Society's Obsession With Health Is Unhealthy, Physical Health Is Not Worth The Sacrifice Of Mental Sanity

Society's Obsession With Health Is Unhealthy, Physical Health Is Not Worth The Sacrifice Of Mental Sanity

I love myself the way I am, and I don't want to change that.
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Over the past few years, there has obviously been a societal push for fitness. It's trendy to be in shape and be on some fancy diet. All anyone sees in the Discover tab on Instagram is pictures of people at the gym or at the beach looking way better than the average person.

I can totally understand why so many people want to be in shape and eat well. There's nothing wrong with that at all!

However, there is too much pressure on people who haven't made that choice for themselves at this time to go ahead and start a fitness journey completely unprepared.

I have been considering repurchasing a Fitbit over the past couple of weeks. I haven't had one for a couple of years, but I really liked the one I had.

As a college student supposedly living the best years of my life (I use supposedly lightly because I really have enjoyed my freshman year of college so far), I feel forced to work toward the best body of my life. However, the logistics of getting in shape are very difficult at this point in my life.

I'm battling a health condition that makes me super tired and makes me carry a little extra weight. I'm also under the most stress I've ever experienced. I'm also living in a dorm where every food in the dining hall is fried in oil or has more calories than it should.

If I'm being honest, I'm pretty happy with my life right now.

Sure, my body isn't as muscular or toned as it was in high school, but I'm getting such amazing opportunities and experiences through college that I don't really care.

It's just that I feel like I should care.

I should care that I'm not in the gym every day. I should care that it's really hard to diet in the dining hall. Or at least, society wants me to think I should care.

I think I should buy another Fitbit not because I need one, but because I feel like I have to hop on the bandwagon and be fit like everyone else.

Health is extremely important, don't get me wrong.

I really do want to be in shape and get my health under control. I may still order a Fitbit in the next few weeks. However, I just don't think that the pressure to be skinny or muscular should be consuming every second of anyone's life. A fit body just is not worth my sanity.

Cover Image Credit: @fitshapecreator

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.
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We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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I Channeled My Insecurities Into My Painting Final, A Series About Body Image

I haven't felt so proud and connected to something I've made in a really long time.

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I've written about my struggle to stay fit in college. Despite my best efforts, which I'll admit at times we're just mediocre efforts, there were still those inevitable pounds I gained when I moved away to live at college. The first semester hit hard with all the eating out, drinking, and even all you can eat dining halls. I didn't realize what an impact it was making on my body and therefore my self-esteem. I've always had a really great relationship with my body, food, and health. But by the time I came home for winter break, that confidence started to waver.

Going into the second semester I set my mind to change this, and going into summer I am definitely happier with where I'm at. As the end of the semester approached, I had to do a huge painting series for my final project, that was not only touching on what I'd learned in my first year of painting but the direction I want to go as an artist. I had been struggling to think of a way to incorporate all my thoughts and feelings into the series while finding a theme that I cared about and related to.

After weeks of thinking about it, I realized the concept wasn't going to be something I dreamed up one day, but a part of my life that I had to pour into these paintings. I wanted to channel these thoughts about body image and self-confidence or lack thereof into my work.

The series depicts a girl pensively looking in the mirror, both in baggy clothing and a little black dress, with a second figure looking over her shoulder, representing her subconscious. I spent more time in the studio than ever before working on these, not only because I was driven to make my work look great from a technical standpoint, but it was a topic I was passionate about. I used some reference photos of my friend for the pieces, but really it is more of a self-portrait.

Channeling these insecurities into my painting made me realize that we care so much about our bodies and working out for all the wrong reasons. Staying healthy is so important, but it's not so much about the number on the scale. It took going through these changes with my body to realize that you have to exercise to feel good and happy, and the results will come after that. I haven't felt in such a good place with my body in a while, and I also haven't felt so proud and connected to something I've made in a really long time, both of which I attribute to hard work paying off.

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