Wednesday, February 20, 2013

be true to you.

I'm still on this kick of being yourself and not comparing yourself to other people, which is fitting because it's my sorority's "Be True to You" week at Central Michigan University. One of our philanthropies is ANAD, which is the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, and the events of the week (including tonight's Deepher Dudes pageant) are meant to emphasize the importance of accepting yourself for who you are and being a healthy you.

Obviously I have been talking about this a lot (and this might even be a little repetitive) but I think part of it is that I'm just feeling so overwhelmed and annoyed by the constant chatter that you must do this or that to be a perfect body or perfect person or whatever. I don't know if it's the advent of social media that makes people feel like they are entitled to make judgements on others but it seems silly to me.

The bottom line is that we should just be worrying about ourselves and not about everyone around us.

There's no reason you can't be true to you. Seriously. Maybe in my case that means taking more breaks from social media than I have in the past. I know, and have agreed with a friend who is known for saying that social media is everyone's highlight reel. That much is true. But often times on social media, you're hearing messages that might not apply to you. They might be specific to that person, and might not work for you at all. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer recently, the doctors specifically told her not to go home and look up information online; it may not pertain to her and it could cause her more mental stress than necessary.

It's kind of like the message I was taking away from reading "The Happiness Project." In it, the author (Gretchen Rubin) has a list of "commandments" that fit her and will hopefully help her to be happier in her day-to-day life. Her number one phrase is to "be Gretchen" no matter what. One example she uses is that she doesn't always love adult fiction, and finds children's books (like Harry Potter) more enjoyable. Well, I can relate to that. Should it bother me that some people might think I'm too old for that? No!

That's not quite the same as body image and what you're eating and all that, but it's all on the same level, basically. You don't have to agree with someone on everything, but you should at least respect opinions of others and be more cognizant and aware of differences. How boring would it be if we were all the same? Where's the fun in being just like someone else? Sure, there are people I admire and hope to emulate in some areas of my life, but I don't want to be an exact copy of those people. I want to be LindsAy. Me.

Plus, things are not always what they seem. This is only partially related, but since I'm on this kick of health and wellness and whatnot, I thought it appropriate to share. I share the video knowing that I would try to avoid muffins from anywhere besides my own kitchen, and knowing that I will still eat at Subway and Chipotle on occasion (because it tastes good). It's still interesting to see how accurate (or not) the information is that we're (sometimes) buying into:

I guess the point here, especially in honor of "Be True to You" week, is that you should be comfortable being yourself. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what method of madness works best for you. If you've been able to lose weight one way, that's great! But sometimes, that exact way will not work for someone else (case in point: Weight Watchers causes me mental hangups that don't help with any kind of successful weight loss), and THAT IS OKAY. We can like different movies and books and foods and activities and politics and religions or non-religions and sports teams and weather and whatever. It's actually preferable. 

And social media, a tool of great opportunity and connections, can be a wonderful sounding board. It can be a great place to learn little-known facts and discover new things and even hear stories that you know nothing about (and actually sometimes be ill-informed but that's another story). But just like my parents say when I'm mulling over a decision about something, no one can decide that for you - it's up to you to decide. Hopefully the important thing you decide, amid the overpowering messages from social media, is that you can be you, and you can use those online voices to help make the best decision for you. Not just because someone tells you that's how you should be. Including me! 

1 comment:

  1. WHAT A GREAT POST! I think you're wonderful, LindsAy, and I can't imagine you trying to be anything but. :)
    Interesting video too! All the more reason that I have chosen (because it works for ME) to eat less processed and prepackaged food and closer to the ground.
    Thanks for sharing!