Friday, April 26, 2013

Body Image

Mirror mirror on the wall, why do you always lie to me?

Looking in the mirror, I am dissatisfied with my body. I admit it. I've always been. But, I know that I need to change that. 

It all started when I was overweight in middle school. I was always jealous of the "skinny" girls that got all the guys. I finally lost 30 lbs by my freshman year of high school and you know what? I still saw myself as fat. My family, on the other hand, was worried about me. My bones were sticking out and they said I was too thin. 

I had severely restricted my eating to 1200 calories a day while switching unhealthy foods to healthy foods and exercising about an hour a day. That was a big change from not exercising and eating fast food a lot. My parents say that I didn't grow taller because I wasn't eating enough during that time. Now that I look back at it, they were right. 

Finally, during my sophomore year of high school. I gained some muscle and fat. I was at a healthy yet skinny weight. I even started yoga. My grandparents from Canada, who visit once a year, told me that I looked so much better and healthier. I was happiest with my body then. Sure, I didn't like that my face was fuller but I was eating enough for my body and I was still exercising. However, all of my workouts were cardio based (running). 

Sure, I did videos like the 30 day shred, jump-roping, yoga, pilates, hula-hoop, swimming and circuit training. But, I wasn't lifting weights. Real weights. I didn't have much muscle. And, I still saw myself as fat. I still wanted to lose weight, so, I increased my exercise time to about an hour and a half. 

I gained about 10 lbs near the end of my junior year of high school. I guess it made sense since I stopped counting calories during that time and I was really stressed out with AP tests and everything. I was also running an hour a day, which was bulking up my thighs (which I did not like). I used to only run 20 to 30 minutes. I did not like the number on the scale and it made me depressed and angry at myself. How did I gain the weight? I was running every single day for an hour! I was getting so frustrated. 

Finally, I started counting calories again and I lost those 10 lbs by the beginning of senior year. But, I also had increased my exercise too. I was exercising everyday and I wasn't taking any rest days. And, as you know, rest days are important as exercise days. My weight fluctuated a few pounds the rest of senior year.

Then, came my trip to China and instead of a rest day, I took a rest month. And, you know what? It felt bad to not exercise like I was at home. I didn't exercise at China, except for all the walking we had to do. However, I realized that my body needed the rest. After coming back, I started exercising again and eating more healthy. I lost a few pounds and I became more satisfied with my body. That is, until I learned about weight training. I felt and looked weak since I wasn't that strong.

I finally started weight lifting earlier this year. Sure, I have gained weight. But, I also grew stronger because of it. The body needs weight/resistance training as well as cardio. I think that now, I have found a balance with my exercise. I may not be happy with the numbers on the scale but I am now finally more satisfied with how my body looks. It's healthier now. I shouldn't compare myself to others. We're all different. I also learned that the numbers on the scale doesn't translate to how you actually look. 

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