A Pep-Talk on the Struggle to Stay Healthy By: Emily Lucas
I am going to talk about health, but weirdly enough, I am probably completely unqualified to give anyone advice on this topic. I am not some workout or health guru about to lay out a whole fitness and meal plan for anyone. (I can’t even stick to one myself!) But what I can say, and what I think I am qualified to talk about, is the struggle of it all, because at the end of the day, we are all human and mess up. We want a slice of pizza, a beer or a piece of cheesecake…or 4… but that’s exactly my point here, healthy habits can be an absolute struggle! I’ve always been more on the heavier side and that 100% has presented me with many struggles in my life, but once I got to college, and really realized how out of hand it was, I changed it. It has definitely been a journey and I have had so many setbacks but that’s just it, it’s MY journey and I am taking it at MY pace.
It is always a goal of mine, as I am sure a lot of people feel the same, to feel healthy and be happy with myself. I think a lot of people assume “health” looks the same, and constantly want to alter their lives to fit that ideology of what they think health looks like, when in reality it is so different for everyone. So much more goes into your own personal health than just going to the gym every day or cutting out bread. If that works for you, then snaps for you, but for me at least, it’s always been the mindset of it. There’s a common motto a lot of health and fitness people say, and it could not be more true. Do it for you. The reason I firmly believe in this is because it is such a strong commitment. It’s a commitment to yourself and your lifestyle, but if you do not have the right self-centered motives, it’s not as effective. A personal struggle of mine throughout a fitness journey is the eating aspect. I haven’t had the best relationship with food: I would restrict myself so much until I broke, and then I would completely go off the deep end, and a constant cycle of restrict and break would ensue. One of my new year’s resolutions, that I encourage you to pursue, is learning how to listen to my body and give it what it really needs. We need to fuel our bodies because our bodies do SO MUCH! Listen to what it has to say, and feed it accordingly.
Another huge struggle to staying healthy is being able to afford the process of being healthy. I feel like I constantly see ads that say, “I lost 40 pounds in 3 months using this app or this diet” and then it’s a link to a money scam. I have found the best way to financially manage my health while being a #brokecollegestudent is to start small, and I cannot stress this enough, plan your meals. Grocery shopping and deciding what to eat for the week is HALF the battle, and a super easy way to get started. If you stock your fridge with wholesome and filling things along with your other fav foods, you won’t spend money on unhealthy meals out or midnight snacks. Meal prepping and planning seems like such a scary thought, but recipes are really easy to find, and there are SO many yummy options that won’t break the bank.
The last thing I want to say to someone who is struggling to stay healthy, is that getting started is the hardest part. Give yourself time and patience, and I’m preaching to myself here too, but you are starting something new that has potential to change your life for the better. Don’t get discouraged or mad at yourself, just do your best and welcome the bumps in the road. You should also make it fun! So many things in this life are so serious and boring. There are literally no rules to this, and this is the one thing in your life that you have complete control over, so be KIND to yourself! We all struggle, so be sure to reread this pep-talk whenever you feel like quitting, and keep pushing forward!