Body image is something everyone has struggled with, more or less, in their lives. Considering the number of mirrors there are in the world, it’s hard to imagine someone looking at themselves four or five times a day without noticing some blemishes on themselves. While I do applaud the Western popular media’s altered approach of promoting acceptance and self-care as the key to stay happy in life, I believe that health is important and, as long as living factors such as finances, time, and body conditions require, we should strive for the healthiest versions of ourselves.
There are many ways to stay fit. From the personalized diets and training plans that professionals have, to just staying off sodas on regular days. I am, perchance, nothing more than a relatively busy high school student. So if your needs are anywhere else, please take my words with a grain of salt. Also remember that the same words are a combination of self-conducted research and experience, mainly aimed at suggesting and informing you just a little about what you can do.
My “fitness journey”, as people nowadays seem to call it, started around four years ago. When I was 12, my life was, for the lack of better adjectives, very, very easy. I could spend six hours a day on my phone with no consequences. This, naturally, led to my exploration with self-betterment, namely getting fit. I had a lucky advantage, in that my grandmother cooked every day for the family and that she was very healthy and proportional in her meal choices. There would always be at least three types of veggies and two types of protein at each meal (yes, she does really enjoy feeding us). So for me, eating healthy was not a problem. I had always been at an average weight, too. At 5’11” I was 150 pounds. A little chubbier than my ideal standards, but still, healthy. So my area of improvement lay in increasing muscles and getting lean.
I started following workout routines for fun. At first, I downloaded workout apps. But as it turned out, most workout apps were not sufficient for a good workout. Just like those language learning apps, most are placebos that don’t make you sweat or foster results - although, if you are a beginner, I don’t see the harms of starting there. In that case, I recommend Keep, FitOn, and Adidas. They offer free workout plans and a nice array of sessions. However, as a regular golf player and someone with a mile time of 7 minutes, it was not until I was introduced to YouTube workout videos that I began truly challenging myself.
My friend, Sufei, stunned me that summer by losing 20 pounds. She had always been chubby, so seeing her again with such a big change was nothing short of shocking. I remember her coming over to my house and doing a Chloe Ting 10 minutes ab workout with me.
The experience made me realize how pathetic my previous workout attempts were; so, I started exploring immediately. After going around every fitness YouTuber, I came back to Chloe. There are a few reasons for choosing her: 1) Her workouts are just the right level for me. 2) She has a diverse selection of videos for every need and length. 3) She offers free workout plans online that are very easy to follow. 4) Her workouts get straight to the point, with good combinations and no extra words. This girl has been my virtual exercising coach for more than two years now. I currently do her videos more than I probably should, but her workouts help me maintain the positive equilibrium that I believe I currently have. If you’re looking for an alternative, however, Sydney Cummings posts great workouts every day that are pre-planned so you don’t have to go through her videos yourself.
Exercising not only changes your physique, it also makes you happier. In Addition to the extra endorphins produced by appropriate exercise, you will feel such a satisfying sense of accomplishment by just pushing yourself through a difficult routine. I believe that challenging yourself, in every aspect of life, is quite necessary to your journey - and working out provides a platform for that type of self-strengthening. If you haven’t yet, I urge you to try it. You invest nothing but hard work, sweat, and time - and you obtain so much more. Self-confidence, happiness, sense of accomplishment, health, immune system boost, stress relief - these are all great things to have!
In sum, body positivity, to me, is not only coming to terms with what you already have, but also improving what you can to make yourself feel even better. I would say that I reached my fitness goal of becoming leaner, but it’s more than that. Working out has taught me things such as moderation, self-control, and discipline, and for that I am grateful. So give it a try yourself! Nowadays, it is more often than not that we can find some opportunities to exercise. At the same time, more and more of us are, in fact, facing more need to exercise. Online classes can really take a toll on your posture and physique, as can jobs that involve a lot of sitting around. Right now, I use working out to take a break from staring at the computer - and it “works out” great!
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.