Here's to those diet plans I make and then give up on.

That One Diet I Keep Starting But Never Finish

Here's to the 2 million diets I started in the last month and kept giving up on! But hey, at least I'm consistent right?

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Every year (or month) I tell myself I'm going to start a new diet. My "new" diets range from cutting out carbs, not drinking soda or juice, not giving in to dessert, not consuming as much food, or even exercising some more. At the start of each new diet, I give myself a whole lecture about how I cannot give in and quit after a week or sadly enough, a couple of days. Now just to be clear, my diet phases do not always revolve around losing weight. Sometimes I want to drop a pound or two, sometimes I feel as though I want to get abs, sometimes I want to tone up my legs, and sometimes I really just feel as though I need to eat healthier. I feel like everyone always gets on my case because yes, I am already small and short but that doesn't necessarily mean that I love my body. Each and every person has some sort of insecurity with themselves and that is totally understandable.

Let me give a couple of diets that I tried to start just in the last month alone. Let me give a couple of diets that I tried to start just in the last month alone.

1. Doing 100 sit-up/ab workouts a day.

A couple of months ago, I can honestly say that I was in my prime. For about two months, I went to the gym every single day and on top of that, I did at least 100 sit-ups a day as well as doing other ab workouts. I woke up one morning and suddenly felt the need to have abs. And so every single day, I was very religious about making sure I worked on it. As the month went by, I could feel my core getting stronger and I could feel the abs slowly starting to come in. However, maybe about three months after this, I gave up. I don't even know what it was exactly that made me stop. Sometimes I get so busy between work and school that I literally don't have the time to do them. It's possible that I skipped one day and then the next day I told myself it was okay to skip again since I already did. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the very end of my 100 sit-ups and ab workouts a day. Bye diet #100, you will be missed!

2. No dessert.

So here's to one of the hardest diets I tried. I have the world's biggest sweet tooth. However, I go through phases. I could go two weeks without once ever eating candy or craving chocolate but then I could also go two weeks where every day I feast on chocolate cake and sour watermelon patches. I also have a lot of trouble staying in control. Sometimes I won't even crave a cookie but I'll see someone else grab one and then, of course, I have to grab one. I definitely am not proud of this but hey, we all have our weaknesses. My weakness just happens to be candy (and all food). Sadly, this diet lasted me probably a week, if even.

3. 15 minutes of jumping rope, 3x a day.

So for those of you who didn't know... jumping rope burns major calories. The best part though is that jump ropes are incredibly cheap. Head to your local toy store, Target, Walmart, or even dollar store! I guarantee you that your jump rope should be $3, if not less. Forget about running three miles out in the scorching heat or paying the big bucks for a gym membership! I try to jump rope at least once a week (more like month because I'm lazy) and I die every time. It is such a grueling workout and I give up five minutes in, unfortunately. One day i will make it to a ten-minute mark before giving up.

4. Drinking 8 full cups/bottles of water a day

This. Is. Impossible. I can never ever keep up on my water intake. Some days I will drink so much water to the point where I have to pee every five minutes but the next day I'll take maybe one sip of water and feel so dehydrated. Even when I do drink a crap ton of water, I don't think I ever actually hit the eight cups/bottles goal. Everyone knows that water does wonders for your skin, health, and weight-loss so you already know what's up. On the bright side, I don't typically ever drink soda or juice, therefore my only option is really water. A little trick I learned for when I get bored of the empty, plain taste of water and need a little oomph is to add a little bit of club soda to my water and squeeze in a lemon, lime, or orange slice! Here's hoping for perfect skin and a nice, tone body!

So, please feel free to join the club if you're just like me and repeatedly start a diet or new idea/goal that you know you're never going to finish! Maybe one day I'll stop giving up, but then again, probably not!

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Difference Between Vegan, Vegetarian, And Some Other Diets

I get asked what it means to be a vegan all the time, so in light of those who have trouble understanding, here's an article defining a few different types.

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Coming to a college full of new people, I couldn't tell you the number of times I hear, "Wait, are you vegetarian or vegan?" It's a question we all get, and sometimes people don't even know what those phrases are. Another, "What does that even mean?" They get mixed up, thrown around, and ranted about in my daily life, and it's quite a trip. I explain over and over again the differences, what I am, and why I am vegan, but the questions always come again.

For those of you who are still confused, I'll help you out a little.

Here is a list of some different dietary types, and what they mean.

Vegan

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Veganism, easily defined, is the lack of meat, dairy, or any animal product from your diet. Honey, milk, eggs, chicken, bacon, pork, steak, beef, etc., are all items vegans don't eat. Many go even further by buying only animal-free and cruelty-free (not animal tested) makeups, body products, clothing, and more. A devoted vegan checks every product used or consumed to make sure it's free of anything animal related. The Vegan Society defines Veganism as, "A way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

A vegan diet can also be referred to as a plant-based diet, with all the same aspects, but some plant-based people may not focus on any other products than food.

Vegetarian

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Sweet and simple, vegetarians just don't eat meat. This does not include dairy or egg. They can still eat macaroni and cheese, just no more cheeseburgers or steaks. Vegetarian is pretty straight forward in the fact that they only lack the meat aspect of a diet!

Pescatarian

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Similar to vegetarians, pescatarians eat no meat except fish. They allow themselves to consume kinds of fish, just not beef, pork, or other types of meat.

Flexitarian

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My definition of a flexitarian is someone who keeps to a mostly plant-based diet, with the occasional animal product. These could be people who are transitioning and trying out the vegan or vegetarian diet but are not fully committed to it, for various reasons. Flexitarian could also be someone who just choices to eat mostly meat or dairy free but every few meals will eat something from an animal.

Although this is not technically a vegetarian or vegan diet, it's a great way to start the journey to becoming a vegan.

It's a tricky thing trying to navigate all the diets out there these days.

If you're ever interested in trying out these diets there are incredible amounts of resources available to help you on that journey. Do some research, get an understanding of why people choose these diets and then find somewhere to help you! Good places to start are PETA, The Vegan Society, Vegan Action, and many more. Just type into a google search, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or any other diet and you'll get loads of information! I encourage everyone I talk to, consider these types of change because they're great for yourself, the animals, and the environment.

I hope these brief definitions have helped you to understand some more what these different words mean, and maybe they have you thinking about ways you could change your diet!

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