Taking A Bite Out Of Life

Taking A Bite Out Of Life

A thank you letter to the summer job I desperately needed.
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This summer I had a really cool job. Two awesome people decided to plant their restaurant dream in the heart of my small Alabama town. What makes this story so amazing is the fact that this restaurant, planted in a town whose known for its stockyard, and thus its love of meat, doesn’t serve any at all. The menu is strictly vegetarian. The owners will be the first to tell you, it was a slow start because it was a concept that was so foreign to my hometown- you don’t actually have to have meat to enjoy your dinner.

This hasn’t kept this story from becoming a one full of success. While I’m sure there are still skeptics, for the most part my town has been fully transformed because of this restaurant. It has become a hub for social activity and is a place anyone can feel fully comfortable to embrace whatever makes them feel cool. It really breathes so much acceptance and innovation into our town and part of it is due to the fact that the owners really make everyone feel so welcome. There aren’t many people they can’t name by name, and correctly guess their food order, and if there happens to be a new face that finds itself inside of Gerson’s Garden, they’ll definitely be greeted with a hello and a visit from the people in the back that make the magic happen.

What makes this place so special to me is that I was completely anti-vegetable. At nineteen, the only ones I was comfortable eating were corn and potatoes and I’m not even sure that those counted. Prior to serving there over the summer, any visit I made to Gerson’s consisted of me eating broccoli alfredo with no broccoli. I wasn’t necessarily there for the food but more for the entertainment and sociability of the place.

That was until they needed help over the summer, and I just so happened to be free. Now while the struggles of turning this bubbly, two left-footed, awkward girl into a sub-par server is a hilarious story for another time, the two owners, Bill and Siri, really invested a lot of time into me. They vowed to make me enjoy vegetables, and they actually succeeded in their quest. They took the effort to make cute little certificates (pictured below) to reward me for trying something new. I can truthfully say that because of them I am a changed woman, and they’ve altered the way I look at, and enjoy, food for the rest of my life.

But, it wasn’t just the food. This summer I learned more about politics, music and embracing new things than I had in the nineteen years I’ve walked this earth. I learned how to listen to viewpoints that were different than mine and respond with grace. I learned how to appreciate parts of people and life that you don’t necessarily enjoy. I learned that sometimes you may not like all that you try, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth giving it a shot. I learned how we really are all just people that have interesting stories and that we all have something to learn from each other. I learned a few things I definitely could’ve gone my whole life without learning, but I also learned things that I will exercise and practice for as long as I live. I think we all need to be more like Bill and Siri, and the awesome souls that work and hangout frequently inside of those walls.

We all need to dare to be different and accepting, and strive to ever be full of our opinions and passion. I could never thank you all enough for the time you invested in me, and for the summer of mine that you made amazing.

Cover Image Credit: http://exploregram.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Taking-a-bite-out-of-life-Friyay.jpg

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.

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I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/scotland-free-tampons-shutterstock.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=618&h=410&crop=1

I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!

https://www.ubykotex.com/-/media/ubykotex/periodinfoandadvice/articles_0075.jpg

If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0795/1599/t/248/assets/product__all-star-set_1_2560x.progressive.jpg?226286

One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0795/1599/t/248/assets/product__cheeky-2_2560x.progressive.jpg?226286

When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0795/1599/t/248/assets/menstrual-equity-slider-1.jpg?226286

For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

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