Learning to Love Your Body

We’ve all been there: wishing that we looked like a celebrity in a magazine or that girl we saw at the gym. We all get that icky, guilty feeling when we’re shopping for new clothes and it seems like there is nothing in the entire mall that fits! It’s frustrating and it’s an emotion that leaves you feeling empty. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Throughout my years of weight loss and weight gain, body loving and body hating, I’ve discovered four major keys to being truly and honestly comfortable in my skin. When I start having negative thoughts about my body, I ask myself these questions:

Am I Eating The Right Foods?

Now, this doesn’t mean going on a crazy, absurd diet. It just means that of all the calories I eat in a day, are the majority of them full of vitamins and nutrients? A treat is okay every now and then, but when you eat well you feel well. And it’s definitely easier to love body when you feel well.

Am I Exercising?

“Exercise” is a tough word for some people to swallow, but it doesn’t have to include going for a jog or lifting weights. Getting your body to move and grow stronger should be the main goal of every workout. Don’t like running? Try a Zumba class. Not the biggest fan of cycling? Yoga can make you sweat just as much. The key is to get up and get moving. Exercising and pushing your limits helps you to realize and appreciate all the amazing things your body can do.

Am I Getting Enough Sleep?

I am a busy, on-the-go, can’t-say-no, nonstop, college student with a handful of jobs and a husband and a baby and a lot of bills. My days are packed from the second my alarm goes off to the moment my head hits the pillow. But my body and my mind need the irreplaceable rest that comes with a good night’s sleep. When I neglect the sleep that I need, I’m tired and sluggish. I get frustrated with my body for not being able to do more for me. However, in order to get the most out of my body it needs to rest. It’s easy to love and care for my body when I feel awake and refreshed.

Am I Dressing For My Body Type?

Try as I may I will never be a size zero - and there’s nothing wrong that! There is also nothing wrong with those of you who are a size zero. That being said, I need to find clothing cuts, styles and fabrics that best fit my body. There is a difference between cute clothes and flattering clothes. Lots of trends are cute, but they don’t flatter my body type. Sticking to clothes that flatter your body type, whatever it may be, will help you feel more comfortable in your own skin.

 

In the end, when I am taking care of my body, I love and appreciate it more - even if I didn’t reach my ideal weight or if I’m not as strong as I’d like to be. There is so much my body can do and I’m so thankful for the one I was blessed with. Taking care of my body helps me feel my best and let’s me be my best.

 

How have you overcome your negative body image? I would love to hear your triumphs in the comments below!

 

Have you read my post about loving your body while pregnant?

7 Tips For A Better Resume

One of my favorite jobs in college was working at the University Career Services. It was my job to help students get hired. I trained with career specialists and then sat down with students one-on-one to critique and guide their resumes. After working with hundreds of resumes, I have compiled this list of a few good tricks that make every resume job-worthy.

1: At A Glance.

What does your resume look like at a glance? Odds are employers are handed a massive stack of resumes and if yours doesn’t stand out or it looks too complicated, they’ll toss it. It’s important that the employer’s first impression of you be a clean, organized, and well-balanced resume.

2: One Page.

Limit your resume to one page, especially if you’re an undergrad. I’ve known employers who immediately toss two-page resumes before even reading them. Avoid them like the plague. More importantly, sticking to this guideline will help you to keep your descriptions concise and to the point.

3: Easy to Navigate.

Don’t make employers work to find the information they need. Make sure each section of your resume is clearly labeled and smartly organized. For example, I always state my education at the top of my resume because education is usually the first qualification for a job.

4: Nothing From High School

Unless you’re a freshman in college (or a high school student), nobody cares about your life as a minor. Don’t list anything about high school on your resume, no matter how impressive you think it is. If you are a Freshman in college, you especially need to work hard to get other experiences that you can put on your resume. Join a club, get a part time job, volunteer. Anything for experience that’s not from high school. My only exception to this rule is if you are currently doing something you started in high school, like volunteering for the same organization (or within the same field) or still writing for your blog. This can show that you are passionate about these things because you’ve been doing them for a long time. Other than that, try your best to get experience outside of your high school days.

5: Related vs. Additional Experience

Up until recently, this is how I usually divided up my resume (I have finally gained enough Related Experience in my field that I no longer have room for Additional Experience). Related Experience is anything (job, club, volunteering, awards) that shows I have the skills for and will succeed at a specific job I’m applying for. Additional Experience is where I put those odd jobs I got just to pay the bills. These jobs are still important because they show that you’re humble enough to clean restrooms and that you’re not afraid of work. I also use these jobs to show I have the typical characteristics every job posting asks for: “Good customer service, works well as a team member, leadership experience, detail oriented, etc.”

6: Key Words From The Job Posting

Once I have formatted my resume, I compare it side-by-side to the job posting. I then pluck words from the job posting and put them in my resume (only if they truly apply to my resume. Never lie on a resume). This is how you get past resume filters and HR people. Specific words from the job posting will be used in filters or looked for by an HR person screening resumes. Using the company’s lingo on your resume will get you one step closer to an interview.

