Self Image


Alexandre Cabanel's "Birth of Venus"

Today on google, for fun I decided to look up how to be writer. I started typing “how to be” and I stopped, because two of the suggested searches were “how to be anorexic, ” and “how to become anorexic.” I am but a young woman of 24, and I am lucky to have been blessed with a good metabolism. I’ve been thin all of my life. However that doesn’t translate to a positive body image my whole life.

As a child I thought I was hideous, naturally. I feel like that’s pretty normal for a lot of us. In high school I obsessed over my weight, and I’m pretty sure at one point I was a diagnosable anorexic/bulimic. I’ve been through the ropes when it comes to not feeling pretty enough for the world. No one is safe from their own self-scrutiny, because there is always somebody more attractive. Even after college I was still counting calories and working out, but I was eating more and converting those calories to muscle. So it wasn’t self-destructive, but my appearance was still in the forefront of my mind too much. I could write about all my personal struggles with my self-image, but we’ve all been there in one way or another, you (the reader) can relate I’m sure. I want to fast forward to now, where I am the closest to being 100% happy with who I am and what I look like than I have ever been. Did I go on some crazy diet/workout regimen? Nope! I turned my focus from my superficial insecurities and started focusing on who I am and who I want to be. I was over stressed and I realized that continuing to stress about non-critical issues (like my body image) was making me miserable and ultimitely less attractive.

Stressing so much about physical appearance is counter productive to a good body image. First of all, stress causes belly fat, which means you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle. Secondly, when you feel pretty, it shows! I have more confidence and people seem to be more drawn to me. I’ve mentally relaxed a lot these days, especially when it comes to how I look. I eat with common sense. For example: I avoid food that’s too greasy or sweet, I only eat when I’m hungry, and I graze. I’m also broke, that helps too. Another thing is I don’t force myself to work out anymore. That feels like punishment and bettering yourself should be as enjoyable as you can make it. I do still exercise, but I’m much more lenient.

But enough of that, since I’ve relaxed about my figure, I am loving my figure more. I’ve filled out a bit, and I like the way the extra lbs look on me. I feel more “womanly.” When I see a girl with a body like a super model, I still feel a little spark of jealousy, but my internal coach quickly kicks in and says “don’t be jealous you silly girl, you are beautiful the way you are” and I carry on my merry way. I will always do my best to eat healthy and exercise, but not so much for what’s on the outside, I’ll do it for what’s inside (no seriously, diabetes and high cholesterol, no good). There will always be somebody by some standard who looks better than me, that’s a fact of life that I will never be able to change. All I can do is be the happiest healthiest  person I can be.


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