The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet reads, “To care for your body, eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Practice balance and moderation in all aspects of your physical health. Also, avoid extremes in diet that could lead to eating disorders.”
I wish I had read that quote more seriously when I was a teenager. Even though I was a competitive swimmer and worked out for five hours a day, I still struggled with my body image and my confidence. Due to this, I developed disordered eating and extremely low self-esteem. Here are three things that helped me become the confident, healthy, and HAPPY girl that I always wanted to be.
Again, the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet reads, “Practice balance and moderation in all aspects of your physical health.” Balance doesn’t mean to drink a milkshake everyday. It also doesn’t mean to never drink a milkshake again. I believe that in order to be healthy, balance is necessary in diet, exercise, and sleep.
I think the biggest change in my life happened when I thought about my future. First, I started to think about my future husband. Who was going to love me if I couldn’t even love myself? I knew that I had to start loving myself before I could expect someone else to fall in love with me. Then I thought about my future children. I remember thinking to myself, “Am I treating my body properly so that someday I can give birth to my children & be a role model to them?” When I started thinking about my future children and husband, my thoughts and actions started to change.
After thinking about moderation in my life and pondering about my future, I had to change my mindset. I am a science major, and as I started learning about the incredible human body, my thoughts started to change. Instead of working out “to not get fat,” I started to work out “to strengthen my heart.” Instead of eating healthy “so I don’t gain weight,” I started to eat healthy “so I can give my body the proper nutrients to function to the best of its ability.”
The body is one of the most incredible creations in the world. Our Creator put each nerve, tendon, bone, and muscle in a specific place. It’s so important fuel our bodies with the proper vitamins and nutrients. It is also essential to work out in order to strengthen our muscles and our heart. Overall, your body is the only body you’ll be given, so love it, respect it, and enjoy it!
Aubree was born and raised in Arizona and swam competitively while growing up. She was on scholarship for BYU’s swim team and graduated in April with her degree in Exercise Science. She is now teaching physical education at an elementary school in Arizona. When she’s not teaching, Aubree loves exercising, shopping, and spending time with her husband. @aubreemclelland (instagram) & @amac4040 (twitter)