Why You Should Celebrate Your Birthday Everyday

I celebrated my birthday a couple of weeks ago with many friends and quesadillas. It was great!

When I woke up on my birthday, I felt so excited, special, and happy, and felt that way all day. All of the texts, FB messages, calls, and gifts I received made me feel great. In that space of feeling special and like my life mattered, my anxiety about other areas of my life decreased. My typically anxious, nervous thoughts shifted into something much more peaceful. I noticed that I was telling myself: everything is going to be okay, you can do anything, you’re much stronger than you think you are, you can handle anything. Cool, right?

Do you have those moments on your birthday too? There’s something about acknowledging the day you were born and became part of this world–and having others acknowledge that too–that makes us feel special, important, and confident.

That’s why I think we should create more of those moments in our lives. We shouldn’t have to wait once a year to feel special; we can create that feeling every day, which then motivates us to live kick-ass, super productive lives.

Unfortunately, society conditions us to downplay our special-ness and enslave ourselves (especially the ladies) to self-deprecation. But how far has that really gotten us?

Our world is no more productive or peaceful with people being afraid to acknowledge their attributes, worth, and special-ness. For example, in the area of body image, people, institutions, and thought systems that make people feel ashamed if their bodies look different from the social ideal–for the purpose of motivating them to make “healthier” choices–don’t actually motivate those people at all. When we feel bad about ourselves, we don’t have the motivation or sense of self worth to make positive changes in our lives–we just crawl deeper into our hole of shame and wither away, commit acts of violence on others, etc. We have to tell ourselves that we matter–as we are NOW. Only from that space do we have the sense of self-worth and motivation to elevate our lives and the lives of others.

So, my beautiful friend, you have my permission to feel special and lovable all the time. You have my permission to feel like it’s your birthday every day!

When we feel special and important, we want to get out into the world and do good work. That’s what our world needs right now.

Body Acceptance and Feminism

As you know, I talk a lot about the political side of body image–the ways that our society and diet culture convince us that manipulating our bodies so that they meet the “ideal” body type will give us love, acceptance, and amazing lives. Man this stuff gets me going!

Men certainly feel pressure to make their bodies look a certain way, and they do experience the mental and physical turmoil that often accompanies that pressure.

But…things are a little different, a little darker, when that societal pressure targets women.

First of all, much more of the diet industry is targeted toward female consumers. What does that say? It says that our society believes that a women’s worth comes mainly from her beauty and her ability to live up to the societal “ideal” of beauty, which absolutely includes thinness. Men are socialized to believe that their worth mostly comes from professional achievement and success, intelligence, and stuff like that. It’s not great that men are boxed in either, but their box is at least a little bigger and more flexible than the box that women are in. We’re supposed to look a very specific way–THIN.

Second of all, achieving that societal ideal of female beauty takes a lot of time, money, energy, and even sanity. For centuries, women have been ordered or encouraged to “stay small” financially, professionally, and spiritually. And today, in 2017, we’re STILL socialized to be small in all types of ways. Some women feel like they need to lose weight in order to get a promotion (and studies have shown that thinner women advance further in their careers than larger women). Thinness is even lauded in some religions as some form of willpower or fortitude. It’s cray.

By refusing to support the diet industry, accepting our bodies the way they are now, and fueling our bodies with the food, exercise, and pursuits that make us feel amazing and powerful, we’re participating in a form of political resistance. We’re saying, “Here I am, world, a woman who accepts and takes care of the body I have, and lives the life of my dreams no matter what size I am!”

Are you fired up about body acceptance and feminism? If you are, then I want you to do two things:

1. Join my Facebook group, Body Positive Rebels, where you get regular body image tips from me, and where we talk a lot about the political side of body image, food, etc.

2. Grab my Body Confidence Workshop, an audio that guides you to feel great in the body you have now, take care of your health, and refocus your time and energy on accomplishing your personal, academic, and professional goals! Here’s the link again: http://thehappycollegegirl.com/downloads/the-body-confidence-workshop-and-bonus/.

You got this body confidence stuff!

Weight Loss Does NOT Have To Be Your Goal This Summer

When I was in high school and college, I would always freak out at the start of summer because I felt too big and disgusting to wear summer clothes and bathing suits. My goal for the season would be to work out as much as possible and go on some “diet,” whether that was cutting out sugar, going vegan, eating like a Parisian or Mediterranean woman, or some other type of food manipulation. I wouldn’t work out or alter my food to increase my sense of well-being or overall health. I did it to get thinner.

After only a few days or weeks, I would feel so deprived that I would hide in my house, binge eat like crazy, feel even more disgusting, and usher in an entire summer of food and body chaos. Sound familiar?

