#StudiousSeptember: Making Healthy Habits

3 Oct

Coming to college can be such a big change. I felt so free, I could go anywhere, eat anything, and go to bed whenever I wanted. When I was dropped off by my mom, I was left with a big box of ramen and endless possibilities. But when school started to get harder and my ramen ran out, I started to go eat at the Student Union a lot. I remember not having a car and no money besides my meal plan, and no way to go make my own food. Soon my overwhelming course schedule created a habit where I hardly got out of my dorm, and getting food at the Union turned into getting snacks at U-Mart. At the end of my freshman year I realized that I had become victim of the freshman 15 by not being as active as I could have been and not eating healthy meals. I had created some very unhealthy habits for myself. This prompted me to learn better habits for myself and created a new Sophomore year resolution.

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Better Habit Part 1: Being more active

When I was in high school, I was in the Marching band and took Aerobics for PE.. but college doesn’t have PE and I didn’t join the Pride Marching Band. With all of my classes, I prioritized my study habits and social life over going to work out. I decided to learn a new exercise technique and joined a Zumba class at the Rec Center. The first class that I went to, I almost passed out and I realized then that I really had to become more active. Because I paid for the class, I told myself I was going to go everyday, but as my classes became more hectic I found myself not going as much I had planned. I felt too tired to go to my 8:15pm Zumba class after a day of work and classes. I knew that I couldn’t slip back into my old habits, so I started to plan ahead, only go work out on certain days and do homework in advance. This proved to be the best system for me, not only was I not procrastinating, but I was able to start being more active. Zumba has turned out to be challenging, but very fun and definitely worth my time.

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Better Habit Part 2: Eating Healthy in the Dorm

While there are a lot of healthy options are offered at the Student Union, the long lines and similar food can get old fast. I found that I was eating out more, spending more money, and buying more snacks than I was actually making myself food. Dorms are hard – there’s no full refrigerator or pantry, and you find yourself eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen for every meal. Taking SafeRide or the CatTran to get groceries seemed like a hassle, and then the groceries never seemed to last anyway. I had to really refine my techniques if I was going to start eating healthier my Sophomore year. I learned not to buy a lot of bread, because it seemed that I could never finish a loaf before it went bad. I would buy fruits and vegetables once a week, that way it wasn’t as much to lug on the CatTran. I stopped eating out and saved my money for grocery trips, as well as stopped snacking when I study.  I also started to drink a lot more water to curb my appetite and stay alive in this heat. While all of these things sometimes are a struggle, I find myself falling into better habits. To stay interested in the healthy food that I eat, I look for healthy recipes whenever I am on Pintrest. I recently made a healthy version of chicken broccoli fettuccine alfredo.

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Eating healthy and working out can be a challenge, trust me I know, but this year I have started to feel so much better. I’m not getting sick or feeling tired, like I was at the end of Freshman year. I truly am happy about learning better habits and breaking old ones to make my Sophomore year and the rest of my college career healthy and enjoyable.

-Laura

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