To Teen Girls On A Diet, Try These 6 Rules Instead

To Teen Girls On A Diet, Try These 6 Rules Instead

Counting calories will only make you feel worse; take it from me.

About a month ago, I tried counting calories to lose weight. I wanted all the usual things: a flatter stomach, thinner thighs. But mostly, I just wanted to feel better about myself and my body. And for some God-forsaken reason, I believed that counting calories would get me there.

It’s worth noting that my self-confidence has never been flawless; having struggled with anxiety for many years, I can say that my self-esteem oscillates much more than is healthy. And I’m really, really working on it. But sometimes, my organization-dependent brain looks to solve the wrong problem with a faulty solution. In other words, instead of handling the core issue of low self-esteem, I decided to count calories.

And I’m not the only teenager who does this, either. One in every 2 teenage girls and 1 in every 4 teenage boys have tried dieting as a way to change how their body looks. And about a third of teenage girls who diet are already at a healthy weight!

These numbers seem staggering to me, but they have been around for a long time. And the media is definitely to blame — but I’ll spare you from my melodramatic, millennial soliloquy.

But I’ll tell you what: counting calories didn’t fix my problem. Sure, I lost a little bit of weight, but I also lost my connection with food and my connection with my friends. I was so focused on eating the right amount of food, the right kind, the perfect kind, that I stopped being involved in group discussions. I secluded myself to my phone, where I looked up things like How to lose belly fat quickly and does drinking tea make you lose weight and Gigi Hadid abs diet.

And focusing so much on the numbers left me feeling detached from what I ate. It didn’t matter if I liked it, or if I was still hungry when I was “done.” I thought in macros and numbers. And it was unhealthy for both my body and my mind.

I checked my stomach in the mirror multiple times a day. I went to the gym intending to burn as many calories as possible in 30 minutes, which often led to very sore muscles and a sore ego. I thought about food all the time, even when I wasn’t hungry and especially when I was. I shouldn’t have had that ice cream last night. My stomach looks awful. I wish I had abs. I’m hungry again. Is it okay to eat?

If I’m honest, even after stopping counting calories, I still have some of these thoughts. I still am learning not to check my stomach every time I go to the bathroom, and I’m still trying to coach myself to not treat food as either “good” or “bad.” And I’m trying to enjoy what I eat, and eat what feels good for me.

I realize this may sound kind of sketchy if you’ve been on a diet and it has been helping you lose weight: but you don’t have to count calories to feel good about yourself and your body. I promise, it will only make you feel worse.

But what should you do instead?

Here’s my tentative plan for myself. I urge you to copy it.

Rule 1: Exercise a little every day. Do activities that you enjoy rather than the ones that burn the most calories.

Rule 2: Eat well most of the time: eat a few veggies, a piece of fruit or two, whole grains and non-whole grains, and have an indulgence or two every day.

Rule 3: Do not count calories. It is okay to be mindful of portions, but eat until you are full. Do not stop eating just because you feel like you should be full by now.

Rule 4: Eat slowly, and savor your food! Eat things that you enjoy and this shouldn’t be hard at all!

Rule 5: Drink lots and lots of water, especially before and after your workouts!

Rule 6: Make your goal to be healthy and strong, not thin.

If this is hard for you to envision for yourself, I understand. I’ve only made the switch to stop counting calories in the past few weeks, and sometimes I still find myself reaching for the calculator to estimate the calories in my meals or thinking that I shouldn’t eat something I enjoy because it is “bad” for me. But I still feel like I am making progress. Every day, I focus a little less on my body and a little more on fitness. Every day I Google less and less. And I eat things I like to eat! I exercise in ways that feel good for me, in ways that build endurance and strength, not a flat stomach. And I’m still working on it. But I know that these rules are much better rules for my overall health and wellbeing than anything I was telling myself before.

And it might just be the ice cream talking, but I think I feel a lot better about my body, too.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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13 Gross Things Girls Do That Boys Don't Know About

From a girl, about girls.

There's always talk about how gross boys are all the time, it's now time to talk about how gross maybe even how much more disgusting girls can be. It may not even be disgusting, but just weird, but we are girls. What can we say?

1. Gorilla legs.

It's not that we don't want to...okay, that was a lie. Every girl can agree that they only shave during bathing suit season when you're wearing a dress, or when you're gonna get it on. Basically, If she shaves her legs you're special.

2. When did I last wash this bra again?

We wear the same exact bra, for days, and weeks, and who knows for how long.

3. It's not just the bra's, it's the pants too.

We wear jeans and leggings like twenty times before we think about washing them.

4. We don't wash our hair every day.

Because unwashed hair is the best styling hair. Also because looking good takes too much work.

5. We are always picking at our faces, especially pimples.

As soon as we walk by a mirror, its a must. Car mirrors are awesome to pop those suckers and pluck rampant eyebrow hairs. We pop pimples like its our job.

6. We will live in your clothes.

If you somehow let your significant other or friend wear your sweatshirt you're never getting it back... and she's never taking it off. Girls will wear that sh*t until your scent is gone because we love it.

7. We poop.

Believe it or not... it happens to us too. Women don't make it as much as a show as boys do. We hide it from you and will hold it until you're not around. And you've probably received a lot of selfies on the toilet.

8. The dreaded monthly gift.

Probably the most disgusting thing to ever happen to the human body. But everyone knows about menstruating, but most guys don't understand the other things that come along with it, like the cramps that bring period farts and the nasty bowel movements and blood clots.

9. Finding hair from our head in our butt cheeks.

Yeah, it's a thing. Your head hair crawls it's way down there occasionally.

10. We smell ourselves a lot.

We are super conscious about how we smell...especially down there.

11. We let it fly.

We will hold in our farts from you, but as soon as we are alone... that's a different story. You better hope we don't get too comfortable around you too quick.

12. Sometimes we have to improvise.

Sometimes mother nature likes to come when we aren't ready, or prepared with the supplies. There are numerous occasions where we start bleeding and have to create this bundle of toilet paper and just shove it down there.

13. Looking at our panties and trying to figure out what came out.

Sometimes you just don't know for sure.

Cover Image Credit: Buzz Feed Blue

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Learning To Forgive And Forget Is Essential To Living A Happy Fulfilling Life

Forgiveness is the most powerful tool

We have all been there. We have all been wronged by someone. The question is how we choose to handle it. We are all created to make mistakes, some of those might barely make an impact, and some might make a huge one. One of our biggest flaws as humans is holding grudges. We blame the other person for so much, but if you choose to forgive and move on, you will benefit greatly.

I have had people in my life who have truly hurt me, but I choose to forgive those people because I know that wallowing in what could have been and how much that tore me apart, is gonna leave me in a sad and depressed state versus moving on with my life.

It is like a magic trick. Once you learn to forgive people, you will be so much happier and satisfied with your day to day life. It also makes you the bigger person. You gain respect from forgiving. It is a sign of your character. Staying positive and going on focusing on yourself is the best thing you can do.

Don't focus on others and drag yourself down. Obviously, care and be there when people need you, but do not let other people control your life, goals, and aspirations. There are certain things you can control, the main thing being yourself and then there are things that are out of your control, like other people.

Loving yourself is the greatest thing in life. You were made uniquely you for a reason. People come and go, but you will always be you. Don't forget to show yourself that you are worth it. No matter what happens, learning to continue to stay happy and forgive others is essential.

Cover Image Credit: Grayson Gerber

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