“You are what you eat!”
is good advice – but not just for food. If your body is healthy on the inside, you will see the benefit on the outside in better skin, nicer hair, and a physique that can handle being active and energetic. If your mind is healthy, there will be outside effects as well: you will be happier, more positive, and more confident. And it is this kind of well-rounded beauty that will stand out to judges.
Eating healthy doesn’t just mean counting calories. I think we’re all starting to realize that the extra additives in processed food are not the best choice for our health. The downside of low-calorie marketed food, other than the potential effects of added sugar, salt, chemicals, food coloring, and preservatives, is their inability to make you feel full. Which will only torture you with hunger, or make you eat more calories. Alternatively, eating food you’ve prepared youself, from organic, clean food, will have more nutrients, and if you include forms of protein, will make you feel full faster. A low Glycemic Index diet is beneficial whether you’re diabetic or not. Avoiding white, sugary bread, and replacing it with protein and vegetables in smaller meals throughout the day will keep your blood sugar steady, avoid bouts of crippling hunger, and give your body steady energy throught the day.
Water, water, and more water. Drinking water before meals will make you full faster, but will also make your skin healthier and less dry. Drinking coffee and soft drinks will dry your skin out, and contain unnecessary sugar and caffeine, which can your body have an energy crash later.
Staying active is so important. Getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day will improve your energy, make you more positive and happy, relieve your stress, keep your body and immune system healthy, you’ll fit in your clothes better, and you’ll have so much more confidence. It helps to choose an exercise that’s right for you. Not everyone enjoys a “hard-core” gym workout, or running. Youtube is great for learning short simple workouts you can do at home, including yoga.
Drink water, eat cucumbers (they contain water), and avoid sugar. If you have acne problems, you might be using too many products. Try washing your face morning and night with just water and dove soap (I’m a fan of Bare Minerals as well) and moisturize generously. A lot of people are afraid that lotion will cause breakouts, but its often the lack of moisture that causes skin to overproduce oil, causing acne.
Be realistic: Models and actresses that we might idolize and fawn over use professional hair and makeup stylists, and their photos are highly edited. Be realistic about what it means to be beautiful, and how you want yourself to look. No you are not going to look like the people in magazines, because even the models themselves don’t look like that. And that’s ok! Embrace how you look, and enhance your best features in natural and healthy ways if you wish.
Posture: It takes less than 30 seconds for someone to create an opinion about you, and posture contributes to that. Good posture not only makes you look more confident, it prevents back problems and tones your abdominal and back muscles involved in keeping your back straight.
Know yourself & the world: Take time to learn about yourself. They say that you can only help others after you’ve taken care of yourself. Find out what your interests are, get involved in different hobbies or volunteer work. You could take a dance class, teach yourself an instrument, join a choir, experiment with making art, read a book you’ve never heard of before, learn a lanugage, or travel somewhere new. Also find out what you don’t like and why. You’ll find you have more to talk about, and more interest in the world and other people’s ideas.