If you didn't know, there is a huge difference between "being skinny" and "being strong."

It is easy to misconstrue the two ideas. Even my younger self didn't know the difference.

However, I have grown to realize how important it is to train and become a toned, fit individual, than someone who is weak and tiny.

Having all types of media ingrain the unrealistic body image into the minds of young girls, it is so hard to develop the idea that we should love our bodies no matter what.

I have seen too many girls in my life try "fad diets" where they stop eating for hours just to nourish their bodies with low-calorie salads just to be "skinny". I cannot say I have not done this. I have gone through my fair share of body insecurities like every other girl.

However, as I mature, I have come to realize those diets and unrealistic diet restrictions are irrational. Not only do these diets last for maybe a few weeks, but it negatively impacted the person I was. Instead of focusing on how to become a better student, friend, sister, I only thought about my body image. Instead of being a confident individual, I was more self-conscious and timid by giving my insecurities power.

You are hard on yourself, but others look at you to see someone who is confident and strong.

Starving yourself to be tiny will mentally and physically drain you and impact you in the long run. So train, lift, exercise to become a strong person. A lot of people think lifting will lead to a huge, bulky body that is unattractive.

Well, that idea is entirely wrong. Having muscle will tighten your body and will allow you to burn off more calories throughout the day. Cutting food groups and excessive portions will just trigger your body to store any nutrients coming into your body creating an unhealthy cycle.

We have grown up in a society that forever ingrained the idea that "skinny is beautiful." Trying to break free from something that was whispered to us through magazines, tv shows, movies, and social media will be challenging.

However, it's worth it. Why live a life where you are constantly unhappy because you can't fit the perfect mold?

So stop saying "I need to lose 20 lbs." Instead, say, "I want to become stronger."