Here’s a not-so surprising secret: There are so many things I’d rather do than exercise. (To name a few: eat a huge bowl of pasta, listen to ’90s power ballads, stare at my toes, and watch the sunset while sipping a toffee nut latte—all of which I did this weekend.) But exercise is a necessary
evil struggle, and if exercise were a person, he and I really need to get together and, you know…work it out (badum-tss!).
Inspired by Selena Gomez’s cheerful neon cardigan in her Adidas Neo campaign, I’ve recently taken a liking to happy workout gear. It started with an itsy-bitsy teenie-weenie yellow polka dot sports bra I snatched up on sale, then a pair of hot pink kicks Skechers generously gave me last week. If wearing brights makes me happy on regular days, then it should be able to lend its magic to my gym sessions, too.
Here’s another surefire way to psych yourself up to sweat it out: a fun song with lotsa clapping and good vibes! Makes you feel like you have a super supportive barkada cheering you on to run, stretch, jump, kick, or lift toward your best, fittest, healthiest self—which you probably do, anyway.
Last week, I gave a confidence talk called #BeYourSelfie to a group of college students in Ateneo. What started out as an analysis of selfies and how we shouldn’t let other people dictate how much we like ourselves evolved into a discussion on happiness, self-worth, and using that happiness and self-worth to make others feel good about themselves, too. “The people you surround yourself with says so much about what you think of yourself,” one guy offered. Another guy talked about being brave enough to accept that what used to be his biggest dream now has to be set aside for something he can actually flourish in. One girl asked, “What if you know your worth but other people think you’re weird?” I told her the difference between a happy weird person and a miserable weird person is that the former has come to terms with her weirdness and grown into a version of herself that she’s comfortable with, even if it’s not what other people are used to. “It’s about owning all the parts of you that other people find strange, and being proud of what makes you different,” I told her. Of course, I had to cite my favorite adorable weirdo as an example:
I give workshops to students several times a year, but that talk has to be one of my favorites. I liked how everyone seemed to be listening intently, reflecting on their own experiences and recognizing that they are responsible for boosting their own self-esteem. I liked that everyone was so honest and open with one another, and so generous with their thoughts and words (as a closing GD, they wrote compliments on Post-its and stuck them onto one another). I liked that it made ME realize that although we are all so different, our hearts wanting and chasing different things, we all need the same thing: to be okay with who we are, and to know that if this isn’t the case today, there are still so many tomorrows ahead of us.
Do you have an inspiring story on confidence, self-worth, overcoming your insecurities, and getting to know yourself? Share it with us! Email me at marlaATcandymagDOTcom. I’ll be waiting. :-)
The other day, former Managing Editor Mimi (she’s now the EIC of Total Girl!) were talking about how I started with Candy. Here’s the story: I won a fiction contest on Candymag.com in 2003, became part of the Council of Cool in 2004, and was officially hired as editorial assistant in 2006. Back then I didn’t know I’d be staying this long–it was my dream job, sure, but the creativity has to run out sooner or later, doesn’t it?—yet I’m still here, and hopefully still churning out ideas and issues that make you girls happier, smarter, and better equipped to deal with that tough thing called adolescence. Mimi and I both freaked out a bit when we realized we’ve known each other for almost 10 years, but later that night I lay in bed and thought about how Candy has truly shaped me into the person I am now.
As both a thank-you and a trip down memory lane, here are 10 things I’ve learned from my almost-decade with the sweetest magazine in the world:
1. Don’t procrastinate. Discipline yourself to do everything you can today, even when there is so much you can leave for tomorrow.
2. …But at the end of the day, forgive yourself if you can’t finish everything you set out to accomplish in the morning. Do better tomorrow.
3. “Shy” is just a state of mind. Program yourself to be more open, warmer, and friendlier, and in time you’ll find that you don’t even remember what it feels like to to be the shyest girl in the room anymore. Start with smiling; it totally helps.
