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The Queen of the Yo-yo: Body Image and Finding the Motivation to be Healthy

11:23 PM

I know what you may be thinking. Why the heck is a fairly average-sized girl writing a whiny post about body image? She's not that big, what does she have to complain about? Well, I've learned that it doesn't matter if you weigh 90  or 300 pounds - everybody has their own issues with feeling confident in their body.

Body image is something that I have struggled with my entire life. I don't think there has been a day that has gone by for the past 10 years that I haven't at least had some negative thought about my physical appearance. Ridiculous, I know. But I think that a lot of people could probably relate.

I realize that I write a blog that focuses on makeup, and that may make me seem superficial and oblivious to the image of "perfect" that the media has created. Well, that is simply not the case. I am well aware that both men and women are constantly flooded with the idea of the "ideal" body. The body that appears on the front of magazines, in music videos and on the big screen. It is pretty much drilled into our brains that if we do not fit as closely as possible to the "perfect shape of the moment" than we are not worth as much as those who do. 

I wish that I was able to say that these images never had an effect on me growing up, but that just wouldn't be the case. I have unfortunately spent a lot time fretting about not fitting into the perfect mold. This caused my weight to fluctuate steadily since I was about 15.

I'm not trying to write you a sob story. There is a positive outcome from all of this! It's just taken me a long time to get there. For the first time in my life, my diet and exercise regime are motivated by more than the desire to look good in a bikini. I am finding myself more and more motivated to be strong, healthy and good to my body just because it deserves it.

Now, a little bit of my journey of how I got to this more positive, healthy mindset...

This is me in grade 10. I was still at the point in my life when I could eat whatever I wanted (which was not very healthy, trust me) and pretty much stay the same weight. I was heavily involved in dancing, which provided me with a lot of exercise that I definitely took for granted. Around this time my diet consisted of fast food, popcorn and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Grade 11 was the time when my unhealthy eating habits started to catch up to me. My clothes started to feel a lot tighter and my face a little rounder. It was around this time of my life that I started to obsess over "staying skinny" and constantly comparing myself to my friends who could still eat everything and keep their stick figures.

This is around the end of grade 11. The biggest I had ever been (I know, I know, it's not very big but it felt foreign to me!). I was also my own worst enemy at this time, because I started feeling worse about myself, but didn't do anything to change my diet. Not to mention I had quit dance, which was my one source of exercise.

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In grade 12 I quickly lost a lot of weight. I had cut out all junk food from my diet (especially pop, chips and candy - I used to eat these every day). This weight loss however only lasted a few months. I got into the habit that if I saw some results that I decided that my "diet" had worked and I could go back to eating whatever I wanted.

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Cue 2010. Pure laziness + being in a long term relationship = zero effort or motivation at all to be healthy.

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Fast forward a couple of years. This was around the first time in my life that I was actually motivated to maintain a healthy weight by the desire to actually feel healthy, and not just look skinny. I lived in a house with two very health-obsessed parents and decided to give some of their healthy eating and exercise tips a try. I remember around this time people started to tell me that I looked good, and that felt so good. So good that it made me feel like I had successfully become healthy, therefore could slack off again.

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2013. Back to constant junk food and no exercise. I would constantly complain to my boyfriend or mom about not liking the way I looked in the mirror. This was always met with: "the only person who can change that is you."

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The whole time I was going through my ups and downs, my mom would always say to me: "Madison, you are not going to feel happy with your body until you stop focusing on being skinny and just focus on being healthy." Well Mom, you were right. For the first time in my life I am placing an importance on eating well and exercising in order to be good to my body and feel more energized - not solely to try and look like Miranda Kerr (wouldn't that be nice though?).

I would be lying if I said I feel completely confident in myself and have stopped comparing my size to others, but at least I think I'm on the right track! Let's see if I can stick to this healthier mindset for a healthier body.

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  1. I can totally relate to this. The women in our family all tend to be overweight....I have to work at my weight every single day especially with a skinnier indentical twin sister :) . I am much more comfortable now (it took me much longer than you) but want to exercise, walk and stay active so I can dance at my grandchildrens weddings!