How to love the way you look

Christen Mullet

In our society, it’s easy for men and women alike to obsess over the way they look. Our culture prizes the thin female figure and the strong, well-muscled man. But most of us don’t meet these unrealistic standards. Instead of beating ourselves up over our perceived shortcomings, why don’t we try to fall in love with the way we look now?

Eating disorders are actually unique to Western societies, where a thin figure is held in such high regard. Western influence has caused eating disorders to become a problem in many countries that have never dealt with them before.

The problem with distorted body image can be especially difficult for us as college students, when many of us find we have gained the dreaded freshman fifteen. The good news is we don’t have to hate our bodies or buy into the ultra-thin standards of beauty this country holds so dear.

You can fall in love with your body all over again with the help of these four easy steps:

1. Accept your body as it is. Even if you have a little more of a paunch than you did in high school, you will never be happy with the way you look unless you change your attitudes about it. I’ve experienced the freshman fifteen myself, but I’m happier with my body now than I ever was back in my skinnier days. What really matters is that you are comfortable with the way you look and that you accept your body as it is now.

2. Your main goal should be your good health. If you do have a little extra to love nowadays, you definitely shouldn’t worry if the extra weight isn’t threatening your health. There are tons of calculators you can find online to figure out your Body Mass Index (BMI). A good calculator can be found at If you fall within the healthy range for your height, there’s no need to worry. But college is also the best time to start healthy habits like eating more nutritious meals and exercising regularly.

3. If you want to start exercising, you don’t have to overdo it at the gym. My advice is to get involved in something you enjoy participating in. Running is not for everyone (especially not me), so try something you will actually like doing and you will have a better chance of sticking with it. If you look forward to your workouts or playing sports with friends, it will make regular exercise much easier to maintain.

4. There is no need to count calories. This can be a helpful habit for many people, but for others it can just make you feel depressed. If it is stressful for you to count calories, the best thing you can do is keep a food journal. If you have to write down every last Frito you ate this afternoon, it can help keep excessive snacking in check. There are many paths to a healthier lifestyle; find what works best for you.

Christen Mullet is a senior psychology major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].