F*ck Your #Fitspo: 6 Reasons I Decided To Give Up Extreme Dieting

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I’m 5'7'' and 145.7 pounds.

To some, it’s an envious combination. To others, it’s slightly overweight.

To me, it’s something to get used to because six months ago, I would've cried seeing that number on a scale.

I used to live my life in numbers: the weight on my scale, the size of my jeans, the number of almonds I ate (exactly 17 a day, by the way), the total number of calories I consumed, the number of calories I burned, the ounces of chicken I ate and the minutes it took me to run five miles.

I’ve never been good at math, but I was damn good at keeping a precise calculation of every single thing that went in my body.

I even measured out my vodka.

That was dedication, people. Or rather, it was an addiction.

It was an unwavering obsession rooted in the shallow fear of being “fat.”

I was completely imprisoned by my own thoughts and insecurities. The need to be “skinny” consumed my every thought and action.

That is, until a few months ago, when I decided the whole "count every single calorie and run eight miles to burn off the cookie I ate at lunch today" lifestyle was making me exhausted and miserable, instead of secure and happy.

So, I quit being a skinny bitch, and I’ve never been happier.

Here are the reasons why:

1. Ice cream is delicious.

Bacon cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, burritos and barbecue chicken pizza (actually, any kind of pizza) are also incredibly delicious.

People who tell you they actually like the taste of kale smoothies are liars.

2. I was sick of the guilt.

Every time I steered away from what I perceived as healthy, I hated myself.

One piece of pizza was equal to at least one hour of standing in front of the mirror to make sure I didn’t look bloated.

The immense guilt I used to feel after eating one cookie or half a bagel was so overwhelming, I felt like I had just cheated on my significant other.

I’d spend my entire day wondering how I could counteract the one bad decision.

I would come up with excuses as to why it was okay, and then I’d end up calling my mom to confess the act.

If I had a dollar for every time I told someone, “I ate an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s last night,” I could pay off my student loans.

3. It was way too time-consuming.

I’m okay with taking an hour or two out of my day to get in a good run, hike, cycling class or yoga session.

Please don't think I'm not a huge advocate of a healthy lifestyle because I am.

But, it's the obsession that's unhealthy.

I wasted so many hours of my life measuring tablespoons of almond butter and ounces of salmon.

I just wanted to eat a meal without needing to waste 10 minutes typing it into MyFitnessPal, just to make sure I hadn’t gone over my calories for the day.

Of course, if I did, my iPhone wasted no time telling me I wasn’t good enough.

4. I traded my health for being skinny.

Eating two eggs whites on rye with spinach and then running 13 miles was how I stayed skinny.

Enough said.

5. “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” is an abominable motto.

Like most teenage girls and women in their 20s, my daily routine is completely saturated by #fitspo.

It’s abhorrent and degrading because we just can't accept who we are.

We think, "I’m doing everything this diet recommends. I’m doing everything my trainer tells me to do. I’m following this workout plan to the T. So why don’t I look like that?"

When our results fall short of our expectations, we don’t recognize how far we’ve come.

We don't pat ourselves on the back and say “good job.” We don’t applaud ourselves for giving it our best.

Instead, we chastise ourselves.

I should've run longer. I should've done one more sit up. I should've eaten one less banana.

There were days when I wished I could silence my inner monologue. I think we’ve all been there.

As a woman, this makes me incredibly sad. We should never want to quiet our thoughts.

Our thoughts should be filled with self-love, respect and admiration.

6. I wanted to learn to love myself.

They say you can’t love another person until you love yourself. It’s true.

The obsessive insecurities I’ve had about the way I look have hindered my happiness in every single one of my relationships.

I know I’m not alone.

I quit being a skinny bitch so I could, in fact, learn to love myself without reservation and what I perceived to be the perfect body.

Do you know what realization I came to?

I’m pretty awesome, love handles and all.

And so are you.