baby, i’m worth it.

Being healthy and fit is not an overnight success story.

It’s a long process and obedience as you hope for the fruit of your labor.

I have lost almost 20 pounds over the past few months, and it has been back and forth. Exciting and discouraging.

It stretches you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It comes down to choices, to discipline, to how much you believe you are worth.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. – Hebrews 13:8-9

Do your squats.

Just get moving, and don’t quit at your first detection of discomfort. Challenge yourself. Unglue your eyes from a screen and dance, or sprint somewhere beautiful. It’s about owning your body and getting comfortable in it. Don’t do exercises you detest often. Keep searching to find something that works for you, and notice when your body starts to crave movement over carbs. Exercise a little freedom, have a little fun, feel better.

Eat your veggies.

This is my personal hardest category to follow.

Here’s the thing: I love food. I could eat Mexican everyday for the rest of my life. I’m also a big fan of pasta and bread. Food is often where I go to whine about life or to celebrate it.

So, I’m not good at clean eating, but one thing I know for sure: I feel like a million bucks when I abstain from a craving or two and choose the vegetable instead. It’s a choice. What means more to me today? Comfort or health? It’s also a balance. These two cookies won’t kill everything I’ve worked for. Keep perspective and moderation.

Wear red lipstick.

So many women are held back because they are afraid of being seen. They are afraid of being brave, bold, and a little sassy. Maybe, for some people, it keeps them from emotional endeavors, but most often it spills into simple decisions as well. You don’t have to simply sit on the sidelines watching everyone else having a good time. You can join. There is space for all of us in a confident and braver life.

Girl, I hereby commission you.

Wear red lipstick. Dance in the car. Give yourself a second chance. Search for job openings in a city over 1,000 miles away and dare to dream a new dream. Buy the colorful top. Send the risky letter because it might deepen a friendship you never expected. Be honest. Feel all the feels and never apologize.

Whatever the next step of living boldly looks like to you, never hold back from a beautiful dream only because of fear.

Don’t let boys be mean to you.

Start saying nice things to yourself. Start saying things you would say to your girlfriend that is putting on her makeup beside you before a night out. You wouldn’t tell her that her thighs wiggle too much or that her stomach isn’t flat enough — you would say, “Dang girl, you’re smoking hot.” in a deep voice because you see her for who she is. You don’t see her in proportion to our cookie cutter society. Opposed to popular belief, your realness will also attract the right man. If a guy avoids you because of your body, I wish him luck (sarcastically and not at all sincerely). He lost out on a loyal, gorgeous, real woman. Find someone that loves you with curves or no curves, and frankly: just block all the sounds the other bad-word-boys make in this world. You don’t have time for them.

Growing up in this world of mass media and television where nudity is normal and where guys talk so openly about women’s bodies (as well as women openly discussing men’s) makes staring at yourself in the mirror an extremely critical act against your own flesh and bone.

Most of all, don’t continue being mean to yourself. Stop typing in Blake Lively, Selena Gomez, and Carrie Underwood in your search engine online. You may never have Blake’s adorable butt or Selena’s perfect form or Carrie’s annoyingly-perfect legs, and that is okay. 

They are beautiful. But so are you. 

And you will not be able to see your own beauty, or bring it confidently to the table, if you’re wishing you looked like someone else. 

In the words of a Selena Gomez song, “Who says you’re not worth it? Who says you’re the only one that’s hurting? Trust me, that’s the price of beauty. Who says you’re not pretty? Who says you’re not beautiful?”

Go. Eat something that will make you stronger, shake your booty, and wear red lipstick. “You’ve got every right to a beautiful life.”

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