You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

Why everyone needs a support system
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You may be independent.

You may like to do things alone.

And you may prefer living life that way.

But everyone, no matter who you are, needs a support system. Whether it be one person or five, it is so important to know that you are not alone in this big, big world. No matter how you choose to utilize these people, whether it be pouring your heart out, crying, watching a movie in silence, or going for a car ride, you need to do it.

You don't have to bottle things up inside, keeping everything to yourself. That's unhealthy. For your body, for your emotions, for your mind -- it can do things to you. It can tear you down. When having someone, anyone, it can help build you back up when you need it the most.

It's funny how much better you can feel, once you have told someone about the cause of your stress. A certain kind of weight is lifted off your shoulders, and you know that someone is there for you, for whatever you may need.

It is not a display of weakness, to ask for help. It won't make you any less of a person. In fact, it will make you a stronger one. It is okay to need help, to reach out to others. It's okay to cry, to scream, to let all of your feelings out. It's the only way you will ever feel a little less stress and a little more peace.

You may be independent.

You may like to do things alone.

And you may prefer living life that way.

But there are 7.442 billion people in the world, so please, don't try to go through this life alone.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Greg Raines on Unsplash

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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I Thought I Was Fit Until I Took A Pilates Reformer Class

The woman next to me encouraged me that the first class is always really hard – something that became the theme for the duration of the class.
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I have been wanting to try a Pilates Reformer class for a while. I have heard a lot about them via Instagram, and the results people get are incredible. The difference between normal Pilates and Pilates Reformer is that Pilates Reformer is done on a bench that has sliding components with pulleys.

Normal Pilates is often described as yoga with repetitions, while Pilates Reformer adds a stronger element of balance that helps to better tone and target. Basically, it adds more elements to the workout. I work out often – during school about three to four times per week – and I usually can handle 30-50 minutes on the elliptical followed by 20 minutes of weights.

Pilates Reformer seemed like something to try to incorporate into my regimen to focus less on cardio and more on toning.




With all that being said, I located a cute Pilates Reformer boutique in Dallas with a special for newbies and signed up. I walked in wearing my leggings and tank top ready to go, bought the sticky grip socks required for classes, and had the reformer bench explained to me by the sweet receptionist. The room consisted of about eleven reformer benches with a ballet barre upfront and weights. There were also springboards in the back of the class that we didn’t use. All of it was great - it seemed easy enough.

At 10:30 am on the dot the class started, (which I appreciated) and we got to work starting with low and slow targeted moves for our right legs. I was already confused. Although the instructor was encouraging and forgiving, I never seemed to get the right color combination of cables attached or my leg in the right place. The woman next to me encouraged me that the first class is always really hard – something that became the theme for the duration of the class.

Next, we moved on to a combination of abs and arms. I was starting to get it, but my wrists were beginning to give out, and I probably looked like a flailing sweaty hot mess. The other ladies in the room, a mixture of 20-40 somethings, gracefully executed the moves. I was seriously impressed.

As we moved into the final 10 minutes of class, we were repeating our first exercise targeting the left leg this time. That’s when I began to feel light headed. I decided to just stand in a forward fold for a minute until the teacher suggested that I sit down. She then passed my towel and water for me and led me outside to the locker room where it was cooler. As I was walking I started to feel woozier and nauseousness began to set in. I made it to the bench in the locker room where I finally passed out while laying down.

Yes. I passed out 43 minutes into my 50 minutes long Pilates Reformer class. Something I have never done before. It was only for a second, but it was long enough for every Momma in the locker room (all of whom I'd like to mention made it through the entire class) to jump into action. Within seconds I had two cold towels on my forehead and suggestions about how to regain my full conscience whirling in my brain. For that I was thankful.

I was dumbfounded. I am a 19-year-old who works out regularly and eats healthily(ish). What happened? Had I forgotten breakfast? No. Was I dehydrated? Not really. Was I low on electrolytes? I mean I could go for a Gatorade. Had I forgotten to breathe? Haha. Bingo.

As the ladies in my class left to go home they all checked up on me and applauded that I made it farther in my first class than any of them had. My instructor did the same and invited me back. I was grateful for their graciousness, especially considering how embarrassed I felt for passing out mid-workout.

Along with receiving a nice slice of humble pie, I really did enjoy my Pilates Reformer class, and I will be back. The people were lovely, the workout kicked every bit of my tail, and I genuinely pushed myself to the limit (maybe a bit past my limit) I was reminded that I am not as fit as I think I am, and doing your best doesn’t equate to being the best. Becoming good at something takes time so sometimes you just need to sit down and be humble (cue Kendrick Lamar) before you designate something as easy.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Lazenby

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