I Don't Care About Your Idealized 'Spring Break Bod,' And Neither Should You

I Don't Care About Your Idealized 'Spring Break Bod,' And Neither Should You

Your body is made for more than fulfilling a certain aesthetic.
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Spring Break is on the horizon, and with it comes the exodus of college students from their cinder-block dorm rooms to bright and sunny Cancun, parties that go on for days until they all blend together in one drunken blur, and, of course, the awakening of the ever-present demon that returns once a year to feast on vulnerable college girls: the Spring Break Bod.

I would be lying if I told you that I have never fallen victim to the alluring clutches of the Spring Break Bod: an intricately defined, curved-in-all-the-right-places, shrunken-in-all-the-wrong-ones, glowing and bronzed body, all in exchange for just a short period of physical and emotional torture. It's certainly compelling...but why? To rock that new bathing suit in a few Instas and Snaps, only to return to that cycle of self-loathing once your tan starts to fade and your body starts to sink and curve back in all of its old places?

That cycle is the problem of the Spring Break Bod. It's not that you want to look and feel your best in that new bathing suit, but that every year there seems to be an alarm going off in every college girl's head signaling that it's time to distort your body to fit into an unnatural mold so that you may participate in the tradition of Spring Break. The goals of the Spring Break Bod are never long-term — that's why its regime consists of crash-dieting, fasting, and overexercising. It's short-sighted and unsustainable; its very name indicates a starting point and an expiration date. I mean, after all, we don't call it the "Year-Long Bod."

So, no, I don't care about your obsession with the Spring Break Bod, because you clearly don't understand how detrimental it is to your body and the bodies of people around you. I don't care for the way people who are already conventionally thin find humor in captioning photos of them on the beach "going for the 'beached whale look' this year," because those jokes come at the expense of every single person who is heavier than they are. Stop masking your insecurities by reinforcing the existence of ideas like the Spring Break Bod, and start doing something to dismantle the expectations they have come to represent.

Own the skin you're in and don't change it for anyone or for any internalized idea of what beauty is supposed to be. If you want to make healthy lifestyle changes, go for it. But do it because you want to feel better; if you do it for any other reason, you are never going to be satisfied and you're going to torture yourself trying to fit into a mold you are not made to fill.

Be kind to your body and honor the ways it carries you around in the world. Punishing it for not being "in shape" for Spring Break is an insult to all the other ways it has served you, so stop being complicit in the notion that the only function of your body is to fulfill a certain aesthetic.

Self-love and body positivity are lifelong journeys that require constant work. Residing to the idea that you have somehow failed because your body doesn't look a certain way for Spring Break means giving in to the social systems that want you to punish your body. Don't let those unrealistic ideals win — love and respect your body unapologetically, because contrary to what the Spring Break Bod myth tells you, your weight does not define your worthiness to enjoy that beach in Cancun.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty / Instagram

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It's OK To Be Your Family's "Emily" This Christmas

Your greatest accomplishment may be learning how to cook something other than ramen noodles and oatmeal and that's okay.
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We all know the feeling, one sibling is getting married, another landed their dream job, someone got a promotion, someone bought a house, and another one has a baby on the way.

Everyone has exciting news to share or something to brag to the relatives about, and then there's you.

You’re just a typical college student with absolutely no idea what you want to do in life.

You didn't make a 4.0 this semester or land an internship at some big name company. You aren't dating anyone, expecting a ring, or having a baby anytime soon.

You may not have anything special for your mom to brag about on this years Christmas card, yet you are still content. Your greatest accomplishment may be learning how to cook something other than ramen noodles and oatmeal and that’s okay.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things That Matter Way More Than Having A Boyfriend This Winter

There are years of simply just finding yourself. Years of figuring out what it is you want out of life or searching for something that will finally “fuel your fire.”

Everyone’s path is different, some have more bumps, roadblocks, and flat tires than others, yet despite all of that, we all still get there.

As one of my favorite quotes states, “Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon, they shine when it’s their time”

So, no matter how old you are or what stage of life you are in, it is okay to be your family’s Emily this year.

Embrace it, throw your excitement at everyone else’s accomplishments, and be thankful for where you are at.

Your time will come.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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4 Ways To Show Kindness To Yourself During Holiday Weight Gain

In all honesty, if the king of the universe can give us grace, then who are we to deny ourselves of that?

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Cookies and Candies and Pies, oh my! The holiday season is filled with so many yummy foods. For a lot of people, this is a time to put healthy eating on pause so that you enjoy the treats that Christmas brings. With this change in diet also often comes a little bit or a lotta bit of holiday weight gain. These few extra pounds can be very difficult for those that struggle with body image and self-kindness already (which is almost everyone), so here are the steps that I take to remember where my worth truly lies and to practice healthy methods of getting back to normal.

1. Remember that it is just a number.

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Weight is literally just a number on the scale. It is in no way a measurement of how beautiful or worthy of love and respect you are. So what? You gained five pounds over the holidays? The world is not going to crash to the ground, I promise. You are still the kind, lovely, resilient human being that you were before. You are allowed to take up space as a human. You don't need to feel bad for indulging during the holidays.

2. Continue to eat.

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Please. Never. Stop. Eating. This is so important. No matter how much weight you gain, you should never, and I mean NEVER starve yourself. Just because you ate a lot yesterday does not mean that you do not eat today. Not only is that horribly unhealthy for your body, but there have been many studies that show that returning to a normal diet helps people bounce back quicker. Starvation is never the answer, and neither is crash dieting. Just return to eating a normal and balanced diet, but remember that balance does mean that you allow yourself to splurge sometimes. It's a lot unhealthier to never allow yourself to have the food you want, then to occasionally give yourself a food present.

3. Begin making peace with your body.

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Start making peace with your body and showing yourself some kindness and grace. When I began my journey of seeing myself the way that Jesus sees me, I stood naked in the mirror and yelled affirmations at myself. "You are a daughter of the king." "You are deeply loved." "You are more than just your physical body" "You have tummy rolls and they are cute as heck." In all honesty, if the king of the universe can give us grace, then who are we to deny ourselves of that? We are so freaking loved and so important. We are made in the image of GOD! I mean, FRICK! That's amazing!

4. Know where your worth lies.

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No matter how big or small you are, the next time you think negative thoughts about yourself, just return to the fact that GOD IS YOUR FREAKING DAD. YOU LOOK LIKE HIM. AND HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH. YOU ARE NOT GROSS. YOU ARE BEAUTIFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE. Nothing can change God's love for you. NOTHING. Not ten pounds. Not a million pounds. That is where you're worth lies. Not in weight. Not in how you look on the outside. But who you are on the inside. Who God made you to be. Who has forgiven you. Who loves you. That is where your true identity is. Believe that.

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