I've opened up about my struggles with disordered eating and how society essentially promotes disordered eating and how hard it is to live a healthy lifestyle. Last year, I wrote an article on the term "Freshman 15" and how it can lead young college students, like myself, down a downward spiral of never feeling good enough because their worth is based on their appearance. 

Since then, I have been very conscious of working on my relationship with food, working out, and how I view/love myself. I've realized that there's nothing wrong with living a healthy lifestyle and choosing kale or fries but the only way it's sustainable is if you let yourself have balance

The Highlight Reel of Instagram

I follow a lot of people in the wellness world and so often their feeds show a highlight reel–their healthiest meals, hardest workouts, and defined abs. To an outsider, in order to be like them, we must be "perfect"...like them. But in reality, no one is perfect. 

While I am all for a nice little reset if you want to give your digestion a break, unless you have a medical condition that requires you to cut out certain foods, why put your body and mind through the stress that you always have to eat clean, green, and lean?

Let me let you in on a little secret I've learned about being healthy, it can be a lot more fun than just grilled chicken and steamed broccoli.

Being healthy can include cookies and pizza and a double scoop of ice cream in a cone. I'm not saying to eat this everyday...it's still important to get your veggies and eat mostly whole foods

But food can be good for the soul. If you're never satisfied through what you're eating, then what's the point? Our society has taught us that we should strive for perfection. "Hustling" culture has taught us that our worth should be based on our productivity. Diet culture has taught us that one size is better than every other one. If you abide by all of these standards that surround us, you are bound to fail. 

So I will leave you with this,

Stop comparing yourself.

Stop comparing your body to those models you see on magazines of Instagram. Stop comparing your weekly workout routine to fitness trainers who do that for their job. Stop comparing what you order versus what your friend orders at a restaurant. It's just a fact that we are all different. While it can be valuable to take information and observe others, we shouldn't let someone else dictate our lives and how we view ourselves. 

There's so much more to life than constantly seeing yourself in a negative light. Love, compassion, and being kind to yourself is the only way this whole "healthy lifestyle" will ever be sustainable in the long run. Wouldn't you rather be your own best friend than constantly beating yourself down?