HOW TO BE THE BEST FREAKING BRIDESMAID EVER

Stand in line ladies!! The bride-to-be just made her decision about who is going to stand next to her on her big day, and you’re gonna be in it!

How exciting! Congratulations to the happy couple. But your job is a lot tougher than you think.  Yes, yes, the bride and groom have flowers and chapels and food to sort out, but your job is firstly,  to make sure your bride has the best bachelorette party ever, and secondly, to make sure that her wedding day goes on without a hitch.

The first thing you need to understand is that while you do get to help her plan, it is NOT your day. Know when to back off. Know your place. Especially if you’re not the maid of honor.

Run ideas past, her but don’t overwhelm her with unnecessary details. Give her options to choose from but don’t make it impossible.

It’s easy to get stressed out about the details, but remember, she’s probably stressed with this and other things already.  Take it easy.  Bring her a glass of wine at every opportunity you get.

If there are a few of you, make sure that you’re all on the same page with everything. Communication is key. Everyone needs to know everything at all times. Try to keep bitchiness to the bare minimum. We all know that sometimes some people can push you to your limits. Take it from us, it’s not worth it. Just take a deep breath, smile and keep your cool. If things become a little overwhelming, take a deep breath (do you see where I’m going with this?), smile and brave-face through it.

The best part of being a bridesmaid is not the big day, it’s the bachelorette party. And planning the perfect day for her is going to be epic.

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  1. Know the bride well enough to know what her favourite things were as a child. Maybe you might not know but one of the other ladies might. If that doesn’t work, contact a family member.
  2. You already know what her favourite things are now.
  3. Mix that up with some Magic Mike action, and you’re set to go.
  4. Stay in contact with all the other people in the bridal party. It’s good to be on top of things.
  5. Help the bride with whatever she needs for the night. Be it lip gloss or a ride home.
  6. Be consistent. Nobody likes wishy-washy.
  7. Stay in your lane. If it wasn’t your job, don’t try to do it better.
  8. Notify her husband-to-be and his best man of your plans. We know you’ve got this, but they need to know that they are on stand-by (if they are) if you need them.
  9. Arrange keepsakes for the night for all the guests and one in particular for the bride. A photo collage or a memory book works great.
  10. Don’t be boring. Show up, show off and have the best freaking night of your lives.

With these tips, we know you’re going to be the best bridesmaids ever, vinas!

If you’re in need of some vinas to throw some big day ideas off of, find your next wedding planning crew on Hey! VINA today!

VINA SUCCESS STORY: “OUR CHATS CONSIST OF FUNNY GIFS, MOTIVATIONAL MEMES, AND PICTURES OF SHOES AND NAILS”

We love a good friendship story—especially when it derives from the Hey! VINA app! If you’ve been following our VINA success stories, you know we’ve connected a diverse array of vinas who were missing their milk to their cookies, vinas Leandré and Ntse included. VINAZINE contributor Leandré writes about her VINA success story below!

I’m usually the one to reach out first, so I was excited when Ntse initiated the conversation on the app back in March. The first thing she said to me was: ‘I see you’re crazy, and I’m fun crazy, too!” I immediately thought, “This girl has got me!”

We immediately struck up a friendship and had so much in common. We spoke almost every day… mostly because we comment on every single status of each other! She works in the fashion industry (basically my dream job except I have no fashion sense), she works out, she has so much fun, her sense of humor is just on another level.

On WhatsApp, she is totally herself. Completely open and vulnerable and lets people into her life and her thoughts. I admired it. On Instagram, she is a dreamy beauty who regularly posts pics of those GORGEOUS nails. On Facebook, she is ridiculously funny AF with a meme every now and again … just as you think it’s gonna be a bad day… Ntse’s feed is locked and loaded to get you to do that ugly laugh!

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Leandré and Ntse 💕

We messaged each other for MOOONTHS before we finally set up that first meeting. We booked the day and as per usual, on the day of, we were both not feeling it. This is another thing we have in common. We are always the plan makers, then want to wiggle out because all of a sudden we’d rather be at home in bed, then go out anyway (because we suck at feeling guilty) and have a better time than EVERYONE there!!

