Negative Body Image Through College?

As of May 29, 2014, Thirty percent of the world is overweight or obese, more than two billion people worldwide are obese; now that number may not seem too bad to you (even though it should), but let’s take a look at the United States really fast. Sixty-eight percent of the United States’ population is obese or overweight, that is about two-thirds. Two out of three adults are considered to be overweight, one third of children and adolescents ages sixteen to nineteen are considered to be overweight, one in six of those children are considered obese.

Let me throw some definitions out there for you:

Overweight refers to an excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat, and water. 

  • For adults (Around the eighteen/nineteen years and older range) overweight is mesaured by using the height and weight to compute the persons Body Mass Index (BMI). For an overweight adult that BMI to be considered to be overweight has to be 25-29.9. 

Now that I have thrown some facts and numbers at you (yay numbers), let’s talk about negative body image in college.

I have been struggling with a negative body image since about the time I entered middle school. I happened to develop earlier then most do, bigger boobs, I was taller, and just in general puberty hit me like a train. As I entered high school, the prime of puberty, the self image just went down the toilet. Come on, girls are mean. But what is meaner then girls? Our own self. I do not know any girl that is in love with their body at every moment of their life since they can remember. I mean media kind of sets us up for failure. Sorry but I will never look like Victoria Secret models, I like cheeseburgers and other foods. In high school, I played travel soccer, high school varsity soccer, and I swam. So my fault, exercise was not a problem; there was not too much time to think about how much I hated how I looked.

So now to the whole point of the article: College. I am currently a sophomore in college. I am 154 pounds, 5’5 tall, with a BMI of 21.

So why is it, if I am not in the overweight range for BMIs I still do not feel good enough? Why do I continue to have to buy sizes two sizes to big because I feel disgusting in a size that fits? Why is it that no matter how bad I feel about myself, it is so hard to go to the gym? Or eat right?

I can not remember the last time I was seriously happy with my body. 

But yet, every time I tell someone I am unhappy with my body they either say,

  1. “Stop fishing for compliments” OR
  2. “Do something about it”

I have gone through fitness kicks, diets, diet pills, etc and I still come away feeling not comfortable.

But I come away with this message, even through my struggle:

  • Love yourself, no matter what you look like or your body looks like.
  • If you want to wear shirts that are two sizes too big, go for it and rock it
  • If you want to eat junk food and fried food, you do it
  • If you want to drink coffee and soda all the time you do it
  • If you want to workout every day, or never, go for it

You only have one life, stop trying to perfect it and what you want to look like, because you will be sixty years old one day and wondering where the time went. And once you obsess and achieve that goal, who are you really trying to impress? yourself? Do not let the media tell you how you should shape your body or do your hair or do your makeup.

Simply do you. You’re the best you.


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