Don't Let Your Size Define Who You Truly Are

Don't Let Your Size define Who You Truly Are

There's so many more important things to worry about in life than the size on the scale or the food that you are eating.

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Starting at a young age it was always instilled in me to watch what I eat. Growing up in Louisiana was especially hard for me. There was this verbal and nonverbal way of living and I was always put in this box to make me think that I wasn't perfect if I wasn't thin. A lot of times the first time I'd see someone in awhile when I was younger that was there first response "oh you look thinner" or "you have grown" which would be said in a negative way towards my weight. Even having the number on a scale or the size of my pants defining who I was. Even when I was working in retail when I moved to Pennsylvania this was still present.

When I worked in retail, I'd have girl crying because they tried on pants or shorts and they went up a size. I'd explain to them that the size didn't matter if they looked amazing in their outfit but a lot of times it didn't matter. The damage was already done and the girl thought they weren't worthy to call the outfit cute because the size wasn't small enough for them to be happy. There has been many different article and videos explaining how different companies size their clothes completely different from each other based on their target weight of their customers. This means some companies actually make sizes smaller while other companies make the same size pants bigger. That being said there isn't one true size when you go into different stores. After learning this, it made me feel a lot better when I went into stores to try on clothes. I had to remind myself that nothing is wrong with me for not being the same size or to increase or decrease in size.

Even though there is a lot of people trying to reverse this stigma people have with sizes or weight, it's still present even for people who are my age. I see so many fitness accounts who are all about body positivity but then call their food cheat meals. This is something so discreet but that still enforces negativity towards food. I went through a phase where I'd watch every sign meal I ate and mentally take notes on what "good" or "bad" things I was eating. While I was the thinnest I ever was and people constantly gave me compliments on how small I was, I was miserable. I constantly was weighing myself and if I ate someone I'd consider "bad," I'd go to the gym multiple times a day.

Seeing these fitness girls showing that they had a big dessert and saying they had to go to the gym harder the next day only installed my way of eating and responding to food I love. It was so much work to constantly be thinking about everything I ate or drank and how many calories I was consuming versus how many I was burning at the gym. After I quit doing all of this and just eat whatever I wanted I gained an intense amount of weight. I was happy but it then caught up to me that I didn't want to live a life where I was either extremely healthy or eating only unhealthy food. I started to believe in portion control and feeding your body when it's hungry.

From the different experiences I have been through, I have finally found a happy with my weight and food. I truly love trying new foods, I don't want to call them cheat meals. I'm happy to just enjoy food without having to justify to myself why I am eating it. Also not letting my weight define who I am has made me a happy person all around.

Cover Image Credit:

Caroline Domingue

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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The Difference Between Vegan, Vegetarian, And Some Other Diets

I get asked what it means to be a vegan all the time, so in light of those who have trouble understanding, here's an article defining a few different types.

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Coming to a college full of new people, I couldn't tell you the number of times I hear, "Wait, are you vegetarian or vegan?" It's a question we all get, and sometimes people don't even know what those phrases are. Another, "What does that even mean?" They get mixed up, thrown around, and ranted about in my daily life, and it's quite a trip. I explain over and over again the differences, what I am, and why I am vegan, but the questions always come again.

For those of you who are still confused, I'll help you out a little.

Here is a list of some different dietary types, and what they mean.

Vegan

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Veganism, easily defined, is the lack of meat, dairy, or any animal product from your diet. Honey, milk, eggs, chicken, bacon, pork, steak, beef, etc., are all items vegans don't eat. Many go even further by buying only animal-free and cruelty-free (not animal tested) makeups, body products, clothing, and more. A devoted vegan checks every product used or consumed to make sure it's free of anything animal related. The Vegan Society defines Veganism as, "A way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

A vegan diet can also be referred to as a plant-based diet, with all the same aspects, but some plant-based people may not focus on any other products than food.

Vegetarian

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Sweet and simple, vegetarians just don't eat meat. This does not include dairy or egg. They can still eat macaroni and cheese, just no more cheeseburgers or steaks. Vegetarian is pretty straight forward in the fact that they only lack the meat aspect of a diet!

Pescatarian

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Similar to vegetarians, pescatarians eat no meat except fish. They allow themselves to consume kinds of fish, just not beef, pork, or other types of meat.

Flexitarian

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My definition of a flexitarian is someone who keeps to a mostly plant-based diet, with the occasional animal product. These could be people who are transitioning and trying out the vegan or vegetarian diet but are not fully committed to it, for various reasons. Flexitarian could also be someone who just choices to eat mostly meat or dairy free but every few meals will eat something from an animal.

Although this is not technically a vegetarian or vegan diet, it's a great way to start the journey to becoming a vegan.

It's a tricky thing trying to navigate all the diets out there these days.

If you're ever interested in trying out these diets there are incredible amounts of resources available to help you on that journey. Do some research, get an understanding of why people choose these diets and then find somewhere to help you! Good places to start are PETA, The Vegan Society, Vegan Action, and many more. Just type into a google search, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or any other diet and you'll get loads of information! I encourage everyone I talk to, consider these types of change because they're great for yourself, the animals, and the environment.

I hope these brief definitions have helped you to understand some more what these different words mean, and maybe they have you thinking about ways you could change your diet!

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