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Struggles with Body Image

by Mikayla starr 5 years ago in eating

My Story

The struggle with body image is becoming quite common as we progress through life. As much as it may seem society doesn't have a part in affecting how people perceive themselves, it does for me and I'm sure many others. Growing up I always saw the super skinny models with the perfect bodies, smooth skin, beautiful faces, and gorgeous, flowing hair. I always thought to myself that I wanted to be one of those girls. I wanted everyone to look at me and think I was perfect and skinny and want to be like me. But unfortunately life had other plans.

As I went through middle and high school with that image of perfection still in the back of my head, I kept wondering how I'd get that perfect body. I did go to the gym but I was never a gym freak. I wasn't there 24/7. But I did go. But no matter what, it never seemed like enough. I had to do more if I wanted to have that perfect body. And that's when things started to not go so well.

Struggling with body image is a hard thing to overcome. It eats away at your mind every day until you find something to distract you from those horrible thoughts you have about yourself. It's like a dark shadow that never goes away. But my thoughts were louder than my distractions and overpowered what I was trying to use. I thought more and more about how my body could be so much better. And that I wasn't thin enough. I had to be thinner. And I mean, I'm not big to begin with. But the thought of being skinnier made me feel both happy and sad. I thought of myself in those cute bikinis with a flat toned stomach and great legs with the perfect tan, but when I looked at myself I saw an olive toned, slightly chubby, sluggish girl. And I didn't like that. I'd stare and stare in the mirror until I'd cry because I couldn't accept the fact that my body was beautiful unless I had those features. I wanted to be thinner.

I started thinking to myself that if I didn't eat as much I could lose weight. So I'd try eating very little and after a day or two of hardly anything, that's when the other problem started. Blood sugar. It had dropped from not having a sufficient amount of food, and I'd get really hot and drenched in sweat. Like I was sitting in a sauna. My eyes would go hazy and I'd look and see white speckles as if I was going to pass out. That's when I'd rush for a cold cloth and a glass of juice. Then I'd binge because I'd be so hungry. That didn't help either. I felt so guilty feeding myself that it made me upset or feel bad for putting food into my body.

Another thing was that I'd skip foods if I thought they weren't healthy enough. If I had a day where my body image made me feel worse than usual, maybe I saw a beautiful girl or saw an outfit I liked that wouldn't look good on my body now, I'd get restrictive about what I ate and that eventually ended the same way. Going the whole day eating decently with my little snacks and granola bars, then binging at night because I was hungry and craved fatty foods. I don't know why I was doing this to myself. I knew that not eating the right amount of food would just make it worse. But I couldn't help but feel like if I didn't eat as much I would become skinnier quicker.

I would have weeks or so where I'd be okay eating whatever and not feel so bad, but then I'd start thinking or would be reminded of that image I wanted and I'd go back into my thoughts of eating less. Maybe I'd try eating more but of less solid foods. Apple sauce was a go to. Tasted great, low calorie, cheap, and can fill you up for the most part. That wasn't so bad. At least I was getting sugar to keep my blood sugar from dropping. But then again, eating more at night came up. I had become so accustomed to just eating when I felt like it or didn't feel like it, and eating what I did or didn't want to.

Now a few years of doing that can take a toll. Mentally and physically. I mean I was never anorexic, I never really lost significant weight from not eating, but the thought and feeling of satisfaction was there when I didn't have as much to eat.

But now I've become a little more understanding with myself. I realized that if I want to have the body of my dreams, I need to do it healthily or else I'm just going to make myself more sick. And essentially more unhealthy. So I started searching for exercises and healthy recipes so I can finally get back on a three plus meal track and a healthy workout plan so I can lose the weight the right way and feel satisfied with myself for doing it better than I was trying to before. It's still a process of getting my mind out of that funk but with every day I'm closer to my goal of being a healthy fit. And all I can say is I can't wait for that day where I'm completely happy with myself.

If you struggle with poor body image or eating disorders, know you are not alone. Many people are going through the same thing. Just remember that one day you will be better, you will be happy, you will always be loved, and you are stronger than you think. Believe in yourself and strive for your goals. Work hard and it pays off. You can do this. I believe in every single one of you. Much love to you all.

eating

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Mikayla starr

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