If you tend to freak out at the thought of getting into your summer clothes or if you set weight loss goals for the summer, then I want you to know that there’s a different way to feel good in your body and take care of your health. Aaand fun fact–I created it here!

Real talk. Setting weight loss goals for the summer probably hasn’t worked for you…because you keep setting them every year. Also, you’re reading this blog post, so you’re probably looking for another way to live a fulfilling life without having to deal with body and food chaos! That’s why I created The Body Confidence Workshop.

You can TOTALLY live a kick-ass, happy life where you feel peaceful and confident in your own body, and maintain your health at the same time.

End your body and food chaos once and for all. Grab my workshop (and free gift!) right here.

How to Stop Hating Your Body

I’m crazy excited because my Body Confidence workshop is now FOR SALE! 

If you’re tired of hating your body and going to crazytown around food then this workshop will help you, babe.

I’ll teach you everything you need to know about getting confident in the body you have NOW, taking care of your health, and creating a kick-ass life for yourself!

Aaaand when you buy the workshop, you’ll get an extra gift to help you clear out those negative body image thoughts that circulate in your head all day long, make you feel like crap, and drive you to binge eat, overeat, and restrict.

It IS possible to feel great in your own skin WHILE taking care of your health. I’mma show you how. To get the workshop and free gift, click here!

Why It’s Okay To Eat Your Feelings

Writing to you from the west coast! Dude, the west coast is so pretty and cool. AND YOU GET 3 HOURS OF EXTRA TIME. Amazing.

This body positive and food post is inspired by Isabel Foxen Duke (the master of overcoming binge eating and food obsession) and my amazing nutritionist.

A few days ago I was talking with a friend who was feeling upset and a little ashamed that she’s been eating a larger amount of “unhealthy” food lately because she’s been stressed out. That’s a totally normal thing to feel…but it’s problematic and dangerous.

When we judge ourselves for eating a certain way, i.e. the way my friend was judging herself about her temporary larger intake of “unhealthy” food, we make ourselves wrong, shameful, and unworthy in some way. And when we’re in that unworthy, ashamed place, we tend to do one of two things: we keep overeating because we just feel bad about ourselves, or we launch into a diet or food restriction/manipulation of some kind…which ultimately backfires and can lead us to binge eating or more and more periods of overeating. Either way, feeling ashamed about our behavior around food promotes food and body chaos.

If you get down on yourself for overeating or even just eating something “unhealthy,” I want you to take a different approach—so that you really deal with your emotions instead of dealing with them exclusively by eating.

The next time you start to judge yourself for whatever you just ate (or are currently eating), I want you to take a big inhale and exhale (conscious breath gets you out of your head) and say to yourself, “It’s totally okay that I’m eating this/ate this.” Or, “It’s totally okay that I’m emotionally eating or binge eating right now.” When you make your behavior “okay” or acceptable, you remove the shame that you (and society) usually put on yourself…which makes that food or behavior around food less charged and therefore less appealing or satisfying in some way. When you remove the shame around it, you have the mental space to also deal with the emotion that’s causing you to eat.

From a moral standpoint, binge eating or overeating is neither good nor bad. Food is neither good nor bad—even when you’re eating it for emotional reasons. When you start viewing food and your behavior around food as more neutral, you’ll find that food becomes just one of the many ways you can deal with your emotions, and that you can face and work through your emotions, too.

This is a heady topic. I’m asking you to flip the way you’ve been taught to think about food, your body, and emotions. But if you want to stop eating over your emotions and actually deal with them, you have to start with believing that eating over your emotions isn’t wrong in the first place.

There’s a new 3-Second Rule in town…

A couple weeks ago, I attended a Disney/Batman themed wedding. And on Thursday night, I taught a body image workshop for UMD CHAARG at my alma mater. It was amazing!

Alright I have to out myself. The girl behind The Happy College Girl has been pretty…angry, judgmental, snippy, and negative lately. Aside from all of the crazy sh*t going on the world right now/always, there are some things in my own life that I really let get under my skin. In fact, I’m stewing about something RIGHT NOW.

Ug and when I’m in that mad, resentful place, I tend to say really mean things to and about other people. My voice takes on a harsh tone and I use all kinds of foul language. Other people get exhausted by me. My mind and body get tense and anxious. And the situation or people I’m mad at don’t get better. In fact, all of that anger and resentment just hooks me into that situation/person even more…and then it’s even harder for me to make peace with it. Gah!

Can you relate to feeling so angry and resentful at a person or situation that you say something really mean or snippy in the moment?

It’s so easy to let a person or situation trigger us into saying or doing something impulsive. But when we say or do that thing, we only feel slightly better. Then we get hooked into the situation even more and it takes us even longer to experience happiness and peace.

