I Really Need You To Stop Selling Me Your Fitness Products Online

I Really Need You To Stop Selling Me Your Fitness Products Online

I'm looking at you Beach Body, Shakeology, Herbalife, Weigh Watchers, etc...


It's the beginning of the new year and all these girls are coming out of the wood-work. Ladies from high school, summer camp, freshman year of college and yes, even strangers are messaging me about fitness goals and a "new way" of healthy living. It's so funny, because I genuinely don't care about wanting to become more fit or healthier than I already am. But it's also sad, because there are actually people paying money to use these random workout formulas or pre-packaged snacks and meal-replacement shakes (that may I add make you poop uncontrollably).

I mean I've been there, I've used these products once or twice. I'm not discrediting the changes that can be made using these programs, I'm just saying they aren't for me and they shouldn't be for you either. I don't watch every meal I eat. I don't exercise every day. And I definitely do not have an 'accountability group'. I'm not interested in looking great in my beach body (and hello, EVERYBODY is a great beach body). I'm not interested in joining an 'awesome group of ladies' who all have a common goal of fitness.

Right now, I'm a broke just-out-of-college student. I'm interning right now and putting most everything I make into savings. I don't have 199$ for the year, 35$ a month, or 100$ for the next half year to buy shakes, workouts, coaching, meal prep kits, DVDs etc. Even if I did, I wouldn't want to spend my hard earned money on something like that.

I also love to eat. Chick-Fil-A, Freddy's, Huey Magoo's, Panera, Wendy's...you name it. I don't eat out more than twice a week, but when I do, it's WORTH IT. I watch what I put in my body and that should be enough. The changes using these paid programs are noticeable, but are they lasting? Personally, what's always worked the best for me is when there's been a balance between what's good and what's not, then I don't need a program, coach, or accountability group to tell me what healthy living is.

I've found out that health isn't a number, weight is. I notice that when I worry more about the numbers on the scale, I can often abandon the important notion of what a healthy and happy body is. Which can sometimes be a few pounds over what we think we should be! As long as there's some sort of cardio and weights going on, I tend to stay right where I need to be naturally.

There's something to be said about companies who launch products geared at men and women to help lose weight and keep it off. It promotes a dependency on that particular product, which is where the money is at. No matter how great of a mission statement any one weight loss or health business can have, at the end of the day it's still just a business. There has to be income coming from somewhere. It just so happens that the income coming in to these corporations are from people who depend on meal kits, shakes, workouts, and accountability groups to get them to their next 'goal' of looking slimmer, being thinner, and losing more weight.

I think Jameela Jamil said it best when she remarked, "WANT MORE THAN THIS".

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. By eating right using the foods you buy, exercising to your own drum, and offering yourself a positive body narrative---you can see the change in yourself, without paying money to companies that feed off your dependency.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

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

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Slavery Still Exists But, I'm Running To End It

Run for something bigger than yourself.


When I was a senior in high school, my youth pastor started talking about a movement called 30 For Freedom. It was started by Brent Silky, who had this amazing inspiration to find 30 friends, run 30 miles, and raise $30,000 for this cause to end sex trafficking and it was all to take place on his birthday. The whole movement exists to end sex trafficking in our lifetime through prevention, rescue operations, and survivor care. All the money raised through 30 For Freedom is given to Venture, Lighthouse Foundation Nepal, and F.R.E.E. International.

Venture is an organization that encourages people to run, hike, walk, bike, and swim to raise money to fund the rescue missions and after survivor care. They don't just participate in ending sex trafficking but also provide meals for the malnourished in SouthEast Asia, provide education, and empower children. Venture works in the Thailand Burma border which is a massive global center for trafficking, sex slavery, child soldiers, extreme poverty, and refugees. It's one of the world's worst human trafficking crises.

Lighthouse Foundation Nepal is a non-profit organization that was built to improve the lives of children in Nepal who are at risk for abuse, trafficking, and neglect. Their main focus is to support abandoned babies, orphans, and children living on the streets. They focus on child development and try to encourage the communities to get involved in helping these children.

Project Rescue exists to rescue and restore victims of sexual slavery through the love and power of Jesus Christ. The organization educates poverty-stricken areas and provides residential care for children and prostituted women. They have medical clinics, night care shelters, and red-light district churches that provide care and supplies that are needed. Project Rescue sets up aftercare safe houses for rescued women and children and provides vocational training to give these victims a chance at life outside trafficking.

F.R.E.E. International has four parts- find, restore, embrace, and empower. F.R.E.E. International partners with different programs to find victims of sex trafficking and provide awareness programs for at-risk communities. They also partner with KlaasKids Search and Rescue to organize community search efforts to find missing children.

During natural disasters, human traffickers are known to go to low-income areas and search out the vulnerable. F.R.E.E. International has dispatch to support vehicles which are stationed in low-income neighborhoods to provide vital programs like legal services and medical help.

F.R.E.E. International provides resources to spread awareness to individual, communities, and survivors. The survivors need people to be aware and provide encouragement and support for them from the things they've had to endure.

You can go to https://venture.givingfuel.com/30forfreedom to make a donation through 30 For Freedom, or join me in running, this May, in the 30 For Freedom run. As many as 4.8 million people are trapped in sexual exploitation, that's more than half of New York City's population. Slavery will not end if we keep turning a blind eye to what we know is going on around us. I'm choosing to run for something bigger than myself, will you?


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