4. Don’t take everything personally. Know the difference between people criticizing your work and criticizing you.
5. Learn to laugh at yourself. Your mistakes make you complex, interesting, and vulnerable in a good way.
6. Show up. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you’re having a rough day. Never reach a point where you no longer feel bad for cancelling, flaking, or not being around.
7. Don’t stop writing. Don’t stop reading. Find the online home (a blog or a site or a Twitter page) of someone you admire and visit it as often as you can.
8. When the inspiration starts getting harder to come by, pack your bags and go away. Go some place strange. Go some place beautiful. Go some place you can lose yourself. Then come back.
9. Always say thank you. And please. And “I love your shoes/dress/lipstick/hair.”
10. Remember how lucky you are to be working at a job you absolutely love, with friends you genuinely adore. Remind yourself every day. Never forget.
Yesterday, blogger, photographer, and fashion expert Tricia Gosingtian launched the first Summit style book by a young Filipina. 150 Style Essentials for Every Girl is packed with outfit ideas, beauty tricks, and blogging tips perfect for those who want to follow in Tricia’s fashionable footsteps. The Candy team was there to support one of our favorite bloggers, of course. While waiting for Tricia to finish signing copies (thank you to everyone who lined up and patiently waited for their turn), we browsed through the book and were impressed at how relatable Tricia’s style is—none of her fashion tips are outrageous or snobby, and you’re bound to find at least one look you can totally recreate with stuff you already have in your closet. To prove this point, we came to work today sporting outfits inspired by the book! How well do you think we pulled it off? ;-)
Here’s another brilliant idea: Why don’t YOU recreate Tricia’s look and tag us on Instagram or Twitter @candymagdotcom? We’d love to see what you guys come up with!
Tricia Gosingtian’s 150 Style Essentials for Every Girl is available in bookstores and newsstands for only P295.
Not to brag (okay, maybe to brag a little bit), but I wasn’t a bad student at all. In fact, I was pretty good: I made it to the dean’s list a couple of times, got an A on my creative thesis, and was the darling of my teachers. I sucked at math, but that’s a different story and also the reason I’m a writer and not an accountant. /endhumblebrag
I know that for most of you, October means final exams and papers. I also know that this means sleepless nights, liters of coffee, zombie mornings, and snapping at strangers for doing silly things like breathing and existing. I don’t want any of you becoming a member of the undead, or getting into a fistfight with that girl who cut you in line at the cafeteria when YOU-NEED-ANOTHER-ICED-LATTE-DAMMIT, so here are three quick tips I’ve picked up from my own days as a student. Keep your sanity, Candy Girls—it’s not easy but you can definitely try.
1. Use your weekends wisely. I know, I know: weekends are supposed to be for relaxation and pool parties and binge-watching Hart of Dixie. But if you’re absolutely swamped with school work, I’m afraid you have no choice; you have to get some stuff done on the weekends. Set aside Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon for school work, then maybe go ahead and watch a movie on Saturday night and throw a pancake party with your siblings on Sunday morning. If you’re smart about scheduling, school work doesn’t have to take up your entire weekend, just an acceptable chunk of it.
2. Be careful about sneaky distractions. It goes without saying that you should stay away from Instagram and cutie-stalking for the time being, but did you know that the music you listen to while studying can also be a form of distraction? Sorry, 1D and Avicii—you’re gonna have to play their tracks when you’re not neck-deep in school work. Choose low-key, rustic, cabin-in-the-woods music like James Vincent McMorrow and Local Natives. Recently I’ve been listening to Low Roar when I need to write, and it always manages to keep me focused.
3. And lastly: Get enough food and sleep! And no, a large order of fries and two hours of shut-eye don’t count. When you study, you’re basically feeding your brain, but it won’t be able to absorb anything if you’re neglecting your physical health. Nourish your body, and you’ll find it so much easier to nourish your mind.
Good luck with your October, Candy Girls. :-) Rock those exams!
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