One thing that is trending on Pinterest is the dieting/exercising theme. It seems girls are never satisfied with what their body looks like. And I'm just as guilty. Even though I don't have a "weight problem"; I fit into the healthy weight range for a young lady of 5' 4", for a while I had tricked myself into thinking I needed to "lose weight". I saw pins that told me the ideal diet which will let you drop ten pounds in a month! I did't need to lose ten pounds, but it can't hurt, can it? Being skinner is never a bad thing, right? And then I would see that ten minute workout that's fast, simple, but will get you lookin' great in three weeks flat. Why not? After seeing more and more things like this I began to convince myself that I needed to lose weight. I wasn't good enough the way I was. I needed to improve myself.
So, I started cutting back on what I ate. A bowl of cereal at breakfast, peanut butter and jelly at lunch with some juice, and whatever mom made for dinner, with a snack later on in the evening (probably chips and salsa). But there was a problem. You can't last all morning on a bowl of cereal, or all afternoon on a peanut butter and jelly. And when I went to exercise, I had no strength, and no energy. And where does this all lead? Breakdown. One day I would be faithfully following my "diet" routine, then the next day I would feel so drained I would slip and not exercise and eat what I wanted. You see where this pattern is going; after a whole semester I didn't look any different. In fact, I felt worse about myself. Suddenly I thought that my hair wasn't good enough either. Or my coloring, or anything. I began to dislike the way God had created me, because I wasn't somehow measuring up to that "perfect" model of beauty that is being held up before us online, in magazines and catalogs, on hairspray bottles, basically everywhere we turn.
That's when I decided something had to change. These extreme measures I was taking were not realistic. God did not want me feeling hungry all the time, or draining all my energy, or bending over backwards to get my hair to look perfect. He made me a certain way and that's how he wanted me. So I completely switched my focus.
Now, instead of trying to follow some ridiculous diet, I focus on eating healthy and exercising regularly. I can not begin to describe how good I feel each day. Right now I am completely off of gluten and sugar, and have been eating a lot more fruits, vegetables, and meat along with exercising regularly every, single, day. And I feel great! And you know what? I lost some weight without even knowing it. But I don't focus too much on weight anymore. I focus on staying healthy in what I eat, and keeping myself strong by exercising all the time. And I even look forward to my exercise time each day! Sometimes I run on the treadmill, other times I will do Blogilates. If you have not heard of the Blogilates youtube channel, I highly recommend you look her up. She's awesome. She does Pilates workouts, but they are set to pop music so it's upbeat and fun.