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Controlled starvation

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Dieting has affected most people at one time or another.

Whether someone aspires to lose weight or to gain a certain amount of muscle, their diet is affected and manipulated to achieve these results.

With spring break just coming to a close, the gym was a popular spot for many people as they aspired to lose some weight before enjoying the sun on a beach somewhere.

However, dieting can morph from something beneficial into something dangerous.

Dieting quickly turns into an obsession, affecting a person’s health rather than doing good. Teens and college students often fall under the delusion that being skinny will make their life better. Forming this mentality paves the way for unhealthy habits and actions down the road.

These unhealthy habits start by students dissecting themselves in front of the mirror, identifying every little imperfection on their body. This dissection quickly turns into an experiment, testing their body by inducing bouts of cardio and work upon their body to work off all the fluff they might have.

The unhealthy habits escalate, restricting food by labeling certain food groups as ‘bad’, and ‘off limits’, training their body to be a programmed computer, living life to only lose weight.

Even after weeks and months of these strict rules, many are still not satisfied with the results.

“Maybe, if I eat less today, I will look better tomorrow,” is a phrase repeating in the heads of those falling into these unhealthy habits.

“It is okay to make myself puke if it is only once a day,”those toeing the line with bulimia might justify.

Before long, the innocent diet becomes an iron fist clenching the stomach of its victim.

What was thought to be just slimming down transformed into anorexia or bulimia nervosa, illnesses of the mind that affect how individuals see food and their eating habits.

I have personally struggled with both illnesses. I remember it all started with the image in the mirror of the person I should have been, or the way I should have looked.

I struggled for a long time, trying to break out of my strict diet, only to force it out of my system later.

Dieting is a term used for those who increase or decrease the foods in their day to achieve a desired result. Obsession over this goal can force an individual to go to drastic measures to see these results as fast as they can.

Before you even begin working towards a better you, understand you are already beautiful and pure in your original form. You possess a unique personality that cannot be defined by the shape of your body.

Approaching goals should come with a healthy mentality that bettering yourself for you is okay. Dieting is not a prerequisite for love and acceptance and never will be.

After experiencing many ups and downs along my own fitness journey, I have found a healthy relationship with the food I eat.

There is no need to deprive or restrict your life to fulfill an empty prize.

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
Controlled starvation