Going into my freshman year of college, I had goals I wanted to uphold throughout the year. Besides making good grades and staying focused on taking every opportunity that came my way, I wanted healthy eating and regular fitness apart from my everyday routine.
I was determined!
My final year in high school, I was killing the healthy body, mind, and soul. I worked out before and after all of my dance practices, obtained a healthy diet, and I was becoming confident in my achievement for my perception of myself improved every day the more I worked it.
Couple weeks into college I started losing sight of my goals I set before I left for college. I started stress eating, and workouts became less frequent. Going into college I thought the freshman 15 was a myth, but boy was I wrong.
The good news is that I overcame this issue and so can you. Many college students face this issues every year and the following tips really helped me get back on track of shedding the freshman 15 and making sure that the sophomore 15 will never be an option.
1. Talk is cheap
Many students will acknowledge that they have gained a couple pounds. The truth is yes college is stressful, there are late nights, and on our schedule exercise is the one task many people don't have a problem crossing off and never get to. If you find yourself saying " maybe next week", or my diet starts Monday", talk is cheap and make a difference at the moment.
For me, I noticed that I lost sight of the goals I set at the beginning of the semester and I knew what it took to get back to my happy weight and my overall appearance of myself. My best advice is if you want to make a change vow to yourself that you are doing this for you and your overall happiness.
2. Make time for you
College can be very congested with study sessions, lab hours, or even greek events, but having a regular workout routine will help you maintain your positive streak of getting your grind on. For me, I knew that on my busier days, I would have to sacrifice the couple snoozes and get an early start of the day with a quick run or a visit to the rec. Whether it's a twenty-minute run or a two-hour workout killer sesh, every minute counts and will help you get back to that six pack you had in high school.
Helpful tips that helped me: Acknowledge you are getting too comfortable with your workout and change it up regularly by kicking it up a notch with weights or running for an extra five minutes.
Also, Alabama offers great recreational classes every day with multiple time frames to choose from at all recreational centers. These include Yoga, Cycling, and many other cardio classes instructed to make sure you are getting your best workout and help you reach your goals of wellness. Of the classes, Powertrip is my favorite and really helped me get my definition in my muscles back.
3. Walk it out
Even though Alabama has very convenient free transportation across campus, avoid taking the bus from class to class. going to dinner on the strip, or a trip back to the dorms from Lloyd? Lace up your Asics and get moving because every step counts. This is a great way to clear your mind and reach your apple watch goals.
Helpful tips that helped me: Even if I had an eight am, I created a playlist that made the walk very enjoyable and even made time to stop at Starbucks on my way to class. Walking with a friend will also make the time more enjoyable.
4. Fried Friday?
Many people get very excited for the one day a week with friend mac and cheese, fried chicken, and well basically anything deep fried. If you decide to participate in this food coma event, make the best decisions for your body.
Always consider replacing the fried chicken with grilled and treat yourself to one fried treat. If you're depriving yourself of these meal items, you are more likely to consume more than your body can take in fear of missing out.
Helpful tip that helped me: I had a goal in mind and fried chicken didn't quite fit in reaching it. Instead of never eating these meal items again, I would maybe have fried Fridays one a month or only acknowledge that I am not a fan of the item fried that week and only indulge in foods that I will enjoy. I am not a big fan of fried food for it does not agree with me, but if fried oreos were on the menu, I treated myself within moderation.
When eating healthy, it is important to never deprive yourself of things that bring you joy. College is one big stress ball and the food is always a great comfort. My best advice is to treat yourself and maybe find a healthy hack of your favorite treat so you can stay on track of shedding the freshman 15.
Helpful tip that helped me: I love going to Heritage House and when it comes to the baked oatmeal, I am weak! In this situation, consider overlooking your favorite spot's menu and see if they have any healthy alternatives. For example, Heritage House offers a gluten-free oatmeal bake that eliminated the unnecessary carbs and tates just as yummy as the origional.
Now as my first year at Alabama has come to a close, I leave with not only the grades I worked for, but for the body, I originally came to school with. I am very fortunate that I have achieved this goal and created an obtainable a diet that keeps me loving what I'm eating and making every trip to the gym a field day.
Now preparing for my sophomore year, I know what to expect and ready to take on another year even stronger and 15 pounds lighter!