There is more to life than what you look like

You should be reminded of why there is more to life than comparing your body to others

The Body Project is a program designed to help high school and college-aged women combat body image standards | Photo Courtesy

There are many people who struggle with comparison. More specifically, women who struggle with body image and comparing their bodies to others. If you feel this way, I am sorry and I understand. There are many times where I have compared myself to others.  

We all have those times where we feel ugly, whether we don’t like how our body looks, hair or nails or maybe just the person we see in the mirror. There are times when we experience shame or hate for ourselves.  

Moving away from home might be one reason you may struggle with your body image. We are not as active as we were in high school, we might have been a three-sport athlete and now we are not. Maybe you’re not used to getting the chance to go out to eat every other day. Maybe you are experiencing a lot more stress than you were in high school.  

It’s normal to experience changes or not feel like the ‘old you’ when going to college.  

I am here to tell you that at the end of the day, it does not matter what you look like. There are days that are tougher than others, days where you don’t feel like enough. But let me tell you, you are enough. And your size does not determine your worth.  

Read that again, your size does not determine your worth.  

There is so much more to life than what you look like. There is more to life than staring into your mirror in your apartment, house or dorm room and thinking, “Sheesh, I need to go to the gym.” Or this one, “I don’t like myself because I don’t like my body.” But here’s a reminder: your size, the rolls you have or those six-pack abs do not matter.  

You should treat your body like a friend. Your body has carried you through all those tough times. Your arms have given you the strength to eat food, go to the gym, carry your coffee or even just the simple act of giving hugs to the ones you love.

Your legs have carried you through so much. Your legs gave you the strength to get out of bed, no matter how bad you didn’t want to get out of bed. Those legs have helped you to run at the playground as a kid, play sports, as well as being able to take your dog for a walk. 

Your stomach holds all those yummy foods. Those foods bring back so many memories of being with friends and family, or even just the excitement of being able to eat ice cream. Stop being mad at your tummy for not having abs, there is so much more to life than having abs. When you are 80 years old, are you going to look back and think about the way you looked when you were young? Are you going to tell your kids or grandkids about the way your body looked, or even more dangerous—tell them how you didn’t like your body? I sure hope not.  

I hope you look back when you are 80 years old and remember all the good things you did with your body. All those trips you went on, the games you played and the people you helped. You’re probably not going to think about your body unless it is the regrets of not loving your body that helped you in so many ways.  

Start loving your body now. Look in the mirror every morning and say, “My size does not determine my worth.” Then write down or say to yourself or a friend or family member what you love about your body and why. These are just a few simple ideas to start loving yourself and your body.  

If I’m being completely honest., I have struggled with my body image these past few years as well. I decided to check out the NDSU Counseling Center and it has been super beneficial to me regarding my body image. If you want to check out the Counseling Center, they are a great option and are always willing to help. 

Rather than judging your body or your looks, I think you should start focusing on your personality and character. If you would never say it to a friend, why would you say it to yourself? Be kinder to yourself, focus on it.  

While you are focusing on being kinder to yourself. Try putting effort and energy into the friendships around you. Start loving more, going out for coffee with friends more, call your grandma more often. 

Put effort into the activities that you will look back on life 30 years later and be happy with yourself, as well as the life you created. Your size does not determine your worth. Your looks do not determine your worth. Start loving yourself and your body, then watch all your friendships and relationship with yourself blossom.  

A simple reminder: You can have cheat days; you can eat ice cream and you can still love yourself.  

There is more to life than comparing yourself to others and not loving your body. Your body is your strength, let’s try loving it better. 

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