How to Find Your Health in College (and Still Have Fun!)

Hi guys!

As I start to plan for Dressember, maintain a busy class/club/work schedule, and continue to figure out my new health goals, I want to share what has gotten me thus far in my journey. All of the above may seem like a lot to handle, and at times it sure feels like it is, but I consistently find little tips and tricks to help me along the way. 5 of those tricks are what I’m going to share with you today! Just to start out, I’m in no way certified as a personal trainer or life coach, this is just what I have found works for me.

1. Make your workout schedule and stick to it!

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Me. Exhausted from a yoga workout.

Figure out what type of exercise you enjoy (yoga, lifting, running, boxing, etc) and plan times and workouts for the week on Sundays. I find that if I have a plan before I go to bed on Sunday, I don’t have to then worry about when and what workouts I do the rest of the week, after all my homework is being assigned and I spend hours doing homework. I also find that if I write my workouts into my planner, I’m more likely to do my workouts because I know I have the time. My tired self then can’t say, “Oh, well, you don’t have the time today” when, clearly, I have plenty of time according to my planner. Also, don’t be afraid to mix up your workouts a little bit! I combine weight lifting with cardio and yoga. That way my body gets worked in a few different ways, and I get the most benefit from my workouts. Remember, that even if you have an injury or restriction, there’s always a type of exercise for you. I have laterally tracking kneecaps (slightly to super painful when running and jumping) so I can’t do a ton of impact exercises. I have found weight lifting to benefit my knees, and for the days my knees hurt too bad to lift, I resort to yoga to stretch out the muscles and bring some peace to the joint. So there’s something out there for everyone, you just have to find it.

2. Find the time of day when you’re most motivated.

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Workout + Coffee = A Great Day!

I’m an early bird. I’m usually asleep by 10:30pm at the absolute latest during the week, so I like to get up early to do my workouts. I try to get to my gym as soon as it opens in the morning because that’s when I’m most awake and ready to work. I find myself more energized the rest of the day when I workout in the morning. Also, I don’t often have club meetings, homework, or have to be at work that early in the morning, so that’s when I can make time to get to the gym. I also do yoga workouts in my apartment on my non-lifting days and those I tend to do right before bed so I sleep better at night. However, I know that not everyone is an early bird like myself, so if evening/night exercise is your thing, go for it! Just remember, you HAVE to MAKE time. You can’t just wing it with your workouts, or you may not always get the most benefit. This is your health, and making the time to workout is SO important.

3. Figure out how to eat healthy, while not depriving yourself all the time.

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I sometimes splurge on sushi dates with my girls.

Food is something that is different to almost every person. That’s why there are so many different ways to eat out there, because everyone has different tastes and tolerances for certain foods. I have spent quite a bit of my college experience trying to figure out what I can and can’t eat. In my two years in college, I have developed a gluten intolerance, and lettuce allergy, and an avocado allergy. I also find that the more carbs I have, the more tired I am and the worse my stomach feels. So I have adopted a lower-carb diet with lots of fruits, veggies, and meat. However, I still allow myself to eat the things I want, within reason. I still eat gluten free mac n cheese and gluten free pizza, I just try to limit them. I go through phases where I just eat all the things I want to, and after a few days I feel like crap and go back to following my diet. All in all, you just have to find what works best for you and stick with it. They say health is 70% diet and 20% exercise, and abs are made in the kitchen, AND in the gym. So find what works for you, and follow it!

4. Know when you need a day off.

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Short vacations make perfect rest days.

Rest days sound like something you’d use an excuse to not do a workout, but rest days are SO important. Especially with such a busy schedule like a college student. Rest days allow your mind and body to rest, recharge, and reset. Sometimes life just gets too hard, or too busy, and you need those rest days to maintain your sanity. So plan during the week to take a few hours everyday, or maybe even just one day to have some “me” time after classes and/or work. Your body will thank you for it every time.

5. Be constantly setting smaller goals, and reaching them.

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One of my favorite places on Earth.

A little cliche for a picture, but the message is important. When setting goals in life, it’s important to make them something you can reach. You don’t want to set a super small goal and after you reach it, that’s it. You want to set a goal that is possible, but difficult. You want to grow on your way to that goal, but you want to be able to get there and then set a new one. This supports constant growth in your life in general, and especially in your health. For example, making it to the gym 3x a week, or not having ice cream everyday (if that’s your thing). You’ll be more motivated and inspired if you’re reaching goals every few weeks/months than if you set year-long goals and don’t reach them by the end of the year. It’s easier to think short term and see long term results than to think long term and see short term results.

