To always be worried about what others want, places more stress and angst upon myself, that I can’t cope with everyday life. The biggest issue I have had in the past, is the pressure to be skinny, because being skinny makes you healthy. While being healthy is obviously something that we need to do, I am, and always have been quite healthy. I may not eat all the right food every single day, but I exercise regularly and life a healthy lifestyle. Just because my weight isn’t as low as some people, it does not mean that i’m not as healthy as they are.
Health- The state of being free from illness or injury
Weight- The heaviness of a person or thing
These two words, do not mean the same thing, and although most of the time they are used in the same context, it doesn’t give others the right to determine how healthy you are by the way you look. People are made differently, and this ranges from their metabolism, to where they store fat on their body, and how quickly they lose weight when they do exercise, and where they lose it from.
This worry about weight and health, is something that has stopped me personally, from participating in certain physical activities. I’ve had a gym membership for 6 years now, and have only in the past 2 years used it regularly, as before i was always conscious of what others were thinking about me when I was at gym trying to lose weight.
This fear also comes with clothes and dressing a certain way. If i wasn’t wearing a loose dress, I would ALWAYS wear black jeans. Whether it was 7ºC or 35ºC out. I never wore shorts, or skirts either. Tops had to be loose or I would wear a jumper over so you couldn’t see how ‘big’ I was. I never participated in swimming days at schools, and in many PE activities I would sit out.
All of this happened because people would tell me that I was getting big, or unhealthy, ate to much or didn’t exercise enough. Looking back now, I realise that although I was bigger than some people, I did exercise, i was healthy and i’m sorry, but I love food, and will never stop eating it!
Now I just restrict myself to less sugary and unhealthy food and drink. I opt for an apple or nuts for snacks instead of a chocolate bar. I drink tea or juice now instead of soft drink and milkshakes. I still eat chocolate or have chips occasionally, but after leaving out of my diet for a while, I don’t feel the need for it anymore. I feel bad when I eat it, because i have done so well off of it.
Even just walking outside for 30min everyday is a good start to keeping up a healthy life. I joined some social sport clubs, to take the pressure off of having to be competitive. I choose to go to the gym 3/4 times a week now as it makes me feel so much happier and better about myself.
Although I have changed how I eat and exercise, I did it for me, to make myself feel happier. The me now compared to the me 5 years ago, is someone who loves life. I love being outdoors and walking around. I feel more confident even in a pair of jeans and a white top. I’ve felt so much stress disappear, because although i’m still not skinny, I’m happy, and thats the main thing that matters to anybody.