Hot Yoga: it's a strange and kind of cruel sort of exercise we put ourselves through. Sure regular yoga is a wonderful exercise just by itself, where you can calm yourself down and just clear your mind, but for some reason people thought that it could be made even better by stuffing yourself in a 108 degree room with 20 other strangers. Now before I go on let me just say that I did try it a couple times and discovered it is not at all for me, if Hot Yoga is something you do everyday I gladly applaud you on your endurance because you are a tougher person then I will ever be, because I am just going to stick with regular yoga. For anyone who is thinking about checking Hot Yoga classes out, here are some things/thoughts that may happen during your first class:
4. Alright, you got this it's just like regular yoga right?
Dear judgemental, simple minded people from my hometown,
I am sorry that I have never met your level of perfection.
Coming from a small town, everyone settles to the norm of the people around them. Unlike you all, I have always been a little bit different.
I've never understood why everyone always seems to feel the need to talk down to the next person. People love to gossip about a situation as long as the situation has nothing to do with them. For every move I made, someone was always there to bring out the negativity in the situation. You all are always sweeping around somebody else's doorstep when I know your doorstep is not clean. Maybe it is time to buy a new broom. I know that I cannot please everybody and that I will also not be liked by everybody. However, I deserve respect just as the next person.
SEE ALSO: Forgiving Someone Who Didn't Ask For It
I hope for the sake of the future generations of our small town, you all can learn to be more accepting to change.
I hope that no one judges your children like some of you all have judged me. I hope that the people that you love and care about are welcomed and accepted for who they are.
If we put as much time into being better people or helping others like you put into judging others, the world would be a much better place.
Imperfections are what gives a diamond its value. Pebbles are perfectly round. I'd much rather be a diamond, one in a million, than a pebble that fits in.
The one whose every move you criticize
Your first year of college is filled with so many new experiences: new places, new friends, and, most importantly, new food. Unfortunately, freshmen are unable to truly enjoy the unfamiliar cuisine because every time they even think about smelling a cookie, the phrase "Freshman Fifteen" echoes in the back of their skull.
Suddenly, everything becomes about avoiding weight gain. They don't want to become another recipient of a few pounds. Maybe the fear encourages them to try out their school's gym, maybe they take up a light-hearted intramural sport with their friend. For some of them, though, the terror is crippling to the point where they avoid unhealthy foods at all costs, picking out the croutons in their perfectly portioned salad because carbohydrates are "bad" and lettuce is "good."
Personally, I don't understand what the big deal is with the "Freshman Fifteen." Our bodies naturally grow, we naturally gain weight in order to remain strong and support our internal organs. Are we expected to just not gain weight at all in college? Is the goal supposed to be to stay the same weight we were when we were seventeen? Is it acceptable to gain weight once we're sophomores? Juniors? Never?
Imagine if we had this perspective earlier in life. Take at a sixth grader, a child who's probably less than ten years old. Imagine if we encouraged sixth graders to not gain weight at all in middle school. The average weight of a ten-year-old female is 70.5 pounds. By the time a girl enters ninth grade, she should be a little less than 5'3 feet tall. If she maintains that exact weight, she would have a calculated BMI of less than 13. A BMI of less than 18.5 is already medically considered underweight.
Is that the desire: to be underweight? To be at risk for myriad health consequences, including anemia, osteoporosis, fertility issues? This comparison may seem dramatic, but after observing the tactics freshmen have used to avoid the weight, I've learned it explains the situation quite well. Every time I go to our dining hall or gather with a group of friends to enjoy the weekend, someone mentions it. I see the phrase etched out in the crumbs of a well-deserved pastry after a stressful week of midterms. It burns the tip of my classmate's tongue as she tosses out a vanilla latte once she notices the calories listed in small print on the menu.
Before every vacation when students return back home, I watch them repeatedly race up and down the stairs, trying to lose a pound before they reunite with their families and old high school companions.
"I can't let them believe that I've let myself go!"
"Do you think I've gained weight since I got here?"
"I look okay, right?"
Of course, if you gain weight, you no longer "look okay." Instantly, a few pounds apparently not only expand your waistline, but you simultaneously grow an extra nose on your forehead and your skin develops scales. Or maybe you get fur instead, maybe you spontaneously become a Yeti. I'm sick of the idea that I have to restrict myself to be worthy. I want to have the freedom to eat what I want in college, to experience this journey fully.
Food is a way of bonding and communicating with the people around us. It's in our genealogy: human beings connect through meals. When we're in a completely new environment like college, we need to somehow interact with others in order to establish ourselves. Why should we avoid one of the most effective methods of doing so?
It's difficult enough to survive your first year in college. We all need a sense of comfort, we all deserve to occasionally treat ourselves. So let me eat that cupcake without mentioning the calories. Let me choose fat-full pizza instead of a fat-free salad for dinner. Let me live the life of a college student, ordering a box of cookies for delivery at three in the morning after I receive my grade on that midterm that I really thought I aced.
I encourage all college freshmen to join me. Who wants to share some ramen?