So we met one night in a shady student bar … which I LOVE! Ntse’s friends were so awesome and she knows everyone. Her friends and I immediately took so well to each other. We laughed and talked about everything. We drank oddly named cocktails and shooters. We laughed at our foreheads and took a picture of them. (Side note—follow Ntse’s forehead on insta @headofthehouse_; it’s an account set up by her uber-cool sister in honor of her brilliance).

She also told me that she started writing a blog a couple of years ago about her experience as a black teenage girl in South Africa with a mental disorder. We had a surreal moment and I decided that I have to read it. Her writings are captivating, thought-provoking and honestly, some of the most heart-wrenching stuff I’ve read. One day, when she’s ready, I’ll share it with you.

Our chat history mostly consists of funny GIFs, motivational memes, pictures of our shoes and nails, billions and billions of ROTFL emojis, memojis and health advice….and the occasional “when are we hanging out again?” message.

I could tell you more, but the bottom line is she’s a really cool woman and I am so lucky to have her in my circles. She’s really beautiful inside and out and I am so happy that she is in my life.

Thanks for sharing, Leandre! Vinas, are you ready to meet your future best vina? Download the Hey! VINA app and start swiping today. If you have your own VINA success story you want to share, we can’t wait to hear it! Submit it here.

5 MOVIE DATES FOR YOU AND YOUR VINAS THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

If you’re single this Valentine’s day, don’t panic—we’ve got you. Just because you’re riding solo doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of the holiday. This #GalentinesDay, celebrate the love and friendship your vinas bring to your life with a movie night out, followed by a pizza-and-milkshake session to soak up each other’s awesomeness. Need some VINAspiration for the kick-ass women in your life? Shop our online store here, then check out the *must-see* movies hitting the big screen this February:

WHAT MEN WANT

First on the list is our girl Cookie Lyon in this remake of the 2000 film “What Women Want.” She plays Ali Davis, a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what more she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world, until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts. With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she must go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest to the test.

Watch the trailer on IMDb here.

HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U

Next is “Happy Death Day 2U,” the sequel of the 2017 movie “Happy Death Day” (make sure you’ve watched it, otherwise you’ll be a bit lost!) Starring Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Suraj Sharma, and Ruby Modine, the plot follows Tree, played by Rothe, as she unexpectedly re-enters the time loop and becomes determined to escape it after finding out her friends are now involved. When she discovers that Lori Spengler, the original killer, has been murdered, Tree must face the new killer in order to uncover their identity and break free of the time loop once and for all.

Watch thetrailer on IMDb here.

COLD PURSUIT

No list is complete without a revenge movie – and who does revenge better than the seasoned Liam Neeson? In “Cold Pursuit,” Snowplower Nelson Coxman (Neeson) seeks revenge against a drug cartel in his Rocky Mountains hometown after his son is murdered by the gang. It stars Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, and Tom Bateman.

Watch the trailer on Youtube here.

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FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY

This next one is a #GIRLPOWER comedy/drama. It is based on the life of Paige, a retired English professional WWE wrestler and actress. Paige is a two-time Divas Champion and was the inaugural NXT Women’s Champion in WWE’s developmental branch NXT, holding both championships concurrently at one time. “Fighting with My Family” follows the Bevis family, who are all professional wrestlers, as they try to work through the issues that arise when sister and brother duo, Paige and Zak, audition for roles in WWE.  It stars Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vince Vaughn.

Watch the trailer here.

THE TURNING

For all the horror-loving vinas, I found this one – “The Turning.”   The plot centers around a mysterious estate where newly appointed nanny Kate is charged with the care of two disturbed orphans, Flora and Miles. She begins to believe the country mansion in which they reside is haunted by a ghost. I’ll be honest, the trailer scared the bewilderment out of me, and I am not so sure that I will be able to sit through the entire movie.  But I know my girls are tough as nails, amirite?