Health and fitness while being a working college student is something that I’m still trying to figure out myself, but I’m enjoying every step of the way. I’m a month into classes and I’m finally getting into the swing of my new class, homework, work, and workout schedule. Food has always been a battle for me as well, but I’m finally finding my footing there as well. The goal is always some sort of improvement, and baby steps are perfectly acceptable.

I hope you enjoy and find some use from my 5 tricks to a healthy student life, and I’ll see you next week!

Cami

 

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The Start of a New Me (A step-by-step guide)

Hello to old and new readers!

I have taken a bit of a break from blogging to work on myself. I have spent the past 2-3 months figuring out where I want to be in life and how to get there. At the end of last semester, I found myself constantly in a bad mood whether it be from a lack of patience, lack of exercise or the lack of a meal plan that worked well for my body. I have since changed all of the above and I’m going to share how so that maybe someone reading this who is struggling the same way I was can find some peace in finally taking more control over their life.

The first step in my guide to a new me, was to pinpoint what exactly was causing my stress. I made mental notes throughout the day when I felt annoyed or sick, so at the end of the day I could reflect on what had bothered me and think about why. For example, if someone walking slow while I was behind them I would ask myself, “why should that really bother me?” In the end, unless I’m late, the slow walker in front of me will only get me to my destination maybe a minute later than I would arrive otherwise, so is it really that big of a deal? No. So I change my mindset. I’m not saying that slow walker doesn’t still annoy me sometimes, I just try to keep a level head and understand that there are many more things to be really worried about in life.

Step two was to go through my social media and get rid of pages and people that didn’t add value to my life. I used to just scroll through my social media and think of all the bad memories that I associated with some of the people I still followed, but would never again talk to in real life. So I did a social media cleanse. I only wanted to see people and companies on my feeds that would inspire me and add to my life, not take away from it. I was attempting to make my social media mine again, and for the most part, it worked. I try not to use my social media as much anymore because too much screen time isn’t good for you, but now I know if I want to look, I will find mostly good things.

Step three: Evaluate my food choices. I found myself constantly cheating on my diet, and constantly being sick because of it. I found that, while the Keto diet did help heal my stomach, it was time for me to loosen up on my restrictions. I now still eat fairly low carb compared to the average American diet, but I allow myself to have some of my favorite high-carb foods, just in moderation now. This way when I do have a cheat day or decide to eat some sugar, my body doesn’t go into a panic. I also found that I wasn’t eating enough on the Keto diet. Now I make sure to get enough food in a day, but if I’m not hungry, I still don’t eat. I have days where I have only breakfast and dinner, and there are days where I have five meals a day because I’m just so hungry. What matters most is that I try to make those foods fuel for my body, not foods to satisfy my cravings.

Last, but not least, I started to exercise 5-6x a week. I spent the majority of the past two years only exercising when I thought I looked too pudgy. I had a bad relationship with exercise because I treated it like a chore. This summer, I changed my mindset. I started doing yoga outdoors every morning that I could. I also started lifting (at home) just enough to remember how much I loved lifting when I was part of a crossfit gym in high school. I made exercise a time for me to be alone and start my day off on the right foot. Now that I’m back at school, I lift three mornings a week at the school gym and do yoga 2-3x a week as well. I love how much energy my morning workouts give me and I’m already starting to see the difference in my muscle and figure.

I am no expert in any of the above topics, but I find that sometimes that’s okay. I have figure out what works the best for me and I’m loving how it feels. So for those of you still reading, I hope you can take away even a small piece of advice from this entry. From this post on, I will be changing the direction of my blog just a tad. I will be focusing on how to be the best you, inside and out. I’ll be talking about different diet trends, exercise plans, I’ll track my fitness progress, and I’ll explain how, even when in college like myself, you can become the best version of yourself. My goal is to inspire those around me and, hopefully, make the world a better place a little piece at a time.

For those still with me who have questions, feel free to contact me by my socials tagged at the bottom of the page, or through the contact page.

I hope you enjoyed my update and that you’ll continue this journey with me!

Until next time,

Cami

10 Ways to Find the Best in Each Day

Hello, friends! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted for many reasons, most of them college related. It’s week 11 of a 16 week semester, so the essays, projects, and exams are starting to pile up, making it hard to write on a regular basis.

This week I’d like to talk about how important it is to live everyday to its fullest potential. A few weeks ago, the world lost a kind and passionate soul in a 19-year-old man that I had known fairly well since, at least, age three. The news of his death hit me like a semi truck, as this is the third funeral I’ve attended in the past 5 years for kids near my age. As an almost-20-year-old, I shouldn’t have to attend funerals for my peers, but each time I’ve learned a different lesson. At the first two funerals I learned the importance of attentive driving and not letting the road get away from me, but this time it was different. This time I was absolutely inspired by the life of my friend, Austin, and I want to share some of the ways I have been trying to change my attitude towards life since his funeral.

