To The Girl Who Is Striving For Perfection

To The Girl Who Is Striving For Perfection

Redifine your definition of perfecton
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To the girl who is a perfectionist,

Stop defining yourself by your ability to control your environment and current situation. Stop trying to strive for perfection where it can never be reached.

Many people dream of it and some people even appear to be it, but the reality is that the idea of perfection is an allusion which can never be grasped. Life is too messy and complicated to strive for perfection. In our humanity, we may be able to imagine what true perfection is like but we will never be able to achieve it. Finally realizing this frees us from straining and wasting our lives for a mirage of flawlessness. Instead, we should embrace our imperfections.

Bad hair day? No problem, the girl beside you had three this week. Forgot about that assignment? That's ok, you get a drop grade. Gained some weight from the holiday goodies? You are still the perfectly beautiful self you were before. Didn't get the job that you wanted? Thankfully, your identity isn't defined by how "put together" your life is. You define who you are not your circumstances or your ability to achieve what society defines as perfection.

Instead of wearing yourself thin trying to satisfy an unrealistic definition of an unrealistic word, seek the One who is perfect. Jesus has already reached perfection so we are free to embrace our flaws. Stop letting your "OCD" or desire to please everyone drive you. Simply let Jesus love you for your imperfect self.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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Actually, Getting In Shape Just Made Me MORE Self-Conscious

My daily grind does not benefit my self-esteem.

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I came to college not realizing how out of shape I actually was. I was an Irish Dancer for 13 years and a swimmer. I stopped all exercise based extracurriculars by the end of my sophomore year of high school to devote all of my time to theater.

When I began college, I also started ROTC. I knew that I was behind on my fitness requirements and that it would take a lot of work. After failing a fitness assessment I knew I had to make some real changes. I made going to the gym a part of my daily routine and I liked it. I got a personal trainer and felt off balance if I didn't make time to go to the gym.

In all honesty, I love exercising.

I feel healthier and like I'm working toward something. But knowing what it takes to get my body looking the way I want it to is a reminder that I do not look the way I want to. The gym welcomes comparison, something that I am very guilty of. You begin to build confidence and then that one girl who looks the way you want to walks in and you feel like hiding behind the dumbbells.

For example, normally I go to the gym daily but take Mondays off. I have had a very busy work schedule lately and skipped the last three days. After mentally beating myself up for skipping out on my workout, I went very late after I got out of work last night. Not many people were there which made me content. I felt that there would be no one to see me if I looked out of shape from missing the last three days.

I stood in front of the mirror going through my workout and found it very difficult to look at myself. Once insecurity hit, I began to feel as if the five people occupying the gym were all staring at me.

Are they judging what I'm wearing? Do they think I'm weak? Do they think I look as bad as I do?

I know deep down inside of me that no one was staring and I'm very critical of myself. I thought that making myself healthy and putting in a continuous effort to exercise would cure me of my self-consciousness. I have recently realized, however, that for most women body image issues never really go away. My mom and I frequently switch roles to remind each other that our body image issues are only in our heads.

The most difficult part of exercising frequently and still not liking how you look is having to remind yourself that all the negativity is in fact in your head.

Last night, I stood in front of the mirror and felt disappointed in how my legs looked. Even in the moment, I knew that most of what I was seeing was shadows from the overhead lighting. Not liking what you see can nevertheless take a toll.

In an attempt to counter this, I remind myself that I could stop exercising today and I will eventually come to love the skin I am in, regardless of shape or size. It all depends on the day for me, my closest friends have seen me at my most and least confident. I find it very interesting that young women, such as myself, can frequently instill in themselves a sense of "convincing confidence."

We do not believe in our own beauty, but we will project confidence to the world in order to convince ourselves that we are in fact that confident.

So I will continue to exercise maniacally, but I will also take time to warm up my mind as well as my body before a workout. If it takes telling myself that my image does not define me, so be it. I will continue to better myself, but only if I learn to get along with the person in the mirror first.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkKRnHGHfoG/?hl=en&tagged=summerbody

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