5 Tips On How to Shed your Freshman 15

5 Tips On How to Shed your Freshman 15

Tips on how to stay healthy while in college.
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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.

5. Treats

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!

Cover Image Credit: Julia Smith

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.

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Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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To The Girl Who's Always Busy

I have never known what it's like to sit and do nothing, I have always been busy and on the go but I truly wouldn't have it any other way. So here I am writing this not only to share what it's like but as a reminder to myself, here's some advice to girls just like me…

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Breathe.

Sit back and breathe. That is one thing I wish someone would have told me. Don't overwork yourself, leave some me time in your schedule, I promise it will all work out. You may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is there - timing is everything.

I have always had a busy schedule, trying to balance school, work, homework, social life, family time. If it wasn't one thing it was another. You feel like you never slow down. You basically live out of your car and always apologize when someone gets in because half of your closet is in there. You feel like you have to make plans well in advance just so you can make sure it happens and something else doesn't get in the way. And then once in a blue moon when you do get a second of free time, you feel like you should be doing something, so you get up and go do - sound familiar?

Haha yeah, that's me. I've gotten to the point if I have a "lazy day," I feel guilty. I should be doing something, cleaning, making a list, something at least.

But you know what? It's okay to be busy. It's okay to always be on the go - but it's also okay to carve a little time out of your hectic weeks for some "me time." Even if it is 20 minutes.

From waking up to doing your night time routine, your day is usually packed full of things to do - I get it. Busy is a good thing, but remember to take care of yourself. That's one thing it took me 21 years to learn, taking care of yourself is so important.

Think about it - you can't conquer the day when you don't treat yo' self every once and while.

With that being said, the busy girl with her car a mess, coffee in her hand, scatterbrained and running 100 miles per hour - you do you, girlfriend. You got this, nothing can slow you down.

And remember, any girl is unstoppable with a coffee (or tea if you prefer) in her hand, and Jesus in her heart!

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