A Thank You Letter To Your Gym Buddy

A Thank You Letter To Your Gym Buddy

"Anyone of your friends will go out to eat with you. A real friend will motivate and encourage you to workout."
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We all have that one friend that is our gym buddy. You both motivate each other, are on the same workout schedules and know you would never make it through every work out with each other. Spring break is approaching and everyone is trying to get that spring break bod. After long days or nights in the gym, it's time to thank them for putting up with all of your bullish*t at the gym every day.


Thanks for always coordinating the same gym times as me

Between our hectic schedules, I'm not sure how we make it work. We somehow squeeze in a quick workout sessions every day between exams, activities, daily naps and constant studying. I don't think I could drag myself to the gym every day without you.

Thanks for letting our workout sessions also be a gossip session

Nothing like a little gossip and catching up to do in between our sets or while doing cardio. Our cardio sessions never consist of blasting our favorite music but talking about the latest gossip we heard in the past 24 hours of not seeing each other. It's my favorite part of the workout I look forward to.

Thanks for ignoring how gross I look post workout

Post-workout frizzy hair and sweat stains on my shirt aren't the most flattering, so thanks for not being embarrassed to walk in the student center with me after.

Thanks for letting me motivate and push you


You never get mad when I push you to finish your circuits or goal for that day. You know everything I am saying is tough love and that I only want you to push yourself every time. That's the reason we work so well together.

Thanks for pushing me

I always want to give up when there's 30 seconds left of the circuit, but I honestly feel guilty if you finish and I don't. You keep me from being lazy and just laying on the workout mat for 30 minutes. After finishing the workout, I'm always so happy that you pushed me and I kept going when I desperately wanted to stop.

Thanks for not judging me

When we try to do some new workout circuits, I'm never sure exactly how to do it and can sometimes take me a few tries to get it down. I know I can look super awkward and embarrassing trying to some of the ab workouts, so thanks for not stopping your workout to snapchat it to everyone.

Thanks for motivating me inside and outside the gym

You keep me motivated in and outside of the gym. Thanks for dragging my lazy butt to the gym every day and not letting me stop for pizza on the way home. You know all you have to say is 'spring break' to get me motivated again. I really do owe a lot of my success to you.

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Me Vs. Food: My Secret Battle With Eating Disorders

Shedding light on a silenced issue
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Eating disorders around this country are spiraling out of control, but not all disorders are able to be seen. Sure, you may be able to tell that someone is underweight or someone is eating too much, but by looking at my own picture, would you be able to tell that I switch between restriction of food and purging? I don’t think so.

Since February of this year, 2018, I have had a silent battle with food. In the beginning, I would restrict myself from eating at all and would limit myself to no more than 500 calories per day. That battle persisted until everyone started noticing I wasn’t eating and was losing weight, so that’s when my battle with a different kind of disorder began.

I started eating more so that everyone around me would stop asking me questions and forcing me to eat when I clearly didn’t deserve that. Therefore, I began eating and engaging in purging activities to eliminate that food from my body. I still maintained my weight, but I stopped losing weight like I had been before, and that was my only goal.

No one ever knew about this secret battle of mine. I consistently told others that I just wasn’t feeling well, it was a side effect of a medication, or I’d just completely lie and tell them that I had eaten that day. The reality is that there is a reason why I began this battle with these difficult eating disorders.

At first, I struggled with eating because I believed I didn’t deserve food. I believed that the pains of hunger from not eating for days was what I had deserved for being who I am. I can’t lie and say that this still isn’t a partial reason why I still struggle with this today, but that reason has gone behind another very strong, loud one.

In the middle of April, as I started leaving the past behind me, I met a guy that I thought was going to make my life so much better. This was the truth until I started finding myself becoming an entirely different person because of him. The only real reason I even started seeing him was because I believed that that’s what I needed to keep other things off of my mind; a man.

The reality is that after only a couple of weeks, I started receiving messages from him telling me that I should only ever find myself in public if I looked “good” and that whenever I had time off work I should find myself only with or talking to him. Nothing else. He’s told me directly something that I will never be able to take off of my mind for as long as I live. He said to me:

“Look, I don’t feel like claiming you. Maybe if you just lost more weight, wore different clothes, or changed your body more, you’d be more attractive to me and then I’d claim you. But right now, you’re not good enough.”

When I got this message, it was a sure sign to me that I clearly needed to do something about my body. This is when I started engaging in purging behaviors, though I kept eating to ensure no one would ask me questions. In addition to this, I tried buying and wearing different clothes, engaging in other behaviors and even started acting very out of my normal.

My point in sharing this information that no one knows at this point, is that I know what it’s like to have to hide feelings and emotional abuse because of a fear of questions or judgements from others. More importantly, I understand what it’s like to have to hide entire disorders because of a fear that others will always have something to say about it. My belief now, though, is that even though this is a battle I still deal with daily, others can say all they want.

My reality now is that I still do speak to this guy and I still do struggle with these harmful eating habits. But what I can’t do anymore is try and pretend like it’s not real because of a fear. My hope is that someone reading this knows that there are other people out in the world with these issues, fighting the same battles.

During this battle, my self-worth is determined entirely by your acceptance of me.

Cover Image Credit: Brianna Gavin

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