Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Age 15

Every time I look down at my legs, a feeling of disgust, satisfaction or extreme happiness overcomes me. At different times of the day, I feel completely different emotions regarding my body – one second I think that I'm too thin, the next I feel as though I'm too fat and other times I finally believe I'm perfect.

I'm a high school long-distance athlete, so my legs have lean muscle. However, just a few months ago during spring track my legs were literally half the length as they are now. Back then, when I had my small legs, people would comment on my body saying, "You're stick thin." "I wish I had your collarbones." "I wish I had your legs." "You look sick with legs that tiny." "How much do you even eat? You're so tiny." "Your legs are absolutely perfect." So many contradicting comments filled my head I couldn't decide which ones to believe. Over the summer, I gained weight and my thighs grew with the rest of me. I didn't know what to think of my legs…and to be honest, I still don't. I grew into my old jeans that used to be so saggy and loose that I couldn't wear them, even just around the house. My thighs touched for the first time in a year and a half.

I started eating more unhealthy foods this past summer and my relationship with food started to get distorted. As soon as I noticed this, I tried to eat healthier to mend my relationship with food before it got bad. I began a journey to a healthier lifestyle. From the time I began this journey to now, I can say I feel more confident with my body. I now know that since I feed my body healthy, plant-based, homemade food then I must be healthy too.

So forget thigh gaps, ribs, hip bones and collarbones, we never needed to see these things anyway. Bones are meant to be kept safe, not protruding like some walking skeleton. If you see an animal where their ribs protrude, you wouldn't say, “Oh, how beautiful.” So why say that to yourself?

Nobody needs a thigh gap. And you know what? Believe it or not, I actually like my body more now than I did before. Skinny doesn't bring confidence, healthy does.