How To Stay Healthy In College As A Former High School Athlete

The Struggle Of Staying Healthy In College As A Former High School Athlete Now Without A Sport

This took a toll on much more than just my body.

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All I've ever known is sports. I'm pretty sure I kicked a soccer ball the day after I learned how to walk. I was the girl who tried almost every sport.

I did track, volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis, snowboarding and soccer throughout my adolescence and onwards into middle school. These weren't just sports in school, either. I played competitively outside my school teams starting when I was little. I was used to working out because it was something that was always built into my schedule.

It honestly wasn't an option to not go to the weight room for volleyball or hit the treadmill to prepare for soccer season. I could eat whatever I wanted because I was constantly active and playing some sort of sport.

It's all I ever really knew until the day I graduated and left for college.

The summer before I started college I was still working out and keeping my body "in shape." Then college came and I lost a sense of grounding.

My built-in workout schedule wasn't there anymore, and I felt somewhat out of control. No one was forcing me to run sprints after school, and if I missed a workout I didn't have my coach telling me he noticed it in my game the next day. It was just me trying to find the motivation to do something that I never had to motivate myself to do.

Playing sports all my life meant that I had others motivating me—my parents, my coaches, and my teammates.

Starting college is hard enough because you learn what it's like to be on your own. You learn how to do a lot of things you're not used to doing... on your own. I learned this very quickly when I found myself having only ventured to my school's workout facility once in almost two months.

It wasn't easy. It wasn't easy to find the time. It wasn't easy to be motivated, but it was easy to eat unhealthily and spend my free time doing things other than staying active.

This took a toll on much more than just my body.

Yes, I put on some weight and lost some muscle, but more importantly, I felt bad about myself. Not as much for the way I looked, but for the way I felt.

I was so used to getting a good sweat in, and I honestly liked the feeling of being sore after a hard workout. Sports were also a relief for my mind. They were something I could channel my anger and anxiety into.

I noticed when I lost that relief my mind became filled with emotions that I wasn't sure how to control because I'd never really had to.

It took some self-realization and speaking with my parents to understand what I was lacking.

The motivation to slowly start going to the gym wasn't easy.

Nor was the motivation to trade in my cheap, quick processed meals for some healthier options. I had to tell myself that this wasn't just for my outward appearance, because it can be easy to get caught up in that, but that it was for my mind.

Once I started focusing on balancing out my time, it was easier for me to get myself to the gym.

If I planned out my days and my workload, then I suddenly saw myself having more time than I did when I was unorganized. Once I started going to the gym, it was more common sense to eat healthier at the dining halls.

This is NOT easy to do either. I don't say that as a discouraging comment because there is still definitely a way to be healthy there, but the temptation to have fries, pasta and hit the ice cream machine every day is real.

All in all, it's about finding what works for you.

College is an adjustment for everyone.

No one comes here knowing exactly what they're doing, and if they do then they're lying. Balance really is key, and listening to yourself is important. I can't say I make it to the gym every day or choose to cook a healthy meal over grabbing some McDonald's every time, but I do what I can the best that I can.

It feels good. My body is happier with me, and so am I. I challenge you to look at your life and see if you think something is missing.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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