One Entity writer reports on how she overcame her own body image issues all by herself.

I never had a problem with my body or body image… until recently.

For the first 18 years of my life I didn’t understand the issue. I thought people who weren’t happy with how they looked just needed to go for a few more runs or stop with the daily In-N-Out. I thought it was a problem of laziness or lack of motivation. And I never thought any of it would apply to me. Ever.

Throughout high school I was a double sport varsity athlete all four years. I ate like a truck driver. I would literally go from practice straight to In-N-Out and get a double-double with fries. Then I would go home and eat an entire family dinner so my mom wouldn’t get mad that I spoiled my appetite. I never gained a pound and I thought that was how life worked.

To be fair, I would practice for an hour and a half before school started, then I would go to school for the day and practice for another three hours after school, so I guess that made sense.

But then I went to college. And ladies, freshman fifteen is real. So so real. I wish someone had warned me about the freshman fifteen (even though there is zero chance I would have listened). But you live and you learn.

One Entity writer reports on how she overcame her own body image issues all by herself.

All of a sudden I wasn’t comfortable in my clothes. Everything fit differently (or didn’t fit at all). I didn’t really realize how my body had changed until I came home for summer after my freshman year. I came home to sunny California, where everyone lived in their bikini and no shoes and I wasn’t as confident as I used to be.

I tried to go to the gym and “eat healthy.” I would tell my friends I’m about to start these dramatic and excessive cleanses. None of these attempts lasted very long or showed any success.

I went back for my sophomore year and only gained more weight. At this point, I had essentially been “dieting” on and off for over a year with nothing to show for it.

What and how I should be eating was always in the back of my mind. Every time I slipped on my favorite pair of pants that didn’t fit how they used to I only felt worse. I was making constant renewals and vows that I would start eating better “tomorrow” or “on Monday.”

One Entity writer reports on how she overcame her own body image issues all by herself.

When I know that I can be better, look better and feel better it doesn’t matter to me that my friends tell me I look “fine” or “shouldn’t worry about it.”

I didn’t decide to eat better or work out more this summer to please other people. I decided this for myself. Other people’s standards and opinions did not matter to me and they still don’t. But if I don’t feel my best, how can I perform my best or act my best?

I have never been a complainer. I am a do-er. What is the point in complaining about something if you’re not doing anything about it? That’s not even complaining. That is a pity party. And nobody wants to come to a pity party.

What shouldn’t matter:

  • How you feel compared to others
  • How people say you should look
  • What society thinks you should look like

What should matter:

  • Your self-confidence
  • Your health
  • How you feel about yourself

During my second year of college, my mind was constantly occupied with what I should and shouldn’t be eating. I was constantly thinking that I should go workout. The amount of time and energy this was taking was ridiculous. Nobody should spend more than a few thoughts per day on such trivial things. Plus, how could I be so obsessed with something and still be so unsuccessful?

It made me feel bad about myself not only that my shirts didn’t look quite the same on me, but also that I didn’t have the dedication of self-will to make the change for myself. This trivial factor in my life was occupying so much of my time and energy, it was keeping me from reaching my full potential.

So, now my motivation comes from a simple saying, “You can’t complain about it if you’re not doing something to change it.”

Since I happen to love complaining about things, I better be willing to work towards changing the things I want to complain about, and after coining this phrase for myself I can hardly think of aspects of my life that it doesn’t apply to.

If I am unsatisfied with a relationship, complaining about it to my friends is not going to solve the issue. Nothing is going to be resolved by waiting for other people to do it. Have the conversation. Make the improvement yourself.

If I am disappointed in my grades, I cannot simply complain that my classes are hard or that my grades are not what I expected. I have to do something about it. Whether it is asking my professor for help or changing my study habits, there are changes I can make to better my position.

If you’re not satisfied with something, change it.

So many things in life are out of our control, but being proactive is not one of them. I have decided that being passive or complaining about things that are within our control are some of the worst things you can do.

If things in your life are making you unhappy or hindering you from performing your best, it is in your favor to take action and make a change. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.

Edited by Kayla Caldwell

Send this to a friend