Yes, I Can Strive To Be #BodyPositive And Still Want To Make Changes To My Body

Yes, I Can Strive To Be #BodyPositive And Still Want To Make Changes To My Body

I'm trying to learn how to love my body all of the time, even when I don't feel like it's at its best.

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I love the #BodyPositive movement.

It makes me happy that so many people are actively working to feel comfortable in their own skin. Regardless of weight, it's important to appreciate your body for what it can do and how it looks. Looking through the #BodyPositive hashtag on Instagram makes me happy. People are learning to love themselves, and that's amazing.

Unfortunately, I've struggled with body image for most of my life. I always wondered why my stomach was a bit bigger than everyone else's. People told me I was thin, and I (hesitantly) accepted that, but over time I became more and more self-critical.

To make things worse, I gained a lot of weight during my first three semesters of college. It made me feel pretty bad about my body. Yes, my butt got bigger, and that's a plus. But my body image got much worse. At times I didn't even want to eat. I felt guilty for eating certain foods. I wanted to work out more, but I didn't have time.

Instead of going down a dark road and dieting, I've decided to find a balance. I made this decision recently. I've even made a fitness page on Instagram to track my progress.

I've been trying to be careful not to stress thinness on my fitness page. I post pictures of my body sometimes, but I always make sure to talk about how strong I look. I don't want to focus on weight. I want to focus on how my body feels and what it can do. I want to focus on strength. I want to focus on confidence.

I've decided that you can be #BodyPositive and still want to make changes to your body. You can want to lose weight, but you can't let it control your life. You can decide to eat healthier, but that doesn't mean you have to cut out sweets completely.

I'm trying to learn how to love my body all of the time, even when I don't feel like it's at its best.

#BodyPositivity means something different for everyone, but I think we should all focus on learning to be #BodyPositive all of the time and not just when we take a cute picture at the beach.

Focus on how you feel. Learn to love your "imperfections," but strive to be stronger every day.

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Sorry I'm A Size 00

But I'm not really sorry.
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My whole life I’ve been thin—which is kind of an understatement. Every time I go to the doctor I get the same “you’re underweight” lecture that I’ve heard every year since I was able to form memories. I’ve never really felt insecure about my weight, I love being able to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Since my freshman year of high school I’ve probably only gained 8 pounds and I’m now a sophomore in college. Of course, in school, there were rumors that I was anorexic or bulimic, but everyone who knew me knew that was far from the truth. I’m now 19, 5’2, and I still have yet to break 100 pounds on the scale. It seems that there is a lot of skinny shaming going around and to me, one of the main contributors to that is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this because skinny girls get all the praise and other body types are neglected. That’s really not true, though. While loving other body types, you are tearing down skinny girls. Why is it okay to do that to skinny girls but not to other body types? Why is it okay to say “only dogs like bones” or say “every body type is beautiful” until you see a model's abs, or ribs, or thigh gap and then tear them down because they’re “unnaturally” skinny?



The point I’m trying to make is that, as a naturally skinny girl, I have never shamed anyone for their body type, yet I go every day and get at least two comments about my weight. I’m always the skinny girl, the toothpick, but I’m not Jessica. Yeah, I’m a size 00. Get over it. If you have an issue with my body and feel like my body is disgusting to you, don’t look at it. I know that I’m healthy and I don’t need your input when my body just naturally burns calories fast. I don’t have an eating disorder and never have. I am real beauty though, and I know that because I’m comfortable in my own skin. So maybe the real issue is that we as a society have been shoving certain body types down our daughters’ throats so they begin to romanticize models that have certain standards that they have to meet, who work hard for the bodies that they have, and are making a hell of a lot more money than most of the people discussing why they look emaciated while what they’re actually looking at is the photoshopped product.

I’m not going to apologize for being skinny when that is just how my body is, I can’t help it. So please, stop tearing my body down while trying to bring your body up. You can praise your body without shaming skinny girls. Shaming me for being thin does not make you better than the man that shamed your body, just as me shaming you for being curvy does not make me better than the man that shamed my body. As women, we need to love each other because we are the only ones who truly understand each other.


Cover Image Credit: Victoria's Secret Untouched

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Dear Girls, You Are So Much More Than Your Jean Size

Even when it feels like you're not.

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Trust me, I know how it feels. I know what it's like to constantly think about food. I know what it's like to be driven insane trying to follow a ridiculous diet. And I also know what it's like to feel beyond guilty that 80 percent of the time I do eat that piece of cake I promised myself I wouldn't. I know how it feels to stand in front of the full-length mirror in your bathroom and choke back tears because your thighs look way too big in the new shorts that you were so excited to wear. I've felt insecure, I've felt hopeless, and I sometimes have a hard time holding my body confidently when I walk into a room of strangers.

We've all felt it.

But there are times when some of us feel it so strongly we just want to burst. Times when we simply can't handle the thought of being inadequate, unattractive or not enough. These feelings can lead us to desperate measures, and we do things we never thought in our right minds we would do. Insecurity holds great and ugly power, and oftentimes it can twist the truth. Sometimes, it can even twist us.

The first day my best friend called me and told me she had made herself throw up, I cried on the phone. I knew this girl inside and out, had grown up alongside her for the past 14 years. This wasn't her, this just wasn't something she would do. Yes, of course I knew this girl.

But at the same time, I had no idea what she was dealing with.

I didn't understand what it was like to have people telling me each successive day that I wasn't enough. That I would never make it unless I lost 10 pounds. That I didn't have the right "look" to be an Olympic-level athlete.

Day in and day out, my friend was degraded with these words and notions conceived from nothing but the expectations of society and the culture of a brutal sport.

The first words I said to her and the only words I can really, truly offer to any girl struggling with this are, "It's not worth it." Because it just isn't. Compromising your physical, mental and emotional health is not worth being the best at your sport. It's not worth becoming a prima ballerina, fitting into size two jeans, getting boys to like you, becoming part of a sorority, being a model or looking great in a bikini.

What is worth it is you.

I know that sometimes as a girl it is so hard to realize that you are more than just a body. But you are. You are more than just skin and bones. You are a million stories of where you've been, a million visions of where you want to go. You are the kind words you've said to strangers passing by, you are your favorite books, and the quotes hung up above your bed frame. You are the songs you play over and over again till the lyrics are second nature. You are the tattoo you've always wanted to get on your forearm. You are your mother's daughter.

Don't simplify yourself to just a body. You are so much more than that.

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