My Body Is Not Your Concern

My Body Is Not Your Concern

I ran two miles today and ate a burger, get over it.
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Recently I was told by some meat head that if I just started to workout more, I'd be "WAY more attractive."

Let me just begin by saying, MY BODY IS NOT YOUR CONCERN! Just like your body is not my concern.

Body image with almost anyone can be a touchy subject. Some way or another, people will find flaws in themselves even if you think they look absolutely perfect. We are known for being our own worst enemies when it comes to that. Being a girl that has struggled with body image since middle school it's not the easiest thing to hear comments like this. I can't stand to hear them directed towards other people let alone myself.

You should only be concerned with your body, not someone else's.

If I want to go to the gym, then I will go to the gym. If I want to eat a whole pizza, well...I'm going to eat that whole pizza. My schedule is very time consuming. Between work, school, clubs, and volunteer work, it's rare that I actually get time at home to just relax. Yes, I go to the gym as often as I can and recently I've been able to expand that to sometimes going twice a day.

I am more upset with the fact that people find it completely okay to comment on other peoples gym habits. For all you know, that person you just insulted has been struggling with the last ten pounds for months now. Losing weight and getting in shape is not easy. It takes consistency and time. Yes, I said it. It takes time to get the body you desire and often times you'll still find flaws.

Put yourself in their shoes. How would it feel to hear that "if you just worked out more, I'd probably be more attracted to you." It'd probably be terrible. People spend enough time critiquing themselves, they don't need you to do it for them. I just find it absurd that people still have the audacity to say such things.

Growing up, our parents would often tell us the cliche "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" phrase. Now, while we routinely tell ourselves this later on in life, we also understand it's a huge lie. I have felt physical pain from broken bones and I can without a doubt say, these wounds have healed quicker. The verbal abuse that we face without realizing is what sticks to us the hardest.

I have dated men that told me if I "hit the gym" with them they'd be more attracted. Since when did a relationship become based solely on physical attraction. Don't get me wrong, I am all for couples empowering one another to become the best possible self they can be; however, there is a way to do this without imposing emotional harm on them.

God molded us into the people we are today. He watches over every one of us, including those that find it O.K. to say these sorts of comments. While he probably shakes his head in silence at these moments, he is also encouraging us to ignore such hateful words. He has made us. It would be rude to acknowledge his creations as "less attractive" or "not beautiful."

Just remember, you are beautiful in your own way. If you want to go for a run after reading this, all the more power to you! I will encourage you every step of the way. If you want to go buy tacos with some friends, I find that just as great. Your body is your concern, no one else.

Cover Image Credit: Dr. Sara Gottfried MD

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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There's Nothing Wrong With Embracing Your Singleness

Being single is a place of focusing your attention on yourself, not a sitting area while you wait for your significant other.

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First and Foremost

Everyone's view on being single is unique to them. My job here isn't to persuade anyone to think the way I think. I want to share my beliefs and thoughts about this topic because it's important to me.

For a long time, I had a skewed mindset about being single. So if I can, I'd like to shed some light on a topic that's usually talked about in a negative context. My opinion about singleness has changed throughout the years, influenced by numerous relationships, my spirituality, and accepting myself.

Backstory

When I think about how my personal experiences have shaped the way I look at being single, I feel as if I have three different experiences.

I first viewed singleness like a sitting area while I wait for my significant other to come through the door and call my name. This time of singleness came before I had any relationship experience. I was in high school, focusing on school, basketball, and friends.

But my mindset about being single was extremely negative. I thought that since I didn't have a boyfriend or no one was interested in me, there was something wrong with me and I just had to wait for a guy to pick up interest. Now when I look back, it was a weird and unhealthy place to be in.

The second story is sad, depressing, and the result of my first breakup. During that time, I was miserable and couldn't understand why anyone would want to be in that position. It's funny: before I ever had a boyfriend, I was never this sad and unhappy. But being in a relationship, breaking up, or doing anything for the first time can change your entire perspective on that thing, which is what happened to me.

The third experience is the one I'm in right now. I can honestly say I'm living my best life. My Christianity has heavily influenced my current mindset about singleness. I came out of a relationship and into a great place of freedom, security, and happiness. I understand that my being single is not a bad thing, nor is it a place to go out searching for someone else who will be there to fill the times I may be lonely.

Being single is a label, not who you are.

Don't get it twisted - being single does not define you! It's not something you need to point out to everyone you meet or use as a characteristic when you describe yourself. I made the huge mistake of thinking that because I'm single, it's something people need to know because that's just who I am now. But it's not.

Just like when it comes to putting so much meaning behind labels like "boyfriends" and "girlfriends," the same thing happens with the word "single." Sure, you can bring it up if you're actively getting into a relationship or dating, but it's not something the changes your personality. You should be yourself whether or not you're single or in a relationship.

Your singleness is a special time for you and you only.

I cannot stress this enough. There are so many pressures and stereotypes that circle around what a guy or girl should do while they're single. Some say being single is a time for exploring your sexuality and finding what you really like, while others say it's the time for dating and sleeping around. And some say singleness is a time to try every risky opportunity you can before you settle down.

I disagree with all of these. Being single is a learning process. Whether you come at it from different stories like I did or you've embraced it from the start, being single is time for you to dive deeper into who you are as a person, alone.

Find your strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. Set standards and boundaries for yourself for the people you're going to meet in the future. Become a strong, independent person for your goals, wants, and needs. Stand up for yourself when you face hardships and work them out. Find people who genuinely love you and have your best interest at heart.

All in all, the choices you make during your singleness should benefit you extensively. You aren't responsible for anyone else except yourself and that kind of freedom is unmatched.

My religion has definitely influenced my perspective on singleness.

My opinion on being single may be different from other people due to my faith and what I believe in. According to my spirituality, singleness is not just a time for you. It's also a time for you and God.

Having the time while you're single to focus on your personal relationship with God is extremely important. It makes sense to focus our freedom on the person who set us free from the beginning. With God on your side during your singleness, it allows you to stay on the right track and do all of the things I mentioned above.

But in reality, it is hard for us to always do the right things and not make bad decisions. We're human and it's inevitable. However, there's a way that's been carefully designed and created to help us: the word of God.

The way I see myself as a single Christian is amazing. I'm not worried about what my future holds or the downfalls I may experience in my life. Why? Cause God's got me. Yes, I have my moments where my faith is low and I sin or mess up and find myself more lost than I was before. But there's beauty in that too. There's hope in the messing up because I know God forgives and can wipe my plate clean.

Before you get it mixed up though, this isn't like a free pass to do whatever I want, whenever I want. That's not how God intended forgiveness and repentance. God wants us to know that the plan He has for us relationship-wise is already taken care of. As long as we live according to Him, which to be honest is a great and safe way to live, He has our best interest heart and will love, protect, and care for us no matter what.

(You may have noticed how I haven't talked about all the things that could go wrong when you're single. That's a long conversation for a whole other article.)

Being single is not a bad thing. It's a time for you, to learn who you are and what you want from life. Embrace that.

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