Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Food Fears

Okay, so time and time again I've heard that "body image" is believed to be one of "the biggest issues facing young people today." Though this would likely never be my answer when asked by a panel of judges, many of my friends (most of which I have posed this question to are not in the pageant circle) have told me that this is what they believe. I have been slender my entire life - I've got a little food baby every now and again, but I've grown to appreciate it - so weight has never been a problem for me. This may make me seem ...I don't know, somewhat distant, or like I don't have the ability to empathize, but I've never felt like I've had a serious complex with my body and neither have many of my closest friends.

Body image and body complexes have only recently become an issue for me as I toy with the idea of "dieting" in preparation for Miss Virginia. My mother, a registered nurse, has always told me (somewhat jokingly) that a diet is what you eat - not what you don't eat. I don't actually desire to lose any weight between now and June: between zero and five pounds and I wouldn't freak out, anything more than that and I think I'd have issues. I'll work on toning up and making better heath choices (the idea of a "diet" has had me stuffing my face with cinnamon buns, gummi bears, and dark chocolate, as of late).

Maybe it's the fear that my body could actually look a few times better than it does now, if only I made a concentrated effort to eliminate some things and incorporate a few, menial changes. This is something to think about. I'm off to Google about "healthy foods" that help your tummy stay flat (Dr. Oz said almonds and olives are good for that); I'll probably text my friend Daniel who rowed at UMW about work out plans; and, I'll bug Roosevelt one more time about going to the gym during this break.

Disclaimer: In no way do I not believe that weight, health decisions, and body image are not important issues that young people deal with. I believe that as a society when need to encourage healthy decisions (not just concerning food), balanced meals (my mother believes that if your plate has a lot of color on it you're heading in the right direction), and a better appreciation of self and self-worth. We are not all built to be a size 0 - men would be bored if we all were: embrace your body - love it and take care of it.

My love of food is documented below for your viewing pleasure:
Cookie platter for our IB Senior Party in '07

Salad with Ashley at McDonald's in '08

Funnel cake (my fav) at Disney in '09

SUSHI! in NY, '10
A Philly Cheesesteak in Philly, '10

I had this for dessert a few hours ago :)
Yo Gala in the Mall = AWEsome


  1. That yogurt looks flippin' delicious.

    On a more serious note, I think it's a really excellent choice to think about making healthy choices verses going on a diet. "To diet" has such negative connotations it's no wonder the idea would make you nervous.

    The pageant life has made you more aware of your physical presence, including your shape and weight. Do you think this has had positive or negative effects for your body image?

    1. I believe that pageant life has more positively affected by body image, than negatively affected it. The lifestyle has indeed forced me to consider the choices I make - from what I eat, and how I exercise, to how I sit, stand, and walk. I will admit that the initial consideration of my physical presence created some anxiety (am I small enough, muscular enough, or curvy enough); but, with the voices of my best friend and pageant mom in my head I am reminded that I am healthy (which is most important) and that a little self-improvement is always welcomed.