For as long as I can remember, I grew up being skinny and not having to worry about what I ate or how much I ate- it was something I never thought I would have to worry about. I was pretty active, I ran track and field, cross country, and a few other sports I would get into during my childhood. I saw my body as perfect.
Fastforwarding to puberty, when insecurities began to form and my metabolism began to slow down. I wasn’t able to eat as much as I used to because I felt like if I even looked at anything, I’d gain weight. I ate pretty horribly but it confused me as to why I’d gain a few pounds considering my body was never like that. I became more aware of what I ate and began to obsess with how I looked. During my teenage years, I was often tired from work and school and would try to validate that I looked the way I did because I was busy and stressed and couldn’t make time to take care of myself.
I would get anxiety from taking pictures, food, or even talking about a healthy lifestyle- it was a very sensitive subject for me. I began to restrict how much I ate, avoided going out to eat with friends and family, and became more sheltered and distanced from everyone. It didn’t matter whether or not it was healthy, as long as it was under a specific amount of calories. I went through many cycles of anxiety and depression just over my physical appearance and my cycles of restricting, losing weight, and then eating normally and regaining the weight and still being unsatisfied with how I looked. It was a long and frustrating cycle. I would research the best supplements or best overnight hack for weight loss and would weigh myself at least three times a day. Gaining even 0.1 of a pound more would deteriorate my mental health and my image of myself. “I’m not eating much, I’m taking the ‘best’ supplements and over the counter hacks for weight loss… Why is nothing working for me? Why am I not seeing results within a week?”, would be thoughts that I’d often have during these constant cycles. It was confusing to me because I would read that working out or lifting weights would get you toned and fit. Yet after months of lifting and working out (but still not eating healthy) I would still not see any results or feel any better. I had to change something in my daily regime.
Going through these ups and downs for years was a long journey but a very eye opening one. I came to the realization that there is no magic pill that will help you reach your weight goal overnight, or automatically help you fall in love with your body, or even help you look a certain way. When I started to focus more on making it my goal to eat healthier, with full portions of food that would give me energy throughout the whole day, and incorporated all types of exercises into my lifestyle (weight lifting/strength training, HIIT, cardio, yoga), I became at peace with how my body looks because I knew that I was doing the best I could and was taking care of my body. I haven’t weighed myself in years, because I realized I would rather love what I see in the mirror, rather than how the numbers look on a scale. I had to find a balance with parts of my life in terms of diet and exercise and taking care of my mental health that would help me feel content with how I was and how I felt. Of course I still have my ups and downs, but knowing that I am helping myself rather than hurting myself is what keeps me happy now. It definitely wasn’t an overnight occurrence- it took a lot of motivation and consistency to change small aspects in my daily routine, but looking at it now I would definitely say it was worth it.
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