So there are plenty of privileged college students in my experience. You know who I mean: The people who have their whole college paid for by their parents, or fully scholarshipped out, so they do not have to worry about other obligations while going to school. They can just go to class, keep up with their grades (or not!) and do whatever they like with their free time.
There are a select few of us, however, who are fighting for every step towards a better future. We have to balance our lives between doing well in school, keeping up at work to pay the bills, juggling our relationships with friends, family and significant others, and staying healthy.
What kinds of struggles do people face while in college, having to juggle so much at once? When their job is absolutely unfulfilling, when their family and friends demand attention, and when their house becomes a dump because after a long day of school and work, all we want to do is sit down for an hour before bed.
There are times where I personally just want to quit everything and hide in my bed for three days straight, but I know I can’t.
Usually, I’m able to keep up with three of those four things. Which aspect of life gets left behind most often? You’ve guessed it, health!
Let’s ignore the fact that food is expensive (I’ll talk about that in a future post) and instead focus on physical activity. I am obese, and I’m just starting out on my journey, but I have made some progress with my health. I started out at 326 lbs, and I am at around 300 now. This is a huge milestone for me, but I have since fallen off the wagon, and I’m back to my old habits.
Financial aid ran out, I had to take more hours at work, and the middle of the term can really be killer. While I do not go to the gym nearly as much as I did when I first started, I have still made a few small changes that have really helped in maintaining my loss, so I have not gained back any weight for a few months even. Here they are:
- When I drive to work or school, I park in the parking spot the furthest from my building. This helps me in a couple of ways: I do not have to drive back and forth through the front rows, searching tirelessly for an open spot; while the spaces in back are all completely empty, and I get a few hundred more steps. That’s something I do every day and it has made a difference.
- My campus offers a free bus service to get around campus faster. While I think this is a great idea, I opt out from this service. The benefits of going to the large university (health wise) is the fact that I can walk a lot more, to get from building to building. I spend only a few extra minutes (Good since I have about an hour between classes anyway), and the health benefits of the extra walk is great!
- Killing it at work! I work in retail, specifically the produce department at a large grocery chain. My job can have a lot of manual labor, and this is something that I have taken advantage of. At work, I used to hate working on the load (taking cases of product off of pallets and putting them in the walk-in cooler) because of the physical labor, but now, I volunteer to work on it every day. In fact, I even did this today!
These couple of steps, along with replacing my energy drinks with coffee (most days) and eating more whole grains, I have been able to maintain my weight.
My plan, is to use this blog as a tool to keep myself motivated, and share my thoughts through my journey to finally getting healthy. Thanks for your support!