My Mirror (GirlSpring)

January 5, 2017 • Body Image, Health • Views: 497

By Jane Perry Starling-

If you asked my friends about me, they would all agree on 3 things:

1. I work hard to achieve my goals

2. I usually achieve my goals

3. I am extremely competitive

Now I did not choose to be extremely competitive, but somewhere along the journey of life I realized that I always want to be the best at what I do. This has come to be both a blessing and curse. There are so many things I can practice to become good at. Take school for example: I study around 2 hours a day and this results in me making all A’s in AP classes. Look at soccer: In 7th grade I spent all of my Saturday’s kicking a ball in my backyard to ensure that I would continue to be the star middlefielder on my team. When I work hard, I almost always achieve my goals. But there is one thing I seem to not be able to accomplish: I cannot be as skinny as my friends.

Ever since I became aware of my body image, I’ve noticed I’ve always been a little bigger. Not in an unhealthy way, I just have a little more fat in places my friends don’t. It didn’t seem fair to me that I could be so perfect in other areas yet as hard as I tried I could never fit into a size 0. As I grew older, my weight continued to pester me. Looks seemed to be the only thing that mattered in a girl, and I was far from best looking. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t wear cute shorts like my friends or pull off a bikini. No matter how much I worked out or ate healthy though, my jeans remained the same size. I thought I would never be as skinny as the other girls.

In 8th grade, I finally became one of those skinny girls. That summer I had spent a month in the hospital sick with pneumonia and ended up losing 20 pounds. For the first time in my life I had a thigh gap! This was the moment I had been waiting for! Yet when I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t see the real me. As much as I loved being able to wear whatever I wanted without feeling self conscious, a part of me missed my muscular thighs and curves. Eventually all my weight gained back, and with that weight gain there also came a new sense of confidence. I had become proud of my body. It may have not been as skinny as my friends, but it was healthy and it was mine.

To whoever is reading this, remember that your body is your temple. We are each created in our own unique ways so that no body is alike. The goal is to not be skinny, but instead to just be happy, and I am a living testament that losing weight does not lead to happiness. Since 8th grade I have still struggled a bunch with my body image. In 10th grade I developed symptoms of binge eating disorder. With the help of a counselor, I managed to recover by once again building up my self confidence. The number one thing that kept me going was my incident in 8th grade. To this day I look back upon that time and how being skinny didn’t suit me. My body is my body and I came to accept that. I hope you also will be able to realize this. All you have to do is take the first step and accept you for who you are.

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