To The Girl Trying To Better Her Health Right Now

To The Girl Trying To Better Her Health Right Now

Six tips for a better you.
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OK, number one to all women: you’re perfect just the way you are. Don’t feel that you need to change a thing to “better yourself” in any way, shape, or form because the best you is just you without any fixations or adjustments. However, if you’re the girl who wants to work harder, whether it be in the gym or going to bed earlier and waking up earlier — you go girl. Work for what you want. Whatever you want to work on to better yourself, go forth and do it. Here are just some tips to help you get through the process.

1. Set goals you think you can accomplish

It’s hard when you realize it's late April and summer is just around the corner, but your beach bod is not. All you want to do is lose pounds and tone up quick, but let’s face it, this is an unrealistic goal. View Pinterest boards for easy workouts, find the ones that work best for you, and complete them as often as you want. An easy way to work out without feeling like you’re really working out is doing a couple sets of squats and sit-ups every night, if you do this every night they will become easier and by summer you’ll even see results.

2. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own

If your friends don’t want to go to the gym with you don’t skip a workout — go and do it. You don’t need to be afraid to go alone because the girls on the treadmills around you are skinny and intimidating; let them encourage you and push you to work harder. Imagine all of the time that would add up from you missing out on something you wanted to do if you just followed what your friends did. It’s better to go to the gym by yourself anyways — just think about it, no one is going to distract you, you won’t be tempted to stop when your friend does, and you can focus on you and yourself only. Pick out a bomb playlist that will get you in the zone and do your own thing. On the other hand, don’t feel pressured by your friends or anything anyone says to go to the gym. If you want to have a lazy day inside, do it. We all need those days too.

3. Eat a diet that you know will make you healthy and happy

Now, when I say diet I mean what you eat, not a set written schedule of the foods you can and can’t eat. A lot of people think dieting means only eating certain foods and staying away from bad foods like fast foods, but a little run through the drive-thru occasionally doesn’t hurt. In fact, if you’re not loving the foods you’re eating why are you even eating them? To “Be healthy?” Who says healthy people don’t eat unhealthy food now and then? Think of your diet in a way that won’t upset your taste buds but also won’t upset your stomach. I’m not saying to cut anything in your current diet, but maybe switch up how often you eat those unhealthy foods. Maybe substitute fries for a salad every once and a while — and if you’re not feeling salad that day, choose the fries. It’s OK to change your mind on your diet, too, because we all have those days where the fries are just the better option. Choose a diet that you won’t dread eating every day and yes, it’s possible to do this and be healthy just remember what’s going make you happy in the long run.

4. Make time for “me time”

Whatever you consider as time to yourself, go and have it. Maybe you need to treat yourself to a cup of coffee, a warm bubble bath, or just a day of binge watching Netflix - all of these things should be considered a necessity once a week. Having such a busy schedule can make you miss out on a lot and life can sometimes feel like a job instead of fun so accomplish what you need to accomplish but set time aside or even schedule in in your planner for time on your own because it’s a way to fuel yourself for the next thing.

5. Don’t forget about your mental health

Mental health is just as important, if not more important, than your physical health. Without a healthy mindset, you can’t work on your physical health so both of these areas need to be healthy. Don’t overload yourself with too much work to do in one day, divide it up and make sure your taking care of yourself throughout the day. Take breaks to think about the good things in your day or what there’s to look forward to on the weekend. Focus on potential happy thoughts in the midst of what might feel like a disaster of work overload. Light some candles, use essential oils listen to your favorite music and take a breather.

6. No one is stopping you but yourself

Remind yourself of what your goals are and why you’re working so hard. No one should be pushing you to do something or to be a certain way. Do what you’re doing for only you because you want to, not because you have to. Look good and have fun doing it aside from the gross after workout sweaty body and plain jane salads there is a reason why you’re doing these things and eating these things you are altering your lifestyle to be healthy and get to a point that you weren’t before. Remind yourself why you’re doing these things and don’t stop, it’ll get easier as time goes on and you’ll feel better every day. Don’t bring yourself down because other people will do that along the way, keep your head up because you are better than you were yesterday and you’ll continue to get that way.

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Gardner

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The Light Behind The Curtain Part One

The end starts here.
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Lukewarm liquid, much like a sticky tar-like drool, running down the throat to the stomach where the acids will make love in the body. And it settles into its new home space. The wet intruders are the deepest shade of black, only somewhat shiny and seemed like some sort of runny jam. The gag reflex wants to expel the obsidian fluids, but the physical form is at rest. Given up. The mind falls away and the consciousness shuts off like a television in a dark room. The lips fall away and air can once again find its way through to the lungs.

I stroll through the crowded streets toward the grocery store, the rubber soles of my shoes slapping on the concrete. Milk, bread, shampoo. I list in my head, remembering the necessities. Though the weather forecast is as bipolar as my bedridden mother, we on the east coast always prepared for the worse. It's supposed to snow tonight.

"Fear! You must fear the end of days! Christ, out lord, will save us! Repent for your sins before it is too late!" A man clad in some roughed up nylon jacket the color of muddy traffic cones shouted from the entrance of the store. He had poster boards with many different slogans picketing against humanities sins.

"Bogus," I grumbled, tugging on my jacket to fight the brisk wind rushing past me as I enter.

