"I degraded myself, why did I try to be like other girls?"

The moment I turned eighteen my health became something that I cherished. I’ve always thought I lived a healthy lifestyle, from the food choices I make to my regular exercise routines. However, since moving to Los Angeles I have found that people’s understanding of ‘health’ compared to my own were on completely different spectrums. I have realised that most of society views the meaning of health by how someone looks or how skinny someone appears. Society is filled with ridiculous amounts of advertising, four-day juice cleanses, fad diets and magazine covers blasting headlines like ‘how to lose two kilos in a week’. It seems it's easy to get caught up in the naive world of body image and perfection. Trust me, I have fallen for these trends.

Living in Los Angeles, I am surrounded by these crazes every day. As an actor, it’s important to feel comfortable in your own skin. When I first started acting I would go into casting offices and see girls that looked like me and think ‘wow she’s so skinny, why can’t I be that thin?’ It got to the point where I started to degrade myself. I thought, would other girls get the roles just because they were thin? I mean, sure that happens, but I found thinking like that would make me feel depressed and that I needed to change myself. No. I did not.

In all honesty, I had never previously had a problem with the way I looked. I had always been a confident person when it came to looks. I didn’t grow up in a society with social media influences, filters and Photoshop on every photo. However, getting into the acting industry made me start to feel insecure about the way I looked. I was only seventeen when I started acting and booked my first television series. Being seventeen was such a difficult age especially because you’re surrounded by so many people and things that can influence your every move and thought. It’s an age where it is so easy to get caught up in things that really don’t matter at all.

I love acting. It gives me such a rush and it feels like I can do anything in the whole world. I can’t see myself doing anything else with my life as it is such a great passion of mine. But, with being an actor, comes with having a certain mind set. You need to be strong and driven. You need to be okay with rejection. If not, it is so easy for the industry to tear you down in a heartbeat. So, when I turned eighteen, I thought ‘What is the point in trying to be like other girls, when I can be just as special and unique in my own way?’ I asked myself this question over and over again, and worked on myself, mentally and physically. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t just happen overnight. Self-love takes time. But when you achieve it, the world becomes your oyster.

When I think back to those difficult years, I wonder why I thought so poorly of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I was an extremely happy girl with a beautiful family, boyfriend, television series and an upcoming Warner Brothers film under my belt. It was just the little things in my mind that turned into big dramatic things. These days, I work out simply because it feels good, not so I can compare myself to other girls. I love the body that I was given and I work hard to maintain it, looking and feeling my version of ‘healthy’ every day.

#Health #SelfLove #Mindset #Exercise #Passion #VoiceofHealth

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