You Are Worth More Than Food And Exercise

You Are Worth More Than Food And Exercise

Exploring other parts of yourself will bring you freedom.

I grew up during the late 90s/early 2000s, just as people were just starting to realize that maybe soda wasn’t all that great to have regularly for people’s health, especially kids. And so, like a normal fifth-grader, I declared war on the beverage and completely forbid myself from having it. And not only was I proud of myself for obediently ordering only water wherever I went, I was vocal about it.

Totally normal behavior for a 10-year old, right?

It is when we’re raised into diet culture that teaches us that food and exercise define us and give us a sense of worthiness.

How many times have you heard someone exclaim, proudly, how they don’t eat certain foods, have gone x number of days on some kind of diet, or that they only exist off “clean foods?” Has that made you feel compelled to compare yourself to them, justify what you do or don’t eat, or feel generally crappy about yourself?

Me too.

The same goes for exercise! It’s so common to have people tell you how often they workout, how far they’ve run, or how intense their workouts are. I have absolutely no problem with people exercising, but when talk about it is constant, unsolicited, or makes me feel worse about myself/others, I think it’s important to look at further.

We need to look at intentions. What is the reason behind this constant chatter, the need to tell everyone about their diet and exercise?

Our society has taught us that we should be celebrated for eating “clean” and working out every day. We look at health as something that makes someone worthy and morally “better” than those who don’t, for whatever reasons. And whether it’s said outright or not, it comes across as superiority from those who constantly use their food and exercise behaviors to validate their worth.

Are you talking about these things because of this?

My point from all of this is that we are worthy humans for so many reasons beyond what we eat or don’t and whether we exercise or not. There’s so much more DEPTH to us beyond that. In my recovery from my eating disorder, I’ve found that I have to focus on all the other aspects of why I’m worthy. I’m worthy because I’m a great friend, passionate about helping others, and simply because I am a worthy person. Food and exercise and the way we talk about them shouldn’t define our worth.

I encourage you to dive deeper than that and leave that conversation at the door.

Cover Image Credit: SONAH Photography

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?

This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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The Only Person Who Knows How To Best Love You Is You

You are so worth it!


Something I have struggled with up until this year is realizing how much worth and value I have. For years I saw myself as unworthy and of little to no value; my self-esteem was extremely low and I struggled with depression. No matter what people told me, I still saw myself as absolutely low. I began believing that I would forever have these thoughts, believe this about myself, and see myself this way.

The beautiful thing is, the opposite has happened. What I have come to realize this year is that I am one awesome person and I am worth so much. Regardless of what anyone tells me, I know how I see myself and I know what is true about me. I know that I am going to do amazing things and continue to grow into the woman I was created to be. I know that I am beautiful, wonderful, talented, special, I have a purpose, and I have value.

To anyone reading this right now, what you are hearing in your head and all the negativity people are saying about you, those are all lies. The truth is, you are an absolutely amazing person who has a purpose. You matter and you mean something! You are worth so much more than you see yourself. You were not placed on this Earth just to take up space, you were placed on this Earth to do immeasurably great things and make such a huge difference in not only the world but the lives of those you encounter.

Something that has always helped me is leaving notes of positivity in places I will continually see them; feeding yourself with positivity about yourself is one of the most impactful things you can do. One of my current struggles is realizing that my past does not determine what I deserve now in the present; I have a note on my mirror, a note in my car, and a quote as my background on my phone that all say "You deserve happiness. You deserve peace. You deserve laughter. You deserve to love and be loved. You deserve life. Don't ever forget this." Just seeing that constantly the past few days is one of the best reminders that I deserve what I have always yearned for.

The negative thoughts of you and who you are will not always be there; you will overcome them and go on to help people struggling with the same thing just like I am doing right now. You are worth so much, have so much value, have so much potential, and have so much purpose!

"False ideas about you destroy you." Frank Shamrock

"Love only yourself a little bit longer, until you can't stand not to love someone else." Kiera Cass

"Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you." Steve Maraboli

"Encourage yourself, believe in yourself, and love yourself. Never doubt who you are." Stephanie Lahart


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