The Unbelievably Easy Ways To Take The 'Hell' Out Of 'Healthy'

The Unbelievably Easy Ways To Take The 'Hell' Out Of 'Healthy'

"Why you gotta go and make things so complicated?"
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"Healthy" as a word has numerous connotations, varying from "someone who works out a lot" to "someone who eats cleanly all the time" and everything in between. However, due to the fluidity of its nature, achieving what is known as "healthy" can be confusing and intimidating.

Learning how to diet and exercise can prove to be a difficult task. Whether you want to build muscle, lose some weight and tone up, or just feel better, the world of health can be an overwhelming one. I ask, what about health has to be so damn difficult? Coming from the guy who has been on both sides of the health sphere, if I could go back and tell my previous self one thing, it would be "don't overcomplicate things and do your research."

1. Do stuff

Woah, no way! By "do stuff" I mean do what it is physically that you can find enjoyment in. If it's running or swimming, consistently run and swim. Don't get so caught up in following guidelines that it discourages you to actually do the damn thing!

If it's lifting it's as simple as ________ stuff (fill in the blanks). Press stuff (chest and shoulders), pull stuff (back/biceps), pick up stuff (legs/back), squat stuff (legs), stretch stuff (mobility), push stuff (chest/triceps). You can figure out HIIT, sumo or standard, body splits, bulking and cutting, bodybuilding v. CrossFit, rep ranges, and everything else along the way.

2. Diet and die by it

Everything you put into your body acts as a fuel for your body-- recovery, energy, mood, they are all affected by the food you consume. If you want to lose weight, it's a simple equation. Calories consumed < calories burned. Once you determine how your weight is affected by differing amounts of calories you consume, you can figure out exactly how many calories it takes to gain or lose weight.

No matter if you're trying to gain some muscle or lose a muffin top, clean eating is never a bad idea. There are thousands of articles out there telling you which foods are healthy, and another thousand dedicated to foods and products to help you out. Don't get caught up in the hype, because health can be simple. Consuming a high protein diet has consistently proven to be a great way to stave hunger and build muscle.

The best dieters also learn about macros (macronutrients). Don't consume a lot of calories if you're not getting the right kind of macros out of the food. For example, a 400 calorie muffin from Starbucks is only going to yield a large quantity of fat (not even fiber because it's not whole grain).

However, a 400 calorie omelet made with 4 eggs and cheese is packed with healthy fats and protein. Food is an investment, and calories are the funds in your bank account. Invest intelligently.

3. Don't get caught up in others' successes. Focus on yourself.

Social media is a beautiful monster. Everyone loves to post the highlight reels of their lives on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Because of this, it can be easy to start comparing yourself to other people. Do yourself a favor... don't.

Cover Image Credit: Austin Goodwin

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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The Rejuvenating Qualities Of Panama City Beach

There are definitely some healing properties in these ocean waves.

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We have gone to the beach quite a few times this summer season. We live around 2 hours away and try to make it to Panama City Beach at least once a week. It's a venture for sure, but compared to the 7-day drive from The Rockies of Colorado to the Peanut Capital of the World, Dothan, Alabama (a time in which no one has heard of) we can't really make any excuses.

Now, I am sitting here typing away in the early morning while watching a summer storm blow in over the sea but, make no doubt about it, the ocean and its shores are one of the most healing, rejuvenating places on this planet. There is a calm in the break of the waves on the shoreline, and yet it pairs with an unspoken knowledge that the ocean is this uncontrollable force.

This isn't a speech on saving the planet and being eco-friendly, recycling and watching out for our beaches, which is a topic I am very passionate about and a post I would totally create. This is simply an open letter to those who might need to get away in order to revive their souls.

If you are anything like me, you have emotions pulsing through you at all times, ideas about everything under the sun, a longing to explore and adventure, and a deep need for rest, all at the same time. There are not many things in this world that truly satisfy me. There is a lot of disappointment. There is a lot of wrongdoing and suffering. It's overwhelming.

That is why I come to the beach. It removes the overwhelming things.

You see, there is nothing complicated about the waves (unless you make it complicated, but we stay away from people like you). They are simple. They are peaceful. And 99% of the time in my life that is what I need, simplicity and peace. I over-complicate things myself, I make excuses and I feel hurt in most moments of my life. I lived an exposed, vulnerable lifestyle that drains me.

That is why I love the ocean. It replenishes my drained soul. It energizes me. It is motivating and inspiring, relaxing and unwinding.

I don't pass out advice. I never have. I do, however, try living an honest life, always in the moment, so I can share my experiences in hopes that others might find them helpful. That is precisely why I am writing this. Because if you could just get to the beach, to a shoreline, it might change you. Seeing this vast landscape changes your perspective on the situations in your life you thought might overtake you.

The ocean speaks. It heals. It tells your worries to cease and your mind to rest. It tells your body to relax and your busy schedule that there IS time to take a moment. Don't forget to take a moment for yourself this summer season.

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