Do Not Define Yourself By The Numbers On A Scale

Do Not Define Yourself By The Numbers On A Scale

The number on the scale shouldn't make you want to eat less.

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To everyone who said they would lose weight during 2019: Don't listen to the scale right now.

I made a resolution to lose weight this year. Generally, I wanted to get back on track with the healthy lifestyle I used to follow. I played sports in high school, but in college, I realized didn't have time for it anymore. Working out and eating healthy makes me feel good, so I thought it would be easy to get back to my routine.

It wasn't easy. My schedule is so packed that I have to schedule time to work out. And it's not always easy to stick to that schedule.

Because I can't literally dedicate my life to being healthy, I thought that counting calories and weighing myself every day would lead me to a healthier lifestyle.

It didn't. The scale made me feel worse. Gaining a pound started to mean failure to me.

Counting calories was not bad for me at first; it allowed me to be more conscious of my food choices and control my portion size. However, because of my self-critical nature, things soon took a sour turn.

I have a tendency to overeat because I don't eat regular meals every day (thanks, college). Any time I would overeat, I would weigh myself the next morning and feel a little upset if I gained even a little weight or lost a minuscule amount of weight. This mentality really doesn't make sense; you can't gain weight that fast, and your weight fluctuates depending on many factors.

I decided to take a less strict and more flexible approach to my healthy lifestyle. I'm not counting calories, but I'm keeping in mind how much I'm eating and being careful not to overeat. Every once in a while, I'll have a cookie and enjoy it. I've been doing that a lot more lately, and it's okay. These aren't your "cheat" days; you're living your life.

The way we talk about food is so important. Yes, America's obesity rates are very high, but because of this, the fear of being fat drives the need for dangerous diets with extreme calorie restriction. The fear of being fat leads to Instagram stars advertising tea that is supposed to lead to weight loss (I'm talking about you, Kim K).

If calorie restriction is so unhealthy, then why are we encouraging it?

Everything is okay in moderation. In fact, we shouldn't really be saying that certain types of food are okay and others aren't okay.

It's okay to eat something because it tastes good.

It's okay to choose a "healthier" food as an alternative to one that isn't as healthy, but it's also okay to do the opposite.

Dieting can ruin our mentality. Guilt should not be associated with food. Food is fuel. It's what keeps us going.

The number on the scale shouldn't make you want to eat less.

Yes, I am trying to eat less, but not in the way you think. I am trying to stop stress eating and binge-eating at night. I'm trying to develop a healthier relationship with food. I'm trying to lose weight, but I don't want it to control me.

I let it control me for a while. That made me hate myself. So now I'm learning to love my body, no matter what number the scale says, and I couldn't be happier.

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The Social Standards Women Face

How the social standards women face affect their day to day lives.
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It seems that no matter what we do, there is always a lingering social standard for women to uphold. We must be smart, but not too smart. Fun, but not too fun. Tough, but not too opinionated. The ridiculously out of touch social standards our society puts on women strains a woman's self confidence, identity, and feeling of self worth and value. These social standards seem to be in place simply to keep young women and girls striving for the impossible. These standards tell women that there is a certain way to dress, act, speak, and carry themselves in order to be pleasing to society. Our worth is too often tied to the opinion of men, as we are often told to act a certain way in order to attract them. Too often girls are pressured to fit a certain mold of what a women is by standards created by straight white males in charge of our society.

A woman's worth is not tied to that of a man. We do not sit around waiting for the perfect guy to finally notice how we styled our hair just right and say all the right things a girl should say. Yet so many girls, including myself, too often fall into the trap of trying to fit a mold we're constantly having shoved down our throats. And to be quite honest these standards are completely arbitrary. Being the "perfect woman" does not logistically make our lives better. Being the girl you see on TV and in magazines won't make you a better person. Acting and speaking in a way a guy thinks you should speak does not benefit you. The struggle that so many woman face today is that, no matter how much we know these unrealistic standards do not benefit us, they are still extremely real and present in our lives. We see them as we watch TV. As we read a magazine. As we walk down the street. We hear about it on the radio and from people around us. There is constantly this social standard looming over us in the clouds-something that can't be seen but that we all know is there.

The standards that we constantly face from media, family, friends, and strangers all contribute to a diminished sense of self that stops many young women from truly being themselves in society. Although it may sound cliche, in the end we only have one self. The best thing anyone can do is to live their lives completely and utterly for themselves. Young girls deserve to understand this and live freely without having to worry about the expectations and restrictions society has put on them.

Cover Image Credit: Vidmax

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The Complicated Love-Hate Relationship I Have With My Body

We all have times where we look in the mirror and either love or hate what we see.

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People are always saying how you should love yourself just the way you are. You should embrace yourself and feel beautiful in your own skin. There are times that I do. Times where I step up and say this is me, this is who I am. However, there are also times where I look at myself and say, this is not me, this is not who I want to be.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my body. I go days where I feel good about myself and love who I am no matter what. Then I go days where I hate everything I see and want to hide away from everyone. I just can't seem to find a middle ground.

Sure you can make plans to change yourself, but even then, I feel like you'll always see a flaw. My body has changed from time to time, but no matter what, I always find something to hate. I just can't seem to find the confidence in myself to accept who I am. I wish that I could.

I wish I was someone who could love who they are.

I try my hardest to respect my body. I've told myself that I'll work hard to keep it healthy. I made a promise that once my current spine injury has healed that I'll work harder to get where I want to be. To work hard towards loving myself more often than hating myself.

It's a dangerous mindset to have, the hate sometimes consuming you. I also struggle with bipolar disorder, so when I'm in a depressive phase and hating my body things get dark. I feel disgusting and I just wish I could tear pieces of my body away.

You turn away from mirrors, you try to wear clothes that hide the things you don't like, sometimes when you catch an angle of yourself that's particularly bad you just stand there staring, hating it all.

Then you walk with your shoulders back and your head held high. You wear clothes that make you feel cute and you don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You love yourself and decide to be happy.

This constant yo-yo of a relationship is exhausting.

The hardest for me is looking at pictures growing up. Looking back on the way my body changed and trying to pinpoint where things went wrong. Seeing a picture and thinking, 'look how good I look there.' It doesn't even matter if it's a happy memory. If my picture captured a really good moment. All I can focus on is what I look like.

My fear is that these thoughts will never change. I can learn new tricks to help me stay positive. Learn new ways to love myself. Even if I change things, that there truly will always be something I don't like. It hurts to look at yourself in a mirror and only see something gross staring back at you.

To not see yourself, to only see everything you don't like. It makes you want to crawl into your skin. You don't want anyone to see you in fear that they might see the same thing.

When the confidence comes I savor everything moment I have of it. I take pictures, I like to go out, I live my life as a happy me. I try to hold on to that love I have. To remind myself that I am OK. That I can love myself, but that it's also OK to not like some things. I don't have to find every piece of me perfect because no one is perfect. We all have flaws, it's just about learning to accept those flaws as a piece of who we are.

I know that this love-hate relationship will always be there, but I will always be there to try and fight it. I will work hard towards finding that confidence inside myself and let it shine. We all deserve to see the beauty we have, that no matter how bad seems, there are parts of us that are beautiful.

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