Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

STRONG is the new “Skinny”

Being a girl in a world of perfectly photo-shopped models, thigh gap obsessions, and crazy diet fads can be hard. From a very young age we see an image on TV and in magazine ads of women with amazing bodies. Even though we know that the images are altered, it is hard not to feel down about yourself. 

Did you know…?

-Approximately 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5 percent of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.

-More than a third of the people who admit to “normal dieting,” will merge into pathological dieting. Roughly a quarter of those will suffer from a partial or full-on eating disorder.

-95 percent of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.

-Only 10 percent of people suffering from an eating disorder will seek professional help.

(According to dosomething.org)

We have all probably heard facts like these before…about how we should love ourselves, accept and love our bodies and pay no attention to the models.

However, it’s really hard.

Personally, I have struggled with this as well. My friends would tell me I was crazy (as we all complained about it) but I wasn’t happy.

Recently I decided to take action. I knew that I didn’t have to lose weight, but what would make me happy with my body?

I finally realized that I don’t need to diet, or watch what I eat. I can just be healthy.

Crazy right? I mean, who would have thought! I started with making a note to my self in my phone calendar and on my refrigerator in my room…

I downloaded “my fitness pal” which is a free app where you can track your exercise and food intake. You can set it to lose 1, 2 or 21/2 pounds a week or, keep it at “I want to maintain my weight.” You should do whatever is best for you! 

For every meal you should always try to have a balance of all food groups. Eating pasta, rice and bread for dinner is not well rounded. It is really important to have a mix of carbs, vegetables, fruits and a healthy protein. Your plate should look colorful. Another important tip is to eat the correct portions. As Americans with super sized everything, we have a contorted image of what a serving is. It may seem smaller at first, but if you’re eating in balance you wont be any less hungry…Eat until you are full, not stuffed.

Snacks are ok! I love snacking and frankly, who doesn’t? The problem is a lot of the time we link snacks to unhealthy foods. Try eating cereal, granola bars, yogurt, apple sauce…(you get it)

The combination of eating a healthy, well-rounded diet, and working out really does work wonders; you can still even eat dessert! (I could never give that up!)

When going to the gym, it is important to not only focus on cardio. Having a strong body is what is important. Building muscle will give you the image you want, and it is good for you.

Here are some workout tips:

-Do some cardio, but not too much. Save energy for muscle building!

-Grab a medicine ball and do crunches with it.

-Do pushups! Arm muscle is important. Many girls (including myself) slack in this category. I started with doing 10 pushups a day (and it was a serious struggle). You’ll be surprised at how strong you get! After doing only 1 week of 10 push-ups a day, I moved on to doing 15 and soon after, 20!

-Incorporate something you like doing into your workout. Personally I love dancing and take dance classes. There are so many classes to try here at UNH and, they are free! Here is the schedual for the classes http://campusrec.unh.edu/group-exercise 

Here’s how I like to finish my work out

One of the most important things I have learned about a healthy lifestyle is probably one of the easiest things to do. Just drink water! I gave up soda and it is surprisingly easy. Get a water bottle, fill it with ice and water (cold water is always more enjoyable to drink) and try to drink as many water bottles you can throughout the day. You’ll be amazed at how much it will help. My skin has become clearer and, I have felt more energized.

If you can do these things every day, you’ll see results in no time. Some people may say they don’t have time to do theses things. On the days you don’t have time to go to the gym, just do abs, push-ups and plank holds in your room. You can even do the 4-minute workout. Do something. There is no way you don’t have 15 free minutes…No excuses!  

I can proudly say, I AM HAPPY WITH MY BODY. I feel healthy, energized and happy. You can, and should be too. 

Similar Reads👯‍♀️