The Truth: Speaking up About Negative Body Image

If you are anything like me, then dieting isn’t your strong suit, food is your best friend and your biggest comfort, and going to the gym is always a struggle. On my latest trip to the gym, I realized that it has gotten harder and harder to find the motivation to work out. While I was there all I could think about is how I would go home and not see the gym again for a few weeks to a month. I thought to myself how pointless it had felt to even attempt to burn off any calories or build muscles, because all of my efforts would be lost as soon as I went home. 

The mind is a funny thing, it forces us to be its puppet throughout our lives, controlling our every move with negative thoughts. One negative thought can lead to weeks or months worth of lost progress, slowly building up making one bad thought turn into billions.

If you are like me then you know the struggle of the fight between what you want/know and what your brain chooses to do/think. One second you think you look okay the next you feel like an ugly ass potato. This is the struggle of someone with negative self image and poor self confidence. It goes unnoticed by the eyes of everyone around you. You say you’re fine, you brush things off to keep up appearances, when in reality you know it’s not fine. 

Try as you may, the voices will never go away. They are always lurking in the back of your mind. Working out doesn’t make you feel better, if anything it creates more negative stigma around the fact that you believe you are fat and need to lose weight. Whether by comparing yourself to other people at the gym, athletes who post on social media, or your friends, it is hard to rid your mind of such stigmas. 

Society has told us since we were children how we are meant to look, and we must meet those obligations otherwise we will be hated by everyone around us. We are in constant fear of being judged that we start to over analyze everything about ourselves. 

Some people don’t understand that even if you look skinny you may not feel comfortable in your own skin. I have dealt with people telling me I am too skinny my entire life, even though I know it was just a joke, it still went to my head. I felt bad for the way I looked even when i was skinnier, even though I thought I was the “right” size. Even then I felt the negative thoughts creep in, telling me I was too fat or that I shouldn’t eat. 

Now that I am older and in college, it seems harder to keep that trim figure I once had at 17. I feel like no matter what I do or how hard I try, I keep gaining weight. When I look in the mirror I don’t like the person starring back at me. The truth is though, I know I’m not fat. Though I have gained quite a bit, I am still perfectly healthy. 

None of these negative thoughts are actually true. It is a concept in our minds that we hold up to ourselves and put ourselves down for, yet we praise other women for having the confidence for embracing their bodies as they are. Whether they are curvy, skinny, or anything in between, we don’t hold others to the same standard as ourselves. But we assume others are looking at us and only seeing the flaws that we see in ourselves. 

The truth is, there is no right or wrong when it comes to body type or size. There may be personal preferences or our own mental judgment, but it is perfectly okay to be who you are and look the way you are meant to look. If there is something you would like to change about yourself, there is no harm in changing it. Just know you are beautiful the way you are and you will be just as beautiful no matter what you choose to change about yourself. 

If you or someone you love suffers from negative body image I have found some resources that may help. Here to Help and Center for Change are resources that talks about body image, self-esteem, and mental health, where you are able to contact professionals to learn more information or get the help you need. (not sponsored) 

Don’t go through it alone, if you feel that you may harm yourself or are unable to control your mental health alone, please reach our to someone and get the help that you need.

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