#BodyPositive Can Mean That You Want To Change

Yes, I Can Strive To Be #BodyPositive And Still Want To Make Changes To My Body

I'm trying to learn how to love my body all of the time, even when I don't feel like it's at its best.

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I love the #BodyPositive movement.

It makes me happy that so many people are actively working to feel comfortable in their own skin. Regardless of weight, it's important to appreciate your body for what it can do and how it looks. Looking through the #BodyPositive hashtag on Instagram makes me happy. People are learning to love themselves, and that's amazing.

Unfortunately, I've struggled with body image for most of my life. I always wondered why my stomach was a bit bigger than everyone else's. People told me I was thin, and I (hesitantly) accepted that, but over time I became more and more self-critical.

To make things worse, I gained a lot of weight during my first three semesters of college. It made me feel pretty bad about my body. Yes, my butt got bigger, and that's a plus. But my body image got much worse. At times I didn't even want to eat. I felt guilty for eating certain foods. I wanted to work out more, but I didn't have time.

Instead of going down a dark road and dieting, I've decided to find a balance. I made this decision recently. I've even made a fitness page on Instagram to track my progress.

I've been trying to be careful not to stress thinness on my fitness page. I post pictures of my body sometimes, but I always make sure to talk about how strong I look. I don't want to focus on weight. I want to focus on how my body feels and what it can do. I want to focus on strength. I want to focus on confidence.

I've decided that you can be #BodyPositive and still want to make changes to your body. You can want to lose weight, but you can't let it control your life. You can decide to eat healthier, but that doesn't mean you have to cut out sweets completely.

I'm trying to learn how to love my body all of the time, even when I don't feel like it's at its best.

#BodyPositivity means something different for everyone, but I think we should all focus on learning to be #BodyPositive all of the time and not just when we take a cute picture at the beach.

Focus on how you feel. Learn to love your "imperfections," but strive to be stronger every day.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge-drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100% real" and that incoming freshmen should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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Bigger Bodies Are Not Unhealthier Bodies

Got nothing nice to say? Then don't say anything at all.

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Okay, believe it or not, people have rolls. People have fat. People wear jean sizes in the double digits, and plus sized dresses exist.

Fat people exist. And their existence isn't disgusting, so it's time to stop treating them like they're gross and unworthy of feeling confident.

I don't know HOW many times I've seen social media shame fat people just for posting photos of themselves. A plus-sized woman could put a pic of herself in a bikini on the gram and is made fun of for having cellulite and stretch marks. People comment things like, "stop encouraging people to be unhealthy!"

Since when does posting a photo of yourself hanging out on the beach encourage people to be unhealthy? Are fat people not allowed to feel confident, or what?

It's honestly disgusting how vicious fat shaming is, and how the usage of social media makes fat phobia that much more widespread. What's truly saddening is that despite so many body-positive movements, these movements still lack the support for actual plus sized bodies.

I'm not talking about skinny models hunched over so you can see their slight belly rolls. I'm talking about women with thick thighs and stomachs that are far from flat. Brands claim to be inclusive but the plus-sized models they use could still fit into size 2 and 4 dresses.

Why is it so hard to embrace bigger bodies??

To many, the thought of calling an anorexic girl a skeleton and making fun of the lack of food she eats is beyond absurd. Yet, many people don't bat an eye when a fat girl is called a whale. People stare at her when she eats a burger but never mind the skinny girl bragging about eating an entire pizza on her own. It's quirky and cute, right? Wrong.

If people feel obliged to call fat bodies unhealthy for being too fat, where is the obligation to also call out skinny bodies for being too skinny?

I am 5'3" and this past September I weighed nearly 140 pounds. I was overweight but healthy. I am now 116 pounds, I have an eating disorder, low blood sugar, and severely low blood pressure. I am not healthy.

Your weight does not determine your health.

Stop judging people because of the bodies they are in. Just because you're skinny doesn't mean you're healthy.

A skinny woman might be able to drink a whole bottle of wine and eat an entire pizza to herself. She might be able to keep off the weight without working out. She might not like drinking water and opt for iced coffee. And she's deemed healthy.

Whereas the fat woman tries her best to eat balanced every day. She doesn't have a fast metabolism, but she loves sweating her ass off doing yoga. She adds fruit to her water daily, but she's the one that isn't healthy because she's bigger?

Ridiculous.

Stop fat shaming people. Let fat people exist in peace. Let them pose in photos and feel confident in their skin. Let them eat junk food when they want without judging them. Don't laugh at them in the gym.

Stop assuming that bigger bodies are not healthy bodies. The bigger me was the healthy me and the skinny me is not, but nobody would be able to tell that just by looking at me.

Mind your own business. Stop judging people. Stop reducing people's worth to the social stigmas of their physical bodies.

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