Why You Should Stop Worrying About How You Look (Trust Me, You’ll Be Better Off)

image - Flickr / Natasia Causse
image – Flickr / Natasia Causse

If I was to say I never looked in the mirror and wanted to change things, I would be lying. However, after a conversation I had with my sister, I realized how unproductive it is to drive yourself crazy worrying about how you look, what you should eat, working your body so hard you can’t move the next day, etc. My sister was venting to me about how time consuming her new diet is, that it actually feels like a second job to constantly be worried about making time to go to the gym, planning/prepping her meals, and thinking about how she is going to look in her wedding dress next year (she will look undeniably gorgeous in whatever dress she chooses, just sayin’). That’s when it hit me that although I feel for my sister and every other woman out there who plans her day around her diet and exercise routine, I don’t feel guilty that it is not one of my main concerns in life, and I wish more women felt the same. I know almost every magazine and commercial on TV is telling women out there what she should be doing to look a certain way, and it is hard to ignore. But I just wish women wouldn’t focus so much of their attention on what magazines, television, and social media is telling them.

Am I encouraging you to forget your diet and run to the nearest bakery right now? … No. I will pick the smoothie over the bagel for breakfast, and have a salad for lunch. But I will not let what I eat or how much I work out dictate how I feel about myself, nor will I let it become the main source of stress in my life. I urge all women to do the same. I will say again, do not use this as an excuse to abandon your diet and give up all your hard work, but take a minute to think about what is really important to you and what will make you happiest in the long run. If fitting into those tiny jeans is what is going to make you the happiest girl in the world, then spend your time meal prepping and working out! Seriously, I am not being sarcastic for once in my life, go for it! But if you are driving yourself crazy and stressing yourself out over how you look, please do us all a favor and give yourself a break! Then do me a favor and think about where you are in your life and what you want to accomplish, give yourself some time to focus on that, and let me know if you’re feeling any happier about yourself (really though, I want to know).

I try to spend my time worrying about the most important things in my life right now. I am a 23-year-old future elementary school teacher. My concerns right now are becoming the best educator I can be, where I am substitute teaching this week, what activities I have to plan for the after school program I work at, completing my master’s degree, paying my student loans, helping my sister plan her wedding, and last but not certainly not least, spending time with my boyfriend and best friends. In my opinion, all these things are way more important and make me happier than if I was to spend my days staring at a mirror and worrying about how many calories I’ve consumed. For the amazing women out there who find the time to worry about all these things at once, more power to you! But to those who are killing themselves to look a certain way and are still lacking self-confidence, please stop it right now. Set some productive and attainable goals that will make you feel incredible about yourself when you accomplish them, instead of making your number one goal looking like the girl on the cover of the magazine. This world needs more confident and accomplished women! Be one of them! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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