P a r a d i s e
Defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a place or state of bliss, or delight
P a r a d i s e
Defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a place or state of bliss, or delight
Happy first Monday of October! These last few days, I’ve been thinking about something that I didn’t realize the importance of until recently. It’s called the
Sharing this recipe from Cooking Without Limits! I love that it only uses whole ingredients instead of artificially refined ones. Great example of truly healthy cooking
This is my sugar free chocolate banana bread. I used the original recipe for banana bread and I added dates instead of sugar. It is not very sweet but adding pieces of sugar free chocolate my banana bread became sweet.
It is an easy recipe with all the ingredients except the chocolate mixed in the bowl.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Put a baking sheet in a loaf pan. I used one smaller because I had only half of the mix. The other half I used to do something else. I will write you about it in the near future.
In a bowl, mashed the bananas with a fork. Stir the olive…
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With only a couple of days left in the beautiful month of August, and the next year of school just around the corner (some of y’all have probably already started), I thought that I post about body image was in order.
I’ve actually been waiting to do this post for quite a while now- at least 3 months. Even though body image is an issue that many people have trouble dealing with, there is no doubt that it is a difficult one to talk about. My size and my weight have been two of my biggest insecurities since I was about 5 years old. Since then, it took me 16 years of many attempted diets, many tears, and many moments of sadness to realize that regardless of what happens on my journey of health, I need to love myself anyways.
Whether you are fat or skinny, tall or short or medium-sized in every respect, whether you are light-skinned or dark-skinned, whether you have dark hair, light hair, curly hair or straight hair, thick hair or thin hair or any other outstanding characteristic, the it’s likely that you’ve faced some type of body image issue at some point in time. Despite all the media promotion about loving yourself and how important it is to do so, I’ve never found one that effectively explains why it is important to love yourself, no matter what your current form might be. In order to share why I think it’s important to appreciate your body in any shape or size, I’m going to be sharing a bit of my story and struggle with you.
The story begins with a conversation I had with my sister just a few months ago, in May. After months and months of my cheapest and most appetizing dining options being pizza, burgers and salads- mostly made of dressing, croutons and fatty dressing- not only was I sick of most of my eating options, but I also felt hopeless. My schedule for the last year not only prevented me from seeing my friends regularly, but the amount of work I had on a daily basis made sitting inside and studying seem like a better option than going outside for a run. I’ve opened up a little bit before about my struggle with congenital hypothyroidism before. In essence, what this means is that regardless of how often I exercise and how healthy my diet is, it will always be harder for me to lose weight as compared to other people. But remembering this at that time only made me sink deeper into my hopelessness. A few days after I began to feel this way, I had a very meaningful conversation with my sister, and that’s when my whole perspective changed.
As I sat with my sister, I broke down. I told her that I felt like I was completely out of options, and I didn’t know how I would ever be able to feel good about myself. It was completely possible that I would never be skinny or even the “right” waistline for my height and age. It was completely possible that I would never look the way that I’ve always wanted to, that I would forever be subject to feeling bad about myself when I heard fat jokes, and, worst of all, I would never be happy with who I was. That is just about how hopeless I felt. That’s when my sister pointed something out to me that no inspirational speaker, writer or celebrity has ever pointed out before: the only way I would ever be able to love myself is if I made the necessary choice to do so.
My sister pointed out to me that my ability to think and my ability to do were only possibilities for me because of the body that I have. And regardless of all of the mistakes I’ve made in my life, I still have done a lot of good, just like most people. Regardless of whether or not I have a thin waist, I am able to move both my hands and my feet, and I was to get as far as I have in life; I am able to think because I have a working brain, and even though it is possible that I will never look exactly how I want to, it is because of my mind and my body that I’m even able to try, and I have to respect that. And more importantly, after all my body has done for me, I have to take care of it and treat it with kindness.
This summer was truly an emotional journey for me- one that finally allowed me to come to terms with who I am and what I look like. And what I’ve realized is that I’m going to look different in many stages of my life. In the end, though, it is my body that is going to get me through all of these different stages, through my happiest moments and my sad ones. Even if I have nothing else left it is the one thing that will get me out of everything alive and well so long as I take care of it and respect its ability to do so.
So, to my readers, don’t love yourself because it’s a trend and the internet is telling you to do so. Look at yourself in the mirror and take in every single color and curve; the texture of your hair, the way that you walk, and the way that you smile or frown or whatever other expressions you make. Realize that all of these things and everything about your body is what has gotten you to this very moment and that is why you are beautiful. And this is something that no one can appreciate the way you can. Love yourself for who you are, work towards becoming the version of yourself that you want to be, and love your body for allowing you to get there.
