As the National Eating Disorders Week comes to an end, and the inspiring paraphernalia circulating campus regarding Love Your Body Week begins to come down, I think it is important to still remember what loving our bodies entails.
As my friends and I were sitting in the dining hall during Love Your Body Week, we felt it was only necessary to become fully immersed in indulging in delicious cookies right out of the oven. We each had a few and all was good. But shortly after finishing, the regrets and complaints started to be heard and the gym was about to be a crowded place.
One of my close friends brought up a vital point. She said, “I think that a week full of loving your body is great, but I think the real definition of loving your body is not eating the cookie. The real definition of loving you body is shown 10 minutes after eating the cookie.” After hearing her say that, I pondered the idea for a moment and realized how right she was. Loving your body would mean that you ate that delicious cookie and didn’t bat an eye. The problems surface when people begin to say they regretted eating that or that they felt fat and need to eat healthy tomorrow.
Being at an all-women’s college, body image and weight are topics that are often talked about. While I am a firm believer in personal health and happiness, I don’t think it is healthy to constantly worry about body image. I cant be a hypocrite because I was once that person who regretted eating anything unhealthy. If two years ago I were in the dining hall during Love Your Body Week eating a cookie, I would be “that girl” my friend was referring to. I would regret eating dessert, and it would consume my thoughts for the next few hours.
The saying “I wish I knew then what I know now” is entirely fitting. I did not love my body, and the only time I would try to have positive thoughts was during Love Your Body Week but once the week ended, my thoughts became negative again. After a few years of growth and maturity, I can now say I love my body today and every day. I think that Love Your Body Week is one of the best initiatives Saint Mary’s College offers to boost morale and build support for the women of our campus; however, loving your body does not end after the one week of student panels, fun events, and delicious food.
Loving your body is something that every single person is capable of doing, no matter what shape or size they are. The number on the scale and the number of calories consumed on a calorie-tracking app on an iPhone is not the definition of loving you body. Being content with your body is a state of mind. With the right support from family and friends along with an optimistic outlook on life, Love Your Body Week comes to an end, but loving your body lasts a lifetime.