Oh my goodness, yes, this is real. I have returned.
Wanna know what I’m really terrible at? Blogging while I’m at school. I do get pretty busy with homework and work and all that jazz, but when I finally do have free time or even a completely free weekend, I just want to sit and watch YouTube all day (and that’s exactly what I do). I’m never in a blogging mood at school, and I need to figure out why that is. I have a mindset of considering everything to be “homework” in one way or another, but I need to remember that I make the CHOICE to blog. This isn’t my job, nobody is making me do this. I blog because I want to. So, that is something that I need to think about more.
But, anyways. I have returned from an unplanned two-month hiatus because I have officially started spring break!!! At home, I just feel so inspired to blog. I’m honestly not sure what it is, but being here just makes me feel more inspired.
While I haven’t been blogging at school, I’ve been spending my time doing a whole bunch of other things, including working on my physical health! This has been a really exciting journey for me because I have literally NEVER been consistently mindful of my health, in my entire life. I’ve had my share of stopping and starting again, but this has been part of my daily lifestyle for a few months now and I’m going strong! I honestly feel the best that I ever have in my entire life. I don’t eat a bunch of garbage and later have to feel guilty about it, I actually crave visits to the gym, and I don’t even nap anymore. It’s changed my life, and I mean that as dramatically as I possibly can.
For that reason, I want to share with you some simple steps I made to start and maintain a healthier lifestyle. I am a broke college student with not a ton of time to meal plan and cook gourmet meals and spend 2 hours at the gym, but I do what I can. A lot of the changes I made were just little steps toward a healthier lifestyle and they have made all the difference! With that said, here are some things I recommend doing:
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR WATER INTAKE
If there is anything I recommend starting off with, it is hands-down making sure that you are hydrated. This alone will make you feel more energized, clear out your body a bit, and just make you feel good. Either make a mental note of how much water you are consuming throughout the day, or download an app or something to help you keep track. I like to use MyFitnessPal! Another great way to make sure you get enough water is to find a cute water bottle! I always hate this tip because it just sounds so silly, but it honestly works! When you have a cute lil bottle to drink out of, you’ll want to drink out of it more.
GET REGULAR SLEEP
If you can train yourself into a really nice sleep schedule, I swear it will change your life. I give myself 8-9 hours of sleep every single night regardless of my other obligations. Sleep is incredibly important to our health, so I make the choice to get a lot of sleep. I understand that maybe this isn’t possible for everyone, but if you can get at least 7 hours a night and make it as regular as possible, you will feel more energized throughout the day and stop feeling so groggy and dependent on naps! This energy will you make you feel more motivated to take on the day, improving your health around the clock.
CHOOSE HEALTHIER MEAL OPTIONS
Usually, we can’t just give your entire grocery lists a makeover and spend an hour making a gourmet nutritious meal three times a day. If you can, of course have at it! But if you can make even simpler healthier options such as shopping at the deli section rather than in the microwave meal section, choosing healthier snacks rather than chips, or putting more greens on your meals, you will notice a difference in your health and overall mood! If you’ve got a sweet tooth, I definitely recommend baked coconut chips. I am not kidding. They are the most delicious thing this planet have ever seen, they have (usually) vegan and REAL ingredients, and they are a game-changer. I’m especially passionate about them because I only discovered them about a week ago and I am convinced I have been missing out big-time haha!
MAKE A SWITCH TO SOY/ALMOND/CASHEW/COCONUT MILK
This is something that I have become super passionate about! Stop drinking cow’s milk!!! Sure, it has calcium, but you can get calcium in other ways and cow’s milk is, beyond that, not good for you. It is NOT meant for human’s consumption, and that just grosses me out so much to think about. On top of that, I drink almond milk more often than other options and I just think it TASTES better. I drink AlmondJoy Unsweetened Vanilla, and it has the most subtle hints of vanilla that make it super yummy, but it also does not feel as heavy as cow’s milk. If you switch to one of these options, you’ll notice that your skin might clear up, you’ll feel less bloated, and your stomach might calm down a bit overall. These are ALL things I noticed for myself, and now I am a fervent advocate of saying goodbye to cow’s milk!
MAKE SIMPLE CHANGES THAT KEEP YOU ACTIVE
For example, I live right across the street from the bus stop on my campus, but I make a point to ONLY take the bus when the weather is bad or if it is so early in the morning that I just can’t handle it (lol). Otherwise, I walk EVERYWHERE. These extra steps that weren’t part of my day before keep me active even on the days that I don’t make it to the gym, and have made an awesome impact on my energy levels. Some other things you can do are get outside and take a quick walk when you need a break from homework, or avoid the elevator and hit the stairs. You’ll notice a difference overall because you chose to take the active route!
