Bodies are always a sensitive subject.
It seems like everywhere you look, there’s an article about weight loss, getting rid of body fat, etc. I’ll be scrolling through my Facebook timeline, and BOOM- a stupid article about shedding 20 pounds of fat in ten days will pop up, and my mood is ruined. WHYYYYYYYY can’t we learn to love our bodies and accept them for what they are. WHYYYYYYYYYYY must we make weight loss a big deal, and WHHHHYYYYYYY must we make ourselves believe that fad diets and starvation is the way to go.
I’ve been there, and I hate to say I’ve done that. But who hasn’t? We’ve all had periods of time where we’ve thought that those “low-” diets were the answer to happiness. We think that if we slim down, loose belly fat, that we’ll be happier. What you loose in that process is happiness, a social life, and overall sense of self. You aren’t yourself; you’re a fad diet that’s got you trapped. Here I am, years removed from that trap. I’ve learned a lot of things along the way, and here are the five best things I ever did for my body and myself in general.
1.) Nutrients > Calories
This one’s obvious, but I cannot stress this enough: once you start looking at the ingredients over the calories, your entire mind set will change. You’ll notice how delicious real, wholesome food is, rather than that processed crap that fills up our grocery stores. Long gone are the days of zero calorie maple syrup and miracle noodles. My skin has cleared, and I am noticeably fuller longer now, and I know this is because of the ingredients I’m eating.
2.) Eating Plant Based
So, this one goes hand in hand with the first one, and it won’t apply to everyone. Recently, I’ve been eating 80-85% plant based, and I FEEL AMAZING. I still eat yogurt, eggs, fish, and the occasional cheese, but other than that, I’ve been all about plants. I didn’t do this because it’s “trendy”. Honestly, I didn’t even do it intentionally. I found that over the summer, I was wanting more vegan / vegetarian food, and once I noticed my change in energy, mind clarity, and overall health, I couldn’t turn back! I don’t think I’ll ever go vegan, because I do love eggs, yogurt, and fish, but hey- never say never!
3.) Prioritizing Sleep
So who here is guilty of not sleeping enough? *raises both hands and feet*. Since I work out in the morning before school, I don’t sleep much on the weekdays, but I do what I can. I go to bed a 8:30 and wake up at 4:30… yup, you read that right. How do I manage this along with my school schedule, tennis, and blogging? I take advantage of any work time I’m given. If a teacher gives me 20 minutes to get work done, you best bet I’m working until the very last second. I do not procrastinate- that is something I take pride in. I get home around 3:30, and immediately put my phone away, grab a snack, and get to work. I’m usually done by 6:00 and can sleep by 8:30! Since I know I need sleep, I tell myself I need to get work done, and I motivate myself.
4.) Learned When to Stop
Going along with that… I know my limits. Last year (junior year) was rough to say the least. I over worked myself, and spent the 2nd half of the year going through straight hell for reasons I won’t get into right now. ANYWAYS… I never stopped working. I wanted to be the best I could be at anything, when really, that wasn’t reasonable. I’m not the smartest person, and I go to a very academically intense, rigorous school. I didn’t realize I would never reach the level of my classmates until I was knee deep in my hell, and I didn’t think I would get out.
This experience taught me that it’s okay to stop working. It’s okay to not get two weeks ahead on homework, and not study for a test that’s a month away every night. I typically have a stopping time of 5:45 when I say “Enough work, go eat dinner and relax for the rest of the day”. By doing this, so many changes have occurred. For one, I used to wake up in the middle of the night panicking over homework, and instead of sleeping, I’d stay up and do that homework. Now… I don’t. I know how unhealthy that is and I know sleep is more important than a twenty minute math assignment I can do in free period the next day. I’ve also noticed I’m a better person to be around, because I’m not stressing out over every little thing every second of the day.
If you’re in a similar situation: stop. Breath. Realize you will do your best, and even if your best isn’t what you want, it’s okay. You gave it your hardest.
5.) Cut Myself Some Slack
So, this is kinda like the exact same thing, but I learned to cut myself slack when it comes to grades, school, and life in general. So what if I don’t get an A on that math test… I got a B+, and that’s pretty damn good. I’ve learned not to cry over all the B’s, and instead tell myself “good job, most people would kill to have that”
Besides school, I’ve cut myself slack in almost every area of life. Tennis. Blogging. Work. I’m much more calm about mistakes and defiantly a better person to be around because of it.
What are the best things you’ve done for yourself?
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