Every Teenage Girl Should Read This.

a writing by Alexandra Rosemaire T

I just wanted to take a few minutes to put emphasis on insecurities. I know you’ve probably heard this so many times but every single person has something about themselves that they don’t like. Everyone.
People are cruel sometimes, and especially at this age, people are going to try and make you feel inferior to them simply because they have no self confidence. I mean think about it; to feel better about themselves, people point out the flaws of others. If you’re one of those people, STOP. Everybody has insecurities and teenage girls especially will go to extremes to look like the picture perfect girls in magazines. Why ruin somebody’s life like that? Because you’re not happy with yourself?
If you’re in the opposite position, the only advice I can really give you is to ignore it. If you look in the mirror and you’re happy with what you see, than why do you care what other people think about you? I know that right now appearance seems like the most important thing in the world, but it’s not. In 20 years from now are you going to want to look back and remember yourself being so self-conscience because of a bunch of bullies? You only live once, so live with confidence.
Every single girl, including me, looks in the mirror and sometimes what’s looking back isn’t something we’re too thrilled about. But we are who we are and this may sound incredibly corny, but we have to accept who we are and embrace it because God made each and every one of us beautiful.
Something that girls my age and older become obsessed with is weight. And I’m a victim! But listen, it’s incredibly dangerous to go onto these starvation diets, and to become so involved with it. I eat healthy, I exercise all the time, and that’s really all you have to do to stay fit. Everybody’s body type is different and you can’t change the structure of your body regardless of how much you may starve yourself.
Anorexia is a growing epidemic. I cannot tell you how many girls in my school have this deadly disorder. Yes, you’ll look skinnier, but how would you feel after not eating for a month? Your body can only last so long without food. From research I’ve learned that after a short period of time, your body just loses it and eats everything in sight. Experience has proven that right. Girls wind up gaining more weight than they lost. Not only that, but it screws up your whole metabolism. All that to fit into a pair of jeans? Really?
So just be happy and enjoy life in your own skin. Magazines show these flawless celebrities with perfect skin, perfect clothes, perfect size and everything. But honestly, NOBODY LOOKS LIKE THAT. THEY don’t even look like that. Because the truth is that we’re all just people and no person is perfect. There are things we like and dislike about ourselves and lowering people’s confidence about that won’t get you anywhere. Lowering your own confidence about that won’t get you anywhere or anything but misery.
Over the summer I suffered with what’s called, anorexia nervosa. It didn’t occur to me how serious my problem was until reading about the diagnosis a few months later in a textbook for health class. It was never something I intended to embark on, but a gradual change in eating habits that over time turned into a dramatic part of my life.
The recommended intake of calories for a girl my age, actively participating in sports as I do is over 2,000. That summer, my calorie intake usually didn’t break 700.
It started with my cutting out junk food from my diet a few months before my team went to compete in Nationals. Nationals was held in Florida, therefore we’d probably be eating out a lot. I didn’t want the salty, fried foods to effect my playing and muscle functions on the court so whenever we’d go out to eat, I’d make sure I ordered the salad. When we returned home, I found that I actually lost three pounds. Wanting to maintain the weight, I reduced my daily eating, continuing to live off salads.
These reduced eating habits were gradually divided into smaller meals, following intensive workouts and training. I felt weak all the time, and was so emancipated that my stomach was actually bloated from lack of food. Going to bed hungry was a normal way for me to end my days filled with no energy, mood swings and depression. My thoughts were usually concerning food, and my activities (besides working out) between meals were distracted with waiting for the next meal to come. I weighed myself almost every few hours, and although I knew that losing 20 pounds and being underweight wasn’t healthy, eating more gave me the paranoia of becoming obese. Long story short, I was scared of what was happening to me but even more terrified about that fact that I was too afraid to stop it.
A few months later, with my eating habits back on track, I had severe stomach pains during a game. We didn’t think much of it so we ignored the situation. A week or so after that it had happened again; this time much worse. After the game my dad took me straight to the emergency room where they conducted a cat scan and other various tests involving blood, urine, etc.
The results to these tests came out fine and I was then sent to a specialist to reveal the cause of the abdominal pains. The doctor said it was either acid reflux or a small ulcer. Ulcers are very rare among girls my age, but because my stomach was empty so for much of the time, the acids ate away at the walls of my stomach, causing a small ulcer to form.
If you’re not an athlete you’re probably thinking that this doesn’t pertain to you but you know what? That’s not all it affects. Your body uses the carbohydrates you take in as energy for your daily activities, including focus and brain functions. The protein you take in is used for muscle growth, enzyme development and to repair the damaged tissue in your body. Even fats are necessary in moderation! The membranes of your cells are made up of fatty acids, and without those acids you’re more prone to infection. So yes, this DOES pertain to you, and it DOES damage your body. Be strong enough to see that this is a problem that needs to be solved- that’s the first step. It’s both physical and physiological and it will leave lasting damage in both areas. So please, for your sake, get some help. This isn’t something to be taken lightly, and you won’t realize until after recovery how serious this really is. I know that I didn’t know the dangers of an eating disorder until we learned about it during health class. As I was watching the movies my teacher put on, tears starting welling within my eyes, and I felt a punch in my stomach. All I wanted to do was cry. When they interviewed the patients, their words depicted my exact thoughts when I went through it. Listening, and hearing how ridiculous they sounded when that 60 pound 15 year old said that she’s, “so fat.” Sometimes you need to see things from an outsiders’ point of view to understand how wrong you really are.
This isn’t a healthy way of living and if you’ve ever experienced this than you’re aware that you’re damaging your body. People who’ve never lived through something like this think that these girls are stupid, that they’re crazy and don’t know what they’re doing. This is true. We don’t. It’s an addiction, it’s a problem! And if you do have this problem, don’t be scared to admit it. Depriving your body of nutrients will only backfire on you. I may have not only jeopardized my athletic achievements, but put my entire body at risk for later problems.
This is a psychological problem, and the sooner it’s fixed the easier recovery will be. Sometimes it takes more strength to help yourself than to hurt yourself, and this is one of those cases. So just be strong and face the problem.
I put myself through hell before I accepted who I am. There’s a shorter route.

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