The beauty in our bodies is like an art piece. The most crucial Fitness Tips is, do not congratulate someone on losing weight, unless you know it was done in a healthy manner. “Have you lost weight? You look amazing” was last year’s tagline for me. Countless warm bodies swarmed to my cold one. Smiles began to show teeth as my body was examined.
Women a tiny bit bigger than me would steal glances at my small frame. I saw jealousy and heard self-hatred in their speech. “I wish I was as skinny as you”. It felt as if I reached down their throat, plucked their heart, and forced them to eat it in front of me. It became my duty to illuminate The Truth.
I watched their smiles fade and their eyes watered. I could see their thoughts escaped through their facial features. Their thoughts of self-hatred translated to their faces, as their beauty of happiness died out. No longer were these girls smiling and beautiful. They looked as I felt. They got lost in the trance of being “skinny”, whatever that means. They saw my body as a reminder of how they were meant to look. My body was aligned with the photoshopped women and models they see daily on their Instagram feeds.
I swallowed my pride and turned to every girl and told The Truth. I sat each girl down and told them my current body form is a result of starvation. I explained how I fell out of love with food for a while. Everything tasted grey and I could barely swallow a bite. I told the women how I would do intensive meal prep. I told myself, if I spend at least an hour cooking a meal then I have to eat it. This forced me to jump into culinary adventures. I would make pasta from scratch, and then cook traditional French dish, coq au vin, the next day. It worked. I am in love with food again. I explained that after a lot of hard work I am finally healthy again.
As a result of my breakup with food, I lost all of my extra fat. My eating problem rewarded me with a flat stomach. I feel it is my duty to let people know that is why I have a traditionally attractive body. What I went through was not worth this result. I told them they do not want my body. They do not want the trauma that goes with it.
This is not how I want to look because it doesn’t make me feel good. Last year my job was to disillusione girls. I had a duty to not be part of the system. I refuse to be part of the system that feeds into the idea that skinny is healthy. I did not want anyone to think I was “body goals”, I was not something to strive for. It did not matter how many strangers were standing next to that girl. If a girl was complimenting my body while dis complimenting herself, I had to tell the truth. I had to tell her, no, love your body. I did not and that’s how I ended up in that bad place.
The funniest part is that I always liked the way my body looked. That is what I try to teach people when I tell them The Truth. The Truth is, as long as your healthy, love your body because it is a byproduct of your lifestyle. I never fed into the idea that skinny is pretty. Advertisements targeted at my age group never affected me as an adult. I could had been influenced as an adolescent but I remember a special issue of Seventeen magazine.
There was a professional surfer discussing body image. She said she sometimes thinks negatively of her big thighs, but then she remembers they give her strength for surfing. I then saw my body as a product of what sports I do and how I eat. I, a woman who was also self-conscious of her big thighs, got a lot of comfort from that surfer’s body ideology. I remember a few years later, on my lacrosse team in high school, I was one of the only girls who didn’t have a flat stomach. I was also one of the few who felt comfortable to run around in just a sports bra.
Interestingly, the essay prompt was to write on “fitness and weight loss tips”. I suggest the prompt be change to “fitness and weight management/loss tips” or even self-acceptance tips. I don’t think it is possible to take care of yourself when you don’t love yourself. Love is the motivation.
“A big reason why my recovery was possible was because I have always accepted myself”.
A colossal reason why recovery isn’t always easier for others is because they haven’t accepted themselves. There are far too many young girls suffering from eating disorders. My wish for every young girl is to look in the mirror until they find their beauty. The beauty in our bodies is like an art piece. We go to a museum and may not find a painting awe-inspiring but then we look. When we look long enough we begin to find beauty in the details.
This can be the faint lighting marks on our thighs, to the odd dimples in our backside, or even the way our tummies are soft to the touch with peach fuzz. I want every person to do that with their bodies. I want them to find their beauty. Once you have created that love for yourself, then you can show yourself love. A great way to show your body love is to take care of it. You’re not going to take care of it if you don’t love it. In my opinion, the best way to show your body love is to cook for it. Cooking has become synonymous with love in my life.
If everyone cooked all of their meals, people would be healthy. You know exactly how much fat your putting into a meal. There is no naivety as to what is in your meal. When we go out to eat it is easier to pretend that the Panda Express meal isn’t that bad for you. My dream is to set up a cooking workshop for young girls to inspire them to love their bodies. In cooking, you get to control everything. I try my best to cook everything from scratch. None of my ingredients are premade. Yes, cooking from scratch is exhausting, but, it forces one to create a lot of effort to feed themselves. To me, this is a form of self-care.
The next time you see someone has lost weight, ask them about it first. Ask if they lost in a healthy way, watch their face as they answer.
“The best fitness tip is don’t applaud someone for an eating disorder”.