"Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn

Sitting in my family's RV with my unwashed hair going on four days, I reflected on my life. Unfortunately, whenever I feel the most disgusting, I tend to think about my life and what it is worth. I had always been a girl with a strong routine. I wake up relatively early, go to school, come home, do my homework, etc. I study hard, get good grades, and try to take care of myself as much as possible.

Despite this, there are several things I despise about myself: my weight is too low, my metabolism is too fast, my body is too tall, my forehead is too big - the list goes on. My biggest insecurity, my weight, has always tormented me. I have received side-glances, rude comments, and just a general abundance of uncomfortable run-ins with family members and strangers alike that feel the need to comment on my lack of body fat.

Gaining weight is a near impossible task for me thanks to my inherited high-functioning metabolism that does not know what the words "slow down" mean. I decided that if I could not gain weight, I was going to gain strength. Among this goal came several other mini goals that have drastically improved my day-to-day life. This is how I changed my life in a week.

Week One:

Yoga

To start off my week, I decided to try out yoga in order to gradually build up my strength and my flexibility. I clicked on the first day of Adriene's 30 Day Yoga Challenge on YouTube, and it has changed my life.

Image by Elaine Temporarily removed

It was nothing crazy - small stretches and breathing exercises. I felt relaxed and not ashamed of my beginner status. I recommend Adriene's 30 Day Challenge to anyone interested in practicing yoga; she is absolutely amazing and makes sure to include all different levels and body types into her practice:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY&t=18s

On the fifth day of yoga, I could feel the muscles in my legs strengthening. They were no longer jiggly like jello :P. I am on the eighth day right now, and I can only feel my body getting stronger and stronger with every practice. I have also gained the skill of using breathing techniques to calm me down. Before, breathing slowly just made my mind scramble and my body tense up into a ball of more anxiety. Now, I can physically feel my body relax with my inhales and exhales. It is truly refreshing.
I also decided to try out night yoga. In other words, yoga that makes you sleepy and allows you to get a better night sleep. I turned to Adriene once again for that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7SN-d4qXx0
I have never missed a day of the 30-day challenge or night yoga thus far. I found myself craving the practice as I studied at my desk or got ready for school. It is nice to crave something healthy for my body for once!

Reading

Next, I wanted to get in touch with my seventh-grade self. Now don't get me wrong, I did not want to go back to the skater skirt and anime phase that I had for some time - yikes. However, I wanted to start getting back into reading. In middle school, I was reading up to fifteen books a month. In high school, I would be lucky to read five books the entire school year. I decided that I did not want to waste time laying in bed or watching Netflix for hours when I could be giving some of that time to my desire to start being a bookworm again.

Temporarily removed blackandwhite, book, and books image

I decided to read Wuthering Heights first. I needed to finish it for my AP Literature class, so it just made sense. In order to make the reading more manageable, I decided to split up the book into sections of which I would read every day that week. I took the total number of pages in the novel and divided that by the number of days I wanted to spend reading the book. In total, I calculated that I had around fifty pages to read every day.

I read in my comfy chair every night before night yoga and dove into the book. Do not get me wrong, trying to pick up reading for fun after not doing it for so long is no easy task. I found myself sighing, yawning, counting down the pages until I would be done for the day, glazing over passages, thinking about other things while reading so I did not remember what I just read, etc. This went on for awhile - almost the whole week.

On Saturday, my last day of reading, I found it easier to remain involved and focused on the story. With time and progression through the plot, I grew closer to the characters and therefore was more interested in their lives.

After I finished my reading section for the day, I would get up out of my chair and slowly pace around the room, talking about what I just read and what my personal views on the plot or the characters were. This was incredibly helpful because I strengthened my involvement with the novel. For example, after finishing the first couple chapters of Wuthering Heights, I got up and the first thing I said was, "wow, the main character is a dick." Now, when I read the novel further, my brain was subconsciously looking for little details in the novel that could have redeemed the main character. I became involved.

I finished Wuthering Heights after six days of reading, and now my next book is The Grapes of Wrath. I'll let you guys know how that goes!

New Products

The next change in my life occurred within my bathroom. I know, that sounds really gross, but it's not - I promise! I have had a problem with acne, not just on my face but on my back, arms, chest, etc. It got to the point where I did not want to wear short-sleeve shirts and anything that would reveal my back. I needed to do something, and I needed to do something fast.

cosmetics, mac, and makeup image girl, black and white, and model image

I decided to consult some online sources on how to get rid of acne, and many of them were pointing to one product: Joesoef's anti-acne soap. I tried it out, and holy cow I could not have predicted the change that it brought my skin. I have been using it for about four to five days now and I can already notice a difference. I have been using it my face too, and almost all of my acne on my face is gone. Even those pesky bumps that have shown up on my forehead have become increasingly small. I am even wearing a tank top as I write this!

One warning, however, to any who may be interested in it, it does dry out your skin easily. If you are someone with dry skin, this may not be a good product for you. I have somewhat oily skin and I have to use moisturizer on my face and chest area with this product in order to maintain hydration.
https://www.amazon.com/Sulfur-Soap-Medical-Dermatologists-Approved/dp/B014HYI86M/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1543770964&sr=8-3&keywords=joesoef+soap

I also discovered recently that baby wash removes makeup. I bought myself a small bottle of baby wash, and whenever I get home from school, I hop in the shower and gently rub it on my face to get rid of my makeup. It does not irritate my skin, and it does a great job of getting rid of my matte lipstick and unrelenting eyeliner.

Reflection

I have never felt more healthy in my life than I do right now. After following my routine for a couple days, I found myself naturally drawn to drinking more water and eating healthier. I encouraged drinking more water by buying a reusable water bottle with a built-in straw. Those are really fun to drink out of, so I was more prone to grab it and take a sip. These water bottles are super cheap and easy to find, too. I was spending less time on my phone as well (my screen time shows about an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes of phone usage for a week-long period). I could sit at the dinner table with my family and not feel the urge to scroll through Instagram or Twitter. Doing night yoga also made me tired enough where I did not feel the urge to grab my phone before bed and scroll through social media. I felt happy in the present moment and just took the time to eat my meals, think about the day, and breathe easy.

I will document my second week on this routine next Sunday. Let me know if you guys would like me to talk about something in more detail or if you want me to do an article about my daily routine chronologically. If you have any questions, let me know!

Have a great day!