How I got fit after college

First and foremost, the biggest thing that helped me get fit was my mentality. Feeling good both physically and mentally takes discipline, time and patience with yourself. It takes small steps working toward a larger goal of achieving overall health! This stuff doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen with some detox tea or starving yourself either. It happens by prioritizing fitness, sleep and eating healthy (but not being a psycho about your diet either)!


WHAT I WAS DOING WRONG

Other than the obvious — binge drinking, late night Taco Bell runs, being too cold and lazy to trek across campus in the snow to go to the gym…I realized I was doing a lot of things wrong! 

  • I expected to see results just by running on the treadmill for 20 minutes and doing nothing else. This doesn’t work for most!
  • Not tracking my progress or creating a fitness plan. Tracking progress and creating a plan looks differently for everyone — not just an ideal weight or size, but rather a FEELING. Feeling strong. Feeling confident. Looking healthy. 
  • Doing workouts I dreaded. It seemed like at one point my ENTIRE sorority was doing Kayla Itsines’ workouts, so I got on the bandwagon too. For like a day…then I quit. I HATED this workout (mostly because it kicked my ass) but even more because I hated to pretend like I was excited to do this with my friends. I felt myself comparing my body and my huffing and puffing to the group of girls next to me. Total buzz kill! Looking back, this was probably all in my head…But the point is, do a workout that EXCITES you. Group fitness? You got it. Solo workouts? Boom. Nothing excites you? Get a Class Pass membership and try out different studios. Cycling. Bar classes. Rumble boxing. Hot yoga. Corepower. Something outdoors. You name it! It seems like there’s a new type of workout popping up every few months, so why not try it! And don’t be like the old me…stop caring so much about doing what everyone else is doing, and just do what works for YOU. 

WHAT HELPED

  • Creating a routine that worked with my schedule. This was insanely difficult during college. Even with the same class schedule, it felt like each week was wildly different from the next. It was easy to pass up on heading to the gym because I couldn’t find the time. Plus, napping felt soooo good. If I could go back, I would schedule fitness like it was a mandatory lecture. You gotta go!
  • Eating consistent foods. My unhealthiest year was sophomore year of college when I lived in the sorority house. We had a chef whip up buffet style breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Egg sausage muffins, biscuits and gravy, hashbrowns…every day…why not? Fried Mac N’ Cheese, pizza night, Sundae bar? I was all over it! I have a stomach ache just thinking about it. No wonder I had zero energy…these foods were not fuel! These days, I eat consistent, similar foods packed with protein, greens, fruit and try to avoid dairy when possible. Of course, I treat myself (probably a little toooo much), but my body is trained to expect what it’s getting. This helps regulate digestion, avoid bloating and burn things off faster. 
  • I focused on arm workouts and small weights. I used to feel intimidated to go into this section of the gym but at a certain point I just went for it. Grab some small weights to start, a good Pinterest workout guide and feel the burn! Try 3 lb free weights first and work your way up to 5, 8, 10…you got this! 
  • Myth: I used to think small weights would make my arms bigger. That’s a total myth! Light weights tone and define muscle…unless you start benching 300 lbs, bulking up is the least of your worries! Male and female body types have very different responses to weight workouts. 

I hope this helps! Leave a comment with what you do to stay healthy! Also considering making a video to show you what I eat in a day and my favorite workouts!

December 16, 2019

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Photography
Baileyana Rose