When's the last time you felt good about yourself? I mean like felt good on the inside, like inside of your body? If it’s been a while since you’ve felt your best, in a health-related way, take a look at your diet. What are you eating? What you put into your body will be reflected on the outside. Of course, for many of us, this is common knowledge, but to others, this may be a foreign concept. I’m no health guru, but I know a little bit about how one’s diet affects…well…everything! And I know, firsthand what can happen when you don’t put good things into your body. Your body is a temple, the Bible says so, so you should treat it as such! I’m not going to go through and make a list about what every type of food does for you, you can research that on your own, but I want to talk a little bit about my dietary experiences in the hopes that you can take away some information and transfer it to your own life.
I write a lot about my college experiences in my blog posts because that was the period of time when I was officially on my own and had to figure out a lot about myself. During my second year of college, I became a vegetarian because I wanted a lifestyle change and I thought that removing meat from my diet would satisfy my desire to change something. You would think I suddenly became super healthy and only ate salads and tofu, but in reality, it was more like pizza, fries, cereal and cookies. As a result, I gained unnecessary weight, my hair started falling out, and I was sick more often than I should have been. College can be a rough time food-wise, and although my school was known for having an extremely diverse selection of healthy/vegetarian-friendly cuisine, I wasn’t taking advantage of it. It was too much effort to cook or walk all the way to one of the dining halls, so I settled for the unhealthy foods that I had easy access to and suffered the physical consequences of it. But you don’t have to!
Since we were kids, we’ve been taught about the food pyramid and the importance of balanced meals, but so many Americans end up throwing that information by the wayside when it comes to their own diets. As a nation, we put so much junk into our bodies that our obesity rates are disgustingly high, and people are dying everyday from complications related to their weight and food intake. Overeating and under-eating are both dangerous from a medical standpoint, but also from a confidence standpoint! How can you feel confident in yourself if you’re not being your best you? Your best you is the you that eats healthy servings of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, dairy (if you’re not allergic) and drinks plenty of water! I can’t stress how important it is to drink water. I love juice; actually up until September 20 of this year (I’m not ashamed), I only drank juice, but I’ve recently begun drinking water as my primary beverage and I can already feel a change. I’m more alert, I’m using the bathroom more regularly, my skin feels good, and I feel good! If you need to add fruit to your water to sweeten it, do so! Just make sure you’re getting that H2O into your body somehow.
After I graduated college and moved back home, I was able to eat more balanced, frequent meals. I haven’t been legitimately sick in over a year, whereas when I wasn’t eating right I was sick every month, literally! I never felt my best. Now, I have several servings of fruits with my breakfast and lunch, servings of vegetables with my dinner and I keep track of how much protein I’m getting (about 40-50 grams a day) since I am still a vegetarian. If my body could talk she’d say, “Thank you!”
If you’re not someone who eats healthily, I urge you to start small. Don’t shock your body by suddenly making a huge dietary change. Add a piece of fruit to your lunch, cook a meal if you’re someone who eats out a lot. You’ll notice a difference in how you feel, physically and how you feel about yourself. Your confidence will probably increase, too, because confidence is about loving yourself, but also taking care of yourself.