Almost a year ago, I walked away from this blog. It was a rather impulsive decision, but what had been my confidante throughout years full of running, laughing, crying, growing, and learning suddenly felt like a chore.
It was mid March at the time, and behind my computer screen, I was a 19 year old girl who was sitting alone in her dorm room feeling so incredibly lost. I remember being hit with the realization that I truly had no clue who I was or where I was going, and it suddenly seemed overwhelming. So I did what I do best. I found a unused journal that my grandma had given me years before and started to write.
While my blog remained untouched and un-updated for many a month, the pages of my journal became filled with pictures, thoughts, quotes, and cut outs that were important to me at any particular moment. It saw me through my freshman year of college, and it boarded the plane with me as I left home to work in North Carolina all summer. Pictures of my new friends from camp, tall mountains, sunsets over Walmart, and F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes started to appear in its pages. But all too soon, that journal was carefully packed away in a black suitcase and taken back to college in Austin.
The journal grew thicker as stories of (way too many) concerts, trips to Trader Joes, and camping adventures in below freezing temperatures were added to the blank pages as I began to document my sophomore year of college. And one day, when I was adding an entry about running through red lights and exploring downtown Austin with my dad, I realized that I was still just as lost as I was that one night in my dorm room less a year ago, but I was so incredibly happy.
It's almost been a year since I left this blog, and between now and then I've been constantly reminded by how incredible life is. I've cried in many a parking lot and questioned everything there is to question at least twice a day, yet life has a funny way of making me fall in love with it a little more every day.
I'm still lost, I'm still confused, and I'm still prone to have a quarter life crisis every now and then, but here's to another year of not knowing what I'm doing or where I'm going and always ending up at Whole Foods.
I hope you'll join me as I come back to this lifelong friend and share my my favorite songs, favorite quotes, and favorite memories as they come along. The only thing that was missing from this whirlwind of a year was all the wonderful people that I've encountered while blogging. so I hope you'll get lost with me and share little bits of your life with me.
Here's to a groovy new year full of dancing in the kitchen, eating Whole Foods smoothies like its my job, embracing the feeling of being lost, and falling in love with life. Even on the bad days.
Love always and welcome back to the roarin' twenties era of my life,
Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram wishing you looked like Kylie Jenner? Have you ever wondered how your favorite celebrities stay in shape? Do you want to have a Kardashian's body without hitting the gym? According to these Instagram famous celebrities, the secret to their success is drinking a special type of tea for x amount of days. It's that simple. A mug a day, and you'll look like your favorite insta-famous girl in no time.
I get it. Hot girls posting pictures of themselves holding a product boosts sales. In 2016, being Instagram famous has practically become synonymous with promoting various brands of "fit tea" or "detox tea". We're used to these thinly veiled ads on our Instagram feeds. It's no secret that they're sponsored posts. These teas are probably not something the celebrity regularly uses or truly endorses, yet at the same time, when Kylie Jenner claims her body is a result of a 28 day detox tea, millions of impressionable people think "Hmm, might as well try that on the off chance it works." And that's not okay.
A couple of months ago, I was contacted by one of these fit tea companies. They wanted to send me their product and pay me to promote it on my Instagram account. All I had to do was post a picture with their tea, and in return, they would give me $50. In all honesty, I considered their proposal. Who wouldn't want a quick $50? It was way too easy. I ultimately decided that $50 or not, quick fix teas that promise "fast weight loss" didn't coincide with my overall message of loving yourself and treating your body with kindness and respect. My body is by no means a result of a weight loss tea, and I was uncomfortable leading my followers to believe otherwise. So I decided to decline their offer.
Time passed, and I turned a blind eye to all the Instagram posts and pictures depicting model-like girls and extremely fit boys claiming astonishing results after drinking these teas. Yet as of recently, I was approached by another detox tea company. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of detox teas when I was originally approached, yet I never discussed it. With these type of sponsored posts become more and more prevalent and another company asking me to promote a new detox tea within the past week, I think it's important to set the record straight about these teas and their side effects.
Detox/fit teas are dietary supplements. Because of this, companies aren't required to prove any of the claims on their labels. Does the tea claim to help weight loss? Is it supposedly a metabolism booster? Is it a calorie burner? None of those claims have been proven. On the contrary, most health and safety sites note that the laxative herbs found in these teas are actually insufficient to aiding weight loss.
