Becoming ‘That Girl’

Avatar of Carina Thomas
Sports Column

It’s crazy how much changes as you grow up. You make new friends, discover new hobbies, upgrade your style … but you’re unprepared for how your relationship with food changes.

The “that girl” TikTok trend is a very popular concept. This trend showcases an extremely romanticized, perfectly productive lifestyle where one wakes up at 6 a.m., hits a workout at 6:15, and journals at 6:45 — basically the perfect teenage morning routine — a.k.a. the “that girl” lifestyle. I participated in this trend in hopes that it would improve my lifestyle and thus, my self confidence. But little did I know, these toxic routines and diets would lead me onto a very dangerous road of disordered eating and exercising habits.

I began to change and restrict what I ate. Breakfast became a smoothie. Lunch became eggs and berries. Dinner became small portions of what my mom made. Snacks? — not an option. I began exercising to punish myself and burn the calories, telling myself that anything less than these diets would make me a failure. Eventually, these eating and exercising habits became extremely obsessive — I limited myself like crazy, completely disregarding my deteriorating physical and mental health.

One day, after completing a 30 minute run on the treadmill, followed by two 20 minute HIIT workouts, my body finally began giving up on me. My vision dimmed and I became light-headed as I sunk to the ground, my sight still dark and blurry as I took deep breaths in, in an attempt to revive myself. My breaths became quick, heavy, and scared. Very scared. After that moment, I knew I had to fix my habits or else I would descend down into the deep grave of physical and mental destruction that I had unknowingly been digging for myself ever since I decided to become “that girl.”

While I’ve started to heal my relationship with food and exercising, the after effects of months of abusing my body and mental health still linger throughout my everyday life. Picking what to eat for a snack is a daunting struggle, as I tend to be extremely indecisive and anxious over choosing between the lowest calorie option or the option that I actually want. There are still times I feel guilty after completing a regular meal. Sometimes, I can’t help but think about the little girl who could once eat a stack of pancakes with maple syrup and a chunk of butter on top without feeling anything other than a valid, healthy, and happy human being.

Feeling guilty after eating creates a negative relationship with food, and that negativity is not worth the ever-lasting distorted view on what is healthy. Just accept what you eat, enjoy it, and move on. There’s no room for regret in a truly healthy lifestyle.

Too often, we allow social media trends to determine our personal goals and desires. What many of us teenagers deal with are the detrimental thoughts that cause us to over analyze our intake of food and exercising habits. Balance is key — nutrition and happiness should be treated as equal. Choose to lead a healthy lifestyle by prioritizing physical and mental well being over unrealistic standards constructed by the internet.