Restricting Yourself Is Not The Healthy Way To Lose Weight

Restricting Yourself In The Name Of 'Summer Body' Weight Loss Is Not The Way To Practice Self-Love This Season

Summer can be a time of self-doubt and comparison.

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As fun and carefree as summer can seem, for many people, it is also a time of comparison and low self-esteem. As the weather starts to warm up, people begin wearing fewer clothes and head to the pool or beach. Social media becomes a platform for comparing your so-called "summer body" with everyone else's. Many people are not confident in their own skin, so they start restrictive, non-sustainable diets to shed those extra pounds.

I, for one, have fallen into this trap. It is so easy to get consumed in being "skinny" and having that perfect summer body. Instead of focusing on eating healthy and exercising to feel good, I began to do it to look a certain way. This mindset was so toxic and restricted me from just enjoying life. I was so focused on what I ate that I couldn't go out with my friends to get ice cream or dinner without being worried I would gain an extra pound. So, often times, I just didn't go — which meant I missed out on a lot. I found that when I went to the beach or pool instead of just having fun and living in the moment, I was comparing myself to everyone else. This sucked the fun out of what should have been a great time.

While it is not easy, and sometimes I do fall back into old tendencies, I have grown to realize that the toxic mindset of being "skinny" was preventing me to live a life of happiness. Now, I exercise and try to eat healthy foods to feel good. And, to my surprise, when I stopped working out with the mindset of trying to lose weight, I found it to be much more enjoyable. I no longer dreaded going on runs — in fact, when I am stressed or need time away, the first thing I want to do is throw a pair of gym shoes on and go sweat it out. I also found that cooking healthy meals for friends and family was no longer a chore, but something I loved doing. I also have learned that eating ice cream or french fries is totally worth it, and it is not something to regret afterward.

Balance is part of living a healthy and happy life.

I am still learning how to love myself, no matter what the scale says. I know that having confidence in the skin I am in is something I will probably always struggle with, however now I know that I am not the only one feeling this way. So, I think it is important that we all treat people with kindness, and stop body shaming.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Life Is So Much More Than Ourselves

The lives we live are really so much bigger than just ourselves.

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I hope people hear this loud and clear when I say that this generation of people and quite frankly our society as a whole has become one of the most selfish to date. I really hope people reading this don't take it as me calling people out, "throwing shade" or bashing humanity, I'm just trying to put out a call to action but in a more blunt way.

This generation subconsciously lives by the "me, my, mine" lifestyle. Everything is all about us, and what we want and immediate satisfaction or gratification from the things that we do in life. We always want someone to notice what we are doing, that we did it and we want to be acknowledged for it. Our wants and desires power so much of what we do and how we react to what others do and so on and so forth. Also, kind of piggybacking on that, we tend to believe or live by the idea that, "yeah it happens, but it's never gonna happen to me" which can be a major issue when it comes to decision making. This is because we don't think about how it affects anyone but ourselves, usually in the immediate sense rather than the long term.

With that being said it can become an issue when we choose to ignore the other things going on around us like, "oh, someone else will get it." and then things like the trash epidemic and the state at which our planet and country is in now. We have become so self-absorbed that it's to hell with everything else. The places that we call home and the world that we know is falling apart and we are all just gonna sit by and watch like nothing is happening.

I am tired of the mentality that we as a society live in, and how we try to desperately to look great on social media but do nothing about it in real life. It is time that things change and we are the ones changing it.

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