While promises of weight loss and an improved metabolism seem fairly harmless, the side effects of these teas can be very harmful. Liver damage, muscle weakness, heart problems, insomnia, constipation, intestinal issues are a few common side effects of drinking these teas. To make matters worse, quite a few of these companies have been shut down after the hospitalization of customers.
Tea doesn't magically make you lose weight. If you're drinking more in general, you'll lose water weight. This type of weight loss is by no means magical, and it can be achieved by simply drinking more water and staying hydrated throughout the day. But side effects and false promises and money aside, the problem with these types of tea goes beyond the tea itself.
Drinking tea isn't going to make you look like Kylie Jenner or another it-girl, which is what the marketing of these products suggests. But you don't need to look like these insta-famous girls who are promoting detox teas. I want you to look like you. Instead of drinking fit teas, I want you to work on bettering yourself. I want you to nourish your body with whole foods and reward it with movement. I want you to go on trail runs early in the morning and eat hummus and carrots at the park in the afternoon. I want you to stop suppressing your appetite and instead fill your body with foods that will give you energy to do all the things you love.
Let's stop promoting detox teas. Let's stop letting toxic mindsets control us. Let's stop giving the diet industry money. If we all woke up and loved our bodies as they are, how many industries would go out of business? Answer: way too many.
So eat pizza at sleepovers, go for bike rides with your dad, eat your weight in peanut butter at 2 AM, and roll your eyes when someone promotes yet another detox tea on Instagram. It's just another clever marketing campaign that you shouldn't take part in. Because you're worth more than a quick fix, empty promises, harmful side effects, and any amount of money received in exchange for a silly Instagram promotion.
I've had trouble loving my body since I was in 8th grade. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing thighs that were too big, lips that were too thin, eyebrows that were too thick, arms that were too long, and a stomach that wasn't flat enough. I yearned for some sort of far-fetched idea of perfection, and it was clear that my body was the furthest thing from it.
No matter what I did, my body would never look or be good enough.
I don't remember how or when it clicked, but I do remember that I was standing in front of a mirror when I suddenly felt like my perspective of my body was all wrong. I saw legs, but they weren't a specific size; they were just legs. I saw arms and a face and a torso and feet, but instead of seeing "too thick" or "too long" or "not good enough", I just saw a reflection of a girl; me.
I saw legs that could climb mountains and a mouth that could speak happy thoughts. I saw ears that could listen to music and arms that can hug the people I love. I saw strong thighs that carry my body to new places, and I saw a stomach that wasn't flat, yet it didn't seem to matter anymore. That stomach was full of food that was giving me energy to live and do the things I love, and suddenly that was far more important than any previous importance placed on a perfecty toned stomach. There was nothing about this reflection that was perfect, yet it was capable of doing so many beautiful things, and somehow that was everything.
As someone plagued by body image issues, seeing myself as something other than a number or a size was, for lack of a better term, wild. It suddenly became apparent to me that I am not the body I'm in, and it was an overwhelming sensation.
While this idea may seem quite obvious, it's easy to forget that you are not your legs or head or arms or anything in between. You are not bound by the body you're in. Instead, your physical body is a place to hold your soul. It's a home for all of your beautiful thoughts and ideas and passions. Yes, there's always going to be something you want to enlarge, shrink, airbrush, or change, but when you start thinking of your body as a means of carrying all the wonderful characteristics you possess, your appearance doesn't seem all that important in the grand scheme of things.
It's not your life's work to look a certain way or to wear a certain dress size. It's not your soul's calling to hate the skin you're in. You're made for so much more than the perpetual dissatisfaction and unhappiness that comes with hating your body. Your body is a temple; something that deserves endless love, respect, and kindness. It lets you dance around the kitchen and sing in the car and see the stars at night. The scars on your skin, the crinkles around your eyes, and the freckles on your cheeks tell the stories of places you've seen, adventures you've gone on, and laughs you've shared with those you love. It's carried your soul everywhere you go, sharing your beautiful mind with anyone you happen to encounter.
With this in mind it is apparent that your body is nothing short of magnificent, and it deserves to be treated as such.
So next time you look in the mirror, remember that you are not your body, and you never have been. Yes, your body is incredible, no matter how big or small it is, but it's what your body houses that is truly important. You're a thousand things, and what you see in the mirror will never be able to define how magnificent you truly are. Because you are not your body. You are so much more.
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy spirit who is in you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own." 1 Corinthians 6:19