FIND CUTE WORKOUT CLOTHES
This is usually where people stop paying attention and I totally understand. Workout clothes are freaking EXPENSIVE. But, there is NO NEED to shop at Lululemon or Fabletics for your cute workout gear. WalMart has a lot of great options, and that is usually where I buy my workout clothes. Sometimes I can even find some cute pieces at the thrift store or on Amazon! I tend to stick near basic pieces (black leggings, plain colored shirts) so that I can easily mix and match and it will still look cute. But, having an outfit that you actually like can motivate you to hit the gym if that’s your game, or go for a nice run, or even make you feel badass at home with a workout video. Find some workout gear that motivates you!
BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR WORKOUTS
If you’re not the type of person who feels super comfortable at the gym or doesn’t normally go, saying that tomorrow you’re going to wake up at 7 AM to max out at the gym might not be realistic. If it is, that is awesome! But if this is your goal and it’s not realistic for you at the moment, don’t bother making a goal that will only discourage you from working out in the end. There are lots of awesome YouTube videos you can exercise with, with just a simple YouTube search for the type of workout you’re looking for. For example, if you’re a yogi, Yoga with Adrienne is awesome; if you’re wanting to tone up, Blogilates is great, or if you’re looking for some cardio mixed with strength, FitnessBlender is your friend. There are a million options! Being realistic with your time available is also a huge factor. Ideally, we can all exercise for an hour 5-6 days a week, but adding 20 minutes a day for 3 days of the week is enough for you to notice a huge difference in your health. Be realistic with the types of workouts you enjoy and feel comfortable with, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to squeeze in a super long workout!
FIND A GROUP THAT MOTIVATES YOU
This could be an online group (for example, there is a huge Fitblr community on Tumblr if you’re into that – you can take a gander at mine here), a club at school, a group exercise program, or a group of friends! Find people, whether in person or not, that have similar goals and will motivate you to push yourself towards a healthier lifestyle. This helps hold us accountable, and also makes the process much more enjoyable.
KNOW WHAT YOUR MAJOR SETBACKS ARE
Do you have super intense cravings for unhealthy snacks? Do you go out with your friends most nights of the week? Are you too addicted to social media to sign off and get active? Know what it is that hurts your health the most and make a plan to get rid of it! For me, this was sugary coffee drinks, such as Frappuccinos and syrupy lattes. I had sooo much sugar in my diet because of these! I realized that this was a huge setback that, even though I was beginning to work out regularly and eat better, was hurting that progress I was working hard to achieve. So, I made a point to try drinking more black coffees and Americanos (Americanos are now my babe), and I feel more satisfied knowing that I made a healthier choice, and feel more energized because I’m not drinking such a sugary, heavy beverage. Save those treats for special occasions!
STOP BELIEVING THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TIME
Some of the busiest, most successful people on the planet make regular time for exercise and healthy food options. I will tell you now there will probably have to be time you need to sacrifice. But know your priorities and adjust your time for certain activities accordingly. Starting a healthy lifestyle means getting rid of an unhealthy lifestyle, so naturally some things will need to change, and how you spend your time will certainly be one of them! Don’t let this discourage you! Know that it is a worthy cause that you will repeatedly thank yourself for, for years to come. And don’t forget to be realistic about the time that you sacrifice! There is always time that can be made for taking care of yourself, and it doesn’t need to consume every other aspect of your life.
START BELIEVING THAT YOU CAN DO IT, AND THAT IT’S WORTH IT
I am not sure what clicked with me in the last 6 months, but it suddenly became a reality for me that living a healthy life and getting fit is something that I am capable of. I made time and better choices, and my life has changed in such a positive way. I am most definitely not saying this as if I am a perfect example and I have done everything perfectly – I’ve had quite a few setbacks and several weeks of backtrack and feeling discouraged, but the important part is that I’ve believed that my health is worthy enough to get back on track. Your health is so important! Your body gets you through literally everything in your life, and you owe it to yourself to take good care of it.
Hopefully while reading through these tips, you were able to think of some places in your life where you can make some minor adjustments that will have a big impact on your health and mood! Deciding to live a healthier life doesn’t have to be some overwhelming project that impedes every other aspect of your life. The little things can make all the difference! I hope this post could encourage and inspire you to not put your health on the back-burner. Even with our busy schedules, our bodies are still constantly there for us and they deserve to be taken care of as much as possible.
Guys! It’s great to be back on the radar!!! Haha, again I am currently on spring break, so I am here again at least for the week. School is coming to an end fairly soon though, and I know I will be super active again over the summer! I’ll try to not totally abandon this blog until then, like I have in the past. It really feels good to be back and talking to you guys!
I hope to talk to you all very soon!!