If you frequent the Internet, you know that the trend of being THAT GIRL exploded all over Tik Tok and made its way to Youtube. That Girl is the aesthetically healthy, has-her-life-together girl. While some people loved the trend of that girl, others found it too rooted in aesthetics of a particular class. That Girl has a connotation that can exclude some people from fitting into the trend.
That said, in a healthy context, when That Girl is taken to mean a woman’s healthy version of herself, I believe that girl is actually a beautiful thing to encourage and to have trending. The thing about That Girl is behind being a healthy person, there is so much hard, deep work that needs to be done to actually be well.
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The hard work of being THAT GIRL
Identify your obstacles
Everyone can (and should) take some time to really identify what is going on in their world. There’s a reason you’re not always making healthy choices. Working towards health is figuring out the boundaries that keep you from living out your healthy lifestyle of being That Girl.
Quarantine and its accompanying fatigue really demolished our routines. If you’re still working at home, your old health routine may not work right now. In some parts of the country (and world), you can go to gyms and healthy juice places. Or maybe you can’t and that’s an obstacle. Maybe you don’t have your own space. Perhaps work is all consuming. Being healthy physically may not be as big of a priority as being socially healthy.
Mark the things that are stopping you from where you want to be. Journal them. List them. Write them down in your Notes app. Add some clarity to your healthy journey before you try to take action. You want to know what the best move to make is before you make it.
Work with your environment
We can’t change where we are. We can’t change who we are with. At least, not everyone can. Part of taking charge of your life like That Girl is working with what you have and making the best out of your circumstances. This isn’t the most aesthetic part of being That Girl, but it’s important.
Working with your environment can take lots of forms. This means cleaning your space. This means using a space with multiple purposes. If you have an area where you work/do school, you can also use that place to do personal projects. If you move your desk out of the way, you may have space to do at home workouts. Maybe you do your morning journaling and meditation in bed if you don’t have another quiet space for that. If you can, maybe shift your work location from your desk to your living room floor and coffee table for a change of scenery.
You can also add some things to make your environment more suitable. Add some fresh flowers or plants. Perhaps add a few trinkets on your coffee table. Put on some ambiance on your TV as you work (I love doing this!) Put on an oil diffuser or light a candle to signal the end of work.
Lastly, use your environment to remind you. Place your vitamins on the coffee table so you remember to take them. Put your journals on your end table so you remember to journal. Place water bottles in different rooms so you remember to stay hydrated. Put sunscreen on your office desk so you remember to reapply it. Place some books you want to read on your coffee table so you remember to read after work/school. Make your environment work for your needs.
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Aim for progress not perfection
Through the idealized version of this trend, That Girl seems like she’s always eating healthy, she’s always wearing cute matching workout sets, she’s always hydrated, and she’s always drinking perfectly made coffee (no thank you!). A big reason why I felt like I always needed to adjust my goals or felt like I was failing was because I was aiming for perfection not progress. For the first few days of a health journey, I’d be getting up early, working out, and having a perfect morning routine, but as soon as something disrupted me, I was toast. I fell off track so many times.
When the ideal is to aim for progress, not perfection, you beat yourself up less and congratulate yourself more. While it would be nice to be perfect all the time, it’s not realistic. Celebrate when you’ve hydrated enough one day. Clap for yourself when you’ve completed a workout. Be proud when you’ve made a healthy meal. Give yourself credit as you’re continually getting better and give yourself grace when you fall off the track.
The thing is – you will fall off the track. You just need to have a plan for when you do and work towards getting back to it!
Take a break
Gen Z and millennials are kind of really obsessed with being productive ALL the time. It’s unhealthy and it’s making us really unhappy. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to work 24/7. Not everyday has to be a sprint to check off our to-do lists. I love a regular productive day as everyone else, but I think you would be so much more successful if you just took a break.
Think about it: Alexander Hamilton literally cheated on his wife because he “couldn’t” take a break. When we’re worn out and overworked, we are not our best selves. Add a rest day to your schedule. Take some intentional time off. Away from technology. Go out in nature. Or do a crafting hobby. Garden. Bake. Just turn away from whatever seems so important and rest.
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Monitor your consumption
So often being healthy gets limited to physical health. But neglecting emotional and mental health has serious consequences. You may find yourself in a spiral of negative thoughts. I found myself in a REALLY bad cycle of comparison. While we want to complain and get down on ourselves thinking the problem is outside our range, the truth is we are in control. We’re not in control of everything (don’t mishear me), but we’re in control of what we consume. If you’re having bad thoughts, check what you’re consuming.
Become really aware of your music taste. Your Netflix binges. Your social media feed. I’m currently doing a social media detox and it’s been wonderful. We can consume so much digitally without being aware of how much it can clog our mental space and even warp our thoughts about ourselves. Check in and be intentional about what you’re consuming.
This post isn’t about perfectly becoming That Girl, but addressing the mindsets behind her and digging deeper beyond the “eat healthy and workout” advice. You can become That Girl, she just looks a little different than what you’re imagining.
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