7: Print Your Resume In Black and White

This is extremely important, especially if you are daring enough to have a resume design that isn’t traditional. While I tend to use black, dark blue or dark red colors on my resume, I understand that some creative jobs require more creative resume designs. If you fall under this category, print your resume out in black and white ink before you submit it. There is a high chance that if you apply online or through email, your resume will be printed out in black and white ink and then looked at by the employer. You want your resume to still be legible even if it is not in color. Remember, the function of your resume always needs to out way the design of your resume.

My last piece of advice is to think of your resume as a canvas, not a buffet. When you’re at a buffet, you usually throw anything on your plate just to fill it up. People tend to do this with resumes as well. Don’t just put anything on your resume to fill up space. Instead, look at your resume as a canvas, where each stroke of the paintbrush is deliberate. Everything about your resume needs to be deliberate and it needs to contribute to the job you are applying for. Remember, the purpose of a resume is to get an interview, not the job. You don’t have to put your entire life story on your resume. You just want to peak the employer’s interest and prove that you have the skills to be successful in that job. The interview is where you convince them to hire you.

Was this article helpful for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Going to college soon? Read my advice about what every future college student needs to know!

This is my most recent resume. It is more on the nontraditional side but it works for my field. Remember to always make sure that the function of your resume outweighs the design.
This is my most recent resume (click on it to enlarge). It is more on the nontraditional side but it works for my field. Remember to always make sure that the function of your resume outweighs the design.

Advice to Incoming College Freshmen

I get it. You just graduated high school where you were the top dog. You’re ready to tackle college and you know exactly what to do. You know your parents’ advice is outdated and you’ve read enough blog posts that you’re ready.

I was the same way. So if you won’t listen to your parents and you’re looking for one more post to read, at least consider the top ten things I wish I had known as an incoming college freshman.

1: Don’t Take 18 Credits.
No matter what you think, college is different than high school (unless you took Mrs. Mays’ BC Calculus class. That is exactly like college). Plan to study three hours for every hour in class (well, I said plan… we all know that we wait until the night before to study but it’s the thought that counts). You need it. Plus, you don’t realize how much time you don’t have in college because you now cook your own meals, you do your own laundry, you buy your own groceries and you do your own cleaning (this is where you’ll begin to miss Mom). In my opinion, the best way to have a balanced school/work/social/personal life is to take between 12-14 credits. You’ll thank me later.

2: You Don’t Always Have to Buy the Newest Edition of a Textbook.
More often than not, an older version is almost exactly the same and costs significantly less money. I tend to wait until after the first day of class to buy my textbooks. Then I ask the professor’s opinion of different versions and I avoid spending $200 on a textbook I don’t actually need (which has actually happened). And thanks to Amazon Prime, you can get most textbooks within the next few days (yay for student discounts and two-day shipping).

3: Pick Three Majors That Interest You.
Your first semester at college you need to pick three majors that interest you (even if you’re already a hundred percent set on one major). Take one class from each major. This will give you the opportunity to explore any career route that has peaked your interest. You’ll be grateful you did some exploring before it was too late.

4: Join Clubs and Volunteer.
Take advantage of the clubs and volunteer opportunities on campus. They will give you the experience you’ll need when applying for jobs without requiring you to have any prior experience. One regret of mine is that I wasn’t involved enough in the opportunities my campus had to offer. It would have made job application season so much easier. Get involved. Get Experience.

5: Keep Your Dating Standards High.
This is where a majority of my college regrets lie. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Don’t just fall for the first person that shows you a little bit of attention. You’re worth more than that.

6: Get a Sports Pass. 
If your college offers a sports pass, get one. Even if you don’t have any friends yet. It will help you make friends and it’s a great way to be involved in your school. Not getting a sports pass is one of my biggest regrets of Freshman year.

7: Dishes.
Don’t be that guy or girl who never does their dishes. Simple as that. Also, don’t be that roommate who leaves mean notes about dirty dishes (guilty as charged).

8: Call Home Often.
You need it and they need it. No matter how crazy or annoying they are, family will always have your back. Moms usually know the right things to say and Dads usually have your best interest in mind. Call home.

9: Keep Your Chin Up.
You’re not the only lonely person in college. There are plenty of people to make friends with. It just takes time and practice. Keep your chin up and try new things. You’ll make friends.

10: Don’t Lose Sight of Who You Are.
After years of late night papers and endless jobs to pay the bills, it’s easy to lose a little bit of yourself. Don’t become so focused on grades or internships or getting the right job that your personality begins to dull. Invest in yourself as much as you are investing in the future. Go the the gym. Read a book. Paint a picture. Constantly do the little things that make you who you are.

 

What is your advice to incoming college freshmen? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comment section below!