Love Your Body? What About Love Yourself?

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Guest Writer: Katie Guckien (@Katiegfromkc)

Katie Guckien currently studies elementary education at the University of Missouri, and in the fall of 2014 will attend Semester at Sea. Guckien is from Overland Park, KS just west of the Kansas City area. She likes being lazy, being active, going on long hikes, and watching Netflix. Guckien runs her own blog at http://justyourordinarygirl94.wordpress.com. Opinions are her own. 

You always see articles written by powerful people about how you should love your body no matter if you are short, tall, thick, thin, old, or young. They title these articles: “Self Love” and I am a fan, but saying that loving your body is self love is leaving out an extremely important component; loving yourself, body & soul and everything it means to be you.

Often times loving yourself may be overlooked because it is harder to see who you are in the inside. It’s easier to say love your body because you know exactly what your body looks like, you see yourself everyday in the mirror. So, yes, part of loving yourself is loving your body, but there is so much more than just loving who you are on the outside.

So you should definitely master the art of loving your body and owning how you look no matter how imperfect the magazines say you are, but repeatedly teaching young people to focus on loving your body and rarely teaching them about loving you is supporting the fact that loving your exterior is more important than loving your interior, and that is not what we need in our society.

I love how compelled people are to write about how you are beautiful no matter what anyone else says. I love that we have people fighting for what true beauty really is instead of what the media tells us. I love reading what these brilliant writers have to say, but I also believe we need to incorporate more into this self loving process.

Read the articles that all these amazing writers are composing for you, and listen to what they say and believe in what they say, because what they say is important, but don’t just stop at loving your body because there is so much more to you than your outward appearance.

So learn about yourself, think about who you are and what makes you awesome and learn to love that as well. Don’t ever forget that self love means loving your body and loving your heart, brain, thought-processes, stories, sense of humor, and so much more.

Tweet @BLovelace_Jr or Follow My Instagram @Blovelacejr

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LYB (Love Your Body)

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Guest Writer: Brittany King (@Brittany_King93)

brittanydking.wordpress.com

Brittany King is a junior at the University of Missouri where she studies communications and fashion merchandising. In her spare time, King enjoys surfing the web on Tumblr, sketching original fashion designs and trying new recipes with friends. Upon graduation, King would like to work in fashion public relations alongside her media idol, Kelly Cutrone.

With magazine headlines like “Drop 10 pounds in a week!” and others proclaiming that “real women have curves,” it can be pretty hard to decipher what look is right for your body, but to me the answer is simple. In short, your weight should be whatever the hell you want it to be.

Now I’m not here to knock those that do their best to exercise at least three times a week, or anyone who watches what they eat (I’m one of them, most of the time) but I am here to explain how loving your body for what it does for you on a daily basis, instead what a number on a scale says, is truly life changing.

Before entering college most of us hear about the dreaded freshman 15, well here at the University of Missouri, it’s called the Mizzou 22, which kind of made me nervous. I never liked my body growing up and it was because those shitty magazines I mentioned earlier made me feel like I had to look like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera (I’m a 90’s kid if you couldn’t tell). Well, I didn’t look like them and so of course I thought there was something wrong with me.

After my first week of college I literally couldn’t understand how someone could gain weight coming to college, there was so much walking! But once my body got used to the daily walking, the pounds packed on.

%22IN SHORT, YOUR WEIGHT SHOULD BEBy the time I came home from winter break I had gained the Mizzou 22 and then some and it was not a good feeling. So I did something about it. I threw out every crappy thing in my dorm room, started using the million dollar recreational complex my student fees pay for and I began counting calories (I realize that last one isn’t for everyone, to each their own). In short, it worked. I was dropping weight consistently week after week and it felt great, but I still wasn’t happy.

Much to my surprise, seeing a smaller number on the scale didn’t make me feel any better, in fact, most days I felt worse because I had changed what I thought was the problem, but was still unhappy.

It was because I didn’t love myself, I didn’t appreciate my body for the awesome things it does, I was relying on a three digit number to make me happy instead of making myself happy and appreciating everything else that was going well in my life.

That’s the one thing the magazines and diet pills/plans are missing, self love. It’s easy to have positive thoughts when you’re continuously losing weight week after week, but what about that first week when you don’t lose, or what if you’re in a month long slump?

Weight loss is just as much about what you lose as it is about what you gain, but if you don’t start learning to love yourself as you are right now, you’re still going to feel pretty crappy even if you do hit your weight loss goals.

I’ve definitely gotten off track, I’ve gained some of the weight I lost back, but I’m okay because I started focusing on how I felt every day instead of letting the scale tell me how to feel and that has truly made all the difference.

I now believe in the radical power of self love. There is truly no better feeling than waking up and loving what you see when you look in the mirror whether you just got a bad haircut or have on a full face of makeup. You could lose all the weight in the world, and have a body like your biggest celebrity idol, but if you don’t love yourself for who you are today, right this moment, you’ll never be happy.

Tweet @BLovelace_Jr or Follow My Instagram @Blovelacejr

Subscribe to TheHealthyBenefits.com (It would be much appreciated :))

Start a conversation! I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below 🙂

 

The Key to Stress Reduction

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Stress can have extensive effects on your body. By practicing coping strategies, an individual is better able to deal with life’s obstacles. Photo by DeathByBokeh

  Exam. Paper. Final.

  When an experienced college student hears these words the reaction is usually followed by a physical response of fear, anxiety, stress and an overall tightening of the chest. According to an article from the BBC News, those frequently exposed to trying situations are more like to suffer from memory loss, show aggression to peers or be at risk for heart issues. However, college students don’t have to fall victim to life’s onrush. Research suggests that practicing a number of coping strategies will decrease the effects of stress and anxiety. Furthermore, individuals who consistently practice these strategies are better able to deal with mishaps throughout their entire lives.

Here are a few coping strategies I came upon:

1. Start a Journal

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Starting a journal can keep your stress under control. Keep a log of daily events. Photo by Curt Fleenor Photography

   A journal can help classify the everyday stressors in your life and how you handle them. Each time you feel stressed jot it down in the journal. Overtime, you may see patterns in yourself that may need to be altered.

2. Exercise Regularly

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Exercise is known to release feel good chemicals in the body. Furthermore, aerobic exercise can release built up tension. Photo by jpo.ct

   Exercise is known to have a multitude of benefits, and, nevertheless, stress reduction is one of them. Make time for exercise at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes. Go for a walk. Take a swim. Get your heart pumping.

3. Reduce Priorities

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Make a priority to complete a select few things each day. Prioritizing responsibilities will leave you more time for yourself. Photo by Kylesteed

   Especially for college students reducing priorities in life can be a tough one. With exams, papers, homework assignments and possibly a part-time job, picking and choosing what’s important at the time can seem impractical. But, by diminishing tasks individuals will have opportunities to stay present which is known to reduce stress and anxiety.

4. Reduce Caffeine and Sugar

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Water is great alternative to drinking coffee. It is known to hydrate the body, as well as, other health benefits. Photo by mbettik

   A coffee can be any students “pick me up” for the day, but it can also have harmful side effects. For some individuals, caffeine and sugar can produce chemical changes in the brain that result in feeling anxious.

5. Relax

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Relaxation is key to stress reduction. Find time in your day to do thing you enjoy! Photo by Joi

   Set aside time in the day to recharge. Connect with friends. Do something you enjoy. Take a break from all your responsibilities.