If you’re brave enough, watch the trailer here.

If you don’t have a gal pal to spend Galentine’s month with, swipe right on the Hey!VINA app!

GET ACTIVE WITHOUT HITTING THE OUTDOORS

The winter months are settling in, bringing in the cold front with them. Perhaps you’re an outdoor vina during the summer, or never at all in any weather; it’s time to shake up your exercise routine with these effective and easy exercises—all from the comfort of the indoors!

BURPEES

This is one of the best workouts ever.  With every burpee, you are engaging your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs. Plus, no extra equipment is required (win).  For beginners, 10 burpees at a time are enough.  As you become fitter, increase the reps, but not the number of burpees per rep. For the right way to do a burpee, we consulted fitnessmagazine.com:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  3. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto them.
  4. Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
  5. Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  6. Reach your arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air.
  7. Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.

SQUATS 

Do a squat challenge first thing in the morning.  There are a lot of variations on the internet, so choose the one you feel most comfortable with.  Don’t overdo it: start small at the beginning. Add dumbbells to your squat challenge as you grow stronger.  The correct way to do a squat is as follows:

  1. Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
  2. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers.
  3. Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
  4. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
  5. Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.

 

YOGA

Yoga is definitely a must if you don’t like to go outside.  I love salutations.  It’s a full body workout and great for people with injuries who can’t do weight training or a lot of cardio.  It also stretches your muscles, tightens your core, and makes you feel extra good afterward.  While there are many forms of yoga, begin with a simple Sun Salutation sequence. Do a couple of reps to get a good flow going – but don’t push too hard; make sure your body is feeling energized and nimble, and stop once you’re at this point.  For the right way to do a full salutation, I consulted Yogajournal.com (watch their video above to follow along):

  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Stand with your feet slightly apart and parallel to each other. Stretch your arms (but not rigidly) down alongside your torso, palms turned out, shoulders released.

2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)

Inhale and sweep your arms overhead in wide arcs. If your shoulders are tight, keep your hands apart and gaze straight ahead. Otherwise, bring your palms together, drop your head back, and gaze up at your thumbs.

3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Exhaling, release your arms in wide arcs as you fold forward. Bend your knees if you feel pressure on your lower back and support your hands on blocks if they don’t reach the floor. Release your neck so that your head hangs heavily from your upper spine.

4. Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend

Inhale and push your fingertips down into the floor, straighten your elbows, then lift your front torso away from your thighs. Lengthen the front of your torso as you arch evenly along the entire length of your spine.

5. Plank Pose

Inhale and bring your torso forward until your shoulders are over your wrists. Your arms will be perpendicular to the floor. Try not to let your upper back collapse between the shoulder blades: press your outer arms inward, and then—against this resistance—spread your shoulder blades apart. Firm your tailbone against your pelvis and press your thighs up.

6. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

Exhale as you bend your elbows and lower down to Chaturanga with your torso and legs parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders lifted up, away from the floor, and down, away from your ears. Lift the thighs away from the floor, lengthen your tailbone toward your heels, and draw the lower ribs away from the floor to avoid collapsing your lower back. Look down at the floor or slightly forward. If you can’t maintain your alignment, place your knees on the floor until you have built more strength.

7. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose

Inhale, straighten your arms, and sweep your chest forward into Up Dog. Keep your legs active, firm your tailbone toward your heels, and press your front thighs upward. Draw your shoulders away from your ears. Look straight ahead or look slightly upward.

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)

Exhale back to Downward-Facing Dog. To finish the Sun Salutation, step the right foot forward into a lunge, then inhale back into Half Standing Forward Bend and exhale into Forward Bend. Inhale and roll your spine up to Upward Salute and exhale to Mountain Pose. Observe your body and breath.

COOL DOWN

Whatever exercise you choose to do, end by devoting at least 20 to 25 percent of your total practice time to Savasana (Corpse Pose). Lie down on the floor with hands and legs outstretched – let gravity take a toll and relax. This lets your muscles stretch out and cool down. If you’d rather follow a stretching video, this one from Popsugar is a great one.

