Skinny waist. Thigh gap. No double chin. Flat stomach. Perky boobs. Big ass.
Big arms, six pack, chiseled chin, big calves, toned back.
In today’s world, our measurements can become our worth if we let them. You are viewed as less of a person if you are too skinny or too fat, your arms are too saggy or “don’t fit” your body’s frame. When did having an athletic figure become a bad thing? Being strong is sexy.
Every. Single. Day. Women and men look in their mirrors, stare at their bodies and hate what they see. Pointing out every flaw, ignoring all the things that make them who they are. When you continuously magnify the things you don’t like about your body you are creating a negative feeling about your body as a whole instead of those specific points. This goes the other way too — if you point out a couple things you love about yourself you will create a positive outlook on your body as a whole. I know it seems impossible to love every single part of your body, and I have never seen so much body shaming on social media than what I see today. It took me 18 years in my health journey to realize that my weight does not equal my healthiness and happiness. What you eat, how much you exercise, and how you mentally treat yourself are different factors that determine your weight, health and happiness.
Why diets are discouraging and negative…
The amount of “How to Lose 10 Pounds in a Week” or “How to Get a Flat Tummy Doing Sit-Ups” posts I’ve seen on social media (especially Tik Tok) is insane. There was a trend going around about how if you drink water, lemon juice, ginger, pineapple, and cucumbers blended together every day (whilst eating your regular diet) you will lose 10 pounds in one week. You could have McDonalds all day, but drink this and boom you’re down 10 pounds. Yes, you will probably lose weight, but in an unhealthy and short term way; you are losing water weight and muscle.
This next fad is my favorite. If you put vapor rub and coffee grounds on your stomach and wrap yourself in saran wrap while you sleep, you’ll lose body fat. If you do this and you are reading this, stop. You don’t need to have a flat tummy. Screw what society tells you and rock that belly fat. Everyone has belly fat. If you do want to lose weight or tone your body that is perfectly fine, but do it in a consistent, healthy, long term way. These trends and fads will leave you discouraged after not losing a certain amount of weight and that weight will come back because it is not a long term solution. If you see a diet that sparks your interest that is perfectly fine, but please do research about that diet and find out if it is right for you and your lifestyle. Don’t jump into these fads you see on social media without knowing what they will really do and how they work.
A healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle isn’t eating kale and peppers all day. Well, maybe it is for some people, but for most people it’s trying to eat more fruits and veggies and maybe eating out less. It is different for every person and it is what works for you. College is probably the hardest time to be healthy. You have the mac & cheese stuffed grilled cheese from Varsity Truck just yelling your name once you leave Kaws on a Friday night out. Hot dogs and nachos at the football tailgate tempt you. Or you have countless Nancy’s on a sunny Saturday at Taco Lucha. This should not stop you from trying to improve your health. You don’t need to stop going out with your friends every weekend, just find a balance that works for you! Maybe limit yourself to eating out once a week or only having one beer at a restaurant. Maybe during quarantine, you can start your healthy lifestyle journey. You can learn how to cook your favorite foods and make healthy eating fun and not a chore. BUT IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T. Isolating, even with your family, takes a toll on anyone. Be kind to yourself and understand that your mind and body are feeling the effects of staying at home most of the time. You can always pick up and start anew.
Listen to what your body is telling you. If you find yourself in the bathroom after every time you eat ice cream, maybe don’t eat it three times a week. Or if you don’t like a certain food, don’t force yourself to eat it just because it is “healthy” for you. Your body is your temple and this is the only body you get for the rest of your life, so treat it well. I have always struggled with stomach issues and feeling comfortable after I eat, but during quarantine I started the Whole30 challenge (only eating whole foods and foods that aren’t packed with preservatives) to try and figure out what food upsets my stomach. I know there are foods that I eat that make my stomach hurt and it ruins my day, so I am taking control of this while I have plenty of time on my hands before 2 a.m. drives to Pizza Shuttle start back up in the fall (hopefully). If you are in the same boat as me, start to log what you eat every day and how you feel and you might be able to detect what doesn’t agree with your body. You deserve to feel good.
Talk nice to your body
Stop saying all the things you hate about your body! Doing that doesn’t do any good. Your flaws aren’t going to magically disappear so stop focusing on them, it’s a waste of time. Feeding your mind positive thoughts will train your brain to think in a healthier way. Learn to love your stretch marks — that means you’re growing. Your double chin means that you’re laughing. Instead of pointing out the things you hate about your body, take 20 seconds right now and name five things you love about your body. I’ll wait….
There’s enough negativity in this world, you do not need to add more to yourself because social media says you aren’t their version of beauty. Rock what you have and prove to everyone around you that you don’t give af what they have to say about you.
Here’s some feel good & taste good recipes to try:
Quinoa bowls are the best because you can add whatever you like to it and make it delicious!
Pizza? Yum. Roasted Cauliflower? Yum. What’s not to like?
Quinoa bowl for breakfast? Say less.
Make a big batch and put in the fridge for the week.
For all my vegetarians out there: don’t miss out on enchiladas, make these instead.
You don’t need to cut sweets out forever, but making healthier and smaller portions will help you feel a little less guilty about having dessert!