Here's one of my favorite pictures to start this off. We have been lied to ever since we were little girls what we are supposed to look like. Look up Barbie's dimensions. She isn't even humanly possible.
I was never the kind of girl who counted calories, payed attention to what other girls were eating, or worried about how I looked... Not until I got to college at least. Something changed and I started to notice a constant obsession among myself and other young women around me about our bodies. The world has been conditioning us to believe so many lies about how we should look. And after I while, even I started buying into it. I noticed myself striving to achieve this impossible standard of what it means to be beautiful. A lot of my friends did too.
I'll admit, since freshman year, I've been participating in unhealthy conversations about how we should look, who is wearing what clothes, how so and so looked in a bikini, how often whoever went to the gym, who ate what during girls night--and it's just RIDICULOUS! It took a while to realize how wrapped up in it I was and I'm slowly starting to figure it out and get comfortable. My little adventure of body image and the brief struggle and stress it put on me inspired me to write about it. It's kind of weird admitting and putting myself out there with this, but if it helps even one person, it's more than worth it to me. So here we go!...
And it never will be again. I know it’s hard to accept. I’ve been there. But if your Instagram is more full of #TBT’s from your high school spring break than it is with your friends on last weekend, you have some letting go and moving on to do.
Your body in high school was that of a little girl’s. It was the transition out of middle school. But you’re becoming a woman now. Your body will change in college and there is nothing you can do to stop it. I’m not talking about the freshman 15. I’m talking about your hips spreading because you’re literally entering the years of your life most ideal for your body to manage another little human growing inside of you!!! So stop worrying about it, and embrace the new curves your getting.
Or Jessica…or Brittany…or anyone else! And you shouldn’t strive to be. You are you. Don’t compare your body to other women. It’s not good for you.
Understand this verse: Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” –THIS INCLUDES YOU ;) !
And I say size ain’t nuthin’ but a letta! This was a hard one for me because I was so used to wearing everything tiny from high school and making that size transition in college was weird. But refer to #1 and wear what looks good on you. Who cares what the stupid tag says?! Today, I wear anything from an “Extra Small” to a “Large.” And I put the quotes around it because sizes are kinda BS and different depending on the store. A medium at Victoria’s Secret and a medium at Old Navy won’t fit the same. So shop for the look, not the tag. Size ain’t nuthin but a letter.
I want you to understand this secret, so I’m not typing it out for you. You have to watch this 1-minute YouTube Video to get this secret. Ps- Speaking of secrets, I know we all love to sit around and watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion show together and joke about how we aren't going to eat ever again, BUT just so you know, even those are edited. The fashion show is not aired live. Before we watch it, it has gone through weeks of video editing. Just a little fun fact!
Sorry! Haha yeah I know this one kinda sucks. And I’m not saying go be a workoutaholic gym rat. But I’m saying that since you don’t have HS cheer practice after school to burn off all those calories from midnight study pizza sesh you’re eating, using your free pass to either of the two gyms every once in a while isn’t a bad idea. You’ll feel better about yourself with a little bit of exercise.
Doesn’t have to be anything too hard-core. Doesn’t even have to be traditional workouts. Usually I just skip the gym and dance like crazy in my room and mess around with little sissy free weights and go along with YouTube workout videos. Sometimes I walk around on campus early in the morning and just explore. Or I like to pretend I know how to do yoga on my yoga mat in my room. Just be active!
The SRSC has a bunch of free work out classes you can take also. And if you’re into sports, you can stay physical by getting an intramural team together with some friends. They have a lot of fun ones.
Last year, I randomly took “305 Women’s Health” and I kid you not I almost changed my major and thought my life calling was in nutrition and health! I learned the truth about dieting, what works and what doesn’t, how to treat my body, what’s normal, stuff about my anatomy that I had never learned before, truth about STDs, menstrual cycle, the truths about pregnancy—ALL KINDS OF STUFF! I swear up and down it was the most useful class I’ve ever taken at Indiana University and I highly suggest taking it if you have room in your schedule.
Mainly wanted to mention that class because of nutrition. It changed the way I grocery shop and it will influence how I will shop in the future for my family to be as healthy as possible. You’ll look better and feel better by putting better food into your body. Use food as fuel, not because you’re bored or you’re trying to be social. But that’s much easier said than done, I know.
Also get the Fitness Buddy App. I know you weren’t born yesterday, you know how most of these fitness apps work and the services they provide. So having to type in everything you eat in a day and reading the truth about what you are consuming will be a huge wake up call. But after you wake up to that reality, it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable and keep yourself in check.
The most important thing of all. Accept your body for what it is and take good care of it. You only get one. Love the fact that yours is original.
My favorite week at school every year is when the SRSC does "Celebrate EveryBODY Week" ..there are reminders on every mirror in the gym and post-it notes on the cardio machines reminding us that we are all beautiful. Sounds a little cliché when I say it, but it's TRUE!
Oh and please, never let a guy mess with your body image. Never let anyone make you believe you aren’t good enough, or pretty enough, or skinny enough, or don’t wear the right clothes, or that you need to look a certain way other than exactly what you are! If you’re with a guy that makes you feel that way, kick him to the curb right now. Trust me, I know from experience…and he ain’t worth it…but you are! Never forget that.