In my interview for Miss America, the first question asked was about my platform. I was asked about “size”, and when is it unhealthy. The first words that came out of my mouth were, “everyone’s fit is different”, and I’m a firm believer in this.
I want to address an issue I see happening in minds of people on their journey to health, including myself.
I believed for a very long time that I would finally (and only) reach a state of contentment with my body if I became a size 2. Once I reached this point, I believed that my insecurities would disappear and I would no longer worry, or care, about my weight or the way I looked. I now know how self destructive this mindset is. The idea that my reflection in a mirror could bring me happiness was a falsehood I believed in for so long.
We are taught growing up that we can find our happiness, or our worth, in very temporary things. The way we look. The clothes we wear. What other people think of us. Our successes or failures. Who other people say we are. So we seek to find these small moments of contentment through fleeting feelings of acceptance or confidence built on shaky ideas.
For a very long time in my life, my self perception entirely dictated the way I viewed my worth. It wasn’t until I started to take care of my body for the sake of my health and not the sake of my dress size did I begin to feel confident in my body. I was feeling healthy and fit, but even more liberating than that, I was feeling strong. I was feeling a strength in knowing what my mind and body were capable of accomplishing. I now knew I could do more than I expected, and I was conquering my insecurities head on.
That is what a healthy lifestyle looks like. It is NOT the size jeans we can fit into, nor is it the dress size we wear. Fit looks different on everyone, everyone and every body is beautiful, and we are all on this journey together. Let’s continue werking!