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I Attempted a “That Girl” Lifestyle for 1 Week…

And the results might surprise you!

By Emily the Period RDPublished about a year ago 4 min read
I Attempted a “That Girl” Lifestyle for 1 Week…
Photo by Hanna Postova on Unsplash

You’ve probably seen it on your Instagram Explore page or your TikTok For You Page – the trend of being “that girl”. Essentially, a visual and lifestyle aesthetic that is very focused on health, wellness, self-care and “feminine” luxury. And it’s typically perpetuated by women who fit the beauty ideal: thin, White, financially privileged (that doesn’t mean there aren’t folks out there who don’t fit this same criteria that don’t engage in “that girl” behaviours). There’s an element of self-development and professional advancement, prioritizing your well-being to be more productive and gorgeous while doing it. The transformation, if you will, is the part that often catches the eye of the public.

I’ve been casually watching this trend play out, and I won’t lie that I myself have been curious about trying it out. I acknowledge I have quite a lot of privilege to begin with, and so taking on this brief little experiment was much more accessible to me. Naturally, I didn’t go to the extremes to purchase all of the suggested products or pieces that are often seen but I did have the ability to use what I had. I took a week to shift my current routine and attempt a “that girl” lifestyle… here’s what happened.

1. I made some big changes in my exercise routine, and this wasn’t without coming head-to-head with old body thoughts. Before this experiment, I was waking up at 5am to hit the gym 4 times a week for about 45 minutes to an hour each time. I shifted to waking up later at 7am and heading to the gym for about 20 to 30 minutes instead, and doing this daily. Almost immediately I was worried about whether I would “lose progress” in the types of exercise I had been doing regularly (I had been weight training with a self-mandated cardio segment, and attending a boot camp twice a week). The body checking was astronomical in the beginning.

As I sat with these fears and yet again challenged the idea that exercise should result in some sort of physical transformation, and that early morning was the only time to work out, I’ve been able to prioritize movement that I actually enjoy doing and make it fit in my day – not the other way around. Engaging in exercise should feel good, and body type and appearance shouldn’t be part of the equation – a big piece missing in the “that girl” trend.

2. I got so much more sleep. Before this week, I was stuck around the 6-hour mark – 5am workouts are a sleep sucker and I was going to bed so late because I was over-tired. Prioritizing a regular bedtime and getting those extra morning hours meant I was getting 8 to 9 hours nightly and waking up feeling like a completely different person. This is one element of the “that girl” trend I’ll be keeping.

3. I had to be really critical of my morning routine. Being “that girl” means lots of skin care and beauty products – some heavy hitting in the capitalism department. I love skin care, but I don’t need a whole new routine to make me feel beautiful, productive or worthy. I did, however, make it a point to stick more closely to the routine that I have and focus on makeup that let my skin breathe versus trying to cover every blemish and look like someone else. And I’m not going to lie, focusing on moisture and keeping my jade roller in the freezer is the habit I look forward to in the mornings.

4. I didn’t add any supplements. Sorry, I know they look cute to blend into smoothies, coffees and even drink in plain water but most of them are unnecessary – and I’m not participating any more than I need to in spending for a certain image. I do have some current ones that I made a big priority to take on a daily basis with breakfast instead of waiting until later and forgetting whether I’d taken it or not (and then skipping it to be safe).

5. I did set strong boundaries around work and school. Instead of trying to fit in readings, emails and research for my clients and projects, I actually booked time into my weekly calendar to get things done and stuck to it. Not only did my head feel a lot clearer at the end of the day having all the important tasks done, but I also wasn’t noticing the same end-of-week rush to complete what I delayed or pushed off for something else.

I also got a little stricter with my booking – while I love offering same day sessions to get people the support they need quickly, the stress that comes with changing my entire to-do list for 1 hour of time hadn’t been paying off for my mental health and was leaving me with lots of charting at the end of the day. This made dinners late every night, left me less relaxed and put even more on my next day list. I started offering specific times and dates to new potential clients so I could choose the time blocks I wanted to be working 1-on-1 and still get the rest of my work done. This is something I’m definitely keeping.

Do I love the “that girl” trend? No – it’s cute but not attainable for everyone, not to mention the expense involved. Do I think that setting boundaries and prioritizing your well-being is important? Yes – for your personal life and your work, should your career be an important part of your life.

But to be fair, we can do those things without being a pink Pilates princess. Or at least I think so.

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About the Creator

Emily the Period RD

I help people with periods navigate menstrual health education & wellness with a healthy serving of sass (and not an ounce of nutrition pseudoscience).

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