By James Spelman
In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, we partnered up with SRU Body Reflections to talk about body positivity. As college students, it's important we acknowledge the importance of living healthy lifestyles that promote loving the skin your in, and not trying to fit a certain standard. One of our members, James, shared his story with us.
Everyone wants to be skinny. It’s just a fact of life. We all see the pictures of celebrities, models, and gymnasts and think, “why can’t I look like that?” When we don’t look like those people it’s easy to get down on ourselves about it. What we all need to realize is that life isn’t about being the skinniest or the fittest, it’s about being happy and healthy.
As someone that’s dealt with not loving the way they look, I can vouch that sometimes it’s hard not to think negatively about myself when I see pictures of really fit guys. Growing up, I used to get so angry wondering why I had to be the fat kid that people made fun of. And when I wasn’t getting made fun of, I was berating myself for not working harder to lose weight. Because of this, I didn’t let myself experience as much as I could have. So many times I ostracized myself because of my weight. Whether it was going to the water park, a pool party, or even on a date because I was embarrassed of the way I looked.
Yes, even on a date. I was so uncomfortable in my own body that I stopped myself from dating. I didn’t love myself, so how could I expect anyone else to? Even when I met a really wonderful, sweet guy that seemed to really like me, I knew that he was very thin, and I couldn’t help but think that he was always judging me. Thinking that way for so long almost let me try to sabotage a relationship with a really wonderful guy. I finally got to the point where I had to accept that I was the way I was, and that I could continue to let it bother me, or accept that I’m just different-and I did.
Today, I’m still not the thinnest or most fit guy I know. But, I am happy and content with myself and where I am in my life. I go to the gym a few times a week and I try to make sure I’m eating well enough. Oh, and I’ve been with that sweet guy for three years. It’s amazing what can happen when you stop comparing yourself to everyone else and start focusing on what makes you happy.