There is a stigma in our society that defines healthy as someone who is skinny, eats only foods dubbed “healthy," works out everyday, and is in incredible shape both endurance and strength wise. Anyone who strays outside the constraints of this narrow definition is not healthy, right? WRONG. This cannot be a more distorted view of a healthy person, and there is much more to being healthy than just eating and exercise. Healthy means happy. Someone who is genuinely happy, doing whatever it is that they love and taking care of their body by both fueling it with healthy foods and rewarding cravings when necessary. If you enjoy running, run. If you enjoy lifting weights, lift weights. If you enjoy yoga, pilates, sports, or just going for a daily walk, do that. THIS is what society should think of when they think of what healthy looks like. It’s not about how someone looks from the outside, but how they feel on the inside. This varies from person to person and everyone’s definition of healthy will be different. Achieving balance is the ultimate goal of a healthy lifestyle. It’s time we break the stigma and promote healthy as happy, whatever that means for you personally.
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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.
Whether you're working out and getting that body you've always wanted, trying to find a job, etc, staying motivated can be difficult.
Finding our motivation doesn't mean automatic success. We have these goals in our head but suddenly we lose interest in trying. It's like those negatives override the positives and it's hard to pull ourselves out of it.
You want to be fit but you just can't get yourself to the gym. You make excuses that you're tired, you don't feel good, or that you have nobody to go with. You want to find a job, but you can't because your resume isn't good enough. It's too much work, or you're just scared.
The struggle to stay motivated is something we all deal with, but I find that with the right people and with the right frame of mind, you can do it. If you really want something, you will go for it. It's OK to lose that motivation and to have feelings of giving up, but just remember to pick yourself back up again and keep going.
I become motivated in different ways. I have been reading this book called, "101 Secrets For Your Twenties" by Paul Angone and it's so relatable. It has actually inspired me to not give up and to know that other people are going through their ups and downs in their 20s just like I am. Some of the chapters are so spot on and specific that I think he's writing about me. If the author has gone through these things and has become successful, then I can do the same.
I look back at my accomplishments and what it took to get to where I am today and I'm so grateful. I use that as my motivation and whenever I get a little off track, I remind myself of where I am now, how I got here, and who I am as a person.
I'm a go-getter and I've always been the type of person to try and achieve anything my heart is set on. I wanted to go to FGCU and I did. I wanted to graduate and I did. I wanted to write a book and I did.
Those little voices that tell you "No, you can't do it" are lying.
Take those ugly words and turn them into something great.