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Building a Healthy and Sustainable Relationship with Working Out

No matter how hard I can work out, how clean I can eat, I will never look like Gigi Hadid or Kendall Jenner. That just isn’t my body type.

My fitness and health journey started in January of 2018. I had one mission in mind: lose weight for senior prom. Growing up, I played a couple sports for fun, but never took working out seriously. Once those seasons would end, so would my motivation. With prom in mind, and the goal to transform my body, I found myself in unchartered territory.

Starting out, I thought the process would be simple. Workout. Eat a little healthier. See results soon. Right? I failed to understand the time, commitment, and persistence it takes to improve your overall health. Naive to basically everything, there were issues I experienced that I never anticipated would occur, which I call my downfalls.

First Downfall: Toxic Competition

The obsession began when I started working out with my (ex) best friend. She taught me about counting calories and foods to avoid. Everything became a subliminal competition. We always tried to one up each other: who worked out the hardest that day, or who ate the healthiest, etc. I constantly felt the need to compare myself to her. My original goal to get in shape for prom soon consumed my life. I spiraled into unhealthy tendencies and an endless cycle of self-hatred. Why didn’t I start sooner? Why was I so content with my body? Why did no one tell me I need to workout? Harmful thoughts swirled my mind as my confidence level plummeted. All of the sudden, I cared so much about what I looked like and how others perceived me.

Second Downfall: Social Media

Next, I discovered the Youtube and Instagram “fitspo” world. I turned to social media for beginner workouts and tips. While on Instagram, I stumbled upon so many gorgeous girls with outrageously fit bodies. On Youtube, I watched countless hours of “What I Eat in a Day” videos made by fitness models, or basically anyone who was skinny. When I finally put my phone down, all I felt was self-hatred. Again. Anytime I passed by my mirror, I stopped to dissect every flaw I could find. My butt is too small and my waist isn’t small enough, or my arms were just a tad too pudgy. In my eyes, nothing about me was good enough.