When you look back on your life someday, what do you want to be remembered by? Do you want to be remembered by your small acts of kindness, your ability to spread joy to others, or the love you gave to your family and those close to you? I find it funny how the things we focus on and agonizes over today, are most likely not the things we want to look back on one day to define the way we lived our life. I know so many woman and men in this world focus on the amount of calories they eat in a day, how often they are able to get to the gym, or what the number says on the scale. Does any of that truly matter? Are you going to remember that cheat day or the extra cookie you ate after dinner? So often we, myself included, define ourselves and place our self-worth on these unrealistic expectations society places on us to look a certain way and be a certain weight. We take our bodies for granted and forget that every single day they are working hard to keep us alive and allow us to make the positive difference in the world that we desire to make. What we see on the outside often times does not have a direct correlation to what is going on in the inside. We can skip lunch, restrict ourselves to one snack a day, spend hours on the treadmill in hopes to achieve the perfect outward appearance, but what about what is happening on the inside? We often times live in the now and focus on how these changes impact our happiness and bodies today. But what about in the future? Are our bodies truly meant to survive off of small fumes, or do we owe it to ourselves to provide the fire and fuel our bodies with nourishment and self-love? I would think the latter.
Simply put, trying to be skinny is exhausting. Counting calories, planning for the next meal, and trying not to eat after dinner (because apparently eating after 8:00 pm is a sin) is exhausting. Comparing yourself to others, trying to lose 5 pounds, and squeezing into skinny jeans is exhausting. We live in a world where the ideal woman is supposed to have flat abs, Carrie Underwood legs, and glowing skin. We scroll through social media and see meals being defined as green smoothies and an afternoon snack consisting of 12 almonds (god forbid you have 15). There is a hashtag called #MeatlessMonday telling us that eating meat is a bad thing and we should limit the amount of protein we are giving our bodies. There is a photo app people can use to enhance their glowing skin and trim down their legs before posting on Instagram. Since when was looking like a 12 year old in a 24 year olds body considered beautiful? Since when was it ok to only allow our bodies 1,000 calories a day, when it is trying so hard to function and keep us alive? I am the first one to admit that I have been a victim of trying to be too thin, and to be honest, I am exhausted. Every day is a gift and each moment is precious. Why not go out and experience the beauty in this world instead of being stuck in the gym? There is no one else in this world that looks exactly the way we do, and our differences are what make us beautiful. So why are we trying so hard to look like “everyone else”?
For many years I placed my value on my size and thought being thin made me beautiful. However, my body is not designed to look like a 12 year old now that I am 23, so achieving this goal is not an easy one. I went through life trying my hardest not to gain weight, not to overindulge, and let precious moments pass me by because my only focus was on the food I was or was not eating. I constantly felt in a daze and lacked energy because I wasn’t giving my body the nutrition it was so desperately craving. When I was hungry I would chew gum, when my friends and family wanted to go out for dinner I would turn them down, and the only amount of physical activity I would do was go for walks because I simply did not have the energy and was afraid to “build muscle”. I took pride when my friends told me I looked “tiny”, and didn’t seem to think twice when I stopped getting my period. I had absolutely no curves and my eyes lost their sparkle. My body was craving nourishment, begging to be fueled on the inside, but all I cared about was what I saw on the outside.
You are in control of your body and you are in control of your happiness. I wish I could meet the person who decided love handles were bad and that you should feel ashamed if you have skin roll over your jeans. Why should we feel ashamed that we are able to eat the food on our plates and fill our bodies with the medicine it craves? Since when was seeing our bones considered attractive? Instead we should rejoice that we have curves, beautiful glowing skin, and well-nourished souls. Our society will not change the way we envision a beautiful woman unless we change the way we see ourselves. We were brought onto this earth to do a lot more than worry about the amount of calories we burn in a day. We were meant to love one another, treat ourselves with respect, and EAT food!! Just as a car won’t be able to run without gasoline, we cannot live the life we desire without natural and wholesome food on our plates.
Imagine a day where you just didn’t care. I am not saying you should eat whatever you want and gain a bunch of weight because that isn’t healthy either. But imagine a day where you didn’t agonize over food, your appearance, or your weight. What if you just lived your life and focused on the people around you and the moments worth living. As sad as this sounds, I know this is a lot more easier said than done. Habits take a while to change, but I truly believe the change is worth it. I personally don’t want to let another day go by wasting time worrying about my body, when in fact I should be rejoicing that I have good health and a beating heart. You are beautiful, never forget that. Food is good for the soul and is a positive relationship we should take the time to develop. Love your body, love yourself, love your gut.