Let me start by saying that I’ve been studying abroad for the past six weeks, traveling the world, trying new foods, making new friends. Let me also say that, yes, I’ve stopped working out and have lost muscle tone. And let me conclude by saying that I’ve never been happier in my entire life.
The fun that I’ve been having abroad has made me realize how body conscious I was. This happened due to the fact that, in the course of my fun new adventures, I don’t have time to eat my ideal meal or workout as much as I normally would have. Coming to this realization, that I was body conscious, was surprising; I never considered myself to be someone who obsessed over weight or image. Realizing that I faced this issue has made me think that this may be an issue that many more are facing as well. In fact, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, over 91 percent of college students have tried to control their weight through dieting — 91 percent!
A prime example of these body image issues was brought to light over a decade ago, in "Mean Girls."Yes, that part where “The Plastics” all stood and criticized themselves, and a young Lindsey Lohan was deemed weird for not knowing how to follow suit. Since then, the epidemic has grown faster and larger and been amplified with the rise of social media.
How do we change this? The answer to this question is subjective with the answer varying for each person who answers it. However, you know you’ve finally gotten past your body image issues when these things happen:
You’re too busy making other plans to worry about how you look.
You know that saying “Life happens when you’re busy making other plans"? Well, it really is true! You know you’ve stopped the body image battle when you realize that you haven’t had time to worry, because you’ve been busy being amazing.
You stop comparing yourself to others.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, you take your own body and rock it! Sure, we all get jealous of how someone looks, but when you finally learn to accept you for who you are, you’ve taken a large step in the direction of happiness.
You feel confident
This one is MAJOR! Self-confidence is something that is attractive on anyone, regardless of shape, size or looks. When you learn to show others how much you love yourself, your inner rock star will shine on.
Nothing is more attractive than a true, genuine smile! You know what they say, you’re never fully dressed without your smile. When it comes to smiling, the bigger the better!
So, I hope we all start to realize these things, even without a trip around the world, and begin to understand how amazing and unique we all are.