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.
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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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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Self-Reflection Is Always Beneficial

Always ask yourself how you can improve your life.

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Self reflection is an important part of growing up. It is important to sit back and think about who you are and who you strive to be. I think that dwelling on the past too much can be extremely harmful, but that a little bit of reflecting on your past can be great.

Think about it, every choice you have made in your life so far has led to where you are now. Every single choice, no matter how small it may have seemed, has had a major impact on your entire life. The choices we make definitely change the path that we take.

Most likely, every friend you made changed your outlook something. Every place you went to will remain in your memories. Maybe you experienced something because of certain choices that led you to learn a valuable lesson.

Maybe those dreadful things of your past needed to happen to allow you to grow. No one deserves to hurt, but sometimes hurting then healing can be replenishing.

I think we should value our lives because they are so unique. No one on this earth will have had the same experiences you have. Even if someone was following you around 27/4 or was literally joined at the hip with you, they would not have the same life as you, because their thoughts would be different from yours and their perspective would be different as well.

You will never get the same day twice, so it is important to make every day the best you can make it. Try to laugh in stressful situations. Try to breathe when there seems to be no air left for you. It is vital to keep moving forward. If you look back, you'll trip on everything in front of you. Do not look into your past and examine your mistakes negatively. We grow from mistakes. We live and we learn. Use those mistakes as a study guide to become a better you. Use your past to your advantage and try to give yourself a better future.

It is important to know that life is a roller-coaster with twist and turns, peaks, and sudden drops that will make you feel sick to your stomach and scared for what's waiting at the bottom. But if you fear life, you will never enjoy the fun parts.

Look back and examine yourself but don't write a novel about your mistakes. Move past them and live a better life. Spread love, be kind, and be grateful for what you have overcome. Those hurdles you went through have only made you stronger.

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