Who or what you live for consumes your life. Trust me. That’s how most eating disorders start. You live for your body, for this messed up ideal in your head, for society’s view that being skinny/small/low-weight is being perfect. I lived for all these things. I wanted to look a certain way and lived my life based on how I thought society or other people would look at me, judge my body, and think of me. I was so caught up in hating my body and who I was that I forgot myself, I let someone/thing else dictate how I was to live my life.
None of this is easy to admit, it isn’t easy to type this, but if I can help just one person, reach someone struggling with my message then it’s worth it. I see it so much in today’s world, not just with eating disorders, but with anything. People are losing themselves trying to live for approval, other people, material things, etc. We get so caught up in what other people think of us, our lives, the choices we make, the items we buy, the “image” we portray that we actually end up losing the most important thing: ourselves. We lose sight of who we are, who we are made to me, who we truly want to be. Because I guarantee you that 99.9% of the people that try to live that way don’t actually want to be, it’s not what they truly desire, but they are so set on this image they think they need to be. Listen to me, you don’t need to be anything other than yourself. You are worthy, beautiful, lovable, smart, successful, deserving, capable whether someone else does or does not think so.
Whoever we live for dictates who we become. And eventually who we become turns into who we are. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we are so set in our identity, then no matter what other people say, think, or do to us…IT WON’T MATTER because we know it’s not true. Think of it this way. If someone came up to you, pointed to a car, and said that is a machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, you would look at them like they’re crazy. Why? Because you know it’s a car, you know it’s purpose is to get people from location to location and you know all of this because you’ve grown up learning and living it. But now imagine that same person could go back in time (with the car) and talk to a pilgrim. If that person walked up to a pilgrim, pointed to the car and said that is a machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, what would the pilgrim say/think? They might believe them. Why? Because they don’t know any different, they’ve never seen, used or lived with this “car” before so whatever someone tells them about it, they can easily believe and adopt as the truth. The same goes for you. When you live for someone or something else, you lose touch with who you truly are–you become like the pilgrim who has ever seen a car. You allow other people to dictate your truth; you take what they say or think about you as true, and start adopting it as who you are.
But if you were with the pilgrim when the person told them about the machine that washes, dries, and folds all your clothes, you would still not believe them–even when the pilgrim did. You still know it’s a car and what it’s true purpose is, no matter what the pilgrim chooses to believe. The same should be for our lives. Even when other people think certain things about us, or tell people things that aren’t so true, if we know and stand firm in who we are then we don’t lose sight of our true selves. It doesn’t matter what others think about us. What matters is what you think about yourself. And no matter how much you believe that having other people think well of you, approve of your life choices, and “like” you will make you like yourself more…let me tell you, it won’t. The way you start liking yourself, is to love every single fiber and thread you’re created with. And the way you start loving yourself, is to actually get to know yourself on a deeper level; understand your likes and dislikes, your wants and needs, your dreams so big they scare you and your fears so small they terrify you.
This is why I live for myself. Living for myself means standing firm in my identity as a child of God and in who HE says I am meant to be. It means I focus on him; He is guiding my path, my plans, my future. But also just because God is in control, doesn’t mean that I cannot pursue things that I want, enjoy or am passionate about because all of those things God has given to me and blessed me with. Living for myself means that I don’t care if people don’t understand my passion for weightlifting, it doesn’t matter if someone agrees with my healthy lifestyle, it’s okay if no one supports my big dreams or if they disapprove of something in my life. It’s okay because all of these things are what I love to do, they are what I choose to do and they make me who I am today. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about people. Not at all. I truly want to help people, to inspire them with my story, my passion and the love of God. It just means that when someone says something about me or thinks a certain way about me, I don’t let that dictate who I actually am because I know who I am.
Remember that life is short and we don’t get a second chance to live. So please don’t spend your one opportunity living for the wrong reasons, the wrong people. The most important thing you can do is to love yourself. It sounds silly, but truly loving yourself sets you up for a whole life of love, happiness, positivity, peace, success, and joy. My only question to you is: who are you living for?