Get into an exercise routine by enlisting your vinas as workout buddies; Download the Hey! VINA app to meet like-minded souls in the Athletes and Yogis communities!

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK FOR A HAPPIER LIFESTYLE

You changed jobs or moved to that new city. You’ve switched partners, became single to focus on you, or tried to shake out your routine. Yet you still feel like happiness is unreachable. Why is that so? Read on for ways to change the way you think and start living a more content life!

BEAT BAD HABITS

There are certain habits that we don’t know that we have.  You might spend too much time on social media and not get enough work done, and this may frustrate the people around you.  The problem isn’t the social media—the problem is that the work isn’t being done.  Their reaction to you may shock you and upset you because, in your mind, you didn’t deserve it.  But if you think about it, nobody would have gotten upset over your social media habits if the work was done on time.

Someone might have said something to you like “It’s always the same thing with you” or “this is exactly what happened last time.” I believe that sometimes, it really is just the situation you’re in.  But other times, when it’s easier to blame the situation rather than do some introspection and change yourself for the better, I think that is the time when you really have to knuckle-down and brave face through the transition that will ultimately change the entire trajectory of your life.

If you start noticing a pattern or a continuous thread of responses from the people around you, it’s time to seriously start thinking about the impact your attitude has on your everyday life—and especially your future.

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THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ARE CONNECTED

Activating your brain to start noticing the things you do that is causing you to behave in ways that may be destructive to others is no easy task.  You basically have to dissect yourself and find out what the root of your behavioral issues are.  And that is daunting.  I’ve been listening to Dr. Caroline Leaf recently and find her books very helpful.  She speaks about controlling your thoughts and switching on your brain. This is basically the idea that your thoughts control your feelings, and your feelings control your behavior.

If you can control your thoughts and how you think, you can control how you feel—which means you can control your reactions to different triggers and situations.

We all think that we can’t help how we feel.  And perhaps we can’t, but we certainly can help how we respond to our feelings. Have you ever thought yourself into a bad mood?  If you can do that then, as hard as it sounds, surely you can think yourself into a good mood.

FOCUS ON YOU

If you feel that you are always unlucky, that the world is always against you, or that everyone always treats you with disrespect and nobody sees how much you do for everyone, maybe you should go back to the beginning and work on yourself first.  Take some real time out. Away from everything and everyone.  Take a diary and write down all the things that affect your emotions and ask yourself why they do. Write down everything that makes you happy and what you can do to motivate your happiness.  Write down ways you think you can experience that happiness more often and how you can increase moments of happiness into a longer lasting state of being—rather than just bouts of happiness which are dependant on external influences.

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CHANGE YOUR POV

The best way to change other people is to start by changing yourself.  And I know that they say you can’t change other people, you can only change how you react to them.  But I believe something different.  I believe that if you work on yourself and develop skills that will conform to you – not to anyone else’s standard – the people around you and the relationships you have will automatically change.  And in that and as much as you don’t really change the people around you, you certainly change their perception of you and the way that they respond to you.  For instance, if you walk past a colleague for months without saying hello to them, chances are that they won’t see the need to say hello to you.  But if you change the way that you see them and stop one day to find out how their evening was, chances are that they will respond well to that and then one day, they might even start the conversation with you.  Do you see how the colleague in that scenario “changed” from not seeing the need to say hello to you to initiating the conversation?  In this scenario, you might think “Wow, the colleague really changed a lot” but, when you unpack it, you find that the real person who changed was you.

If we focus our energy on ourselves, we can all change the way we respond to situations.  You might think that you can’t help yourself, but if you put the same dedication into yourself that you put into trying to change everybody else, you will soon learn that you can help yourself.  You can change how you think and feel.  You can decide not to blow up a situation.  You do have the power. It resides within you.

