I can remember from the time I was about ten watching my Mom and Au Pairs going from fad diet to fad diet and hoping for the best. My mom was always fit and so were most of my Au Pairs so I never really understood why they were even trying any of the diets. Now as an adult I wont say that I think they needed it but I get why they were doing it.
It is so hard to truly understand the pressure that other women are going through until you feel it yourself. I have always been a confident person but hitting your mid twenties there are so many expectations and pressure from other people.
I noticed after I graduated college there were so many more people commenting on when others looked “skinny” or when they looked “thin.” It was no longer wow you look pretty, it was wow you look so skinny! Over time these comments seemed to take their toll on me and I found that I didn’t want to be the girl who gained weight after college. I wanted to be the girl who looked amazing after college.
I love to eat and enjoy drinks with friends without having to worry about how many calories are in every sip. However, in the past few years I have found myself focusing on everything I ate and how much I worked out instead of taking the time to enjoy life. I don’t know when it hit me but this is not who I want to be. I was literally being weighed down by my insecurities about my weight.
Society, our friends and family all have expectations of who they want us to be but the most important thing is who you want to be. I decided for “lent” this year (I’m not very religious but figured I would join in on the fun!) I would give up focusing on the small stuff. I want to enjoy my time with my friends and my work and stop worrying about that cookie I ate last night. I am giving up judging myself and hoping others will think I am skinny. It has only been a day but I already feel better. I have been so productive with the time and effort that I was putting into stressing out over food.
I know it is unrealistic to think I will always be happy with how others see me or even how I see myself but I am going to try and take it one day at a time.
By Paige Sullivan