Katherine Moore, a first-year psychology student, shares advice on how all students can beat the Freshmen 15 and by setting goals to be fit and healthy throughout the school year.
Before starting university, I knew balancing school and my personal life would be difficult. On one hand I eagerly anticipated the opportunity to explore myself through studying topics that were close to my heart. On the other hand, balancing other aspects of my life outside of school felt as possible as defying death. On top of building strong friendships and getting involved within my community, maintaining my health was something I wasn’t willing to let go of.
Here’s a bit of insight into where I’m coming from; I have a diploma in Physical Fitness, I’ve worked as an aerobics instructor, created my own Boot Camp and am a Personal Trainer at the Carleton gym. Needless to say, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is kind of a hobby I’m passionate about. So “letting myself go” when returning to school was not going to happen. As the end of the year draws near, I think I’ve been pretty successful. So here’s one way I was able to make it happen.
The most important step was making a PLAN. Before the semester started, I sat down and figured out what was important to me and what I wanted to accomplish. As I’ve already mentioned, my list included building friendships, volunteering at school/in the community, continuing to eat healthy/exercise and spending time doing homework. Once I had established that, I figured out how much time was needed to make those things happen; 1 hour to exercise here, a couple hours to socialize there etc… With a good idea of what was important to me and how much time it required, I pulled out my schedule and began fitting the time blocks in.
Doing this gave each activity importance and a place within my weekly routine, so that I wouldn’t fly through the semester filling up my time with something else. Basically, exercising and cooking healthy meals became difficult to forget, like a due date for an assignment. However, there’s one crucial factor I should mention which can either make or break you. You actually have to BELIVE the things in your schedule are important. Otherwise, you’ll glance over them and move onto something else “more important”. In other words, your values need to be addressed and possibly rearranged. It’s true when you hear all of those gurus say that change comes from within you. In this case, staying healthy throughout the semester can be accomplished with proper planning, but isn’t likely to happen unless you believe it’s important. Health needs to be found closer to the top of your priority list.
It can be done, I promise you. It usually takes me 1-2 months to feel comfortable with a lifestyle change, but the reason I think I have seen some success is because I have been really invested in my goals. So as another phase of your life approaches, be it summer or the dawn of a new semester, perhaps take a minute to look at everything you’ve accomplished this year, and consider an area for growth. Make a plan to give it importance and most of all believe it can happen!
Submitted by Katherine Moore, a first-year psychology student.
For more information on the Carleton gym and fitness classes offered on campus, visit athletics.carleton.ca