The conflicting messages about body image give me a bigger headache than studying or writing essays ever will. It’s really hard to know what to believe when the same source that tells you how to lose 10 pounds fast will also tell you that you are beautiful, so ignore any negative comments.
With social media, it can even be more confusing, because of challenges that suggest people should aim for a thigh gap, visible collarbone, etc., and others saying beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, so be happy with your looks.
Then there are messages like Nicole Arbour’s, who tell people they should be ashamed of themselves if they are overweight or obese. The most I got out of her video was Whitney Way Tore’s response, but that was enough for me.
Instead of writing about Arbour’s video, I decided it would be better to write a more encouraging blog post for anyone of any shape and any size. I was going to write about why negative comments towards anyone’s body size is not the right way to go, but I feel like that’s been tackled already.
Regardless of who you are or what goals you have, you can achieve a balance of being happy with yourself, while aiming for a healthier lifestyle at the same time. As someone who’s struggled with her own body image for about a decade, I can say that it took me forever to realize this, and there are times when I’m more off-track than on-track. However, I can say I’m happier this way than I was in the past.
Incorporating a healthier lifestyle in your life can be done by first being sneaky about it. For example, having fruit with your breakfast, and walking to a farther bus stop than your usual spot.
Another important step is finding what works for you. Not everyone enjoys and can handle an intense exercise, but there is so much you can do to move your body. Going for a walk while listening to music is always a good start. Additionally, some people just have a hard time cutting certain foods cold turkey, which is why cheat days exist.
Focusing on how you feel when you exercise and eat right is key too. I always feel better after that, even if all I did was control my portions and walk to and from school. Before, I looked at my progress based on how much weight I lost.
While I need to get back on track now, however, I want to exercise because I feel relaxed, stronger, and happier when I stick to it. Thinking about my progress instead of my results helped me a lot.
As far as being happier with yourself while making changes in your lifestyle goes, all you have to do is do whatever makes you happy and confident. Whether that be working hard in school, reading a book, taking pictures, or playing video games, continue to do it if it helps you relax.
This also comes with your style as well; Wear whatever makes you feel confident (given the right place and time, of course!) and what you feel flatters you. If you are ever in doubt in the dressing room, even after a second and third opinion, then save your money and don’t buy it.
Lastly, realize that there is more to you than looks alone, and that only you can tell people about your health if you feel comfortable doing so. Really, your doctor, dietician, or any other professional in a similar position, should tell you whether you are on the right track or not, but it’s up to you, and only you, to share that information with other people.
I’ve struggled with my weight since I was in my early teens, so finding the balance is a pain to say the least. There were times when I wanted to completely change myself around and didn’t want to look back to my old habits. On the other hand, there were times when I didn’t pay attention to what I was eating and had exercising on the lower end of my priority list, because I wanted to focus on other things or I just didn’t want to think about it too much.
That’s just it, though. Everyone, regardless of their size, has these days, and everyone has different goals to better themselves. Either way, taking small steps to whatever that goal may be can help you along the way.
I still have those days, but I know finding a happy medium is key, along with aiming for an overall positive life.