For almost a year now, I've been contributing articles to local teen magazines. I never really thought I'd be doing it, but I find myself enjoying coming up with possible problems that young girls might face in their daily lives and giving out helpful tips to solve them: What do I do when I find myself face-to-face with my crush? How do I ask a guy out without seeming too forward? Why won't my parents cut me some slack? How do I balance my time between school and friends?
It's surprisingly fun to think up these things and to point the way. It's fulfilling to know that in my own little way I'm helping kids and teenagers deal with the things that stress them out.
But here's my problem: how do I take my own advice?
"Practice what you preach," isn't that the old maxim? Well it turns out another one is, "Easier said than done." While I've outgrown some of the issues that these magazines deal with--stuff like acne and grades and unfair teachers and all that--there are some things that few people ever really outgrow.
Like body image issues. I don't know about you guys, but I sure haven't outgrown those. I've been putting in some fair hours at the gym recently, and it's not just for my overall health: I'm definitely being vain about it. I don't always feel good when I look at the mirror. There is a long list of things I'd like to change about myself, and I think a lot of people feel the same way.
Now I've written and published my advice about this. Heck, I've listed down, several times, what you're supposed to think and do to feel better about yourself and your body: We're all shaped differently. We're all beautiful in our own way. We have to focus on what's positive about who we are, not what's negative. We need to eat right, pamper ourselves once in a while, exercise. And on and on.
I realize, though, that while it can be hard to follow someone else's advice, it's twice as hard to follow your own. And neither is it just with body image--I've written articles about money management (which I'm not particularly awesome at), job interviews, and awkward situations, and I find myself laughing at the ideas I come up with, because I realize that dude, I know what to do to make myself better. Hell, my advice is good. I just have to grit my teeth and do it, too.
I don't want to be a hypocrite, you know? There are too many of those out there in the world already. Now if only someone knew the secret to avoiding that...