From Deadlifts To Sherri Hill, Get Yourself A Girl Who Can Do It All.

From Deadlifts To Sherri Hill, Get Yourself A Girl Who Can Do It All.

I'm not the same girl I was when I started my fitness journey and that is the best part.

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When I was 16 I started look at myself differently in the mirror. I noticed more things that I hated about myself than like, I could tell that my thighs were bigger than anyone else's on my cheer team, my shoulders were too wide, and I had the traps of a man. I was beyond ashamed of the way I looked and I was determined that was why I wasn't in a relationship, why I wasn't happy with my life, and why I was so lost. 16 is a hard year, many adults don't remember being 16 and feeling those big emotions. Life is big and scary when you're young and don't know what's going on. Things are 100 times worse than they are and you feel so hopeless and lost. I remember that feeling, I remember feeling so lost and uncomfortable with myself that I didn't want to leave my house or see my friends.

I found myself skipping meals, lifting weights every day after school, running at least 3 miles every other day to try and improve how I looked. I was going overboard but no one was going to stop me. I can remember pausing at every mirror in our hallways or in the locker room to look at my stomach and see how flat it was getting, or I would snap a hair tie on my wrist when I was craving food that I smelt from the lunch room because I didn't want to eat. Eventually, I started going home on my lunch hour so nobody would wonder why I wasn't eating and that seemed to get people off my back for a bit. Graduation came and I probably weighed 100 pounds soaking wet, but I thought I was perfect.

Fast forward to college and things were very different for me. I was struggling to get myself to go to the dining center to eat meals everyday, I had made my class schedule so jam packed that I wasn't allowing myself time to sleep without having a massive amount of homework. When I became friends with everyone on my floor in the dorms, I was going out almost every single weekend to the "football" or "hockey" houses. I started to feel better, I was going out, people were holding me accountable for my meals, but I was beginning to fell guilty. All of the "hard work" I thought I had put into my body was going away and I was starting to gain my weight back. I thought it was the end of the world, but in all reality; it's what saved me.

Fitness isn't about being a size 0, 2, 4, 0r even a size 6. It's about keeping yourself healthy and happy while taking care of your bodies needs. If you happen to eat McDonalds one night, you're not going to instantly gain 20 pounds or have a heart attack. Everything is fine if you're eating it in moderation. I allowed myself to become drastically too small but I also went overboard regaining my weight back and ended up the heaviest I had even been. Miss North Dakota help me realize what I was doing to my body. Yes, I was working out; but only a few times a month, I wasn't eating right, I was partying too much and I wasn't allowing my body to hold and take in the nutrients it needed to survive. I was slowly allowing my body to fail and failing at accomplishing my dream job as Miss North Dakota.

When 2018 rolled around, I knew it was time to make a change. One of my best friends had just become a personal trainer and I decided to take the plunge and ask for help. She gave me a meal plan, helped me learn what a macro was, and gave me a workout like no other. I have always been a HUGE fan of lifting weights, but she is the reason I fell in love with them again. She pushed me to not only work hard in the gym, but fight for myself and what I deserve out of life. I began to quickly see results and this time, they were not drastic. They were steady results of eating the right foods, allowing myself a cheat snack every so often, letting myself feel free form starvation and everything in between. I was finally happy with where I was in life. I knew that once I started going, no one was going to stop me from chasing this dream.

I have been told over and over again that I can't lift because I'm a girl, I'm not "fit" enough, I look like a fool in the weight room, and so many other things by people who are lifting LESS WEIGHT THAN ME. Uh...excuse me? I don't think so. Girls can do whatever they set their minds to do. We are a force that can't be stopped once we get going with something. I am a powerful female who will work hard to not only create a healthy lifestyle for myself with the help of my friends and my new coaches, but I will work hard to earn my dream job. I, in no way, expect that crown to be handed to me. I will work for the job of a lifetime. It's not about who has the best dress or hair; it's about who is best meant to hold that job and I know I am her. I am a powerhouse who can not only life weights at the gym, but put on a crown and a gown and walk on a stage in heels to show I can speak to thousands of people to get my message across.

So boys, date the girl who can do more than just go watch you in the gym. Your girl will be your biggest cheerleader and spotter when you're lifting and everything else in life. We all struggle, and I found my sanity in lifting and if a guy can't wrap his head around that, it's not worth it to me. If lifting isn't your cup of tea, find what is and run with it. Don't let anyone tell you it's not.

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6 Huge Ways Your Life Changes After Escaping A Small Town

"Don't let small-town life make your life small."

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I've read a few articles on small towns and some statistics show that 20-30% of Americans live in small towns and 80% of the nation's population lived in one of the 350 combined metropolitan statistical areas.

After growing up in a small town myself, I think it can sometimes be difficult to be the person you want to be while trying to please all of your small-town fans. This is the first time in my life I've moved away from my small town with the intention to stay away for a very long time.

Why would I do something so silly?

Over the past two years, I realized how my hometown was stopping me from growing and accomplishing my dreams. Hanging out with friends generally became a gossip session because we were together so often and had nothing more to talk about. Neighbors knew where I was or who I was with. There was always some type of pressure to please everyone. There has always been someone to compare my life to or to be like.

Finally, I realized how detrimental this mentality was to my success.

After a series of events this year, I finally gathered the courage to pick up my life and move somewhere where I was a “no one." Somewhere where I could start fresh and never have to worry about pleasing someone down the street. I can vouch that this has been the biggest change in my life and the best possible move I could have made.

