My healthy is different than your healthy

My healthy is different than your healthy

We need to redefine "health" as it relates to us individually.

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"Health" has become such a loaded word in our society, and is something I believe many people struggle with, regardless of their histories with mental illness or eating disorders.

This has been something that I've been thinking about & struggling with since the first time I went to treatment. As I started working through my issues with food, body, and self-worth, I continued to run into this concept of "health" and how it impacted me throughout my recovery. My dietitian finally addressed it with me, and this was something that affects me deeply, even over a year later.

She told me, "Charlotte, you used to equate health with being skinny. You have to redefine what health means for you."

While I think it can be helpful to point out what's not considered healthy for me anymore, I'd much rather focus on all of the things that make me truly healthy. This change of perspective can help me on the days where it feels hard to acknowledge that what I'm doing, right here, right now, is what's healthy for me.

Health for me means a number of things:

It means that I eat.

It means that I value a good night's sleep and constantly aim for 8+ hours a night.

It means that I walk and move my body, to get fresh air, and to regulate my mood.

It means that I take medication every day, to keep myself stable and feeling alright.

Health means that I make time to spend with family and friends, but can set boundaries and be comfortable spending time alone.

It means going to therapy, showing up and working hard in treatment. It means that I recognize that I am not only allowed, but also encouraged to reach out when I need extra help.

Health means writing, blogging, and creating art. It also means slowing down, listening to my body when I'm over-exerting myself.

It means that I have a doctor who I see regularly, getting tests done when they're needed, and making any and all mental and physical health concerns known.

Health means that I finally had surgery on a chronic shoulder injury after nine years.

It means practicing new coping skills, expressing my needs, and trying to show myself compassion.

It means loving myself and others as fully as I can.

Health means having an ice cream cone with friends because it sounds good and enjoying the moment rather than stressing out about it.

Health means living as authentically as possible.

The amazing part of this is that health is always changing and evolving. Something that is part of what you consider to be healthy may no longer resonate with you in the future. And things that may not have seemed to be important to you can also become a huge part of your health, and what you value health to be.

I encourage you to think about what health means to you. Does it mean that you can keep up with your kids and your dogs, or does it mean that you do yoga and meditate a certain number of times every week? Is it about making sure you have enough energy to do what you want to do, or does it mean setting a goal, running a race, or trying new foods?

Health is very individualized. Think about the unique ways that health can manifest itself for you.

So I challenge you again, what does health mean to YOU?

Cover Image Credit:

Charlotte Kurz

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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5 Stress-, Health- And Budget-Friendly Dinners Perfect For Your Busy Week

Stay on a budget while keeping your diet healthy and wholesome.

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When life is getting crazy, the last thing you want to do is worry about what you're going to eat. Whether you're in college and it's finals week, or you're simply looking to stay on a budget while keeping your diet healthy and wholesome, you're going to want to try these recipes out!

The grocery list:

Potato Gnocchi - $1.90

Your favorite tomato sauce - $1.50

Grated parmesan cheese - $2.20

Ground Turkey - $2.80

Taco seasoning packet (1) - $0.45

Avocado - $0.98

Tortillas - $1.50

Chicken Breasts - $6.65

Frozen Brussels sprouts - $1.30

Red steam-able potatoes - $2.00

Naan Bread (4 count) - $2.50

Pepperoni - $2.30

Total Cost: $26 (that's $5.20/day!)

1. Make Some Pasta Monday

Ingredients from your fridge: Potato Gnocchi / your favorite tomato sauce / grated parmesan shredded cheese.

Pasta night is always fun, but I'll be honest with you, it takes a heaping serving of pasta to fill me up, and afterward, I'm always left feeling carb-o-loaded and bloated. Potato gnocchi is a little-known fancy pasta base, and I first discovered it in a gourmet Italian restaurant years ago. It's similar to a small dumpling, and pairs perfectly with pasta sauce and a generous helping of cheese. Plus, not only does it help you skip the bloat, it will fill you up faster, allowing you to get more value from your dollar. Low and behold, Walmart carries this gnocchi, and at only $1.50 a batch! Bonus advantage: it cooks in a whopping three minutes! That's not even as long as you'll want your study break to be!

Time: 10 minutes or less

2. Turkey Taco Tuesday

Ingredients from your fridge: Ground Turkey / 1 taco seasoning packet / avocado / tortillas

Taco Tuesday is a classic tradition that I'll never be willing to give up. So, I've been to find ways to keep Taco Tuesday around, while not having my cheat day a week early. Jennie-O carries lean turkey up only 1% fat content (this means up to — fewer grams of fat per-serving than ground beef!) and frying this up is just as simple as traditional taco filling. The only way you'll be able to tell the difference is how refreshed you feel after devouring them!

Time: 15 minutes, sauté that turkey until it's well-browned!

3. Wholesome Wednesday

Ingredients from your fridge: Chicken Breast / frozen Brussels sprouts / steam-able red potatoes

By now, you've so far been a modern chef this week! You probably want to sit down for a traditional home-cooked meal, so get excited for some good old-fashioned meat, potatoes and greens! This is a truly delicious meal that I always look forward to. I even pan-sautee the Brussels sprouts with some salt and pepper. Eat as much of this as you want, it's got everything you need!


Time: 25 minutes (but you can work while your chicken is baking!)

4. "Toss It In" Thursday

Ingredients from your fridge: Gnocchi/ground turkey / Brussels sprouts / parmesan cheese

If you're like me, you HATE letting food go to waste! I have Toss it up Thursday weekly; it's my delicious way of cleaning out my fridge before the weekend, and before it's time for my next week's grocery venture. So, this week, boil up the rest of your potato gnocchi dumplings, toss in your leftover turkey and the rest of your Brussels sprouts (because I know you didn't eat all of them), and sprinkle a generous helping parmesan on top.


Time: Like, two minutes!? Just toss it all in!

5. Flatbread Friday

Ingredients from your fridge: Naan bread / that favorite tomato sauce/pepperoni/ parmesan cheese

I'm not sure why, but Friday night has always been pizza night to me. I started cooking pizza on Naan bread after my mom introduced it to me, letting me know that it's a carb-friendly alternative to any other pizza options. It's way healthier than food-chain or freezer pizza, and it's also way more fun!

Bonus tip: Naan bread usually comes in packages of two and four, so invite some friends over for a study-free evening and build a make-your-own pizza bar!

Time: (10 minutes to as much time as you want to spend!)

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