Finals season is upon us, and that means lots of junk food and late nights. With all the stress of school, eating right and keeping fit is the last thing on our mind. College students are notorious for the worst eating habits. I found that sometimes, for people that need only budge a few pounds, it can be less motivating and seemingly impossible than for someone who is severely obese because the reward is so minimal and priorities are different. Yes, it’s not a huge weight loss transformation, but this is more than skinny sorority girls finding something to complain about (I’m not a sorority girl, for the record). For most of life, I never cared about health & fitness. I am 5″7 at 130 lbs now (my normal fluctuates between 115-120), so not really a big girl. However, it was not until the last year that it became an issue. All-nighters, double-stuffed oreos, Redbulls were the norm. I then compensated with one-week detoxes, crash diets, quick-fixes and weird health fads, which is by no means healthy. I can’t help it, though. I need instant gratification, am too impatient, lack motivation, and simply don’t have time. It was only a matter of 10-15lbs, so I kept thinking it’s no big deal. The more I convinced myself it was okay, and even though I never gained more than that, it became stressful. I’m no health guru, or fitness junkie, just a normal college girl with some chubby kid tendencies and here are some things I thought might help you in your journey, as they have recently helped me:
Why: Why do you want to do this? Is it to get skinny? Is it for health reasons? Figure out why exactly this is important for you and establish an intention. The better reasons are ones that are less superficial and more intrinsic. For me, it was a culmination of all the above. I have major health issues (asthma, anemia, sinus, anxiety, etc.) and shitty eating habits. Then, as a part time model, I felt I was no longer looking good. It really started to make me feel weird about myself. As someone who is supremely confident, this was new to me. Lastly, I did not want to bounce from extremes. This was an emotional roller-coaster that I did not want to go on every single time. I hated my lack of motivation and it really took a toll on me. Ultimately, I needed an attitude adjustment.
- Establish an intention, write it down. Set a reminder on your phone.
- How is getting fit going to solve your problem? Does it affect your self esteem? Make sure you’re not just displacing emotions or that your weight issues aren’t because of something deeper and more complex. If they are, get help now.
- Accept your flaws and adjust a positive attitude. No self-loathing or excuses. You can do it. You are beautiful now and will always be, so there’s no need to fix yourself out of spite and disgust. You want to get back into shape because you love your body too much!
How: So now you know you have a problem. What next? Assess all your bad habits and establish a realistic and safe weight goal. Realize we aren’t going to be Victoria Secret Angels overnight. I’m at 130, I want to lose 10-15lbs. Not a major transformation, but that doesn’t mean this is going to be comfy. What are your weaknesses? For me, I never worked out. I just bought Nike shorts and pretended like I’m some health freak. I also have a passion for cheese and carbs. It’s obscene how much I love them. I don’t even eat sweets and chocolates because they don’t feel anything remotely close to the warm hug hot garlic bread gives me. Here’s some tips:
- Get rid of bad habits. No soda, cheese, and easy on the carbs. Lots of water.
- Eat before 8pm
- Easy on the study snacks. I pig out when I study, which is okay, as long as its healthy and low cal. No emergency vending machine trips!
- Hit the gym every day. I organize my day around even a 30min work-out. The organizing helped me prioritize and even made more time for a full night’s sleep!
- Keeping track. I have an app called Lose It! on my iPhone and it does all the calorie calculating for me. Be aware of what you eat and take a genuine interest in how foods are prepared. Some of what we eat is so toxic!
- Detox. People get really spooked when they hear detox. It’s actually not a bad thing. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Lemon Juice Detox, a 10-day all liquid lemon/water diet. You take lemon, water, a spoon of cayenne pepper and honey for taste, and prepare bottles for the day. It’s extreme, so I modified it a bit, adding light foods into the mix. Do it for 5 days and your system will feel less muddy.
- Balance. Moderation. Don’t over do anything, and don’t obsess if you don’ see results after a week!
The best thing I’ve learned is to keep it simple and stress-free. Much of why I got this way was because I would stress out with school, work, life and then resort to eating out. I have a small goal, I know what my intention is, and I know what few things I need to adjust. The biggest struggle for me has been staying positive throughout this whole thing because when it’s only a matter of a few pounds, it’s easy to procrastinate. It’s easy to get sloppy and let yourself go in college, but fix one thing and it will all fall into place! We can all make adjustments and live a healthier, less-stressful, and cleaner life. Don’t let the freshman 15 turn into the senior 30!
Rida Islam, Fashion Editor
Image via Pinterest.com