Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be YOU

By Sierra Terrell
Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland for 2012

  Finally, the snow is beginning the melt, the flowers are beginning to sprout and all the butterflies are coming about. These are the few signs of warmer weather; in other words – Spring time! I for one adore the Spring season (whether or not my birthday being in May has something to do with it, I’m not too sure). Since it is getting warmer, that means people are trading in their over-stuffed winter coats for brightly colored t-shirts and tank-tops. Now, as much as I love this time of the year, to be honest, it usually does accompany some anxiety. Many of us have unfortunately fallen victim to this feeling, and that feeling is we over-ate during the winter and now we need to get our beach body back. 

I for one felt extra anxiety this year because the Spring time also means time for my dance team auditions for the upcoming Fall season. At our auditions, we must be weighed and measured so that our body mass index (BMI) may be calculated. Obviously this freaks me out just a bit because no one – especially a female – enjoys stepping on a scale, in front of others. Just when I was preparing myself for this weigh-in, there was another kicker: they lowered the BMI requirement.

Immediately I thought to myself that there was no way I could lose a certain amount of weight in the given time. I was lost about how I should go about starting and what exactly I should do. It did help though, to see my fellow dance mates get the same anxiety but explain to me that it is possible to do it in a healthy manner. 

“Fad diets” seem like the easy way out. They claim to get you to lose a substantial amount of weight in a less than normal amount of time. However, there are tons of side effects. This is especially for the young females of today that are willing to go to the ends of the earth to fit that cookie-cutter “beautiful” type that society wants. The saying that if it is too good to be true, then it probably is, proves extremely true when it comes to “dieting”. 

It’s normal to lose about 1-2 pounds a week. Losing a lot of weight or changing your body type is not an easy task, so it should take a good amount of time if you want it to last. Fad diets just satisfy you at that very moment, but about a month down the road, you will have gained every single pound back plus more.

So please, young ladies, it begins with eating right and exercising. You’d be surprised of how much working out an hour a day and eating more fruit and vegetables and less fast food and chips will do for your health and your body.

With all this being said, being skinny shouldn’t be everyone, if anyone’s, goal. Your body belongs to you and you should love every inch and curve that you have to offer. You shouldn’t aim for a specific number on the scale or not even necessarily a certain number on your waist. Instead, aim for being healthy, being happy, and being you.

 Sierra Terrell is a college freshman at Troy University in Troy, Alabama majoring in Psychology. Originally from Waldorf, Maryland, Sierra was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland for 2012. Learn more about Sierra here!

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