The Body Positivity Movement Isn't Just For Adults

The Body Positivity Movement Isn't Just For Adults

Healthy looks different on different bodies.
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Let’s do an experiment. Think of your best friend, your significant other, someone who means a lot to you.

One day, you ask this person’s opinion on an outfit. They look you over and proceed to tell you everything negative you’ve ever told yourself about your own body.

Maybe that you’re too fat to wear this, too thin to wear that, too short, too tall, that you have too much cellulite, that you have too many stretch marks, that you should cover up your fat arms, that your legs are too twiggy and that they just don’t have any suggestions for you to improve — you’re just a hopeless case of ugly.

Would you stay associated with this person?

I wouldn’t.

So why do we consistently put ourselves down?

Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend. We’ve all heard this before, so maybe that experiment wasn’t very effective.

Here’s another one. If you have kids, think of them. If you don’t, pretend you do.

Now, pretend that for an entire week everything you say to yourself about your own body, you have to say to your kids about their bodies.

Could you do it? Probably not, because you love them.

You would never say those things to someone you love that much. So why can’t we love ourselves?

We’re taught to think that there’s always something worth fixing or improving, so we can never be happy with who we are naturally. But are we ever any happier once those things are “fixed?”

Even once you reach a healthy weight for your body type, you keep pushing for those extra five pounds to melt off, and then another five, and another five, and another and by this point, what you’re doing isn’t even healthy anymore – you just want to see that number drop.

We can blame these problems on celebrities, social media, sexualized advertising or mean teenagers all we want because, yes, they can make the issue worse. But poor body image has much deeper roots.

The reality is that these thoughts aren’t inherent, they’re not organic, they don’t just exist on their own. These thoughts and their resulting behaviors are learned and socialized from the moment kids step into a preschool classroom, and in some cases, well before.

Kids as young as six have poor body image and consider dieting. Surely, they’re not hearing dieting tips from other six-year-olds, but their wide-open eyes and ears leave them thinking about their bodies in the same manner that their parents do.

Parents lay the foundation for poor body image when they ask their kids if they look fat in a piece of clothing when they let their kids hear them talk about dieting or when their kids see them refuse to wear something because of how they look.

This doesn’t mean they’re bad parents — they were socialized to think these things in the exact same way.

And as we get older, it only gets worse.

I was in the second grade the first time a peer commented on my body. We wore uniforms at my school, and a kid in my class told me that my stomach was too fat for my jumper since it poked out over the edges of the waistband.

I was seven years old. That’s almost 13 years ago.

A little later on, two different kids told me that they would never want me to be on their team in PE class. They didn’t say it was because I was fat, but that’s how I understood it.

That was nine years ago.

Another time, someone else laughed in my face when I told them I wanted to play volleyball. Again, it’s all about implication.

That was six years ago.

There’s more, but I think I’ve made my point.

I haven’t forgotten any of these instances. I started thinking about these kinds of comments every time I got dressed, and I made a habit of crossing my arms in front of my stomach when I sat down. People asked me why I sat like that and I just told them I was always cold.

This is why body positivity is a movement, not something we just automatically know, like our hair color or our name.

But we can’t just word-vomit physical affirmations and expect body positivity to magically appear in the minds of our most vulnerable.

Tell your kids, your young siblings, your little cousins, the kids you babysit and even your own parents that their bodies are good bodies. Remind them that healthy comes in all shapes and sizes and that numbers on scale mean nothing.Teach them how to nourish and take care of their body instead of punishing it. Debunk the perfection myth, and help them grow to love the body they’re in. And don’t forget to love your body, too.
Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

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Just Because You Tell Me I Look Good Doesn’t Mean I Feel Good

Your own opinion is the only one that matters.

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With the huge movement of accepting all body images, people are more encouraging than ever to be yourself. This comes with the fact that, even though people can be amazingly accepting, it doesn't have to mean everyone is happy with how they look in the moment.

People can appreciate being welcomed and still want to change certain aspects of their appearance. They could be plus size, get complimented on how great they look, and still want to lose a few pounds. A person could have a large nose, have people in their ear telling them they don't need to change, but still want surgery anyway. They shouldn't be shamed for this. Acceptance of your body only happens when you are happy, not when other people tell you that you look great how you are.

It certainly helps not to be body shamed or have people tell you they love you as you are now, but it is only one part that contributes to a person's self-esteem.

People have to be comfortable in their own skin.

They should be able to strut down the street and say "adios" to anyone who has a negative comment.

Today, communities are rallying around anyone who is perceived as "different" or not traditionally beautiful. Nevertheless, sometimes it truly is in one ear and out the other. People can give you advice, tell you how beautiful you look, but it only matters what you think about yourself and how you feel. In the end, when you feel good, they are going to tell you that you're even more beautiful now than before because people can tell when someone has a happy, confident aura.

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