I've Never Been The "It" Girl And I Am Totally Okay With That

I've Never Been The 'It' Girl And I Am Totally Okay With That

Why be on the top of the pyramid when you can gain strength from the bottom?

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A huge part of growing up and maturing is dealing with the unavoidable social categories. Whether it's the cliques at school, the groups at work, or just the overall structure of society, there are undeniable groups when it comes to who is popular and who is less than. As far as these cliques go, there is always an "It" girl and I, frankly, have never been her.

Do I mind? Not one bit. Because even though she received all of the attention and many considered her to be the most beautiful and likely to go far in life, I did not once envy her or the praise she received.

Being the "It" girl means constantly being in the spotlight and that is something I will say no thank you to on any given day. I hate being the center of attention; my anxiety loathes it. Constantly being the topic of everyone's conversation and the object everyone gazes at is not something I have wanted or ever will want.

It may sound like a cop out or whatever but being on the sidelines was enough for me. In fact, it was actually extraordinary. I could define who I was without attempting to fit into the molds of others. I could dress how I wanted, say what I wanted without other people commenting on it or even caring.

Never being the "It" girl meant becoming who I am today, and I would never give up that chance.

I firmly believe that I was not that girl because I wasn't meant to be. That girl in my high school, that girl at work, or whoever she is, is in everyone's mind for a reason and I am not for a reason as well. I don't mean to sound depressing or anything, it's just the truth and a truth I don't mind.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I feel like I missed out in high school or that I am somehow missing something because I am not that girl. I won't sit here and pretend because there is some societal norm that tells me that that is something to strive for.

I'm cool with what I have and who I have grown to be. I plan on continuing to grow as a person and I don't ever want to be defined as the "It" girl. I'll let her keep that definition and decide what she wants out of it.

I love being that girl on the sidelines. She's a pretty cool chick too.

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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The Lazy Girl's Guide To The Gym

Also, everything else you should know if you're a slightly out-of-shape girl (like me).

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With my freshman year coming to an end, I realized a lot of things. I made new friends, I found new hobbies, and I learned a lot of lessons. One of them being that the "Freshman 15" is very real and very scary.

While my friends and family have attempted multiple times to convince me that I'm just being dramatic (I am), I still want to make a change in my lifestyle or I will, in all seriousness, be on track to the "Sophomore 20".

Here is a list of my best gym and healthy lifestyle tips that I am slowly attempting to live by this summer in order to resurrect Emily's 18-year-old body and health.

1. Increase water intake.

2. Find a gym buddy.

3. Start off with cardio.

4. Don't stop on your cardio until you're dripping in sweat.

5. Chug a LOT of water an hour before the gym.

Do not do it right before, or you will be in pain.

6. Eat light beforehand but just enough to hold you over. 

7. Plan out what your routine will be BEFORE you get there.

My routine: Elliptical for a mile, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, ab HIIT workout for 10 minutes, 5 more minutes on Stairmaster.

8. Buy healthy foods while you're feeling motivated.

9. Find a gym that isn't too far from your house. 

10. Don't get mad at yourself if you don't see results in a day.

I know this is a hard one.

11. Try fitness classes. 

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