So what things actually change?

1. You find out who your true friends are.

This one will shock you. Remember that person you used to go to dinner with or spent countless nights finding a party or get together to go to with? That person magically fades away. The convenience of you being down the road is no longer an option and that person has now found a new acquaintance who has replaced you. Your genuine friends will continue to invite you to be a part of whatever and most will plan to spend time with you or come see you.

2. You no longer have a close-minded perception of everything.

I remember going to a grocery store and hearing the small town gossip from aisle to aisle. I remember how one-sided most issues were and if you weren't on board, your opinion was irrelevant. Now I can go to the store and not know a single person and have an opinion about anything I want and not have to worry about being shunned.

3. You suddenly turn into a mystery.

This one is great. People will start wondering where you went or what you've been up to. When I call my parents, I always get a good laugh from the conversations they've had with others who wonder what I'm up to. My favorite quote that relates to this is, “The less you reveal, the more people can wonder."

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Adult Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

4.You are suddenly a nobody in your new community, and it's great.

I have a bad habit of trying to avoid people I know, so when I go into stores or do anything in public, I love being a nobody. I love being able to do all of my grocery shopping without being interrupted or asked about school.

5. You appreciate the small hometown things more.

I'm not going to lie, I cringe thinking about making a trip home, but that pizza place I had four times a week and those margaritas that my friends and I would gulp down when celebrating everything from a birthday to making it through a rough day at work suddenly become luxury items. You enjoy those country cruises and those salty fries so much more when you're away.

6. You start to find yourself.

I left this one for last because it's by far the most important thing that's happened to me. I got stuck thinking I needed to be married by 22 and have a family by the time I was 27. I no longer think this. I finally have a bucket list that involves so much more than beating my best friend in a keg stand at the annual town bonfire. I have found who I am through solely relying on me and the things that make me happy.

SEE ALSO: 8 Things You Realize After High School


Don't get me wrong, I love my hometown. It's made me who I am today, but even if it's only for six months, escape your small town. Get away and experience the world. Don't wait until it's too late. It's great out here!

Cover Image Credit: 10 Best Media

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A College Student's Guide To Self-Care 101

A trend on the rise, self-care is becoming more and more prevalent.

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My social media sites have been exploding with mentions of self-care. Tweets about the concept are ever on the rise and I think it is important to explore the concept. Self-care practices have become increasingly common because people are ever interested in tending to their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Unfortunately, with the popularization of the concept comes misconceptions. Self-care is not strictly about "treating yourself" and face masks. Additionally, it encompasses growth, reflection, and change. So, without further adieu, here are my top ten self-care tips!

1. Learn to be by yourself

This one is harder than people would think at first. Everyone's personality is different and, therefore, their affinity to being alone will differ as well. However, as I mentioned before, self-care is not only about physical practices. It is about eliminating toxicity from your life. This means eliminating bad habits, which is achieved through reflection and acknowledgment of the problematic habituation. Being by yourself allows you to set your own goals for yourself without any influence from outside factors. Additionally, the ability to be by yourself aids in establishing good self-esteem and ensures that the relationships you allow in your life are true and special rather than just to pass time.

2. Accept compliments

I don't know how this became normalized or why, but I despise the fact that girls have been taught to downplay their confidence. If someone offers a compliment, smile and accept it. Positive feelings towards yourself should be integral parts of your thought processes. Additionally, pay yourself compliments. They don't have to be said out loud but appreciate the beauty that is your body. It does so much for you, the least you could do is appreciate it every now and then.

3. Hold yourself accountable

Like I said earlier, part of self-care is eliminating bad habits. The tendency to attribute one's own failures and shortcomings to external forces is self-serving bias and those with good self-esteem are guilty of it. It may be difficult to balance attribution and self-esteem but in order to achieve growth, you have to acknowledge your own faults. This will allow for clarity and for you to work towards achieving better habits.

4. Don't bottle up your feelings

I am especially guilty of not following this tip. Keeping to yourself may seem like the easier thing to do and, if you are like anything like me, you may hate being seen as an inconvenience. However, I know that if I bottle up for too long, I tend to shut down and then I won't be able to achieve anything. Expressing your feelings is okay. Crying is okay. Anger is okay. Emotion is okay.

5. Try new things

Take a yoga class. Volunteer. Go to a new restaurant. Anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone incubates growth. You don't even have to enjoy everything you do, you just have to try. However, you may also find a new passion because of it.

6. Get some sleep

Don't spend all your time sleeping and lose all motivation to do anything, but make a conscious effort to get sufficient sleep so that all of your days can be as efficient as possible. You will be more energized and your immune system, as well as your physical appearance, will thank you.

7. Don't force yourself to do things you don't like

I know I said to try new things. However, if your best friend loves running and you go with her one day and find out you HATE it, don't force yourself. Find what works for you through trial and error. You will be much happier with your own flow and it keeps you from developing resentment.

8. Learn to say no

All the women in my life are especially guilty of this. We spread ourselves too thin because we can't say no. This goes hand in hand with not forcing yourself to do things that you don't want to do. Saying no doesn't make you a bitch, it makes you strong and lets people know that you know what you want.

9. Say what you mean

Don't sugarcoat things. It will leave you feeling unfulfilled and, quite frankly, it's exhausting trying to tiptoe around what you really mean. Don't be rude or aggressive, rather assertive and straight forward. It will make you a better communicator and will take pressure off of you as well.

10. Finally, treat yourself

I said self care wasn't entirely about that. I didn't say it wasn't necessary.

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