I’m not totally sure how to stop myself from saying or doing something impulsive out of anger…or from letting anger and resentment overtake me and ruin my whole day (or just part of my day). But I know it affects other people, doesn’t make them feel good, doesn’t make me feel good, and doesn’t do anything to move me forward.

That’s why I’ve decided to experiment with the 3-Second Rule–not the one that allows you to eat food that’s been on the floor for three seconds or less. This 3-Second Rule requires you to wait three seconds before speaking. The next time you’re having a conversation and you’re about to say something (even if it’s totally positive or benign), count 1, 2, 3, and then speak. I like this rule because it gives us a few moments to decide whether what we’re about to say will make ourselves and our conversation partners feel good and/or will move us forward in some way.

Then, no matter what we say, whether it’s that impulsive thing we were going to say anyway, or whether we’ve filtered it a bit, at least we took those crucial moments to think before we speak.

I think that the 3-Second Rule can help us be less reactive to people and situations so that we experience more peace, ease, and happiness in our lives.

You have the power to shift your whole day

First of all, here’s a little reminder to attend my FREE, LIVE call on Wednesday, March 8 at 8pm est. I’m going to teach you how to stay physically and mentally healthy while achieving your personal, academic, and professional goals!

Second of all…I saw Moonlight with my friend May and it was beautiful. I’m so glad it won Best Picture. Omg.

Watching a meaningful film with a friend is something that really fills me up.

When I do things that fill me up, my body feels open, energized, and calm. I feel positive and connected. In that space, I’m motivated to tackle my To Do list, accomplish my goals, and dream big. I feel confident in myself and more trusting that my future will be okay.

On the flip side, when I do things that drain me, like troll social media, watch crappy reality TV (the kind that’s not even entertaining), or try to do too many things at once (like text while writing an email and Skype-chatting a colleague), my body feels tight and tense. In that space, I’m NOT inspired to tackle my To Do list or feel confident in myself. I want to contract, stay in bed, and hide from the world.

What about you? What kinds of things fill you up, aka make you feel energized, inspired, and calm? And what kinds of things deplete you, aka make you feel stagnant and tense?

Paying attention to what drains us v. what fills us up is crucial. It teaches us that we have the power to shift our experience in any given moment. If we’re feeling stagnant, negative, scared, or inferior, and thus not inspired to love ourselves/others, accomplish goals, etc., we can do things to cultivate different feelings–ones that make us feel good and want to participate fully in our lives. Even if outside circumstances or other people try to affect our feelings, we still have the power to choose how to respond to those things and how we let them affect us.

For example, maybe you get a bad grade on an exam. That’s a sh*tty feeling. But if you let that feeling keep you stuck, you don’t feel confident or inspired to take a positive action, like study harder for the next exam, talk to your professor, join a study group, etc. You just want to hide in bed. But when you remember your power to change your feelings and you do something that fills you up, you move through that negative feeling faster and are then able to be proactive about that bad grade. Comforting, right?

This week, I want you to pay attention to how your body feels while you’re working, eating, with friends, getting ready for bed, waking up, etc. Does your body feel calm, tight, open, drained, energized? What kinds of thoughts go through your mind as your doing those things? Are your thoughts chaotic, soft, quiet, loud, all over the place?

Then, ask yourself: Is this how I want to feel right now? If you want to feel differently, then do something that fills you up and makes you feel good. Maybe that looks like having a phone date with a friend, drinking a smoothie, having a dance party, watching a movie, crying–you get the idea.

Remember, you have much more power than you think to shift how you feel in any given moment and change the course of your whole day.

And if you’re ready to feel confident in your own skin and accomplish your goals WITHOUT obsessing about food and your body, then you gotta join me for my live call!

Join me for The Happy College Girl workshop!

Guess what??

I’m giving a free, live call on Wednesday March 8th from 8pm-9pm EST!

Join me for…The Happy College Girl Workshop: How to create a healthy lifestyle while living an amazing life.

Get ready to learn how to…

  • Look and feel great in your body without depriving yourself.
  • Refocus your time and energy on the things that really matter to you.
  • Love the reflection you see in the mirror no matter what!

All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get the call-in details. Sign up here!

If you’re ready to FINALLY stop obsessing about food and your body so that you have the time and energy to accomplish your personal, academic, and professional goals, then you need to attend my workshop.

Bonus: all you have to do is hop on the phone to join!

Mark your calendar for Wednesday March 8th from 8pm-9pm est. for the workshop, and stay tuned for the call-in details!

You will get life-changing tips and mindset shifts in this workshop. Invest 60 minutes in yourself next Wednesday night. You’ll reap the benefits for the rest of your life.