The Body Question.

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Credit// Psychology Today
By: Aisling (The Dancing Darling)
Hi everyone! I can’t believe that I’m finally blogging and sharing my first post with all of you guys! This has certainly been a long journey. I have always loved blogging, I can remember running a multitude of blogs for all sorts of things during elementary school (I can think of 4 off the top of my head, but there’s probably more!). More recently, I’ve envisioned running a blog for health and wellness, but never put those plans into action. One Monday in class, I just decided that I was going to do it. So I did. Good story, right? Kidding. Anyway, you didn’t come here to listen to my childhood blogging experience, you came to read about my self-image journey!
As a child, I had never cared about my diet. I didn’t have any reason to (no health reasons), and my parents never pushed it on me- again, because I didn’t need to. Though my parents never put me down for my body, someone who was in my life for an extended period of time (an adult who shall remain nameless)who triggered insecurities when I was around 11 or so. This person is a marathon runner who never eats junk food and a self-proclaimed health nut. She wanted me to be the same, and often told me both directly and indirectly that I needed to lose weight, stop eating junk food (she didn’t even see me often enough to cast that judgement!), and begin running to stay in shape. Being told this when you’re young can really do a number on your self-esteem, especially since that is a time where you should learn about self-love and really treasure those positive emotions. When she said these things, I knew to ignore it, but I remembed it later on when the insecurities of being a pre-teen came along. Also, it made eating in front of her very awkward, I would feel like she was judging what I would eat, which made me more mindful of what I was eating at a young age. Just a side-note: this person isn’t in my life anymore for obvious reasons. Too many negative vibes for me!
Body image issues never actually surfaced until I was 12, which is too early if you ask me. I don’t know what made me feel negative about myself, but having stick-figure friends around me certainly didn’t help. Let’s say I’m not flat-chested like my friends, and that’s not bad, but it’s enough to stand out from other 12 year-olds. That’s when the insecurities about my appearance started.
The insecurities gradually got worse. I vividly remember slaving myself at my beach club’s gym for well over 2 hours each day at age 12. I made myself do this so I could eat what my other friends ate, I believed I needed to do this. I didn’t let myself eat certain foods if I didn’t work out first. Let me just say that I shouldn’t have been doing this, I was at a perfectly healthy weight (my doctor had always told me that my weight was fine, but for some reason I never believed him). Luckily this didn’t last long or turned into something worse. The fall came and I was pretty small, I had clearly lost some weight over the summer… nothing alarming though. I was starting at a new school, so everything was  different for me. Since I had no gym access, I wasn’t working out at all except for dance and the occasional run around my neighborhood. This is also when I started counting calories. I felt pretty bad about myself, even though there was nothing to feel bad about.
The next year was when I found true fitness. I started working out, focusing more on calisthenics and weight lifting versus what burned the most calories quickly. I became strong, and began working out regularly on top of dancing 3 days a week. I stayed positive, and never did anything drastic. I was only working out because I loved how I felt during and after the workouts.
Last year was a little tough, some issues I was having brought up those negative feelings. However, I’ve learned to deal with negative thoughts of myself, and I’m much more positive because of it. My positivity got me out of my rut because I realized that everyone’s different, and I’m not the only one who feels insecure. I’ll honestly say that I have my ups and downs. There are days where I’ll eat something unhealthy and beat myself up for some time after. There are days where I feel like counting every single calorie, and days where I feel like “It’s okay, I’ll eat what I want because I love myself”. I’ve learned that there are going to be good days and bad days, there are days where I can’t wait to go home and work out, and days where I can’t wait to go home and be lazy. I think the problem I had is not realizing the need for a mix of both good and bad days. The bad days motivate me to do better the next day! I’m learning to embrace my insecurities because everyone has them. I’m not perfect, and that’s okay.
What I would love for you to take from this article is to know that you are truly beautiful. It doesn’t matter what you look like- you are so beautiful. Take it from me who tried dieting: it stinks and you shouldn’t even try it. Do the best that you can. Everything needs to be in moderation. We are only human, so let’s do the best we can. Strive for what’s realistic for you!
I always encourage both myself and others to eat healthy, to drink lots of water, and to work out for one reason only– when you do so, you are treating your body well. Our bodies love being well-nourished and loves pumping some blood! I will be the first to say that I am no perfect person. I eat junk food, I skip workouts when I’m not in the mood, I drink soda sometimes. That’s okay! I just know that it’s okay to eat healthy and live well too. It’s all about balance!
This blog is written from the perspective of someone who doesn’t live the healthiest life, but strives for it. So please know that I am not a perfect person, I may not actually practice everything I discuss with you guys, but I do like learning about new things and am willing to give it all a try. I’m striving for my best.
Thanks for reading! Remember that you’re beautiful no matter what. Don’t let anyone tell you different!
XOXO,
Aisling/The Dancing Darling
PS- Liked this article? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts on self-image. Also, if you’re on Facebook, be sure to like my page!: http://www.facebook.com/thedancingdarling

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