Loving your body

Today on MilanDarling.com it's all about body love and acceptance!
*This is a feature article. Check out the original here.
Whenever I get a break from school I go to one of two places: Dallas, Texas or Taos, New Mexico…Both with my family. This time I was able to come home to Dallas where I will get the chance to see most of my family thanks to Easter coming up. Something I have learned over the past year is that I am truly happiest when I am with my family.    
At lunch and dinner a couple of my family members had made comments about my weight loss and both thought I wasn’t eating enough or was taking my workouts to the extreme. I have no hard feelings towards their concerns but rather a question of why they believe that I am not healthy and don’t take care of my body.
Maybe it is because I am in college, a place where many students struggle with health issues. Where body image is way more important than it should be and where woman struggle the most with eating disorders and body acceptance. At one point I was one of these women. I have always struggled with the idea of loving my body. I grew up obsessed with body image and had an unhealthy relationship with food. I began binge eating after my mother passed away and over a course of a few years I eventually turned to anorexia. Then, about two years ago I dipped my toes into the fitness world; I became a consistent gym-goer and for the most part healthy eater. 
At first the world of fitness was overwhelming with all the fitness models who had perfect bodies trying to shove all these different supplements and products down your throat with the idea that you will look like them if you take these magical pills. I tried many different fat burners, pre-workouts, creatine, protein and you name it but then I finally came to the realization of what fitness truly is.
It’s not the industry, it’s not the supplements and it’s not the pretty people walking around in bikinis… but it is what you make of it. What I make of fitness is something that makes me happy, something that gives me a chance to clear my head and give me peace away from my stresses. The nutrition side of fitness has helped me create a healthy relationship with food as I began to understand how its fuel for my body. I feel better and happier when I am eating well and working out consistently, that is my stress-relief and my way of dealing with issues. Others don’t have to understand it if I know that what I am doing is healthy and right.
I don’t stress over calories and macros because I found that doesn’t work for me as I become over-obsessed and stressed out about it. For others it may be a great thing and I applaud it but you have to find what works best for youyour body and your mind. We’re all different and we must not be discouraged if one thing works for another but not for us. That is just life and it is okay! So be patient in finding what works best for you.
I have found a healthy balance and in the meantime I have come to accept where I am at with my body and my mind. I am not the skinniest or the biggest I have ever been but I am the happiest I have ever been and that’s what matters most. Do what you know is right for you.
          
I don’t want to lose sight of why I started this blog. I not only wanted to influence and inspire but mostly I wanted to help people. Although I am young, I know I have overcome a lot of obstacles that many other women may deal with themselves today. It wasn’t until I read another girls post on instagram, Megan Gittins, that I realized my experiences could actually help someone else. She said she lost her mother and became a binge eater and fitness helped her to a happier life. Reading her post that day changed my mindset completely as I thought ‘whoa, were a lot alike’ and I felt like someone else out there knows exactly what it was like. Then, I realized some people may have extremely similar issues going on, no matter how unique we may think they are. After reading her inspirational post I realized I could help others just like she helped me and I want to continue to be open and honest and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
We are a new generation and loving our body is a powerful movement.
This is my journey. What’s yours?
xoxo, Milan

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