Instagram Filtering Your Life

The other night, I somehow got invited to Beau Mirchoff’s house where he kissed me. To be fair, he probably doesn’t remember me, but quite frankly, I don’t care. Being that I was obsessed with both Desperate Housewives & MTV’s Awkward, to me, this was a dream come true. I was elated. As I stepped back and looked out the wall-sized windows in Beau’s home in the Hollywood Hills at the twinkling lights of the city, I thought “wow, my life is a dream.”

At that moment, my insecurities fled and I came up with a theory: the key to happiness is Instagram filtering your perspective on life. People only put the highlights of their life on social media, and hide the sweat pants, eating ice cream out of the carton, oily hair in a messy bun parts. Obviously I’m not going to post that my shoulders are sore from my crazy workout, but I will post the body that it gave me. And I’ll post the midnight sushi I ate, but not the bloat it left me with. I’d even post a blog about Beau Mirchoff kissing me, and leave out the fact that I was fan-girling the whole night and totally embarrassed myself. Okay, for the purpose of this post, I’ll leave it in here, but that’s not the point.

P.S. I  tried  to act normal when I met Beau and treat him like a normal person, so I didn't get a photo so the best I can do is post a photo of him for this post.

P.S. I tried to act normal when I met Beau and treat him like a normal person, so I didn't get a photo so the best I can do is post a photo of him for this post.

The point is that if you’re not going to post the low moments in your life, why would you focus on them? Every single day is going to have positives and negatives, so post the best moments in your memories, and delete the mental photos of the not so sexy parts of your life. Look at your life as if someone else were scrolling through your Instagram feed, and you’ll start to appreciate how cool you really are.

 

 

 

Overcoming Perfection Paralysis Disorder (P.D.D.)

It’s the first sentence that always kills me. It’s the first line, the first chord, or, when I’m cleaning, actually picking up the vacuum that curtails my productivity. But after the initial step, hours pass like minutes. 

It's passion that makes diving in and working significantly easier (and considerably more rewarding.) Passion is the fire that allows me to stay alive through the Arctic winter that is my To-Do list. I've found that a connection or appreciation allows me to conquer the most mundane, and even dreadful of topics with my whole heart and soul. 

But giving 100% is both a gift and a curse. "All or Nothing" is so hard-wired in my brain that I’ve neglected to undertake large tasks, such end-of-novel papers in High School, because my schedule made it physically impossible to provide my undivided attention. I've spent years reprogramming my brain to accept that perfection isn't always attainable, and something is better than nothing.

But even when I'm so captivated by my work that the world around me no longer seems to exist, perfection still hinders me. I fixate on unimportant garnishes when I know cranking out a rough draft and revising is a much more effective method. Hundreds if not thousands of unfinished projects lay in my brain, notebooks, and computer archives with nothing to show. The wasted time and energy makes me sicker than Perfection Paralysis Disorder (P.P.D.) (I just made this up).

Perfect is an arbitrary term, and I'm done letting an inaccessible idea control me. From now on, I will track my growth by finishing projects and moving on to another. I will set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) Goals and hold myself accountable for reaching them. And when I find myself infatuated by minute details, I will put myself in someone's shoes who isn't mentally attached to the project.

Now I just have to sit down and do it.

 

So, what holds you back from productivity and what do you do to overcome it?

Beyond The Physical

Every time I open Snapchat’s daily news thread, there always seems be an article about perfecting the exterior you adjacent to a self-love article, encouraging happiness in your current physical state. On Monday, I’ll see a “10 Delicious Snacks To Lose Fat,” and on Tuesday, a contradictory recipe for “Double Fudge Nutella Brownies” is featured. These mixed messages leave me questioning, do I want the Victoria’s Secret model body, or do I bake and devour the molten lasagna I saw while scrolling through Facebook? 

As someone who lost 40+lbs, both for my own well-being and to appease society, I personally see the positive side-effects weight loss, healthy eating, and working out have. When I look in the mirror, the idea that hard work pays off becomes tangible, I no longer am on copious amounts of medication for mental illness, and I simply feel better in my skin. Aside from just the physical transformation, my mind, body, and soul has undergone metamorphosis. I now have more determination to improve and reach goals beyond just weight loss. Instead of dreaming, I’m acting, and I’m seeing results.

But, unfortunately, I’ve seen the desire for a better body cause detrimental side effects. Today, it’s common for a person’s mind to be hijacked and warped into thinking they aren’t good enough. Off the top of my head, I know six close-friends who have struggled with anorexia and/or bulimia. And as I get closer to my goals, the idea of looking a certain way starts to consume my thoughts.

This overwhelming prevalence of negative body image in the media has sparked activists to promote “loving” your body. Media is starting to recognize that humans come in different shapes and sizes. We’re beginning to embrace the stretch marks, tummy rolls, and other “flaws” that make us unique. This movement and change in mindset is necessary and amazing. After all, if you aren’t happy now, 10lbs won’t magically turn the world around. 

But there’s still a huge problem: it’s driven by the same idea already drilled into our minds: that what we see is what matters. Does no one understand that just because someone is thin, doesn’t mean their heart is happy with their habits? And just because someone is bigger, doesn’t mean their eating and exercise aren’t top-notch.

To me, loving yourself means being active, fueling your body with foods that will love you back, and maintaining mental wellness. We live in a deep-fried society that envies exteriors while shoveling chemically processed foods into our mouths, neglecting the fact that we’re slowly destroying our bodies because our priorities are in the fact that we’re “skinny" instead of “healthy."

It’s time to recognize that healthy is sexy. It’s time to model behavior that’ll strengthen as a society, not bodies that leave us envious as we continue to disrespect our own. It’s time for cultural revolution against what we know media to be, and make it what we it can be. Let’s open our eyes and mind to change. Take action, treat your body like a temple, and make mental and physical health a priority. Go beyond the physical.

So, what will you do today to love your body?

Carpe Diem

During the last days of her life, my Bubbe* sat weak in her favorite chair with face parallel to the floor. Although she had little to no strength left, she somehow looked up and said “I had a lot of fun.” Clearly suffering in pain, only moments away from her final breathes, my Bubbe was still able to positively reflect on the 79 years she spent here.

It’s been a little over 6 months since she passed away, but I still think about those words. How many people get to say goodbye to the world, knowing that they seized the day while they had the chance? It seems almost unimaginable to appreciate the memories and know that you lived life to the fullest, especially while slowly being tortured by your own body, but if my Bubbe can, so can I, and so can you. 

Yes, things are going to get rough, and that’s an inevitable fact, but that’s no reason to close your eyes to the wonderful world that surrounds you. The time is now to start taking advantage of every opportunity available to you (and work hard to open doors to the ones that aren’t).When the time comes, you don’t want to think of all the things you should’ve done, but instead, thinking of everything you did do.

So, what are you going to do today to make it count? What about this week? This month? Set (S.M.A.R.T.) goals, make a plan, follow it, and see your dreams manifest reality. Be brave and try something new! You’ll never know if you don't take shot. Even if you miss the target, you can't hit a bullseye without taking chance.

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*Bubbe is the Jewish term for Grandma.