Surround yourself with positive influences—download Hey! VINA to meet supportive vinas today! 

YOU’VE ALREADY BROKEN YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. NOW WHAT?

You made your resolutions on December 31 with the temperament that 2019 would be the year you kept them. It’s mid-January, and those promises are long gone. Now what? The sun will still shine tomorrow.  Take a deep breath and repeat after me: “This is not the end of the world!”  Now repeat until you believe it. Your New Year’s resolution does not define you, girl.  You’re still in this.  It is just a matter of altering the plan.

Whatever your plans were to transform yourself into you 2.0, if you’ve failed, either the plan wasn’t tailored to you, or you didn’t really want to make the change. If it’s the former, take a step back and re-evaluate the whole plan.  Make a list and answer the following questions.  The only way you can make this work is if you invest good quality time in the plan.

estee-janssens-551011-unsplashFirst remember the most important thing: What is the goal? Write it in bold letters at the top of your journal. Think about what worked and what didn’t, and make a separate list – things like, “I didn’t wake up early enough” or “I didn’t plan my traveling properly” would be things that didn’t work. Things that worked would be, “I felt so much better 2-3 days in” or “I could control my feeling more.”  Build yourself up on this side of the list.  You deserve all the praise you give yourself.  You’ve done well up until now—give yourself the credit.

Think of ways to make what didn’t work better or more tangible and realistic.  Let’s say you did not fraction in how tired you would be after work; fix it by figuring out what tires you out during the day. Perhaps it is emotional fatigue, or maybe you are crashing after too much coffee or sugar.

Another way to go about it could be to change the wording of the goal. Your mind has already figured out that you did not stick to your resolution once.  It will be a lot harder to convince yourself that you can obtain the same goal again.  If you change the words, you can trick your mind into thinking it’s a different goal.

As a general rule while you try to get back on the saddle, set realistic targets. There’s no point in setting a goal to lose 10 pounds in a week if you know working out five times a week is an unrealistic target. Be practical and set expectations that you know are within your reach.

If you broke your promise to yourself because you weren’t committed to it in the first place, these are a couple of questions to ask yourself:

  1. What would you gain and what would you lose by not completing the task?
  2. Who would be the most disappointed that you didn’t complete it?
  3. What or who was the real reason you set the goal in the first place?
  4. In what ways will achieving the goal better your life?

If you find that you answered any of those questions with someone else in mind, whether it’s an actual person in your life or for a future someone (read: SO), you don’t really want it and should be shifting your vision from other people to yourself. Remember every dream can be made into a reality if you just set out a practical plan with steps to getting there.  And most of all, just keep going.  If you missed a day, don’t beat yourself up about it.

Good luck, stay focused, hopeful and believe in yourself.

In a rut? Try connecting with other vinas on the Hey! VINA app to keep you accountable and well on your way to reaching those resolutions! 

 

 

DIY OVERHAUL FOR YOU AND YOUR VINAS

New Year’s Eve has come and gone and your party outfit back to its dutiful spot in your closet. As our calendars turn a new leaf to 2019, it’s time to invest in you so you can put your best foot forward. The first thing on the agenda? Looking the part. Read on for a head-to-toe DIY treatment that will have you feeling lush and ready to take on the world!

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LUSCIOUS LOCKS

To keep tresses hydrated, mix 1 tablespoon each of honey, castor oil and coconut oil with 1 tablespoon of egg. Mix well. Keep hair mask on for 30 minutes (or longer, max one hour). Rinse with cold water. Apply to scalp and hair 2 to 3 times a week. Pro tip: add a little lemon juice to your water in order to get rid of the excess oil and egg—leaving you with a beautiful glow. Shampoo as usual. A conditioner is usually not necessary after a mask that is this rich in oils. Not only does this help with soft, beautiful, bouncy hair, it also increases hair growth and repairs damage.

