Body Image Series Part 3: Healthy Habits that Work

In my first body image post I talked about the issues I’ve faced with my body image, and in my second post I detailed my interest in karate as a form of exercise. For this post, here is my list of five easy tips and tricks that I personally use everyday at school to not only help maintain my weight, but make me feel wonderful in the process.

#1: Just because you can eat as much as you want in the cafeteria does not mean that you should eat everything you see.

I think this is the biggest challenge for every new college student. College students are stereotypically short on cash, and one of the best quick, cheap food choices for the average college student is eating anything and everything in the cafeteria. With as many food choices that are available, one might be tempted to get one (or two…or three…) of everything. However, do you really need to eat that much to get through to the next time you’ll eat? The answer is likely no. Pick one or two things you’d like to try, get appropriate portions, and enjoy! Continue reading

Body Image Series Part 2: Getting Down to Business

My last post detailed the issues I’ve faced in the past few years regarding my body image, and this week I wanted to focus on what I’ve done so far to improve how I perceive my appearance and general ways I’ve tried to be healthier. I had been tired about feeling terrible about how I looked, so I decided to do what I could. There are some things I have no control over, like my height, but I can always change my weight and certainly the way I perceive myself.

Over the summer when I decided to take control of my health I started using the treadmill we have at my house every day that I could. I’ve never particularly enjoy running, but having a treadmill right in my house to use made it difficult to make excuses not to use it. Many days I would run, walk, and jog for around an hour while, every now and then, I went as low as thirty minutes. All that time was a good time to think as I found it almost impossible to read while I was going any faster than a turtle’s speed. I usually just listened to music or TED talks to pass the time. After a few weeks of doing this, I started feeling better and had a lot more energy than I had when I first started. I had not only been exercising regularly, I had also been carefully watching what I ate. I ate more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and going to bed at a decent time whenever I could. I was feeling wonderful! With as good as I was feeling I was starting to get curious to see how much weight I had lost. Surely I had lost a few pounds with as much as I was cutting back and exercising!

Once I actually got on a scale and saw the results, however, it turns out I had been mistaken. I was exactly the same weight doing so much work and it was honestly quite frustrating. I was determined to never be one of those people who checks the scale as often as I breathe, but I was upset that I hadn’t made a measurable difference. I didn’t even like running, so why should I continue to do it? I stopped spending so much time on the treadmill, but I really wanted to find another physical activity that I could enjoy both at home and back at LMU once I moved back in a few weeks later. I couldn’t handle another year of dreading the weight concerns that come with being a college student. I needed to guarantee that I would, in some way, be active at least once or twice a week outside of walking to and from class.

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By the time I moved back into school, I had yet to find another means of exercising that I could enjoy and easily do. I started to think that I was never going to find any form of exercise that I could get into, but I was quickly proven wrong yet again. Fellow blogger Ashley introduced me to Tri-State Free Style Martial Arts (TSFSMA) based in Middlesboro a few weeks ago, and since I’ve started I have absolutely loved it. I was skeptical at first; I thought all martial arts classes were super challenging and the instructors were always too demanding. It turns out that I was only half right. The classes are very challenging, but that is what I like most about them.

Classes always begin with stretches, warm-ups, and practicing of blocks, punches, and kicks. The second half of class works on sparring practice, developing new skills, and practicing old skills that students may be having trouble with mastering. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, kind, and helpful and are always there to help students improve in whatever way possible. I have only been to a handful of classes so far, but I am so thankful that I gave TSFSMA a chance.

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This is how I feel at the start of every class- always excited and ready to go!

I have not checked a scale in quite a while, but I don’t feel the need to. Although I am always sore for a few days after each class, I feel wonderful and look forward to every class. In fact, I see my soreness as a different but better way to check my progress instead of some number on a scale. I would not give up TSFSMA for anything!

Middlesboro classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. at 2219 1/2 Cumberland Avenue (Old Firehouse Video, next to Family Dollar) and Pineville classes are held on Mondays and Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the  New Heights Church next to Subway. For more information about TSFSMA, check out their Facebook page or their website! Classes are held in both Middlesboro and in Pineville, about fifteen minutes away from Middlesboro.

While what I’ve done to improve my overall health and body image has so far worked for me, not everyone enjoys and sees benefit in the forms of exercise¬† lifestyle choices I’ve made. Check back in a few weeks for a post on simple steps and easy lifestyle changes that everyone can take to feel better about themselves and improve their overall health!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions feel free to email me or leave a comment on my blog. If you want to see more posts like this one, subscribe to my blog and receive a new post every other Thursday!