He didn't hear me.

He went on with his speeches about God and doom.

And I fought the hordes of people to get what I needed for the next few days, then went home. The television bloomed from inside my mother's room: the news.

"Who is it?"

"'It's me ma!" Who else would it be in our house?

Once the groceries were put away, I laid in bed with Janice, my mother, who still didn't know who I was. Our nightly routine: watch the news, dinner, bed. The doctor said routine was good for her.

She eats, her lips smacking as she enjoys her soup and crackers, and she doesn't pay much attention to me. I don't mind because sometimes when she seem me she gets upset and yells, which our neighbors do not appreciate. They complained for a while until they realized why the noise what happening. Now they just pass pitying glances in the hallway or mail room whenever they see me.

"What the hell is wrong with him?" That was the only question that seemed appropriate in this situation. A man, who was about thirty-four and had a clean, healthy record, was vomiting as EMTs rushed his body in. I thought whatever was coming from him was blood, a dark burgundy, but through further inspection I realized it was black. What the hell had he eaten?

I spent my lunch break in my friend's office. She was a beautiful half Indian woman who was one hell of a doctor. She had shoulder length, ebony hair that she styled every morning somehow. I could hardly run a brush through my hair. She was one of my best friends in this place, and I didn't have any college friends because I didn't want to go to college. I tossed my packed lunch on her desk and sat with a deep groan. "I don't even know how you are eating that after what we just saw."

"Frankie, I perform surgeries on the daily, a little vomit and blood do nothing to my appetite." She chuckled, crossing her legs that were propped up on her desk. She kicked her heels off and sighed.

"But have you ever seen anything like that? Is the dude okay?" I glanced at my lunch longingly. But anytime I thought about what I saw my stomach churned nervously. Something wasn't right.

"Only things similar, but we have people testing what came out of him. And, uh, no...he died shortly after they brought him in. Whatever he had had got him too fast. He must've been sick for a while without coming in." She shrugged, glancing down at her meal. "Didn't look like the common cold though."

No, it definitely did not.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Spent 2 Months, 20 Phone Calls, And 6 Doctors Appointments Trying To Get An IUD, And I Still Don't Have One

I'm only 21, and it's terrifying to think that my journey with birth control is only just beginning.
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I have been on and off birth control pills since the sixth grade.

I will never forget sitting in the OB/GYN's office in Seattle Children's crying because my periods were so awful.

I was having 10-day-long periods.

Three days of cramping so bad I couldn't stand followed by seven days of menstruation. My cramps were so bad that I was missing too much school. The OB/GYN recommended starting on a low dose of birth control pills to try and reduce the pain and duration of my periods.

I took them consistently for almost three years.

In my eighth grade year, I ran into unrelated medical issues and stopped taking BC (birth control). My periods were no longer as bad as they once were.

Over the next six years, I took them intermittently. I would go a few months on them and then stop. I never liked the effects.

They made me feel less beautiful, less sexy and less like me.

Last fall, I came to the realization that I was officially quitting birth control pills. There's nothing I do in my life at the same time every single day. I'm potentially the least disciplined person alive.

I decided to get an IUD.

I thought that getting an IUD was the ideal choice for my sexual, physical and mental health. It's the good feminist thing to do and the people I know with them, love them. I talked to my sorority sisters and other great women about them. I did my research and talked to my primary care physician over Thanksgiving break.

And then, I put it off.

Your girl can be lazy AF when she wants to be. But I was also scared. I read horror stories online and got busy with school.

In mid-February, I started up my IUD search again.

I talked with family and friends about where to get it done in my tiny college town. We have just enough options to make the decision difficult, but not enough to really have a choice.

I called the OB/GYN that I had seen in the past and made an appointment with her office. They only wanted to see me immediately following my period.

My appointment six weeks away.

As the people in my life can tell you, it was six weeks of worrying and thinking about it. I was so proud of myself for doing something good for me but also terrified of what could happen.

Three weeks before my appointment, I realized that I could not get an IUD in the morning before three classes followed by three hours of work because of the potential side effects. How had that not occurred to me?

I needed to move the appointment.

I called the OB/GYN's office and tried to move it. After many phone calls, conversations with nurses, and speaking to my mother, it was starting to look like I wouldn't be able to get one there. They would only see me during a three-day window and there simply weren't any appointments.

So I called WSU's on-campus health providers to make an appointment with them. Turns out, they needed two appointments.

Then, I decided to call Planned Parenthood just to see if I would get in sooner. I scheduled an appointment there too.

The next day, I called my OB/GYN one more time just to confirm that I couldn't get in.

I was in luck.

Finally, I was able to get an appointment to see my OB/GYN. Last Tuesday I went to see my doctor.

The appointment did not go as planned.

After nearly eight months of thinking about an IUD and two months of actively trying to get one, my doctor told me that I am not a good candidate. She recommended that I not get an IUD because I have had issues with ovarian cysts, which are a potential side effect of hormonal IUDs.

I started crying.

I felt so defeated. To me, an IUD represented protecting myself from an unwanted pregnancy, regulating my periods, and taking good care of myself.

My doctor and I discussed other options.

Next month, I'm going to try something new. Hopefully, something that finally works for my lifestyle and is as effective as an IUD.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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