By Mackenzie Ross
Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi for 2013
Today as I was studying for my upcoming biology test, I realized this: our bodies are amazing. Literally. Every day we put our bodies through so much stress—both physically and mentally, and somehow, they manage to carry us through.
As a busy college student, I often have 18+ hour days, and when my day is finally done, I am literally a zombie. I walk an average of 5 miles a day, and even though I try to eat healthy, junk food usually works its way into my diet. Kind of like those Cookie Dough Oreos I just finished…Oh well!
I’ve never been overly interested with any kind of science, but the biology class I am in now focuses on the human body. And guess what? It’s fascinating! The heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute, and our lungs continually bring oxygen to our bodies…ALL WITHOUT US EVEN HAVING TO THINK ABOUT IT! These two major organs are just the beginning of the many amazing functions the body performs from the moment we are born until we die.
I don’t know about you, but I easily forget to be thankful for the life I have been given. But more importantly, I am not always thankful for the body I have been given. The world we live in continually tells us that we need to be a certain weight or height, have a specific hair color or style, and dress a certain way. Especially as spring break approaches, I (like so many others) have been overly focused on making sure my body looks a certain way. But why?
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139:14
I am beyond blessed that God gave me life and that He created me in His image, and when I force myself to look like someone else, I am ruining the masterpiece God designed. Even if you are not religious, just looking down at your body and thinking of how it sustains you is evidence enough of how awesome it is.
With the realization of the miraculous nature of our bodies, we should also strive to take good care of them. Here are some of my favorite tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
1. Drink lots of water!
2. Eat fruits and veggies.
3. Eat lean meats like fish and chicken.
4. Walk or ride a bike somewhere instead of driving.
5. Aim for at least 3 sessions of aerobic exercise per week (ex. running, swimming, cycling, etc.)
6. Sleep! Aim for at least 7-8 hours per night.
7. Relax! Set aside an afternoon each week to read, paint, watch a movie or do something chill.
Above all, remain positive and remember to “Be Your Best Self!”
Mackenzie Ross is a college freshman at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Political Science. Originally from Meridian, Mississippi, Mackenzie was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi for 2013. Learn more about Mackenzie here!