Since I was a kid, I was involved in sports, played out side, and over all ate whatever came my way and was still skinny. I did not have to work hard at being skinny. I just was. However, that’s not what I thought even at the ripe age of 10. I compared myself to other girls and saw how they seemed skinner to me. I will say this: I was lucky enough to never have it come down to not eating enough of my dinner or purging my lunch. It never got to that point—which is sad to have to disclaim—because of the large amount of young girls and boys who lose weight in an unhealthy manner.
I was a swimmer for 8 years, played soccer in my town, and when I got to high school I dabbled in field hockey and lacrosse. Then, I moved over to 3 seasons of track and field. I was a distance runner, and not a good one at that but I stuck to it. After my senior year of high school, I graduated and stopped running altogether. That summer was a summer of drinking, lots of food, and goodbyes.
At this point, I wasn’t watching what I ate, wasn’t exercising at the level I once was, so it started to happen: I gained weight. As I mentioned, when I was younger I was convinced I was fat when I wasn’t, but when the pounds started coming on strong, I got scared and upset with myself.
From then on, I really never got that skinny body that I had had for so many years. Going off to college was also a challenge. The consumption of drinks and bad food grew exponentially, and so did I. My weight became my main focus. I obsessed freshman year. I went to the gym everyday and focused way too much attention on my weight. I was unhappy and stopped enjoying going to the gym. It wasn’t fun for me to work out. I would beat myself up over every piece of food I’d eat and overall didn’t like my mind set. How I overcame these emotions about myself was by allowing myself to understand that making yourself miserable is not going to make a healthy person.
What also helped me accept my body and have a healthier view on myself is the body positivity that has been very prevalent in the last few years. Magazines began to show off women in ads of all shapes and sizes. My goal is to be healthy, active, and happy. That is not easy to come by, some days I may be active but not happy with myself and other days it can and will be different. Health is the most important aspect of body positivity and I work on that everyday.