It started with a scale. I have never owned a scale myself, and have purposely avoided one on the understanding that as long as I eat healthy and work out (sometimes) there is no need to look at my number. Oddly enough, it was my male roommates who bought a scale to monitor their weight. Out of pure curiosity I stepped on the scale, to find I had gained 10lbs this semester. At first I laughed it off, until I looked in the mirror next. I was so unhappy with what I saw. I could tell that I hadn’t worked out in a month, and I could see my pants were a little too tight.

My initial reaction was for my health. I have a thyroid disorder and was concerned weight gain was the result of imbalances of my levels. After writing that off however, I came to the conclusion that I had simply not been active and am getting older. That high school size was not so easy to obtain as it once was. With a full schedule, a job, and multiple organizations to run I had hardly found time to work out. My thyroid also affects my metabolism, and regardless if medication makes it within “functioning” range, age and lower functioning this young is bound to impact my metabolism.

But as I looked in the mirror, I still blamed myself, and couldn’t help feeling ugly.

My arms jiggles, my pants didn’t fit, my hourglass shape I prided myself on was not so visible.

Negative thought just wouldn’t go away. As a campus leader, particularly of AAUW a women’s organization that promotes positive body image I felt like a hypocrite. How could I tell others and reassure peers and friends to love their body no matter what if I can’t do the same? Although I tries to ignore it, I began to notice my habits change around my weight.

Here is a list of things NOT to do, that I began to do myself…

1.Think about skipping meals, if only to save calories.

2.SPEND THE INSECUIRTY AWAY WITH SHOPPING (sorry dad…)

3.Stop exercise, or over exercise.

4.Cleanse or try a fad meal plan.

5.Ignore your thoughts, deny your negative feelings, until they come out in an unhealthy way.

I realize imp being hard on myself. I have a busy schedule and A LOT of stress. So imp going to have to change some things

To my body…

Nutrition is the best way to health, even if you’re not losing weight, eating healthy is priority over fad meals.

I am not going to feel bad indulging in some pizza or sweets on occasion.

The squads and celebrity’s I see will not be my body idols. Sorry Tay, your beautiful and healthy for you, but I can’t look like you, and I need to understand that.

I won’t compare myself to other people. There are a lot of fit people on campus and around me, and that’s ok, but I don’t need to look like the girl next to me in biology. She has a different life, mind, body, and a much different schedule!

Beauty is a state of mind, a healthy body, and happy life. Not my hair length, not my pant size, not how others judge me.

My schedule is busy, but imp working towards my dreams. Making time to work out is actually very difficult, my work schedule is late and early, my classes are difficult, and I have a lot of responsibilities. But I shouldn’t give up exercise altogether. Even if it’s just yoga in the mornings, I need to stay active every day.

I’m going to feel negatively about myself through the process, no matter how skinny or beautiful everyone has insecurities, and that ok, but I will stop myself when I falter and say” no, you are not ugly/fat/stupid, stop saying that. You are beautiful! There's nothing wrong with being confident, show it off!

To you…

I hope you love your body, and that none of this rings true to you, but in all honesty, most women have negative feelings towards their bodies at some point in their lives. It sucks, with media and peers pushing this unrealistic mold of skinny uniformity, and the ingrained societal thinking that women must be a certain way, must be beautiful, it seems impossible to be satisfied. You should not let this bring you down.

You are beautiful.

You are worthy.

Sometimes negative thoughts will come into your life, you are stronger than them.