In the future I will create more detailed posts about my experience and use my platform to add my voice to a much larger conversation about body image, weight, inclusivity, diversity, etc. but from my own experience, I can say that my body had changed very much over the past six years. Retrospectively, I look at how these changes reflect what I was going through in that particular moment in my life.
From overexercising and strictly monitoring my caloric intake my lanky, and frankly underweight sixteen year old self became a senior in high school using exercise as an outlet to manage the stress of the upcoming transition to college. My freshman year was the first time in my life that I was away from everything that had defined my life previously and I found myself no longer going to the gym or intentionally exercising and indulging in all of the culinary experiences that my life in Copenhagen, Denmark and Tours, France had to offer. I would not take back this for anything, but the image of my body changed: I was fuller than I ever had been before and no longer sixteen and, frankly, felt very much not at ease in my own skin. Transitioning to a sophomore (/junior) year at Wake Forest was easily one of the most difficult experiences to date and feeling discomfort in my own skin did not help. Coupled with the stresses of a university workload, creating my narrative and navigating a foreign social environment, the sixteen year old demons found themselves back into my head. Over spring break I went to the doctors office for a regular visit and the nurse looked at me perplexed and I looked down and saw a number on the scale that I had not seen since I was seventeen.
After reading and researching about the lives of successful women and men, a consistent theme was self care. Throughout my life I have always operated in a manner of doing things to reach an end goal. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that there is no end goal with health: it's more about longevity and adding life to our years and years to our lives. The final year of my undergraduate experience, one of my goals is discovering the way I will fulfill this necessity of self care to not only make myself a better person to live with in my physical container, but to use this authentic sense of confidence to be able to more fully show up for those around me.