How to Stay Healthy in College

I actually get a lot of emails from girls in college, and wondering how in the world I did it while I was in pharmacy school, and some tips so I thought that I would share. I will say this disclaimer and that is that I was still struggling with food during this time. So, my eating behaviors were really all over the place, so I'll share what I did but also what I think that you should do that I didn't. 

1-Learn Nutrition & Stay Consistent 

I think this is a lesson that rings true across the board right? Nutrition is everything. If you can really learn about carbs, fats, and protein early on and how to manipulate those to be healthy then you are going to be set for the rest of your life really. This doesn't mean restrict calories...NOT. AT. ALL. Just learn what it means to be balanced overall in nutrition. I REPEAT-DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF! It does not work. STOP. NOW. 

2- Do not count macros

...or if you do, just loosely track. You are in college. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you will never get back. They call it the best years of your life but with my obsession with perfection in all areas of my life, I would never call those the best years (not by any stretch of the imagination). It was really rough for me, and I never want that for anyone. There are going to be outings and you shouldn't be focused on the fact that you have to "hit your macros" and just enjoy yourself. Again, like I said in #1, you want to know about nutrition so that you know to eat enough and to eat a balance of carbs, fat and protein. I know it's hard to find that balance but striving for that every day I think is important in life but really important in college. Share that knowledge with your friends too. I think that all girls at that age are really coming into their own and trying to figure things out. They may need more help than you know.

3-Only workout 3-4 times per week 

I say "only" like it's a rule, but really? It's grad school and who the stink has time to be working out 6 times per week? I know I sure didn't. I would always write out a schedule of 5 times per week knowing that it probably wasn't going to happen. There are meetings after class and then tests the next day and the thought of doing anything is just like UHHHH and it's also just impossible time wise. School comes first, and it's during this time that you should focus on that. You'll be able to stay in great shape with just working out 3X per week.

4-Wait until after to be a marathon runner or triathlete

I don't know if you are a student like me, but I'm a workaholic type student. It was really hard for me and so in order to make the grades that I wanted to make (still didn't make those in grad school because #pharmacyschoolishard), I had to study ALL the time. I knew that I eventually wanted to run a marathon and do tris, but the very thought of doing anything more than a 5K stressed me out. I signed up for a half marathon my first year in pharmacy school, and while I completed it, I did not train appropriately for it and it led me to having a lot of anxiety. I always felt I needed to be running so even when I was studying, I felt pressure. You have your ENTIRE life to be a marathon runner. Don't put pressure on yourself to do that right now. 

(Side Note: I have this weird thing about my personality. I make decisions about how to spend my time but I can never be satisfied with those decisions and feel a lot of guilt. For example: if I choose to spend time with one friend, I feel this guilt that I haven't made time for said other friend. If I choose to spend time with my husband, I feel guilt that people will think I'm a hermit that never goes out. If I spend time working on my business, I feel guilt that I will look like a workaholic. If I spend time studying, I felt guilt that I wasn't spending it training. Lord help me when I have a child. Mom guilt will be real fierce I already know.)

5-At Home Workouts 

While I was in pharmacy school, I always did at home workouts. If I had known about weight lifting at the time though, I would have spent my time there because most campuses have a gym that's free (JK you pay your life in loans), but use that tuition!!! Find a weight lifting split for the week, and you can easily blast a good resistance training workout in like 30 minutes 4X per week and stay in great shape if your nutrition is pretty dialed in (during the week and remember to enjoy your weekends haha) 

The website that I used for at home workouts was www.bodyrock.tv if you wanted to look at that. I also would do some beach body workouts, but if I'm being honest, you would be better off in the gym ;) Build that calorie burning muscle :) 

6-Practice Grace

You are NOT going to be perfect, and you shouldn't try to be. Your schedule is not going to be linear, and there are going to be things and projects and deadlines and tests and meetings. The list is never ending, and you can't be mad at yourself because you couldn't get a workout in or that you had to go to this event that had this meal and you weren't able to stay on track. It's one thing to make excuses and just letting yourself go in college. I don't think that you should go and practice grace so much that you gain 50lbs and feel miserable. That's not what I mean at all. I just mean that there are stages in life where you have to buckle down in other areas, and your fitness life may suffer and that's okay. We all put this pressure on ourselves to be the best student, friend, sister, mother, brother, husband, wife, AND on top of all that, we have to look awesome and workout every day. Life just isn't like that, and recognizing that and extending yourself grace is a beautiful thing.

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