Two Tips to Stay Body Positive

Two Tips to Stay Body Positive

Don't get lost in what you think everyone expects you to look like
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It is 2107, and although there are many attempts to promote body positivity, it can still be hard to look at yourself in a positive way. On one hand, we have people like Ashley Graham who are killing the model game and then we have “plus sized” models who are in actuality a size 4 instead of a size triple zero. With the mixed messages being sent, it is kind of hard to feel like you’re “socially acceptable”.

Here are two ways to stay positive about your body.

1. Be Kind

Every morning after my shower, I look in the mirror and compliment at least one thing about myself. It is really easy to say, “my thighs are too big” or “I look bloated today.”

However, looking at yourself and finding something new and positive to say about yourself daily, will help you appreciate who you are. Keeping a log of all your positive comments along with the dates is a great way to boost your confidence whenever you are feeling not so confident. It is a reminder that each day there was something you found unique about your body, so unique in fact that you complimented it.

I also found this to be helpful when I started working out. Looking at myself I could see my body changing which motivated me to go to the gym. Seeing the transformation daily allowed me to feel how much control I had over my body. Seeing the working progress reminded me that I wasn’t getting smaller, but I was getting more toned, and living a healthier lifestyle.

2. Don’t Compare

It seems like forever, people have always compared themselves to others. Saying things like, “I wish I had her butt” or “her stomach is so much flatter than mine” may seem harmless, but let’s be truthful, it makes you feel like what you already have isn’t good enough. I always have to remind myself that what celebrities have isn’t always real.

Like yea sure Gigi Hadid really has that stomach, but she also has the money for the personal trainer, nutritionist, and whatever else you may need to maintain Gigi Hadid’s body. Those goals aren’t realistic because I know at least for me; their bank accounts will never match mine unless they somehow go broke. Also, sometimes their bodies aren’t real. For the longest time I didn’t want to believe that Khloe Kardashian’s but was real because she was working out until I had someone explain to me that her butt to thigh ratio is humanly impossible.

Instead, set reasonable goals for your body. Don’t use someone else’s body for inspiration; use your own body as your inspiration. Don’t say you want someone else’s body feature, instead focus on how you can improve yourself healthily. It is easy to get caught up in an intense workout plan until you crash and burn. It is okay to pace yourself. Never try to “perfect” yourself. Your mind is constantly growing and changing, so is your body. Don’t strive for perfect instead strive for a healthy better.

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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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I've Been Dieting Since I Was 12, And I Know I'm Not The Only One

Ads and images made me believe that I had to be tall and skinny and toned to be beautiful.
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I've pretty much had dieting on my mind since I was about 12-years-old, maybe even younger. That was back when everyone still used Tumblr, and my favorite blogs to follow were for "fitspiration" or "fitspo."

Pictures of tall, skinny girls with toned abs and bronzed skin were all over my dashboard, coupled with advice on how to get fit and pictures of healthy food.

It was no surprise that I soon fell into the idea that I should get fit to look like that, too.

I scrolled on Tumblr for hours, telling myself I was getting the motivation to actually do it myself. I downloaded MyFitnessPal and started counting all the calories of everything I ate. It was frustrating to not see results even after the app said I should be losing weight by then. But to be honest, I was probably cheating myself by guesstimating my daily meals and assuming my measurements were correct.

My obsession carried over to YouTube, where there was a multitude of videos from pretty girls telling me how they lost weight fast or how they got a bigger butt or a flat stomach. Diet fads promised to make you drop ten pounds in two weeks.

A big red flag should have gone off in my head when I read that, but all I could remember was that I could no longer fit into my old clothes.

See also: Summer Is Not A Reason To Hurt Yourself, That 'Bikini Body' Isn't Worth It

I began to follow Cassey Ho, who posted pilates videos on her channel called Blogilates. Thankfully, she emphasized strength and improvement over looks, as she has struggled with body image issues before too. The sad part about all of this is that I wasn't even a teenager yet but I was still exposed to so much conditioning from the media.

Whether I was conscious of it or not, all of the ads and images made me believe that I had to be tall and skinny and toned to be beautiful.

I had repeated this cycle of obsession, comparison, and giving up over and over again throughout the years and I still have to be careful about not falling into it now, eight years later. I became obsessed and all of my media consumption involved fitness and health. Then I would give up and binge and gain back whatever weight I had lost. Rinse and repeat.

Nowadays when I catch myself getting too deep into whatever the latest fitness trends are, I take a step back and remind myself just to eat a balanced diet and get some exercise in. I have to remember to get my veggies and fruits in but I won't kill myself over having a treat now and then. It's got to be about the balance.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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