Although in my past posts I've talked about healthy eating and how I enjoy making clean yet delicious foods, it can become difficult to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Not gonna lie, I sometimes think that the best thing to do after a long day at work is to go home and eat yummy food while laying in bed watching Netflix (If you haven't thought about doing this after a tiring day at your job, you're lying.) And if you know me, you know I LOVE food. I'm not necessarily a foodie, but I was raised in the Filipino culture. And if you know anything about the Filipino culture, we love to eat! Luckily, I grew up around people who liked to stay active. When I was younger, my dad always motivated my brother and I to ride bikes or go for long walks around our neighborhood. We would even try to play soccer and basketball together because my dad was super talented at both sports. Today, I have a boyfriend who is super into fitness and healthy eating. With him living the lifestyle the way he does, it motivates me to apply healthy habits into my life. Although I now appreciate a yummy tasting salad and fruit, it's been quite the struggle to get myself to eat healthy, or even consider myself healthy for that matter.
Yes, my dad encouraged my brother and I to stay active, but we wouldn't really eat the healthiest. I grew up chunky and didn't realize that I was eating such horrible foods. By the time I reached high school, I was suckered into the mentality that if I wasn't skinny, I wouldn't fit in. So I eventually took up running in order to get myself into tip top shape. I began to watch what I ate and learned to portion my food out into the right amounts. For a whille, I kept up a pretty great routine and really saw the difference of my new healthy lifestyle. Other people seemed to notice my weight loss as well. I got compliments from my family and friends and even began getting attention from boys, something that I wasn't used to but was completely thrilled about. Everything seemed to be going great, but then things started to spiral down for me.
I became obsessed with the idea of being skinny. To motivate myself, I would look at pictures of young celebrities and admire how perfect they all seemed to look. Eventually, I went overboard with watching my weight. For months, I thought that if I could just lose a few more pounds, then I would look as perfect as the celebrities that I admired. It was around this time that I developed an eating disorder. I began to lose control and eventually reached 95 pounds. I knew I needed to stop my so-called-healthy-lifestyle.
As I transitioned myself out of my bad habits, I began to gain weight. It made me feel so depressed and I began to really hate myself for it. My once perfectly fitting clothes were now too tight for me to wear. I eventually ended up gaining so much weight, that I was considered overweight for my height. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.
After about a year or so, I gained control of my eating and my negative mindset. I started to accept who I was and I continued to better myself by staying active and watching what I ate. However, as any person with an eating disorder knows, the negative mentality can still sneak up on you sometimes. It takes practice to reel myself back in when thoughts of hating my body shape creep into my mind, but I've learned to defeat them quickly.
Today, I am happy to say that I'm at a MUCH better place, physically and mentally. I've realized that I need to embrace who I am and own it. I've learned to balance out a REAL healthy lifestyle by working out and eating right. I now know my body well enough to remember what foods make me feel good and what foods don't. And yeah, I'll give in to my cravings every now and then, but I don't beat myself up about it. I just make sure the next few days at the gym make my cheat days worth while. For once, I can say that I feel healthy and happy with myself.
As someone who has been affected by the world's mentality that skinny is in, don't accept that. Everyone has different bodies, but we can learn to take care of them properly if we really put in the effort. If you feel bad about the way you look, remember that everyday is a new chance to better yourself for YOU. And honestly, what you look like on the outside isn't as important as what's on the inside. I know that's cheesy, but it's true! It's great to take care of the way you look, but remember to take care of your soul as well. Find positive people to surround yourself with, read motivating books or do things you love that make you feel great about yourself. This will fill your mind, heart and soul with so much love and positive vibes that you deserve.
Let's all learn to embrace ourselves! Whether you're curvy, skinny, tall, short...we are all different and we are all beautiful ! Move forward today by looking in the mirror and reminding yourself how awesome and beautiful you are! As Dr. Seuss once said, "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." And you are the most beautiful You.