To the girl struggling with her body image,
You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.
Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.
So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.
Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.
Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.
Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.
It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.
So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.
Love your body, and your body will love you right back.
If you watch or read anything with a supernatural plot, you may be aware of alternate universes or realities that are mirroring ours in a different plane. When I allow my mind to wander, I catch myself imagining what my alternate self is doing and how that life has turned out. However, if you don't watch or read anything like that, the reality of the situation is that I like to refer back to all the decisions I've made that have shaped me into the person I am today. I look back at everything I could've done instead of the things that I have done. After realizing a lot of events and decisions in hind sight that could've swayed me to the other side, I'm glad that I'm the person that I am today instead of what I inevitably would've been.
Those those of you who don't know me, I'm the type of person that sets her mind to something and follows through with it. Anyone can have this mindset, sure. The difference is choosing what to do with it; to use it in a positive light and become successful, or a negative one and be a waste of life and leech off of the government. I don't mean to "toot my own horn", but I've done everything in a positive and semi-responsible light and I'm proud of it. So, toot-toot.
In my alternate reality, I was a stoner that spent all my time with the "burn outs". I constantly went to parties and snuck into my house hours after curfew smelling like almost every illegal thing under the sun. I always would've been in detention, getting suspended, and maybe even expelled- all while not caring in the slightest. I ended up being a high school mother. I started working at a fast food restaurant, actually believing that owning my own chain would be a good idea. I would graduate high school with a very low D average, surprising everyone that I actually graduated. I didn't attend college, or even enroll, because "school wasn't my thing and it would be a waste of time". I eventually became roommates in the most trashy part of town with the previous mentioned "burn outs" and the 'coolest guy in the group' would be my baby's father, of whom would've been involved in a shady business and I blindly supported his decisions. And because of all the drugs and alcohol consumed, my child would have many medical issues that we wouldn't be able to afford (attempting) to treat. We would be surviving on food stamps and other government assistance while preaching "our government is trash" even though they're providing me with my miserable life. Adding to the hypocrisy, I would spend my paychecks getting my nails done and buying things I didn't need, all while not providing for my child and skipping out on rent. I somehow became an assistant manager of the fast food restaurant I previously mentioned, despite the fact that I do absolutely nothing productive. And finally, I lost custody of my child because the neighbors (rightfully) called Child Protective Services, the "burn-out-love-of-my-life" would be arrested, and eventually I would be evicted. Depression would obviously raise its head and a bottle of sleeping pills never looked so delicious.
I have a creative imagination, don't I? Obviously a dark twist. My mind wanders and provides vivid details, and in some cases it's a gift. The sad part is, this is a reality for a decent amount of people in the town where I went to high school. Thankfully, I didn't give into peer pressure and follow their pathetic and idiotic recommendations. Aside from having common sense, my mom is a hard-ass and NEVER would've let any of this happen. If it did, she wouldn't have tolerated any of it and sent me to military school or some type of detention center in attempt to scare me straight.
Now bare with me while I toot the hell out of my horn.
I hung out with the good kids. I spent my nights and early mornings at some type of band rehearsal (insert nerd jokes here). Instead of parties, I was at band contests and singing along to soundtracks on the bus-ride home. I very rarely showed up after curfew (not counting all the times I was only minutes late. Traffic, you know?). I NEVER snuck in or out of my house because I knew my mom would kill me. I was a teacher's pet, always did my work, and 99% of the assignments were on time. I was a virgin until the summer after graduation (insert jokes/appraisals here), still with no kids! I did work in a restaurant, but it was to help raise money for my trip/musical tour to Europe. I graduated high school with a 3.6 (maybe 3.7?) GPA. I just finished my third year at my dream school and loving every minute of it; friends, sports events, tailgating, and learning all the things necessary for me to be successful in my field of choice- I'm an Elementary Education Major (insert jokes and "oh you're so brave" comments here). No roommates and no trashy neighborhoods (thank God). As I said before, I don't have a baby so there's no loser baby-daddy (and there won't be one). I will NOT do anything irresponsible during pregnancy- I'm not a terrible human being. No food stamps because I can actually find a decent job to take care of myself, I'm not lazy, or the bottom of the socioeconomic food chain. I also don't claim that our government is trash (insert idiotic, uninformed Republican jokes here). The only time I "treat myself" is for special occasions or when I have the spare funds to do so (and I've only gotten my nails done three times), and the occasional impulse buy isn't necessarily a bad thing. Again, no kids, I'm not irresponsible so I don't skip out on rent, and why would I work in the fast food business, let alone become an assistant manager of one? Honestly. And obviously, I'm still alive and kicking.
I may sound like a spoiled and entitled bitch, and I'll admit to that a little. But at the same time, I've worked SO hard for everything that I have. My parents never handed me anything; I had to earn it; deserve it. Overall, I'm not irresponsible, although I occasionally make stupid decisions- we're allowed a few every once in a while, right? I have common sense and have the ability to make sound decisions, along with being gifted as a pretty good people reader (thanks mom). I can tell which situations and people aren't worth the time and I'm so thankful for that. It has saved me so much trouble and provided me with so many amazing opportunities.
Words can't describe how thankful I am to be the person I am today instead of the person I could've been (at least in the alternate reality I imagined). I'm glad I've had the same goals since I was a kid, and so grateful that I have the mother that I do. She always kept me on the right path and encouraged me to succeed and follow my dreams. I'm glad I have the drive that I do and used my mindset in a positive way.I truly believe my future is bright and full of many opportunities. Only time will tell. As long as I continue following the path that I'm on now, I'll be perfectly fine.
So to my alternate self, I'm glad I didn't give in to peer pressure and live a life that corresponds to those that made unfortunate decisions. I'm glad I'm thriving and working to achieve success. I'm glad I'm not you.
Once again, toot-toot.