Self-esteem. A girly thing. I think that most girls, at some point, go through some kind of an eating disorder. Not necessarily a severe one and not necessarily one that is making them sick, but the brain is twisted and can be evil. In fact, I find it interesting that the brain can do that to itself, that it can change what you see it the mirror into something bad, and make you harm your own body.
We all find ways of coping with things, some better than the other. I have always misliked my legs, I never wanted to wear tight tops, my lips were uneven. I would be so disappointed if I didn’t get top grades in school. You know, typical girl stuff. I’ve had dermal fillers in my face, I’ve been to the gym too much and not eaten enough, I’ve obsessed about that number on the scale. But it’s not the right way of handling things.
I don’t know if it is the fact that I’ve grown older or the fact that I have changed my way of looking at things, but one thing is certain, I am so much more happy with myself. I don’t need the super-duper grades every time, I don’t die going out for drinks (okay I do, but that’s the following day), I walk around without makeup more than I do with makeup, the cake I baked and ate for Line’s birthday didn’t make me fat, my face is free of dermal fillers and I don’t mind wearing a tight dress (though finding jeans is still hell – jeez how hard can it be to make jeans that fit both around the waist, bum and are long enough?!).
I’m very easy to influence, therefore I avoid pages with seemingly perfect girls, I don’t follow people on Instagram making me wish I looked like them. Instead, I follow motivational people, people who will lift me higher instead of putting me down. People with inspiring food and great workouts (and Justin Bieber, but that’s a different story).
Working out and eating clean has become my lifestyle, but also my therapy. It makes me happy. I wouldn’t be investing that much time in it if I didn’t gain any benefits. You shouldn’t be working out to impress others, you shouldn’t be doing it because you want somebody to find you attractive – that all comes naturally anyway, somebody once told me that a confident girl is the hottest thing there is. Didn’t believe them then, but I do now. I am so proud of my body, so happy to see what it is capable of doing (yeah yeah, I still can’t touch the floor), and when I for some reason don’t want to leave the couch, I remind myself that there are people out there wishing that they could run, wishing that they could exercise. We are doing ourselves a favor by investing in our health.
A fellow Norwegian and I were discussing it over dinner the other day, we don’t go to the gym to look good in the gym, we go to look good after. We do, after all, live in a fairly superficial world and I don’t mind that my legs have toned up and that I’m finally starting to see a slight hint of muscle on my stick-thin arms. You’ve probably seen those girls wearing a mask of makeup, barely touching weights in the gym? And then you’ve seen that red-faced girl drowning in sweat whilst singing to her music – yep, that’s me, the catch of the day.
We are only human, it is okay to make mistakes, we don’t wake up with amazing hair and perfectly polished skin every morning. We don’t always want to work out or do our assignments. We eat that chocolate bar, enjoy it – and go back to being healthy the next meal. We take two steps back, but then one forward again. The key to success is persistence. Listen to your body, find what works for you. Do what makes you happy.