For most people who know me, they would probably think that I am over all a happy girl. They are correct by this, I love just about everything this life has to offer, thus I usually have a happy mind-frame, but what is it that sucks the life out of me? What causes my happy mindset to change during certain times?
The issues I have which revolve around my eating and exercise habits play the most significant role in my happiness. Am I proud of that? Absolutely not. But it is something that has been a part of my life for a great deal of time, and began to determine my happiness. It usually starts off with a certain goal I lean towards that relates to body image. The goal is usually a particular way I would like my body to look on the outside, which means I have to consume certain foods and restrict some foods in order to attain this goal. If for some reason I feel that I have eaten something that should have fallen under the restricted category, I slip up.
I have noticed that because of this very unhealthy way of thinking, it has caused me to miss out on other areas of my life which I believe are to be very important such as my relationships with family and friends, school, work, hobbies, etc. Why do I try to reach unrealistic goals, when it only ends up detrimenting my health? Is it because I feel I need to feel a sense of control? Am I lacking control in other areas of my life that lead me to believe that I need to control something like food and exercise? The answer to this question cannot be answered just yet, but in my opinion I believe that this is a possible reason as to why I try to reach unattainable goals for myself.
So, now the real question is, how do I change this mindset? I tell myself everyday that I want to be a “normal teenager”, and that I want to be able to enjoy life for as long as I possibly can just like most of the people I’m surrounded by do. I look to my family members and close friends to see how they find their happiness, and try their methods on myself. Unfortunately, no matter what I do try and follow their strategies, I end up going back to my old ways.
Relying on food and exercise as the key ingredient to happiness is probably the most dangerous this we can do, because let’s say for example I ate way more that I thought I should have eaten in a day, and now I am lead to believe I have done something wrong. I am left feeling disappointment, disapproval from myself and others, I can’t focus on any other areas that I’m doing well in. Everything falls back onto what is going in and out of my body. I tell you, this has been the biggest struggle for me since I developed such a way of thinking, but some of the days I considered to be the worst were days where I would not want to get out of my bed because I felt so ashamed of what I had eaten, and it sounds so silly to think because had I avoided the negative approach to food, I would have done something more productive and memorable.
My new goal starting right now is to change the way I think towards food and exercise. If I can feel myself hungry, or slightly close to a hunger cue, I will find something to eat. If I am not hungry, I will do something in that time until I am hungry. I will give it to my cravings too, because if I don’t it will become more challenging in the future to eat things I don’t feel comfortable eating. ( getting out of comfort zone). I love to exercise and therefor I will do it during my free time, other things like family, friends, school and work are most important so once I feel good in those areas, I will allow myself time to myself and do what I enjoy most. This is going to be hard, it is going to take a lot of time, effort and will power. But I know I can do this. I have a lot of future dreams I wish to fulfill and in order for that to happen, I need to change the way I think.