To Incoming Freshmen Who Think They Won't Gain Weight, Don't Wait For It To Happen To You

To Incoming Freshmen Who Think They Won't Gain Weight, Don't Wait For It To Happen To You

Freshman fifteen? Never heard of her.

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Heading into freshman year of college, hopes are always high. We all look forward to the new place with new people and new opportunities. Getting hit with a new setting and way of life gets a person sidetracked faster than anything else, and personally, it was enough to significantly take away from my health.

I have noticeably struggled my entire life with living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a good self-image, and the constant distraction from it didn't help in the long run. By the end of first semester, I was made aware of how I had let myself get too comfortable in the unhealthy habits. I wasn't in a good spot with myself, but sometimes you have to get low in order to see the top.

Just to make it clear, I am in no way a professional, and I am in no way claiming that I really know what I'm talking about.

All I know is that I was able to dig myself out of a ditch. In writing this, I hope to help y'all avoid the ditch entirely, and enter freshman year, or any year, knowing what to expect of yourself. Maybe you're not trying to lose weight, you could just be trying to develop healthier habits. And maybe the changes I made to my lifestyle are ones you can learn from. These changes are exactly what I'm here to share with you.

SO, let's jump into it.

It's December. I am the heaviest and unhealthiest that I have been in my entire life. I was not in good physical or mental shape at this point, and I knew I needed change, I just didn't know where to start. I started to realize that my awful self-image came from comparing myself to others. I was always looking to impress other people because they always seemed to impress me. Almost a competition day to day. I was SO over it. Over the fake, edited, unhealthy nature of the culture. I started this journey by deleting my Instagram. Suddenly my time was my own. Not having a reason to check up on other people made it a lot easier to check up on myself instead. I was able to do so much more for myself because I truly stopped caring about how I appealed to other people.

To set everything straight, it is not selfish to make your life about you.

In fact, I highly encourage it. Maybe you don't have the kind of motivation or reason to go off-grid for a little while, and that's okay. But start paying attention to the attention you lend. There are so many things we are conditioned to care about that actively take away from the love we have for ourselves. Take note.

But now we have to think about the goal and the motivation. Personally, I knew that being in better physical shape would bring me to a good spot mentally. Not that it should, but being overweight had a toll on my socially. Without getting too personal, I felt limited by the way I looked. The feeling motivated me. I was motivated by the fact that I knew nobody expected it of me. Motivated by people that thought I couldn't do better. Mostly, I was motivated by the fact that I never thought I could get there. I did want to prove everyone wrong, but more than anything, I wanted to prove myself wrong.

It was set. As cliché as it may be, it truly was a New Year, New Me situation. Cold freaking turkey. 2018 was and still is about growing within myself. I started with going vegetarian. I don't believe in pushing any kind of 'diet' on anyone, because it truly is a lot more personal and should be more nutritionally customized for each individual. However, this was a great way to start. I learned so much about self-discipline and determination. Each day I could have given up, but I made the conscious decision to keep it going. And this is how all health-related goals seem to work. It's not always about being perfect, but it's about the choice. It's about the effort. Slipping up happens, but if you're reminding yourself of what the long-term goal is, you're going to make better decisions than you have in the past.

The small decisions matter too. So walk to class instead of taking the bus. Try the stairs instead of the elevator. Go crazy and take a walk instead of taking a nap. Exercise can easily be disguised, especially when you're just getting started. Don't feel pressured to immediately start going to the gym every day or force yourself to go on runs that you aren't mentally prepared for. Don't be scared to take it slow. I mean, hey, you have your entire life to get where it is you'd like to be. You'll know when you're ready to step things up.

The hardest part is convincing yourself it's easy. Because it is.

There's just one big hump to get over before it's second nature. Success lies in putting yourself through one shitty week. It will not be fun, and you'll be so tempted to give up the ENTIRE time, but this is all it takes to form a habit. You develop such a taste for natural foods over processed foods and you lose the cravings that used to defeat you. No more late night Dominos, but instead an early, balanced dinner. The best part is that with healthy eating comes a better metabolism, so if you do end up indulging, it's okay! Your body has an easier time getting rid of the not so good stuff because it's finally in good condition.

Keep this in mind through it all. It's not just about now. It's about the life ahead of you. Take care of your body for the long run, not just to lose weight or for any goal that is just for now. Your body is your home, and it will always be with you. The only way to stay happy in it is to take care of it. Give it what it needs. Listen to it. Don't be scared to sweat and sacrifice, because this is the only body that you will ever have.

But mostly, confidence.

Cover Image Credit:

Nicole Ofiesh

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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This Is Not Your Typical Break-Up Survival Kit

just a mixture of two typical cliches that work best together.

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Everyone has been through a break up at some point, even if it's a friend break up. We've all been there and the truth of the matter is, it hurts. However, as people say, time will make it better. And it's true, all you have to do is take care of yourself and love yourself and things will eventually work out.

1. Comfortable clothing.

At some point during a relationship, fancy clothing is replaced by comfortable clothing. This does not mean to throw on a tight short dress. Instead, to make the transition easier and smoother, attempt to wear cute and comfortable clothing to slowly remind yourself of your self-worth.

The key item to do this is on the underwear. Ladies out there, doesn't lacy lingerie increase your self-confident? After that, it's all about adding more and more clothing items that boost your confidence and say 'see you later' to those sweatpants!

2. Aromatic candles.

Candles are not necessary for romantic set up. They can be used to meditate, do yoga, to relax and take bubble baths while drinking champagne. It makes the setup for a calm self-pampering night, furthermore reason to add face masks and comfortable clothing in the basket! Make sure to avoid scents that could potentially remind you of your ex. Funny twist: grab the candles with hilarious names!

3. Funny mugs.

Humor is the best medicine, and a cup holds your favorite drinks is the perfect combo to start your day! Drink your favorite drink in your favorite new mug and have a little laugh.

4. Homemade item.

Mirror with a positive quote, a calendar full of empowering reminders, and keep in mind that others love you. Take the time to sit by yourself, or with friends, and work on DIY projects to keep busy, even if it's creating a small calendar.

5. Drinks and snacks

Tea! Coffee! And chocolate to give them the boost when they are feeling down and a bottle of wine because it gets stuff at times. I would prioritize more non-alcoholic drinks since it's not healthy in the long run. Drinking tea also allows you to relax and keep your mind at peace.

For snacks, sometimes comfort food and candy is a must. Just take the time to enjoy yourself, who cares about anything else!

6. Face masks

Nothing can go wrong with face masks, after all taking care of your skin says loving and it's fun! The good thing is that you can do it alone or with your friends, with a drink and watching a movie or on a bubble bath as mentioned above (point 2). The beauty of face masks is that it reboots your skin's health. We all love a natural glow.

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