This I Believe

Jennifer - Kansas City, Missouri
Entered on April 16, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Finding a Balance

I believe in being happy with who you are. For many, this promises a struggling future: a problem that needs to be conquered every day. From dieting to exercising, I continue to struggle every day. I constantly fight to get the upper hand in this battle. It was a hard decision for me to make–between beauty and happiness. As time passes, I have had time to reflect. Who would choose torturous twenty-minute abs to happiness?

My battle began four years ago. During my first year of high school–after soccer season was finished–I felt bloated. People wouldn’t categorize me as fat, but I definitely wasn’t happy with myself. I felt unsatisfied with my size. My solution: count calories. For an entire summer I ate only turkey, vegetables, and fruit. This so called “detox” diet promised to rid me of my “sweet” tooth–it only made mine worse. Every day I willed my mind to ignore the calling of the sweets, the fats, and the carbs.

Supposedly, the average craving is only fifteen minutes long, but mine seemed to last days–even weeks. Then came my downfall. Entirely sick of insipid “health” food, I indulged in a dessert. I became addicted; after every cookie, I felt guilty. I satisfied the heeding call of the sweets, but inside I felt like a failure. So, begrudgingly I went back to my diet–back to the torture.

My diet tactic did not work. My next idea: exercise the pounds away. I convinced my mother to get memberships to the local YMCA. Preceding every guilty pleasure, I sped to the gym to where I would spend hours running or lifting weights. If I could just spend long enough on the treadmills, the pounds melted away. However, the misery still followed me.