Where my glo-up went wrong:

As someone who has been on endless diet and workout plans since the age of 12, I’d like to say I have some kind of expertise in the science of “glo-ups” or “#transformationtuesdays." I lost my “baby fat” and dyed my hair back from the horrifying blue that I thought was a great idea my sophomore year of high school.

I learned a lot of things about "transforming." I learned that pizza wasn’t the only option in my cafeteria, that exercising was for more than just athletes, and that frozen yogurt didn’t taste all that different from ice cream. That being said, I neglected to learn the most important lesson of all when it comes to changing your outward appearance. You need to love yourself from the very start. 

You should forgive yourself.

I’ve seen so many girls sigh and say, “Ugh I’m so disgusted with myself, I need to start eating healthier and working out." At this point, I want to shake them and say “no amount of salads or cardio sessions will make you love your body. It’s all about how you think about yourself."

I know it’s so easy to blame yourself for the freshman 15 you packed on from those late night Domino orders or those PMSing nights with your favorite men, Ben and Jerry. Remind yourself that you are only human. Treat nights are always worth it, and you are beautiful despite the fact that it’s a little harder to put on your jeans from junior year of high school. 

Don't worry, you can still be healthy.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work out or grab an apple on the way out of the dining hall. By all means, do things that make your body feel good. Just don’t go to the gym because you feel like you need to look a certain way. Don’t pass up that Smitty’s run with your squad because you already ate too many calories for the day.

Head to the gym because you love the way your legs can run, or how strong you are. Eat quinoa in order to nourish your fabulous, beautiful body and because you love the taste.

How to practice more self-love:

1. Each day, write down one thing you love about yourself in a journal, on your phone, etc. I know it sounds weird but trust me, it helps to have a visual of the reasons you deserve to be loved.

2. Compare yourself as little as possible to the girl in front of you at the gym, to the girl in the bikini on instagram, to your friend that has recently been on a successful diet, etc. She is beautiful, but that does not mean that you aren't.

3. If you're feeling down about yourself, do something you know makes you feel good. Paint your nails, watch your favorite movie, listen to your "happy" playlist, spend time with friends. You'll probably snap out of your funk in no time.

4. Take selfies. I know it sounds silly, but open up snapchat and start playing with your favorite filters. This is a fun, entertaining way to realize you are beautiful, and not just because of your fake dog ears or virtual sunglasses.

5. Don't be afraid to text your best friend telling them that you're feeling down about yourself. They will most likely have a list of reasons why you are a beautiful person, inside and out. Listen to and absorb what they say, because they probably know you better than anyone else.

Coming from the girl who has starved herself to become someone she could love, no diet will bring you happiness or satisfaction with your body. Telling yourself you are gorgeous, even on the days you don’t move from your couch, will be the biggest step you take in terms of being happy with who you are.