I’ve always been insecure about my body but now I’ve started gaining the freshmen 15 since I just started college. I recently came out of the closet and am struggling with a LOT of nerves over talking with guys I find attractive since I’m not feeling attractive myself.
I think before anything you should pause a moment to feel proud of yourself for having the courage to not only A) head off to college, but B) also the courage to be true to yourself and taking the first steps in leading a future of honesty and self-respect. Neither of these steps are easy. And for both of them you deserve a great deal of compassion and warmth. You’ve been true. You have been brave.
And college is always a transitional time, especially when it comes to our personal beliefs and perspectives. We are tested. We grow and change. This can apply to all areas of our lives: personal relationships, faith, family, interests, and of course, our body images.
Learning to love and accept your body (at all stages of life) is a very personal journey, but every human on this earth has to go through it. So never feel alone in this struggle. When the pain starts to feel so real, remind yourself that even the most confident of people have dealt with this (or currently still are). It doesn’t always help. And maybe you don’t even care. But never feel isolated in these insecurities.
My biggest advice would be to throw out the scale. I’m serious. Very few households require this item. This is primarily because a scale feeds your fixation on numbers and on yourself. Our weight fluctuates day-to-day, hour-to-hour, so there’s no need to hold this information in your head. Never be a slave to a number.
Second, throw out any fitness magazines. Any images that make you feel insecure. Any articles that make you feel useless. Stop watching shows about weight loss. Stop trying to find the next fad diet. Your body should be a place of health, and this often starts with mental health. You can obsessively exercise and eat a very specific way, but that won’t mean shit until you think differently.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel supported, lifted, loved. Surround yourself with images that promote a sense of worth. Start to depend on yourself to feel loved and attractive. The minute we start depending on others to make us feel attractive is the minute we start losing ourselves. Trust yourself to be enough. Repeat the phrase, “I love you” over and over until you start to believe it.
And, who knows, maybe those guys you find attractive are feeling the same way about themselves.