Why You Should Choose To Be Body Positive

Why You Should Choose To Be Body Positive

Learn to love your body and the person in it.

In today's world, there are so many expectations to live up to regarding how we look. Someone is too fat, too skinny, too something. It's asking far too much for me to sit here and say for everyone to treat each other equally and stop shaming someone based on their looks. No one would listen anyway. What I want to ask is for those who read this to start viewing themselves as they are, for just a day. Wake up, look in the mirror and say, "I look great!". Then at lunch time, look in a mirror, or a window or anywhere you can see your reflection and say, "Wow, I still look great." Then before bed, do it all over. Do this for at least a week, and see how you feel about your reflection afterwards.

When I had the initial idea for this article, I wanted it to be about fat shaming. Being on the chubbier side, I've only ever experienced it once (to my face at least), but people I know have received endless ridicule for their weight. I've gotten the "Oh, you're wearing that?" when I put on a crop top or some shorter shorts. And I would just say yes, but eight times out of 10, I would end up changing before I left. The stretch marks on my sides made me uncomfortable, so I would go into my room and search for a longer shirt that matched my pants. But now I can say that I show them off because they are part of my body and probably aren't going anywhere. I'll throw on some high-waisted shorts/leggings/jeans and wear whatever shirt I want, because it's my body, and I'm allowed to love it.

Now when I started to write the article on fat shaming, I realized that being body positive isn't only for "fat" people. It's for skinny people, people with a pear shape or apple shape or whatever body shape they say they have. I can't sit here and write "love yourself!" and end it there, because loving your body isn't easy. There are so many men and women who struggle with their image and don't believe that they will ever love their body, and for right now, that's OK. It really is. Because someday, and I hope someday soon, someone or something will make those people realize that they really are beautiful in their own skin. No dieting, purging or exercise will feel as good as someone telling you how perfect you are as you! Whether it's a friend, significant other, family member or stranger, someone somewhere is waiting for you to walk by them so they can tell you how good you look, and I hope that you believe them. There is so much hate in this world, you can't add on to it by hating yourself. I'm not saying that you shouldn't exercise or eat healthy because you should definitely be healthy, but you don't have to overdo it. Your No. 1 priority should be your health! No body-shaming post you see on Facebook or Twitter will tell you that. As long as you're happy and healthy, it shouldn't matter what you look like. And there will always be people on the side telling you not to wear that bikini, or to put on more makeup, but you don't need to listen to them. Wear what you want and be who you are. Anyone who can't take that shouldn't be in your life.

So, why do I choose to be body positive? I want to show others that it's OK to love yourself. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin no matter what I'm wearing. I want to be happy, and I want to be healthy. I want to live my life not worrying about what other people think. I want to make a difference somewhere or for someone, so they know that they aren't alone! It's so easy to falter and sit in self-loathing 24/7, and it's also easy to get out and live your life the way you want to! I promise that once you start to love your body and the person in it, you'll never be happier.

Cover Image Credit: weheartit

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.


It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.

These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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Explaining Eating Disorders To the average person

It is both a blessing and a curse that you will never understand.


When I was first diagnosed with anorexia, my dad could not wrap his mind around why I wouldn't eat. In fact, over a year into my recovery battle, he still doesn't understand. My therapist at my treatment center said once, "It is both a blessing and a curse that our families will never understand. It sucks because they don't understand what is going on, why it is going on, or how to help. But it is a huge blessing because eating disorders come with such an immense amount of pain that we would not wish upon anyone, so we are glad they don't understand."

That conversation sits in the back of my mind whenever I discuss my eating disorder with someone who has never had one. It seems that even to the most understanding and eager to learn individual, I cannot truly express why I cannot "just eat." Or rather, why every day I have to make the conscious choice TO eat.

I keep very detailed journals of my experiences with anorexia. I have journals that show the early onset, the rock bottom, the recovery, the relapse, and so on. And I'm not sure even those would be able to explain to a person why I have this particular affliction. I am going to do my best here, to briefly explain some of the deeper aspects of my eating disorder.

First off, let me explain that eating disorders are NOT about food. That is what literally every single person who works with eating disorders screams from the rooftops daily. I can understand why one might think that it is about food and weight or just an extreme diet or even just something vain. However, the behaviors of an eating disorder, serve a much deeper, emotional purpose.

Like I said before, people with eating disorders experience an immense amount of pain. It's the type of pain that consumes all of your being. You feel it both physically and emotionally. By doing a particular eating disorder behavior, that pain is lessened. Where it gets you is while that deep pain is pushed away, the eating disorder replaces it with a different pain. A pain that is equally painful but one that you can understand.

The eating disorder explains why you hate yourself. It is a sort of cyclical thought pattern: hating yourself so giving in to the eating disorder which makes you hate yourself more so you give in more to the eating disorder. It follows that downward spiral. And if you are so focused on the eating disorder and its pain, you don't have to deal with all the other stuff.

And then it becomes an addiction. Just like a drug addict, you crave the "high" you get from doing a behavior. You essentially rewire your brain so you get pleasure from the behaviors and anxiety around food.

If I had to condense this all into a few sentences, it would be this: Eating disorders are the human's way of adapting to pain. It goes against the laws of nature, but it is a survival mechanism. A coping mechanism. And it is one that will make no sense to you unless you have had one yourself.

Rereading all of that, none of it makes sense. Logically, none of it makes any sense. And if you find that frustrating, its ok, I find it frustrating too. I just wish there was a way for me to put it in writing that would allow you to understand why this is a daily battle.

So if you have gotten to the end and are feeling a lack of closure, me too. Let me end with this: you will never understand what is going on inside our heads. The only thing you can do is love us. Let us know you are there if we need to talk or need support. But please, do not try to shove food down our throats or ask if we know what we are doing to ourselves. Please just be kind. That is really all that can be done, and while that may not sound like a good enough solution, it is all that you can do as a loved one.

Accept that you do not understand and that you cannot change us. Change is on us. That's our responsibility.

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