Diet Culture and Restrictions

Like many teenage girls I definitely struggled with body image throughout high school. I would not eat for long periods at a time, and I would often restrict many foods out of my day-to-day life thinking I was being “healthy”. There were times I would track everything I ate from an apple to the amount of oil in my pan without much movement on the scale. I quickly became to realize this was not the way to lose weight or to be healthy. My efforts would generally result in me eating even worse foods in large quantities (aka binging). Ever since the pandemic last March I have put a lot of time into researching how to fuel my body, so I feel good, not so I just look good. For me, this included eating 3 full meals and snacks without feeling guilty at the end of the day. I tried to fill every meal with a lot of vegetables, proteins and some carbohydrates. As a result I have felt an overall extreme energy boost which is what I need to get through each day. Reflecting back I believe many insecurities and eating habits come from social media. You start to want to look like people you are following forgetting that Instagram isn’t reality. It’s often a highlight of other people’s lives with good lighting, angles and editing. It’s important to me now to follow accounts that are focused on similar lifestyle changes that I focused on, and that aren’t promoting unhealthy eating habits. I’m still not perfect. I still find myself comparing myself to others, and not eating certain things that I want, but I am now able to pull myself out of the cycle a lot faster. It takes time, but I now know what makes me feel happy and confident at the end of the day.