My Journey And Relationship With Food

Personal

I was watching the video below by It’s Jcanana. I could relate to what she was saying, and it made me think of my own journey with food. As it’s something so personal, it’s easy for other’s to think from the outside “Why should you be self conscious, you’re quite slim.” I really wanted to write this for a long time, and over the years I’d written a few drafts and always ended up not posting them. However, I feel that it’s the right time to write it out. Growing up, I often heard the similar words of, you should eat more and you’re so skinny. I feel that it’s not a compliment, and shouldn’t be, and sometimes it was said that way and other time’s it was said unkindly. It gave me a certain pressure to sustain the weight I was, even though I was in my early teens.

I remember going to markets or clothing stores, and older ladies telling me that the clothes are more likely to fit me than them. I ate very healthily growing up while I was at home, but at the same time I exercised a lot. I woke up every morning before school to go for a run, and every afternoon after school. I drank a lot of water, and generally lived a healthy lifestyle. However, in that aspect I was wanting to be fitter, but I was also wanting to maintain my weight, while still eating as much as I wanted to. It was when I left home at 16 when I became more preoccupied with my weight and body image. I went through a difficult time during 2013 where I hit rock bottom, and I fell into depression. I rarely ate a lot at the uni hall I lived at, and often didn’t have dinner.

When I lived at the hall, I’d buy cereal from the supermarket, and just eat those. I was going to the gym and exercising more, but following my second year, I was eating more, but I ate a lot of oats and often just had that for dinner. When I moved to Sydney for two years, I lost the most weight that I had since my first year at uni. I’d always eaten mostly vegetarian, but it was during this time I decided to go fully vegetarian. However, it made me lose a lot of energy and affected my mood. Now, after doing a lot of research over the years, I eat mainly vegetarian. Last year I cooked a lot for myself, but I really do think the environment we’re in can greatly affect our mood. At the time I wasn’t so happy where I was, but this year is definitely the most happiest I’ve felt in my environment and in my lifestyle.

Last year I went through a period of time where I ate far too much sweets, as I was going through a period of time where I felt stressed. I think it’s so important to eat when you’re hungry, and never deprive yourself. Be in a positive environment, live a healthy lifestyle and gradually change your mindset towards your body through self talk. Self love allows us to nourish our mind, body and soul. It can be frustrating when people assume you aren’t healthy if you’re slim, if you happen to have a small meal you can be judged from it and being pointed out about certain body parts. One of the best changes I’ve made is being with people who are uplifting, and those who don’t focus on the outward appearances.

When you eat a healthy filling breakfast, it can really set the start of the day with a burst of energy. Don’t limit what you eat, but just eat until you are 80% full. We should try to judge less what someone’s body image is, and most of all ourselves. Most of us would never tell a friend that they should be skinnier, because we’d only wish that they are happy and healthy. That is why it’s important to be kinder, because often we can be the most hardest on ourselves. When I went through a period of time where my focus was so set on being at a certain weight, it was an unhealthy pattern and the cycle would continue, but I wouldn’t be truly happy.

Being skinny doesn’t make you happy. It’s the life you choose to live, making a delicious meal, surrounding yourself with positive people and the simple things that give us the greatest joy. We live in a judgmental and superficial society, and so there will always be people who will point out other’s appearances, compare themselves or judge them from the way they look. Our most beautiful self is in our mind and soul, and that kind of beauty takes time to discover from a person. The best that we can do is to be the best person we can be, and focus on living a good life. What is your relationship like with food? How has it changed over the years?

How Exercise Can Boost Your Self Confidence

Daily Thoughts

flowers.jpgExercise has endless benefits for your body, mind and soul. It is essential for good health and has a significant affect on ones emotions. I remember going to the doctors this year to discuss my anxiety. The question that was always asked was “Are you exercising?”. This question is always asked by the ones close to me. I think that alone shows how much exercise is a way of showing our body self love and care. From exercising regularly, I have felt such a positive change towards my anxiety and my self confidence. If one feels depressed or anxious, gentle exercise can allow the mind to flow better. Exercise should be about aiming to feel good in your body and mind. I don’t believe there is a perfect body, but exercise has made me feel a far deeper appreciation for my body and having good health.

1. It makes you appreciate having a healthy body. I went through a period of time where I felt very depressed, and no matter how much my loved ones were encouraging me to exercise, I didn’t. My health went down and I got sick very easily, which in contrast shows how precious it is to treasure a healthy body.

2. Exercising encourages you to eat and drink well. I found that when I started to exercise regularly, I drink more water and I eat healthier. My body craves healthy and nourishing foods.

3. You feel motivated and far more energetic to live life. If you have ever been through depression, you will understand the feeling of being extremely unmotivated. Embracing exercise can create a routine in your life and give you the energy you need to be more productive. It lifts your mood and strengthens your body.

4. Being less likely to think negatively of your body. I feel that we are all accused of thinking negatively of our body in some way, big or small. A common thought is the wish that we could lose weight. I believe that when you start giving your body what it needs, you are doing the best you can. Naturally the negative thoughts will lessen.

5. Self confidence actually comes from feeling good, rather than ‘looking’ good. There is too much emphasis on looking good when it comes to exercise, that it can often create a negative mind set. It’s not necessarily bad to want to look a certain way, but it’s the way of going about it that can become unhealthy for some. When you make the connection with physical health and endurance, and feed your body the fuel it needs, you will naturally feel good in your skin.

6. Your emotional, mental and physical health. Exercise releases endorphin’s. It gives you clarity in the mind when you’re stressed compared to feeling anxious while sitting on the couch. Your body feels stronger and stronger over time when you exercise regularly. Your mind feels more peace when dealing with stressful situations and your emotions will be more balanced.

7. You will no longer have the thought “I should go exercise…” The feeling of accomplishment no longer gives you the thoughts of having to exercise. I really know that feeling of dragging my legs to the gym at first. But after the first few times, it becomes an enjoyable routine/habit that I look forward to. A few years back, I felt extremely self conscious of my body image, I constantly felt the thoughts going inside of me telling me to lose weight.

It was extremely unhealthy, as I was already underweight during that time. I made myself feel very guilty if I hadn’t exercised that day. No one should feel guilty if they miss a day, nor should they develop an unhealthy state of mind towards exercise. This is the perfect example of showing how being ‘skinny’ won’t make you happy.

8. Stress melts away far more easily compared to no exercising. When I think back to the days where I felt a lack of self confidence in my body image, I realised how much that would then roll towards other parts of myself. The body and mind are all connected. When you feel bad about your body, you may start feeling bad about other things in your life, and the build up of stress can affect your overall health.

Exercise is an act of self love. Treat your body with the love that it deserves. No matter if it’s a simple walk outside or a run at the gym, your body will thank you for it. Remember that self confidence comes from feeling good. It is the positive self talk we have within ourselves, that reminds us that although we are not perfect, we have the ability to achieve great things.

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