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Mental Health Awareness Month: Taking Care of My Body

It was easy at the beginning of quarantine to #indulge, but the time has come to say "no" to the seventh piece of pizza or the sixth glass of wine. For the last week, I've made it a point to actually consume water (shocker how much better it makes you feel) and get those veggies. Mental health is so much more than managing your symptoms.

Anyone who grew up with social media can relate to the feeling of inferiority about your body. Perfectly tanned, photoshopped women are virtually everywhere online. I’m your classic yo-yo dieter. I can virtually starve myself and overwork my body for months at a time, until I break and pack back on all the pounds I shaved off. It’s happened twice in four years. What in my head that pushes me into a state of obsessive weight loss really comes down to wanting to control what people think of me.

When I first lost weight, gym culture was becoming really prominent and I was moving to central California to attend community college. When you’re surrounded by beautiful, skinny people, it makes you want to be like them. I gained weight when I moved home and became depressed. I’m not one of those people that loses their appetites when I’m depressed.

The most defining moment of my weight journey was when I’d heard that people were discussing my weight. Immediately, I shifted back into being obsessive about my body and gained all the weight lost back within a few years.

Fast forward to now, I’m mad at myself for allowing myself to slip into hatred of my own body. I love my body for what it does for me. I can walk, run, hug, laugh, relax, and all because my body is well taken care of. Instead of falling into a deep spiral, I can make choices that are healthier for me. At the end of the day, I must stop comparing myself to others. My body is mine and I should thank it before hating it. The negative self-talk only pushes me to dislike my body more, but no more hate.

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