Even though body image is something that has always been hard for me to talk about, it’s something that I love talking about now. Be on the lookout for more writing about healthy eating habits and having a healthy mindset. And on a related note to having a healthy mindset, check out my last post!
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Can y’all believe we are actually most of the way through summer? It feels like summer break started only a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, it’s been a great time. I’ve learned so much in school and through blogging for the last few weeks!
But one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is the importance of letting other people help you. This next post is going to be a continuation of the conversation that I started with you guys last week- about the importance of being vulnerable. You can read that post here. In my last post, I talked about how it’s important to realize that, regardless of who you are and where in the world you live, you do have the power to make a difference. This week, I want to talk about letting others do the same by letting them help you.
I was inspired to write this post because of a book that I started reading called The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let Other People Help, by singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer. I found this book while I was browsing through Barnes and Noble this past weekend, looking for something inspirational to read. I was attracted to this book because I was surprised that someone might think to write a book about such a seemingly mundane activity. After I picked up the book and skimmed the pages, I realized that asking questions, and more specifically, asking for help, can’t be mundane- if it was, why would so many of us refuse to do so?
Asking for help is difficult because of its nature- because it requires us to make ourselves vulnerable, sometimes to complete strangers, and because it requires us to trust- something we are often encouraged not to do. For some reason, we have learned that asking for a favor requires returning a favor. If you think about it, this is so absurd, because all people need help. Why do we expect each other to pay a price for showing our humanity to one another? Palmer talks about this very idea in her TED talk, which you can see here.
Learning to let other people help is a completely relevant topic in conversation about mental health because from personal experience, I know that not being able to ask for help when it is needed causes a lot of anxiety. In many cases, this new anxiety can compound already existing anxiety, and this extra anxiety is arguably completely unnecessary, but also extremely common for students and working professionals. It is curious how difficult it is for us to ask for recommendation letters, or ask for tutoring, or ask someone to help cover us if we don’t have enough cash for bus fair, or ask strangers for tampons or cough drops or kleenex or whatever it is we need to help us get through the day.
Why are we so scared to make ourselves vulnerable, even in the smallest of ways, especially when we know that anyone of the people around us have or could face the same vulnerabilities in other situations?
So what should you do to stop feeling this way? How do you go about fearlessly asking for help? It’s simple: only about four steps. The hard part is getting yourself to follow these steps.
The first step is basic- open your mouth. Get ready to say something, and hold your thought on the tip of your tongue. This is same first step you have to take to say literally anything, so doing it shouldn’t be that bad.
The next step is imagining yourself asking for help, and imagining the person you are asking saying “no”- the one word we are all most afraid of hearing.
The third step is preparing your reaction- what are you going to do if someone refuses to help you? What is the worst possible thing that could happen? Are you going to be eternally embarrassed? Are people going to laugh at you? Are you going to look stupid? And if any of these things do happen, how will you react? Preparing for the worst is the best thing that you can do here, because it’s likely that at times the worst will come true. But that doesn’t mean that someone will refuse to help you every time you ask, so you shouldn’t let that stop you from asking.
The fourth, and probably hardest step is being impulsive. Let your words slip out; be brave. Once you say it, who knows where your road is going to lead you? Finding out is the best part.
The most important takeaway I want to list here is that it is not a bad thing to be vulnerable. It is not bad to ask for help, and it is not healthy to feel guilty or indebted for taking help. What you can and should do is pay it forward: be empathetic, and encourage others to let themselves be vulnerable; always give help openly and willingly, and always remember that you deserve to be comfortable in your own skin because you can offer so much to the world by just being yourself.
Jump then Fall is the title of one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs. It tells a different sort of story, but expresses the same sentiment as the one I’m interested in- jumping into an opportunity that you’re curious about, and figuring out what exactly you’re doing as you go.
Jumping then falling is exactly what it sounds like: forcing yourself to jump off a metaphorical cliff by making a sudden, spontaneous decision, before taking the time to calculate your actions. As an avid and self-proclaimed lover of planning, jumping then falling has always been something that I’ve been scared to do until now. What changed my outlook was finally realizing that life is a lot more worthwhile if I choose to be excited about my next steps instead of being too scared to take them at all.
I was excited to see that I got a lot of positive responses to my last post, based on why we crave sugar and how we can satisfy this craving while still being healthy. Going through the process of writing that got me thinking about dieting in general- mainly, why is it so easy to stop enjoying diets? There should be an easier way to be healthy without forcing ourselves to up the types of foods that we love eating. And fortunately, there is! But first, we need to face a few important facts.