there is far more to nutrition than just eating vegetables all day long. I learned to LOVE myself and my body for what it is. Whether you are underweight, overweight, or anything in between, the main reason that you should be eating healthy and workout should be to show your body that you love it. Show your body that you are willing to nourish it and make it healthy. Especially in nutrition, most of our food choices are based around our emotions. To truly achieve wellness, you have to work on your mental state, so you can help yourself reach your ideal physical state. In this industry, we often only focus on the physical body, and ignore the mental aspect. It’s time that we start to love living in the skin we’re in. It’s time to give it your all at your workouts because you want to feel stronger, have more energy, live a happy life, and feel good about yourself. Not so that you can look exactly like someone on the cover of a magazine.
I hope that reading my story helped you think really deep down about WHY you set your health goals. What is your motivation to gain your health back? I promise you that you will see the best results if you are in a place of self-love. Don’t focus on ways that you want to change your body. Your body is beautiful and unique in its own way. Focus on how you can enhance what you already have and live your best life.