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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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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I Joined WW Freestyle And Here Are 10 Ways It's Positively Affected My Life

Healthy Habits = Happy Tummy

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I know its a stereotypical New Years resolution, but this year I took myself seriously and decided to join WW Freestyle. It is a great program and 100% worth the price, which ranges from $3-$15/month. My parents and older sister have been doing it for a few years now so I decided to hop on the weight loss train.

It's probably the best decision I have made this year. It's not even the end of January but I feel more confident than ever, but that's not all!

Here are ten things WW Freestyle has done for me...

1. I eat MORE than I did before!

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And not just fruits and veggies!

Before WW, I was eating two meals a day, sometimes one. I thought that would help me lose weight, but if anything I gained. It was hard and I tried every "one special trick" in the book, but nothing worked.

Now I get X amount of daily points and I find someday's I'm looking for more food to use up all my points (which is very important). Not only do I get daily points, I get BONUS/weekly points that have to be used by the end of the week, so if I want to indulge or splurge, I can! Sweet treats here I come!

2. I look in the mirror with confidence!

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I only joined two weeks ago and I already feel more confident and beautiful, and I haven't even lost much weight yet! Just the idea that I am on my way to a healthier body inside and out gives me a boast of much needed self-confidence.

3. Its teaching me healthy habits.

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Before choosing to just swing by Starbucks or McDonalds I now think, "do I have points for that?" and since I can't check my phone while driving, I then decide it'd be better to just go home and eat a hearty and healthy dinner.

And hey! If I do have the points you can best bet I'll be indulging in some chicken nuggets and fries!

4. I've become part of a new, amazing community

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With the 6-month package I purchased, I get to attend weekly meetings! They are such a great support group and the leader of the group is amazing! It's a no judgement zone and even if you gained weight, its okay to share because its a learning and growing experience.

The environment of the meetings is so welcoming. And even if you just get the digital package, there is an online community as well that you can be a part of.

Everyone there is on the same or similar journey as you and the success stories keep you going because that could be you!

5. It's inspired me to exercise more!

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I used to barely ever exercise. I sat around all day on my computer procrastinating exercise. But now! I'm back in the pool swimming laps and attending a free water aerobics class up at Eastern!

I swam for 6 years of my life and its great to be back in the water! It's bringing back my lung capacity which has significantly dropped over the years of no exercise and I can feel the difference in my breathing.

You should never diet alone! Always, always get some sort of exercise at least 3 times a week. The weight comes off faster and you feel so much better.

(My article about being on the swim team)

6. I walk a little taller

And its not just the new confidence! Losing weight makes for a better posture as well! As a girl with a weak lower back, WW Freestyle has helped me so much already.

7. I feel healthier

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I can breathe easier, I'm lighter on my feet, and that's just for a start! I used to have really bad stomach/digestive issues but they haven't bothered me in the two weeks I've been a part of WW Freestyle.

Knock on wood, but I hope that they'll stop for good. Healthy habits = Happy Tummy.

8. I've started being more open to dating again

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Four years of low self-esteem and not liking who I see in the mirror is rough. With this new confidence, I joined a few dating websites to get myself out there again and it's going great!

Look out world! Here I come!

9. I'm discovering new foods I've never had before!

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Another great resource that comes with the WW Freestyle app is unlimited healthy recipes! I'm trying new foods for low points and feeling healthy and satisfied.

10. Its given me so much more energy!

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If only two weeks with the program has given me this much energy I can't wait to reach my goal!

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