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VIBRANT VISAGE

For the face, used ground coffee beans is an absolute saving grace. You can mix 1 tablespoon of coffee with the following to make your skin look and feel amazing:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil and 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon honey

Caffeine, as you know, wakes you up and does the same for tired skin.  Honey locks in moisture for bouncy, youthful-looking skin.  Coconut oil prevents premature aging, amongst other things.  Sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin as well as doubles as an exfoliant.  The baking soda and honey combo act as a gentle exfoliant and moisturizing cleanser.

Another great one is cocoa, sugar and a drop of milk to turn it into a paste.  Apply generously to your face, leave on for about 10-15 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Pat your face dry with a towel. The antioxidants in cocoa help prevent premature aging by fighting free radicals.

If you suffer from dry skin, this is a great one, especially if it’s winter time.  Grate half of an unripe, firm avocado and mix a teaspoon of coconut oil in before you apply.  You can keep this on for a good 20 minutes if your skin is really dry.  Do this at night before bed and wipe off with a rag. Make sure not to rinse.

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BODY TALK

For the body, make a quick and easy bath bomb by mixing 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup citric acid and 1/2 cup Epsom salts.  Then in a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon water, 2 teaspoons vanilla essence and 3 teaspoons coconut or olive oil.  Mix dry and wet ingredients and put into molds (cupcake pan works just as well).  Try one of your bath bombs immediately and let the rest dry.  Make sure to pair it with a nice wine and smooth music for a meditative session.

For the eyes, used rooibos tea bags are phenomenal. They soothe tired eyes and cool down any puffiness.  I usually dip them in icy cold milk right before I lay them on my eyes.  The insides can also be used as a scrub.  Mix it with honey and any essential oil you like to create the ultimate scrub.

What are you waiting for? Give your body the attention it deserves with these easy, home-made recipes!

Gather up your favorite vinas and create a “Home Spa” event on Hey! VINA for the ultimate girls’ night in! 

REVERSE BODY TRANSFORMATION: WHAT IS IT?

Reverse body transformation—what is it? It’s what happens when you realize that whatever you’ve been doing has been working for your body but not for your happiness. We take our hats off to anyone who has stuck it out and lost the weight, but we also have tremendous respect for the women who have decided that enough is enough. What is good for one is not necessarily good for another, and the sooner everyone understands that, the better.

While one person may feel exhilaration every time they eat peas and carrots and avoid chocolates and cakes, others feel miserable and measured. When your happiness is dependent on what society’s ideas of happiness is, and when it’s rooted in what you believe is acceptable and standard, you will lose yourself in that standard. It won’t matter how much weight you lose, you will never feel like you measure up. Self-love is about so much more than what we see in the mirror.

I’ve done both the transformation and the reverse transformation, and while I can’t really choose which one made me happier, I can say that I enjoyed having a body goal. Mostly because it taught me that anything with the right amount of discipline is a one-way train to achieving goals. What I learned from the reverse transformation is that I guilt myself way too much. I’m my biggest critic, and I body shame myself probably between 20 and 30 times a day. We are so harsh on ourselves, to the point where it’s hard to take a compliment because you’ve told yourself so many negative things. You couldn’t possibly believe something positive is true.

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Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

If your spirit is telling you (whether it’s a whisper or a scream) to STOP what you’re doing and take stock of who you are and who you want to be, that is a good place to start asking yourself if you’re really investing in your own happiness, or in an idea of happiness that you have somehow forced yourself to believe.

I am not at all saying that choosing to live a healthy lifestyle is taboo and you shouldn’t do it. I am also not saying that you should let yourself go and not give two hoots about your body. No, the complete opposite. We only have one body, we can’t trade it in for a new one when it’s dead. I’m simply saying that if something isn’t working for you and you are unhappy all the time because you’re hungry, or your lifestyle change is causing you to binge eat your favorite foods, or if you hate yourself for missing a workout and eating that Oreo, then maybe it’s not for you. Maybe you should try something else.  Something that you actually enjoy doing that will keep you healthy, motivated, and most of all HAPPY!

