For as long as I can remember, I've been fixated on my weight.
My mom worked to shift what I felt was worthy, and utilized cultural norms to remind me that my curves and body were beloved. Eventually, I learned to love those curves but that didn't curb my desire for a slim waist to boot.
As we're made more aware of the lengths of physical augmentation that many women will endure to attain the thickness valued by Black culture, I can't take for granted that the only thing that ever stood in the way of me and an eating disorder was luck.
On occasion, I've found myself balancing out the pros and cons of regurgitating my last meal and some days I wish I had the gaul. But luck has always been there to stop me and encourage me to find a better way.
This didn't stop me from partaking in unhealthy crash diets all throughout high school and college attempting to achieve the glorified hourglass figure. I couldn't afford the surgeries even if it crossed my mind, but I could most definitely spend the time finding out about the newest fad diet that promised to help me drop 10 pounds in three days.
It wasn't until a couple years ago that I ended this cycle. Pinterest and I became best friends. This was when the first real wave of change hit me.
I learned that diets were ineffective and fleeting; but lifestyle changes on the other hand, were much more beneficial.
I was eating good. The moderation preached about in the fitness world became less elusive to me. I allowed myself to indulge every once in a while. It was a major key to actually being healthy and meaning it. The only problem I found, was that I still strived to be someone I was not.
In due time, I fell off and found myself going through the motions of starting from scratch, only to fail miserably. I worked out to maintain my figure in hopes of eventually obtaining someone else's, and although it felt good to get a taste of this lifestyle change, I knew that my transformation had to start on the inside.
One of the most essential lessons and meaningful lessons came from the epiphany that my body was mine.
I could never have what the next woman has, as she could not have what my mama along with the others I've been genetically coded with gave me.
This lesson came as I began to weight train and I witnessed all the ways my body transformed. With every transformation, I was still me and never the girl in the video. Never the girl with the perfect figure, but me was f*cking fantastic. Intrigued by the other gains my body was making and the strength that it showed, looking like someone else finally stopped being the goal.
After coming to know the joys of proper nourishment, balance, and what my body simply won't look like helped me unlearn the differences.
But with this, I'm required to accept the fact that I'm eating strictly for health. Not for appearances. Not for the scale. Not for the summer body that 2018 never knew. I'm eating for maximum survival. For the first time in my life, I'm required to eat well just because it's what feels right to me both physically and mentally.
The ability to see my body as my own and recognize it as beautiful has offered me hella perspective. I'm optimistic because I enjoy this "grown woman" weight that my mid-twenties is dishing out. Without my intense obsession with shapeshifting into something my body and build will never be, my fitness journey has become less of a burden and more of a breeze.
However annoying my backtracking may have felt at the time, I can't deny that I learned something new with every attempt at living a healthier life, and each lesson was equally valuable. I realized that my fitness journey has no finish line, it is endless.
I've tried eating solely for pleasure, and I've tried eating for the cause (i.e. a slim waist). I suppose now it's time time to try something new.
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
We all have a dream life that we spend our free time daydreaming about. You know, the one with a loving partner, high-rise apartment, thriving career, and endless abundance. But as much as we can dream about it, there has to be a little extra sprinkle of “magic” to make it become a reality, and that’s when manifestation comes in.
The uptick in manifestation techniques is nothing new to the internet. Since The Secret and the Law of Attraction became available on YouTube in the early 2010s and fast forward to today, where #manifestationtok and #spiritualtok surging in popularity, it’s clear that there are a number of different ways to get what you want out of life with the right action, affirmation, and visualization.
Still, with so many ways to manifest, from scripting to the 3-6-9 Method, it can be hard to know which one to lean into. But there’s one new technique that’s promising to yield “instant results,” and we’re curious about it.
The "I Am Sure" Manifestation
Replying to @A I M E E 🖤 lG: hothighpriestess 🤍 this is the “I am sure” method #iamsuremethod
The “I Am Sure” manifestation gained traction this summer by TikTok creator Sara Perl of @hothighpriestess, who initially introduced the method.
In her original video breaking down the concept, she detailed the steps to use the technique for those looking to “manifest overnight.” To do so, start by stating “I am sure,” followed by “your desired manifestation in the present tense.” If there’s a job, promotion, or text from a crush that you want, then you’d say, “I am sure that I got X job,” or “I am sure that I make a $100K salary.” Repeat this out loud 10 times, or for faster results, write them down on a piece of paper and say it back to yourself whenever the desire comes up.
Using your words and speaking in the present tense, affirmatively, “puts you in the frequency that has that desire,” as Perl states. “We know our thoughts create our reality, but our words create our reality even faster.”
No matter how you choose to manifest your dream life, there’s nothing like channeling a powerful affirmation and some faith to get what you desire. In every instance, though, allow yourself to dismiss any doubt that may try to cloud your hopes in good things coming into your life, and don’t hold too tightly onto the “how” or “when.” Trust the process and know that the “thing” that you desire is just waiting for the perfect time to enter your life.
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