About the Author
Freshman Fifteen Can Fuck Off!
The United States is a disgustingly overweight country. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Many people develop habits at a young age that later lead to morbid obesity and non-existent self-confidence.
The college years tend to be a period when such habits develop. With classes, part-time jobs, binge drinking, and relationships, it really can be difficult to make time for your health. But heed my advice: Don’t fall into the trap!
The benefits of good health are tremendous, ranging from better memory and cognitive functioning to less risk of heart disease or diabetes. College doesn’t have to be a time to develop bad habits. You can develop good ones as well. Follow these 7 tips, and you’ll be well on your way to feeling great.
1. Start Small
Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you try to start improving your health by vowing to run five miles a day when you’ve been a couch potato for three years, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed and frustrated. Depending on your current weight and fitness, start with something manageable, like incorporating an apple a day into your diet, drinking a couple more glasses of water, and walking for half an hour four times a week.
2. Beware of the Dining Halls
While the all-you-can-eat buffet style of many dining halls is pretty fucking awesome, it can also be a recipe for disaster. Try to limit yourself to one or one and a half plates of food per meal, and eat some fruits and veggies!
3. Avoid Sweets
Okay, okay, I know. Easier said than done. But, you’d be surprised how much easier it is if you just stop for a week or two. Your taste buds start to savor and enjoy yogurt and blueberries just as if they were chocolate cake and ice cream! Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but give it a try. And remember, out of sight, out of mind is the best policy when trying to cut back on any vice.
4. Use the Campus Recreation Facility
Campus rec memberships are typically free for students, yet many barely make it in four years. Don’t be one of those people. The rec center offers a multitude of exercise opportunities, from yoga classes to pick-up games of basketball to weight-lifting. Try a little bit of everything until you find something you enjoy. It’s much easier to be consistent working out if you can train yourself to look forward to it, which brings me to my next point.
5. Find a Way to Look Forward to it!
For me, I always end my workouts with 20-30 minutes of reading or meditation in the sauna. I savor this serendipitous alone time, and it is often my motivation to get my ass to the rec! Figure out a method that works for you, such as rewarding yourself post-workout with a Snickers or only listening to a favorite music artist when you’re exercising.
6. Don’t Make Excuses
It is incredibly easy to justify skipping a work out or eating a few brownies because you’re busy or had a bad day. Do your best not to do this! Skipping out on your routine will reduce motivation and diminish your hard work in a hurry. Stay committed, and remind yourself of why you’re trying to become a healthier person.
7. Remember That it’s Never Too Late
It doesn’t matter if you’re 5’6” and 400 lbs right now. I’m serious. If you follow these guidelines and ease yourself into it, you’ll have developed better habits in no time and will start to see results, which are often the greatest motivator.
Final Words of Encouragement
So what are you waiting for?! Get off your computer and go for a walk. “Not now” turns into “never” before you know it. Your journey to becoming a happier, healthier, and more confident person can start today.