Sunday, November 20, 2016

Body Image

In my opinion, I think this is a pretty heavy topic because everyone has experienced some negative thoughts about themselves just because of what they look like. I can't remember a time when I actually liked the way my body looked. Yes that absolutely sucks - but is also true for so many people. It all started in elementary school around the 3rd grade, when I just gained some weight (school lunches). The years went by and in middle school, I started to play tennis which somewhat balanced out my eating habits. They consisted of sugary breakfasts, chips, and especially those after school snacks by the television. I got to high school and was playing varsity tennis pretty competitively. I would just use the excuse of playing six days a week for eating bigger portions. 
Since junior year of high school to now my junior year of college, I've stayed around the same weight until these past couple of months where I have lost ten pounds. I started to research healthy eating, different exercises, and meal plans. I cannot begin to tell you how many hours of youtube I've watched. I researched countless "diets" - paleo, whole 30, vegan, atkins, intermittent fasting, military diet, counting calories, not counting calories, rawtill4, the list goes ON. Once I got to college, and especially this past school year, I've been making my own meals and have finally, finally found what works for me.
I wish there was one magical meal plan that worked for everyone, but sadly, it's all about taste, preference, and body type. I don't follow any strict diet because I wanted something that would slowly turn into a lifestyle. I cook about 80% of my meals, and the other 20% is eating in the school cafeteria on campus if I'm short on time, and eating out with friends/family on the weekends. If I could sum up my diet, it would contain lots of veggies, fruit, and "good" starches like brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes, and not too many fatty foods like olive oil, avocado, or mayo. I rarely eat meat and dairy, as I just feel better without it, but I don't restrict anything. My portion sizes are the same as they have always have been, but since the caloric density of fruits and veggies are smaller, the volume is bigger and balances out.
I was one of those people who believed that I could eat whatever the hell I wanted and just work out a lot to burn it all off. Reading this article explaining the reasoning behind the "weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise" made so much sense. All in all, nutrition has more contribution to weight loss, but that definitely does not mean exercising isn't important for your overall health. I've always loved being active, and have grown to love HIIT circuits by Kayla Istines or Popsugar youtube videos, running, strength training, and finding that perfect workout playlist. 
Basically, my body image is ever changing. It's one of those things where I know I am so incredibly blessed to be loved so deeply by friends, family, and God. But just knowing that isn't enough in my head to translate to me loving my body - I wish it did (if you didn't already know, yes you ARE loved even if you don't feel like you are). I'm not saying I hate myself, but I'm just in the middle, content with where I am, but still not completely in love with the way I look. It all depends on the day, and now I'm working on letting things go. With all of the research I've done on nutrition and meal plans, it's come to the point where I can recall exact meals and snacks I had that were ~too indulgent. Or also letting go of looking at the scale every morning to once a week. I don't want t become obsessive because that's not really living, but I also want to stay on track and see results. Balance is all it is. Lots of balance and self love. 
I plan on writing some more posts on a typical day of what I like to eat, and my favorite workouts, so keep a lookout for that. I hope some of this post resonates with you, and of course let me know if you have any questions. Thank you so much for reading!

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