I was an elite athlete in high school. I was a swimmer and we would be in the pool at 5:30 a.m. every morning, swim for two more hours after school, then lift weights for an hour after that. We were exercising intensely for at least four or five hours a day. I was fit, toned, and in the best shape of my life. I took it very seriously and had several offers to continue my sports career to the collegiate level.
I decided not to continue my swim career because there were other things I wanted to get involved in during college. I was so used to swimming being my entire life for so long that I was ready for some change.
My body did not like this.
I went to college, started staying out late, eating pizza at late hours of the night, eating whatever the dining halls gave us, and exercising only a few times a week and nowhere near as intensely. First semester freshman year, I notice it's a little harder to walk 20 minutes than it was a year ago.
Then, I start taking birth control, join a sorority, and start going out five nights a week. Not surprisingly, I gain 15-20 pounds in a few months. At first, this is not easy to be comfortable with. No girl likes looking in the mirror and not fitting into the same shorts she used to or looking different in pictures.
That summer, I tried everything in my power to lose as much weight as I could. I worked out obsessively every day of the week and hardly ate. I only ended up gaining more weight. At this point, I'm frustrated and confused.
A year later, I have learned to be comfortable in my own skin no matter what the scale says. Sure, there are always days where I get sad I can't wear certain things I used to be able to or see some insanely pretty girl on Instagram and I let it get to me for a second. But there are by far more good days than bad ones.
I have accepted I am never going to look the way I used to and I am never going to be one of those 110-pound girls that can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound. I have learned to love my curves and smile when I look in the mirror. If I didn't accept this, I would spend the rest of my life self-conscious and sad. I have never been one to be sad or insecure. If you're not smiling through life, what's the point?
So yes, I don't look the same I did three years ago when I was working out 5 hours a day. I don't fit into the same jeans I wore in high school. But I am healthy and I am happy and that is what is most important in life. So you can post all the skinny bikini pictures on Instagram you want, you are not better than me and I love myself just the same.