An Open Letter To Different Approaches

An Open Letter: To Different Approaches

An open letter on the good and bad for approaching things differently. May this ultimately help you make the healthiest decisions!

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To Different Approaches,

I have never believed that there was only one right way to do something or get something done. So, I wanted to talk about how approaching things differently can work with or against you.

I am not suggesting nor trying to persuade you away from doing what you have your mind set on, but rather, to offer a look at the pros and cons of approaching something differently.

I know this is quite a strange topic to pose an open letter on, but I feel it may give someone clarity this week, even if just one person.

With approaching something out of our normal pattern, we can upset the balance of things that don't necessarily need to change. Maybe it's how you phrased something that turned a solution into an issue. My example is a bit broad, but analyzing if something is already "ok" as is can help. This is probably the con to changing the approach on something, and as the old saying goes, "don't fix what isn't broken."

The positive side of approaching something differently is that it can change things for the better. From my own experience, I've thought on why something didn't go as I'd hoped and why. It made a healthier impact if my attitude was positive. Yes, it's hard to always stay motivated but never giving up on finding other ways to see good results is worth the effort.

Different approaches to resolved encounters can also leave you feeling a mix of emotions, such as anger or fear. If you are conflicted on whether or not you should act on a situation, ask yourself: will it cause more hassle for myself and/or others should it change?

All in all, I do hope that you choose the best option that will bring you happiness and peace. Try sitting by yourself for a small amount of time out of your hectic day and evaluate all the possibilities. Whichever is the option that will make the most sense to you in the end without compromising your vibes is what you should stick to. I hope this week's open letter helped to provide clarity!


Encouragingly,

Jessica

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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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