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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A Love Letter To The Girl Who Cares Too Much About Everyone But Herself

You, the girl with a heart full of love and no place big enough to store it all.

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Our generation is so caught up in this notion that it's "cool" not to care about anything or anyone. I know you've tried to do just that.

I'm sure there was a brief moment where you genuinely believed you were capable of not caring, especially since you convinced everyone around you that you didn't. But that just isn't true, is it? Don't be ashamed of this, don't let anyone ridicule you for having emotions.

After everything life has put you through, you have still remained soft.

This is what makes you, you. This is what makes you beautiful. You care so deeply and love so boldly and it is incredible, never let the world take this from you.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You are the girl who will give and give and give until you have absolutely nothing left. Some may see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you. I know you try to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did.

You'll make excuses for them, rationalize it and turn it all around on yourself.

You'll tell yourself that maybe just maybe they will change even though you know deep down they won't. You gave them everything you had and it still feels as if they took it all and ran. When this happens, remind yourself that you are not a reflection of those who cannot love you. The way that people treat you does not define who you are. Tell yourself this every day, over and over until it sticks. Remind yourself that you are gold, darling, and sometimes they will prefer silver and that is OK.

I know you feel guilty when you have to say no to something, I know you feel like you are letting everyone you love down when you do. Listen to me, it is not your responsibility to tend to everyone else's feelings all the time. By all means, treat their feelings with care, but remember it is not the end of the world when you cannot help them right away.

Remember that it is OK to say no.

You don't have to take care of everyone else all the time. Sometimes it's OK to say no to lunch with your friends and just stay home in bed to watch Netflix when you need a minute for yourself. I know sometimes this is much easier said than done because you are worried about letting other people down, but please give it a try.

With all of this, please remember that you matter. Do not be afraid to take a step back and focus on yourself. You owe yourself the same kind of love and patience and kindness and everything that you have given everyone else. It is OK to think about and put yourself first. Do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You are so incredibly loved even when it doesn't feel like it, please always remember that. You cannot fill others up when your own cup is empty. Take care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Charcoal Alley

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Fiction On Odyssey: Silencing Myself

I'll never forget what I yelled that finally put the voices to rest.

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How I got here is not the question. The question is, why is this happening to me? If only I didn't trip, things might have been different. If only he didn't break my heart. If only I had been enough. I might have made it out with a chance of a happy life.

The cuts, they burn. Why would they hurt me like this? The voices get louder as they come closer over the hill. I was always there for them.

I can see a house. It does not matter who lives there. All that matters is I was steps away from help until I lost my footing and control.

The voices wrapped around me.

That's when everything fell apart for the last time.

...

October was the month that changed my life forever. I was forced to move to a new school. Things did not go well at my last one. Things changed after the breakup. I changed.

I tend to not handle things in an ordinary manner. A little thing to others is the end of the world for me. I left my last school, because of a break up with a boy. Silly, I know, but I just had to leave. Sometimes, I like the way I handle situations. My anxiety makes it easy for me to move on because I know it is my body's way of telling me that the past situation is too bad to hold onto.

This time was different though. My anxiety took a dark turn. I felt like I never really came back.

I couldn't sleep or eat for weeks. My parents were worried about my health, but I did not care. That was the scary part. I did not care what happened to me. Nothing mattered. I wanted to die.

I knew I could live without him, but this voice in my head said otherwise; they were so persuasive too. They'd say, "He is gone", "He didn't want you", "You don't matter", "Nothing matters" over and over until I couldn't breathe.

I feel like someone took me out of my body and replaced me with a crazy person; a crazy person who is eating me from the inside out. That's when I told my mom and the doctor appointments started.

Walking into the doctor's office made me sick every time. The way the receptionist would smile and ask how I am doing. I always forced a smile and would say "I'm fine, or "I'm good". Saying these words felt like chewing rocks. Good? I wish. It is like these people forgot where they work.

The doctor is even worse; going from patient to patient. He puts a face on like he cares but I see right through it. Why would he care? He prescribes me medicine, I lie and promise I'll take it. Every appointment is the same. He sends me off and tells me to have a good day. I laugh to myself. Good day. As if he never read my file. As if he forgot my file says unstable. As if I matter.

I meant to take my medicine, I really did, but something inside of me told me not to. The lingering fear from the past panic assured me not to take it; that it would hurt me.

The best medicine was time. Although time helped with the anxiety and the breakup, there was one thing that it did not get rid of. The one thing that forever lingered in my head. The crazy person still lived within me. No matter what I did, I could not shake her.

I walked through life like a zombie. So calm on the outside, yet freaking out internally. This crazy person, she made me do awful things as if she hated me. But she was me, wasn't she?

Having to go to a new school did not make things better. I had no friends, so I was alone with myself. It's an awful feeling, feeling like you mean nothing. Being alone with myself was a scary place to be. A place you could not escape from, no matter how fast you run and believe me, I tried.

One day, my last day as that person, was unusually awful. I woke up with my mind racing. Voices telling me there is no point and that I don't matter; that my life ends today. They were wrong, weren't they?

I got up just like the doctors told me to do. They always told me to try and get up out of bed and start my day; that will help with the anxiety. So I did. The day went on and the deadly thoughts doubled. I had to get out of the house. I felt trapped.

I left without saying anything to anyone. I'd be back soon or so I thought. I started walking over the grassy hills behind my house, towards nowhere specific.

That walk turned into a jog. The jog turned into a run. Before I knew it, I was in a dead sprint, with my hands gripping my head. "This was the way", I thought to myself. "This was the way to get rid of them; the voices". But the faster I ran the louder they got; louder and louder.

They got so loud I began screaming at them to go away. I gripped my head so tight, my nails digging into my skull. Tugging at my hair; that's when I lost my footing.

Blood trickling down my forehead. I looked up from the grass and saw a house. I knew if I got to the house someone could help me; stop the bleeding. Maybe a new place would make the voices go away for a little while. If only I could get there before the voices get louder and the blood from my head pours out faster.

The crazy person inside me continued to yell horrible things and for the first time, I yelled back. I yelled so loud, that all the voices in my head stopped. I could feel them staring at me in shock. For once in a long time, I heard silence. I could hear myself, my real self-think clearly. I'll never forget what I yelled that finally put the voices to rest. "I matter too".

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