Diane Flores was a bodybuilder when she decided enough is enough. On her website, Living the Goddess Life, she talks about winning 1st place and the overall in the masters division in her last competition and even then feeling incomplete and unhappy. Today, she looks happier than she’s ever been, loves herself to the fullest, and teaches women all over the world what it means to feel sexy, how to chuck that insecurity, and why losing weight in order to feel sexy is a no go.

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Megan Jayne Crabbe’s transformation is absolutely insane. She said that her new body is her happy body and that happiness isn’t a size. Totally agree, girl! Crabbe struggled with an eating disorder in her teens and almost lost her life because of it. That’s when she started her transformation to a healthier, happier version of the always beautiful her.

Body ideals turn us into monsters. We hate ourselves because we believe that those women who have the six pack and the chiseled, lean arms, and the 15% body fat have it all and if we could only look like that we would be happy. It works for them, it doesn’t mean that it will work for you. And remember, it may look like they have it all because of all that, but chances are they have just as many insecurities as you.

I just love Jennifer Lawrence’s idea about self-love. She was interviewed by Cosmopolitan in 2014 and stated that she sees herself as a Victoria’s Secret model all the time. That is a darn great place to be. I sincerely hope that every one of us can one day wake up and just be happy with the way we look and how we are built. That our minds are not consumed with hurtful confidence-breaking words about our perfect bodies, and that we will just love ourselves and see ourselves the way our loved ones see us. As the person we truly are, and that person is perfect.

Transform your idea of beauty and happiness with all the vinas you’re about to meet on the Hey! VINA app now!

25 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU TURN 25

As I reflect back on my youth, I cannot help but think of all the different experiences I’ve had: The good, the bad and the ugly.  The good is a picture book of memories, comfortably accompanied by silent smiles and fuzzy feelings of friends, family and familiarities. The bad is a series of self-help books, ready to be of assistance when I am in desperate need of inner peace and guidance. The ugly is a box of regret that’s been chained and locked, prayed over to be forever forgotten.

As I reflect, I wonder what advice I would give the 24-year-old me. Which exciting adventures would I inspire her to pursue with vigor and vibrancy? Which people would I encourage her to meet? Which giant leaps would I motivate her to jump? No matter what, I would tell her to just be herself. In the end, yourself is all you know how to be, and that’s the best you out there.

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So in light of the good, the bad, and the ugly af, the following is your complete list of 25 things to do before you turn the big two-five:

 

1. Don’t compromise on your education. In the words of the late great Nelson Mandela, “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add a literate tongue and pen, you have something very special.” If 25 is peeking at you and you won’t graduate before then, register for a short course. Something you can build on in the years to come.

2. See your city and meet the people you share it with. You would be surprised as to how many hidden gems you have right under your nose.

3. Make friends everywhere. You never know when you might need to dial that number for someone to help you out. And similarly, they will need you one day too.

4. Invest time in physical activity. Something you can get excited about for the rest of your life. Like running, yoga, or fitness training. Play an indoor sport and join a team. Being part of something bigger than yourself is good for the spirit.

5. Read one life-changing book a year. It will teach you great life-hacks but also give you a winnable goal.

6. Live on your own. This is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives. It will teach you discipline, independence, and confidence as you realize you really can depend on yourself.

7. Invest in yourself. Open a 30-day investment/savings account and commit to paying a portion of your salary over every single month. Don’t stop this after you turn 25.

8. Travel—to foreign countries, states, even cities. See as much of this world as you possibly can.

9. Make lasting friendships in those foreign countries. Maybe even throw it back and strike up a pen pal relationship!

10. Actively and consciously make an attempt to find your passion. Try different things to figure out what you are good at. If you love your work, you’ll work for fun and earn a living while doing it.

11. Believe in yourself and take that chance. Remember, the people who did it before you were just as scared.

12. Learn a foreign language or two, or three. The world is far too big and complex for you to only know how to speak your native tongue.

13. Build your confidence. You need it just as much as you need air.

14. Learn to play one instrument, at the very least. This will enhance your life more than you know, plus it’s a neat party trick to keep up your sleeve.

