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.

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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It's Time For The #MeToo Movement To Apologize

The question is — is it OK to question victims of sexual assault?

Last weekend Babe published a story in which a now 23-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer named "Grace" reported that comedian, actor, and writer Aziz Ansari had coerced her into sexual acts and assaulted her several days after meeting at a 2017 Emmy Awards after-party. In the article, Grace claims she was "taken advantage of" by the recent Golden Globe winner (who ironically — or not so ironically — wore a Time's Up movement pin, a women-led organization which seeks to end sexual harassment and violence in the workplace) and that the date was "by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had."

Soon after the publication of the piece, Ansari began receiving backlash as the article was read and shared by millions of people online, prompting swift action by those associated with the #MeToo movement, and a potential career-ending impact to life as the comedian once knew it. Ansari is most well known for his stint on "Parks and Recreation" as the outspoken and know-it-all of all things dating (cue "treat yo self!" moment) Tom Haverford.

He has also become known for his rather famous stance on feminism, sex, and consent, showcased in his best-selling book "Modern Romance." In January, Ansari spoke out against sexual harassment in Hollywood after accepting the Globe for Best Male Lead for Netflix's award-winning show Master of None which has been praised for it's cultural and sexual diversity.

In other words, Ansari has pretty much based his career on feminism and the empowerment of women, often basing much of his standup comedy routines around the very subject. That's why, to many people's disbelief, it came as a shock when Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct. How could a man that had become famous for being a "woke" alternative to the traditional male, treat a woman in the way the article described?

This very notion of indicting men based on rather unscrupulous claims seems to be a trend in society. Just saying names like Weinstein, Spacey or Lauer that had once been recognized as symbols of Hollywood elite, glamour, and northeastern family values is now enough to send shivers down the spine of any feminist just as much as it bothers those who have any inkling of indecision in their voices to see another surname added to the list.

The "Time's Up" movement started as an offshoot of Twitter's #MeToo, which became somewhat of a social media victory stemming from investigative reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor's scathing New York Time's expose on that once famous film producer. Along with The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow, the trio was able to paint a portrait of a serial predator who used his position to prey upon young women. In what was originally intended to shed light on the very serious issue of sexual assault faced by both women and men has since turned into an all-out war against the male stigma.

I have no problem with the initial intentions of the movement, I for one can even say ditto to all those women who proudly say "me too." I have been there. I have experienced it firsthand. I am saying that at some point this has to come to an end. The name-calling and the idea that because a man was simply acting off of another's perceived actions, that one must pay with their career by vindictive claims.

Although people have come out in protest of Ansari's actions, by which I am not saying are entirely excusable, several writers have stepped up to support the comedian. The Times op-ed, " Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader," by writer Bari Weiss, claims that Babe's article is "arguably the worst thing that has happened to the #MeToo movement" since it began, and implies that Ansari's accuser is to blame for finding herself in a situation in which she felt uncomfortable.

HLN's Ashleigh Banfield wrote an open letter to Ansari's accuser, asking Grace to reflect on what she claimed was the "worst night of her life." Banfield says, "This was not a rape, nor was it sexual assault. Your encounter was unpleasant." She continues, "you had a bad date with Aziz Ansari. Is that what victimized you to the point of seeking a public conviction and career-ending conviction against him? Is that truly what you thought he deserved for your night out?"

This has become the problem with the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. Innocent men who have only acted as would nearly every other man are being publically shamed and ridiculed for something that had seemed consensual at the time. At no point in Grace's experience did she verbally say no. She continued to go to Ansari's apartment, perform oral sex and get naked with him. This was all done consensually. At no time did she leave when she felt uncomfortable. She was not raped. She was not sexually assaulted. It's time for women to stop claiming their consensual non-romantic encounters as sexual assault.

The Atlantic published a similar defense of Ansari this week with its article "The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari." Atlantic Contributing Editor Caitlin Flanagan writes, "Was Grace frozen, terrified, stuck? No... Perhaps she hoped to maybe even become the famous man’s girlfriend. He wasn’t interested. What she felt afterward — rejected yet another time, by yet another man — was regret."

The question is — is it OK to question victims of sexual assault?

In my unpopular opinion, yes.

As hard as it is, it is just as important as questioning the perpetrator. That is the sad part. These movements that were once a source for good have turned into a witch hunt, and in a time where we should be celebrating both women and men who are courageous enough to speak out against these vile acts, we must also question them.

Aziz Ansari did not sexually assault Grace, and because of her very public actions against him, he will now suffer for the rest of his life. #MeToo has turned into a grey area in which people may see events misconstrued as a crime instead of a bad date or cringe-worthy sexual experience. Men and women need to be taught that there is no vagueness when it comes to consensual sex. It is either yes or no. At the same time, when one is feeling uncomfortable, action should be taken on both ends to stop anything from moving forward.

Bad dates, experiences and regretted sexual encounters are by no means cause to claim sexual harassment or assault. What Grace and Babe have done is disgraceful and a slap to the face to any woman or man who has truly experienced sexual assault. Babe's article is bringing the progress made by so many brave people to a screeching halt and is giving me and many others a reason to question it's true intentions.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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How To Make Exercise A Positive In Your Life

Here's how you can change exercise from something you have to do, to something you want to do.

For many students about to enter college, it might seem like a daunting task to stay active while also getting involved on campus, keeping up with school work, and adjusting to a new life in college. Although exercise should definitely not be a source of stress, it can be helpful in managing anxiety and raising productivity. For many, exercise is seen as an unenjoyable experience in an effort to achieve a certain body size or shape. Here are some ways to use movement positively in your life.

1. Take group exercise classes!

Many schools offer these as a free option with tuition; this can be a great way to workout with friends and relieve some stress. Spin, barre, and yoga classes are just some of the ways to exercise in a fun manner.

2. Join intramural or club sports teams

Not only is this a great way to stay a part of a sport you love, but also it is such an easy way to make friends at the start of college. If there is one thing people bond over, it’s definitely sports. These on-campus teams make it easy for students to get involved.

3. Exercise in a way that you enjoy

Personally, I don’t enjoy going to the gym. Something about it feels very forced to me, so I don’t go. I enjoy group exercise or walking. My advice to you is to make exercise a positive in your life, not something that feels rigid. You don’t need to exercise every day and you certainly don’t need to exercise to work towards changing your body

4. Don’t put pressure on yourself

Similar to eating, your body will give you cues as to what kind of movement it wants. Some days I want to practice yoga, others I can’t wait for a sweaty spin class, and a lot of days I don’t feel like moving in a structured way at all. I walk or stretch and that is absolutely enough. Remember that just because you don’t stress or burn X number of calories, it doesn’t mean that day is less productive than another day. Exercise is the most enjoyable when you truly do what feels best for you

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