Let me be real with you: I’m not exactly the fittest person I know. Twenty-something years on this planet and what used to be a black hole has now closed up and begun to expand. I’ve got stretch marks on my thighs and sometimes I feel like my body is shaped like a pear.
Living in a society where how you look defines who you are is harsh. Unfortunately, first impressions don’t matter who you are on paper. You’re being judged on what you look like first, and then maybe if you have a personality that matches.
I’ve lived a good portion of my post-secondary life not caring about my weight. I simply accepted that my body and my size is a part of me and there should be no reason for me to change that.
And when you’re a student in college, sometimes what you eat isn’t exactly your main priority.
Being “healthy” isn’t cost-efficient either. If you’re not a student, gym memberships can burn a tiny hole in your wallet. Naturally, it’s worth it, but if you’re someone like me who isn’t too fond of 6:00 a.m. trips to the gym, it’s a waste.
Organic foods and “healthy” drinks are also costly, rounding up to around six to ten dollars per item. I broke my blender last fall, and as broke as I am, blenders aren't exactly that cheap either to make a healthy concoction.
So what do I do?
When I found out my parents wanted to take me on a trip to the Domincan Republic, I took one look at my body and I knew I wasn’t ready (I’m still not).
I knew I had to shape up and start changing my habits. I can still be curvy and look amazing at the same time. I don’t want to do it for the sake of looking good, but I want to do this for myself. It’s been proven that people who exercise, eat healthier, and have a positive outlook on themselves have felt happier in their life.
You won’t feel results right away, which is why most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions so fast. I attend yoga classes that my school provides once a week and I’ve noticed a great change in my breathing. The pool that my apartment has needs to be used more (by me). Point is, I’m more aware of the things my body does and feel more of my surroundings.
To be honest, I’m still figuring out a solid plan that will help me get into a routine that’s perfect for me. All those posts on Instagram and Pinterest about workout routines that are sure to help you achieve your goal doesn’t work for everyone.
So, I’ve compiled a small list how to maintain a healthy life for myself. These can be modified to cater to your own needs and to ensure that you have routine designed for you. Remember, do what’s comfortable for you. And heck, don’t be afraid to brag about it to people!
Figure out what you can do at home:
I’m comfortable in my home and the majority of my time is there. Yoga is very versatile and can be done anywhere. I like to start off my day with a bit of yoga and something that will get my body ready for the day ahead. Instead of buying prepared fruit parfaits or blended juices, make your own. It’s as simple as throwing fruit in a bowl with Greek yogurt (and maybe a few oats). Cooking healthy food is simple, because many of ingredients don’t have to be cooked for too long. If you have a blender, your meal prep is as easy as throwing fruits and veggies with a healthy liquid to blend in. I’m going to post a link to the Canadian Food Guide specifically because they have good recipes curated by Emily Richards. She’s a food connoisseur and a cookbook author, and I’ve had the amazing opportunity of interviewing her for school. Her recipes are actually really good.
Make your own workout routine:
I don’t know about you guys, but I couldn’t work out with a personal trainer I didn’t know. I know what my body is capable of and I know what my limits are. Like yoga, each class is your own workout and you aren’t pressured to achieve every pose your instructor is doing. If you love cardio more that lifting weights, then do that. If you absolutely hate sit-ups, like me, there are other ways to work your core, such as planks. Want to take that next step in yoga? Consider aerial yoga. I’m taking beginner classes next week and it’s a great way to test your upper arm strength and abdominal muscles.
Avoid being lazy:
I happen to be the laziest person I know, even though many don’t believe me whenever I insist. There are ways to prevent that, but also to make the best of your comfortable seating. I like to lay on my back and lift my legs until I can feel the stretch in my thighs and calves. Sitting up with a straight back does wonders to your spine. And if you find yourself laying down while doing something (like using the computer), consider if you can be doing the same thing standing up.
Have a buddy to share your goals with:
And find someone who will challenge you to achieve your healthy living goals with. Skipped cardio today? You better be taking the 8 flights of stairs to your apartment instead. Not only will they keep an eye out for you, but they might even join you every now and then. You’ll be promoting good health indirectly.
Written by: Sanzana Syed