Although I may still be very young, still have so much to live for, and even more to learn, these short 22 years have brought me many great lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today. However, most of these great lessons come from some of the most difficult years of my life that were filled with shaming my body and living a life that was not balanced, healthy, or positive whatsoever.
If you have followed me at all over the past 3-4 years, you would know that I have gone through almost anything you could imagine when it comes to living a “healthy lifestyle” and being “body positive.” When I was in high school, I found my identity in being as “small” and “skinny” as possible. I was always active, who wouldn’t be after doing gymnastics for 10 years. I had to be in shape and healthy in order to succeed, which is so good! But around my senior year I took it to an extreme. Instagram started blowing up with “fitness icons”, and I had just quit gymnastics in order to be a “normal” teen. Safe to say, I was a mess. And I thought the only way that people would like me is if I was like these “fitness icons” so many girls my age looked up to. I began counting my calories, and working out nonstop. I ate about 800 calories a day, 900 if it was a heavy cardio day, and I ran for about 1 hour minimum each day. I even was caught leaving school early some days by my mom so I could come home and do some cardio because people were getting worried about how obsessed I was with it. Well, long story short, at the end of my senior year I became aware that it was not a healthy way to live and I couldn’t restrict myself. Restricting is not “loving yourself” and restricting also isn’t “being body positive” because your body actually starts to shut down.
Then came college… and oh boy did I mess up that first year and half. I won’t get into to many details but let’s just say I gained MORE than the “Freshman 15”, drank almost every single day, and ate Taco Bell on the regular. I completely threw all my work down the drain that I had at one time been so proud of. Instead of being 100 lbs and very, very scrawny, I became identified in the exact opposite. And it is all because of one reason: I thought I was “loving myself” in both stages. When the truth is, I was the exact opposite in “both stages.”
Now that you know exactly why I am writing this, I am going to give you a 22 of the best quotes that I have kept near and dear to my heart along the way. Because, let’s face it, no one wants to gain the “Freshman 15”, but no one wants to restrict themselves for having the occasional piece of pizza either. We are human. We are going to want to look and feel good, which is not wrong! But, we should also be enjoying who we are, and who we are surrounded by. And being stuck at either extreme makes enjoying life very difficult. Something I think we should all begin to embrace, and attack full heartedly, is self-love, body positivity, and self-assurance, but with a balance. Overtime, I have come to call this a “balanced-healthy.” I believe we shouldn’t solely let our identities be trapped in these “social expectations” and I do not think we should let others influence how we perceive ourselves. Rather, I think that we should solely try to focus on these three key phrases with harmony and proportion.
Here are 22 of my favorite quotes/mantras/mottos that I have written on my heart to not only embrace who I am, but become who I was destined to be, which isn’t a woman full of doubt but rather a woman radiating authenticity so others can kindly embrace who they are too.
- You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self- love and self-care.
- The journey isn’t about becoming a different person. It’s about loving who you are right now
- If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.
- Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.
- Accepting yourself only as long as you look a certain way isn’t self-love, it’s self-destruction.
- Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.
- Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they’re destined to be.
- Hating your body will never get you as far as loving it will.
- You were not placed on this earth to shrink your body until you die.
- I am worth more than my appearance.
- Imagine if we obsessed about the things we love about ourselves.
- Self love is accepting that the body you were given is enough and taking care of your body isn’t the same thing as obsessively manipulating it.
- My existence is not about how desirable others find me.
- Worry about loving yourself instead of the idea of other people loving you.
- Losing weight doesn’t not cure negative body image.
- If you can’t say anything nice about yourself, practice.
- You are both good and bad, messy and complex, and still worthy of compassion, love and acceptance.
- It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think your not.
- We get so worried about being “pretty,” let’s be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart, and pretty strong.
- Don’t value your body over your being.
- Wanting to be someone else is just a waste of the person you are.
- Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.
I want all of you beautiful ladies out there to know that health is SO much more than a number on a scale. Health is SO much more than eating broccoli. And most of all, health is SO much more than how others view you. It is how you view yourself. It is if you feel comfortable in your jeans. It is if you feel happy with your decisions. It is if you are enjoying life or not. It is if you are completely living in the moment, having no regrets, and not going overboard. Because trust me, you can go overboard with the whole “enjoying life and living in the moment”. You don’t want to fall so far off track that you end up feeling less confident than when you were restricting yourself. And that is why I hope some of these quotes touched your soul and helped you realize that you are imperfectly perfect JUST the way you are.
Now go out there, and figure out what your “healthy” looks like. Fall in love with a workout that makes you feel powerful. Fall in love with a way of eating that makes you feel happy, yet still alive for those special moments like birthdays and anniversaries. Fall in love with taking care of yourself. If there is one thing that I have learned in these past 4 years, 2 of them trying to be “fit” and 2 of them finding “my healthy,” it’s that you only have one life and one body, so treat it with love, and craft it to be something that you are proud of, mentally and physically.
With all that I am,