15. Adopt an animal in need. Not only will you be taking a stand against the trading of animals for domestication, you will also give at least one broken heart a chance at a better life.

16. Book a photo shoot for yourself. Print them out and hang them on the wall to remind yourself that you are enough and worth taking care of.

17. Grow an herb garden. Eating your own produce is extremely satisfying, and healthy af.

18. Enter competitions that challenge your physical and mental abilities. For a start, join a local trivia night.

19. Do a holistic body scan. Prevention is 100% better than cure.

20. Write a will. The topic is eerie and nobody wants to do this, but the sooner you get it out of the way, the less eerie it becomes. It’s just a piece of paper—don’t let it freak you out. It will surprisingly give you peace of mind.

21. Research various methods to become debt free/financially independent. If you can be debt free and financially independent at 25, the world is your oyster. I mean, the world is totally your oyster either way, but imagine an oyster where you don’t owe money. That’s the dream.

22. Watch all the movies listed on Business Insider’s Top 50 Best Movies of All Time.

23. Tell your loved ones you love them. Consistently. Spend enough time with all the people you care about. It sounds like such a cliché, but life really is too short. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

24. Take a VINAcation with your vinas. Those are memories that last a lifetime.

25. Last, but certainly not least: live your best life!! Whatever that means to you, do the thing that makes you happy. Stop worrying, stressing, or even thinking about what everyone else defines as bliss—and find your own!

Number 26: download the Hey! VINA app and start swiping to meet the vinas that will help you cross off everything from your list!

GASSING UP YOUR VINAS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

There is something electrifying about women having each other’s back. Women who stand by each other in the best of times AND the worst of times, that is an indescribable thing. When women stand together, we change the world. Statutes are amended, minds are changed, and the world just becomes a better place overall.

When I see pictures of the Suffrage Movement – women all over the world marching for a right to vote – or pictures from August 9th, 1956 when 20,000 South African women marched against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act, or the women in D.C. on January 21st, 2017 wearing pink #pussyhats, I see strength. I see power. I see what can happen when women do what women do best – love.

When I bawl my eyes out to my vinas and they say to me “you’ve got this” or “you can handle it” or “you’re doing great, just keep going!” Something in my soul shifts focus.  When you are so down that you can’t even help yourself up, there is something amazing about the strength of a sisterhood. Having the kind of girls who will either pull you up by any means necessary or go down there and get you themselves. It’s amazing when you can look at someone and genuinely say “you make my life better.”

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Photo from “Her Campus” on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/179440366389460429/

It’s SO important to surround yourself with empowering women who see your value and support your every move. It’s important to create and maintain bonds that will motivate you and be there when you can’t be there for yourself.

Here at Hey! VINA we believe that women are the glue that holds the world together. We are champions. We are warriors. We can do anything we set our minds to, and if we stand together and build each other up, we will do great things. It’s important to have that support system of ‘gassed up’ vinas around you because, as women, we can be so hard on ourselves that we forget what we can actually do. Can you imagine the change in the world if every single woman was as brave as a lion? Can you imagine how confident we would be if we all collectively decided to gas each other up? No more hatred, no more division, no more putting others down to lift yourself up. No more jealousy, or resentment, or judgment! Just imagine a world where every single woman you pass compliments you and you compliment her back. That’s a world I wanna live in!

Here’s a challenge for you, vinas. Today, as you’re going about your daily life, compliment as many women (known or unknown) as you can. Nice shoes. Lovely bag.  Gorgeous eyes. If you can get a little personal, do. You’re the strongest woman I know.  You are such a cheerful giver. You are doing so well, girl! Look at you go! You are the smartest person I know and if anybody can do this, it’s you. Think about how you feel when someone notices the work you’ve put into your life, and then go out and make them feel it too! Gas it up, vinas!

Still looking for your girl squad to gas up? No problem! Hit up the Hey! VINA app pronto and start spreading the good vibes!