February 3, 2023

Written by Alissa Ahrens

We’re now almost two weeks into 2023. Two weeks into everyone’s fresh starts, two weeks into new year’s resolutions, and two weeks into all the stress and negative emotions that tag-along. The most “cliche” resolution is to try to be healthier. While dieting and exercise are commonly associated with adults, talk of cardio workouts and cutting out carbs are buzzing through the air, being picked up by teens. In many, but not all, scenarios, talk about pressure to exercise or guilt for all the holiday food can be so harmful. I am not a trained professional, but I would like to offer some words from my experience on how to break free from January’s stressful grip and work towards mind-body peace. 

It’s important to note that there is a difference between choosing to practice healthy habits and forcing yourself into diet and exercise because of negative and/or harmful thoughts. The line between the two can be blurry, but I cannot be the person to define it; everyone has different standards. As long as your health journey is an obvious choice you are making, you’re most likely in a good groove. If guilt and anxiety are guiding you then maybe it’s time to rethink certain practices.

For people around someone who may or not have eating or body image issues, you probably don’t need to walk on eggshells. You may not know what someone’s triggers are if they have triggers in the situation. But if someone has told you if something bothers them, please respect that and abide by those wishes. A good ground rule is that if you’re not a professional it’s not your place to comment on how much people are eating whether that’s a lot or a little. Be there for your friends. 

If you’re unmotivated to exercise, it’s okay. Finding the motivation can be the hardest part of exercising. But it gets easier if you find something you love to do. I love to dance; for me it’s the perfect way to strengthen and raise my heartbeat. I know people who love running, weightlifting, yoga, hockey and many other physical activities. I believe exercise is for doing what you love and getting the good and refreshing feelings that go with it, not for earning food. Food is also meant to be enjoyed. Eating “unhealthy” food is not wrong it is there to taste good and although there are certain foods that are necessary it doesn’t mean the stuff that’s not necessary isn’t also there for you.

Once again, I want to say that I’m not a professional; I’m a teenage student who like a lot of other teenagers can struggle with finding mind-body peace. So, I’m putting my words out there, maybe it will resonate with others or maybe it won’t. We’re all wonderful people who are working our way through 2023. Hope it brings the best for everyone!

 

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Alissa Ahrens

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