One of the biggest beauties to life is its’ downfalls and the means to overcome them. The obstacles that each person endeavors in their life helps shape and model them into who they are. Every day we make the choice of who we want to be and what we want to achieve. One of the biggest obstacles I have gone through in my life is learning to love my body. I know a lot of people struggle with this and the sad truth is, there will always be people who struggle with this issue. Sometimes learning to love our outward appearance is hard, due to personal matters that go beyond skin deep. The way society defines beauty doesn’t help the issue either. People who are unaware of these false representations of “beauty”, like myself, can easily fall into a vicious cycle of having an unhealthy body image. When in reality, we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others because everyone is different. I have faith in people, and sometimes people need that one person who has faith in them. For me my best friend, Perla has always been that one person. Always lifting me up and telling me what I needed to hear to push me along. Thank you for letting me tell my story on your blog. You truly are a beautiful, bright and, charismatic spirit who cares about everyone. You inspire me every day with all the great things you do, I hope to inspire at least one person with my story like you do.
Over the years I have had a love-hate relationship with food. I loved the way food tasted and comforted me but I hated how it made me look. I grew up in a big Italian family where our culture was surrounded by food, it’s what brought us together. In a way, this gave me a mindset that I could confine in food for emotional support because my relationship with food made me feel happy and never judged.
Over time I noticed small dissatisfactions with my relationship. My relationship came with restrictions I eventually was not willing to settle for. First, I ate when I was not hungry because something sounded good. Second, my addiction to food made me feel insecure all the time about my body. I knew when I was gaining weight, and this made me dress in clothes I did not want to wear: hoodies, baggy T-shirts, and the iconic black leggings! Oh! If I could only count the sad amount of black leggings I would go through, it probably would be considered a crime. If my leggings could come back from the grave of used and abused clothes, they would tell me, “PUT DOWN THE F*CKING SECOND PACKAGE OF REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!!”
I continued to see the flaws in this one-sided relationship. Other girls my age could confidently wear summer dresses that I could not, or play sports I was not in shape to play. This caused me to need more from my relationship, more reassurance that everything was okay. Soon the taste of smooth, rich, and cold pistachio gelato left me with the shortly lived feelings of happiness; followed by guilt… I would always have to go back for more. More to feel satisfied and comforted again. I found myself in a toxic cycle that made me hate the way I looked and felt. I had had enough, I wanted to fix the damage… but how?
I had to come to terms that I had an eating addiction, which was hard for me because I loved food so much due to the lack of other things I needed in my life. Often times I was bored and felt alone, I needed something to satisfy and preoccupy my time. If I was going through emotional turmoil I wouldn’t deal with it, instead, I would turn to food. The biggest issue was the image in my head of how I wanted to look, an image that society tells girls is pretty or “healthy”. I wanted to look like the girls in the magazines with the thigh gap. This image made me hate my body, I felt like a freak. I thought I couldn’t look like them unless I followed the current fad diets or ridiculous dietary restrictions they did.
I came to the realization that I would never look like these girls. I’m not built with long legs and a twenty-inch waist. And you know what, I am happy and okay with that. I embrace my thick muscular thighs, large breasts, and small waist. Real beauty is in being the best you can be and loving yourself.
Two years later through my journey of learning to be healthy, I have lost over thirty pounds. I’ve gained a whole new love for fitness and developed a healthy relationship with food. I now understand the importance of having a balanced diet. I love working out and being physically active. The most rewarding feeling is when I can run three miles without stopping or squat 130 pounds. I don’t need to worry about what the scale says because how I look and feel is what counts the most.I know there are other people who struggle with their weight like I have and because of this, I am becoming a dietitian. I plan to run my own business as a dietitian doing health and fitness plans. I want to help other people through their journey by inspiring and being an example because it is not impossible to overcome hurdles in life. A lot of times people feel like it is too complicated, expensive or inconvenient to be healthy. We need more educators in the health world to help teach people how to be healthy. If people are able to understand and know their own body then they will have a better understanding that they are one of a kind and can only look like themselves and no one else.