I posted a selfie the other day, which is something I don't typically do (which is the cover photo for this article). If there is a picture of me on my social media, it is because I am in it with someone else. However, I had on red lipstick and was going somewhere fancy so I put the picture up anyway. And then came the comments. Comments I didn't expect. It's usually my family members commenting saying something about how much I look like my momma or how much I've grown up - but on this post it was different. Someone commented and said I looked stunning. That was a big shock for me. This isn't me bragging about how many likes I had on my Instagram post, but me showing my genuine shock.
I've learned that when I feel confident about myself that others see that too. It has taken 19 years to feel confident about my body, but I am finally beginning to like it, beginning to like the way my legs look in skinny jeans and shorts, the way shirts fit me. My family has always been very health conscious. My mom cooked healthy foods and we all began playing sports at early ages. As the years went by though I found that my metabolism just wasn't going to be my friend. So I have counted calories religiously since I was a sophomore in high school. While I still count calories and exercise, I have began to care less.
Mindy Kaling is one of my role models when it comes to body image. One of my favorite quotes from her is, "There's a whole list of things I would probably change about myself. For example, I'm always trying to lose fifteen pounds. But I never need to be skinny. I don't want to be skinny. I'm constantly in a state of self-improvement but I don't beat myself up over it." Wow. When I was 15 that was all I wanted, and when I failed to do what I thought would make me skinny and happy I would make myself absolutely miserable. I hated myself every time I cheated on my diet.
At this point in my life though I have realized that there are so many things I miss out on when I'm constantly trying to change myself. Being skinny won't make me happy, but enjoying this crazy life I've been given does. Which means eating "tater chips" from Zaxby's and having a milkshake at 10 o'clock in my friend's floor while having a rap battle. That is what I want to remember about my college years, having fun, and if I have to eat to do that, then who cares. I am healthy, and I am happy. Yes I still eat healthy and workout, but I also eat cake and potato chips. The less I care about changing myself, the more I begin to love myself, my body, and the confidence that comes from that. Try loving yourself instead of changing yourself and see what a difference that makes.