Step 1: You are what you eat

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After hearing the news of Austin’s death, my diet went completely down the drain. I turned to food for comfort and, in doing so, started to feel worse. I was tired all the time, I couldn’t sleep at night, and my daily life suffered. What you eat is SO important to keep track of, for it affects everything you do. Eating comfort foods is okay in moderation, but in the end moderation is always key when it comes to comfort foods. I am now back to keeping track of what goes in my mouth and I’m almost 100% back to normal! Today I made these mostly-keto tacos and my stomach, and body, is happy to be back to normal.

Step 2: Exercise

As I over-consumed comfort foods and wasn’t watching my carbs and sugars, my ambition to exercise declined rapidly. I have spent the last two weeks sitting in front of the TV during my free time, because I lacked the energy to do anything else. I wasn’t reaching my daily step goal of 10,000 steps (I usually meet this goal). I finally got back into a workout routine yesterday and I’m SO sore, but I’m super proud that I’m finally getting back to business as usual. Exercise goes hand-in-hand with food and the more you exercise, the better you’ll feel!

Step 3: Take care of yourself/Put yourself first

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I am guilty of putting others first and thinking of what I want last. The majority of people I’ve met are the same way. However, no one is going to take better care of you, than yourself. I am slowly learning how to put myself first and come to terms with what I actually want from MY life, not what others want/expect from me. As I come to terms with this step, I feel my anxiety and stress levels dropping dramatically. I’m learning that I only get one body, and taking care of myself is assuring that I can be around to help others long into the future. If this means pampering yourself every once in a while, go for it! My friend, Brittany, and I did exactly that a few weeks ago (my first EVER pedicure, SO fun.)

Step 4: Make an effort to cross things off your bucket list

This goes hand-in-hand with putting yourself first. Generally, the things on your bucket list are going to be things that will put yourself first. My first ever pedicure was something I could cross off my bucket list. Nothing huge, but something I can now say I have done and enjoyed.

Step 5: Keep in touch with friends

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This picture includes some of my friends coming together to celebrate the birthday of one of our mutual friends. Your friends are your legs when you can’t stand, and my friends have been by my side every step of this process that has been the past two weeks of my life. I try to have dinner with my two good friends at least once a week, and I usually find myself keeping in touch with them through Snapchat, text message, or otherwise basically everyday. Friends are there to make life in this crazy world of ours a little bit easier, and they should be embraced, and thanked, with open arms and lots of thank you’s often.

Step 6: Don’t be afraid to reach out to old friends

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This is my friend, Megan. We’ve been friends since third or fourth grade. We don’t talk as much as we used to because our colleges keep us busy and about five hours away from one another, but we still try to meet up when we get home. Old friends can sometimes be the best friends, and sometimes you just drift too far apart. Either way, reaching out to an old friend you miss is never a bad endeavor. I find that a lot of people at the funerals I have attended in the past few years have always said, “I wish I would’ve just reached out like I always thought about doing.” I’m very guilty of this line, and I can understand the difficulties a person can face when trying to decide if that message should be sent, and the answer is send the message anyway. Never be afraid to reach out to an old friend, even if it’s just to say, “Hello. I was just thinking of you.”

Step 7: Forgive and forget

If you don’t reach out to that old friend, don’t get hung up over it if they happen to leave the Earth too soon. Forgiving yourself and moving forward is how you can best live for them. This applies to other areas of your life as well. We’re all guilty of holding grudges, and I’m no exception. However, I’m learning to forgive and forget for my health, and it’s like a HUGE burden being lifted off of my shoulders.

Step 8: Stop complaining so much

This step is my biggest downfall. I tend to just keep talking and not realize I’m complaining until I’m three text messages deep and hoping I didn’t write anything too drastic. There’s complaining about something when you have a bad day, or something you actually have an issue with. Then there’s complaining just for the sake of talking bad about someone or something. The second is what I’m trying to stop doing, and, like forgiving and forgetting, I’m feeling much happier.

Step 9: Change how you look at the world

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They say that if you change how you look at the world, the world will start to look different. While some people may find a storm or a hindrance in this picture, I find a wonderful act of nature that is made to be feared, but admired. Many times, even in my case, it takes a huge event to change perception and sometimes it’s too late. Try to find the good in everyday, and I’m sure that good things will find their way to you.

Step 10: If you don’t like something, change it

Whether this be something about your hair, your personality, your makeup, your daily routine, or your current situation in life, you always have the power to change your future.

I hope you stuck with me through this long, emotional post. I also hope that you can all take something from my ramblings to improve your life, or the life of someone around you and that you share your experiences with those who love you.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on A Moment with Cami!

Signed,

Cami