Struggle and Triumph: Staying Healthy at Univeristy

I have been at university for three months now and before moving here people had warned me about weight gain, it’s also reported in articles with headlines such as;

‘The average student gains two STONE in the first year of university – with the main reason for ‘freshers’ flab’ being stress’  – Mail Online.

‘Students in the south east of England gain the most weight in their first year’ – Independent Online

I think it must have been around two weeks in that I realised I wasn’t eating the best meals and decided to start doing something about it.

My sleeping pattern was and still is rather messed up, but I’m working on it. I was finding myself short of any energy and then turning to sugar in hope that it would give me a boost. This did help, but then my skin was getting worse because I was having too much sugar and not enough nutrients.

I decided to start eating meat again after getting dizzy-fainting spells (Vitamins weren’t quite doing the job, I was eating quorn too, but it wasn’t working out). Eating meat definitely helped, I still wasn’t feeling great. I started reading a book that I’ve had for ages and flicked through before; ‘The Body Book – Cameron Diaz with Sandra Bark‘. In a nutshell, the book states basic nutrition, but discusses exactly what we need and why diets are never the way to go.

With this in mind I decided to eat more vegetables, make sure I had bags of nuts accessible for snacking as well as fruit. I already eat quite a lot of vegetables, so this was easy, I just changed what I eat with them by reducing the amount of processed foods I ate. I don’t like the idea of processed foods, so I try to avoid them anyway, but lunches are usually something from a meal deal or skipped completely – neither of which is good for me. I switched my lunches to salads and made sure I included some carbs and protein in every lunch I made.

I don’t like the idea of not knowing what is in my food, so have decided to make most things from scratch – this actually turns ot to be much tastier too.

I still need to sort out my sleeping pattern and I’m getting there, but I regularly fall into the late-night Netflix trap, or just get trapped within my thoughts, usually stressy ones.

Now that I am eating better, I should have more energy. I also decided to eat better breakfasts, this included trying out Overnight Oats – which I tried out for the first time last night and ate them this morning, it’s safe to say I have a staple breakfast choice that can be varied easily by changing what fruit, nuts and preserves I choose to put in. The Overnight Oats I had this morning were actually delicious and I may do a post on my favourite recipes once I’ve tried out a few!

I also made my own apple and raspberry crumble recently, which was delicious, even more so knowing exactly how much (or how little) sugar was actually in it – definitely making this again!

As it’s Christmas next week, I seriously doubt I will be able to eat as healthy, but I shall try and stick to it to the best of my ability as I actually look forward to my meals a lot more since starting this whole being healthy thing.

It’s safe to say I have avoided this whole university weight gain thing, probably because of my lack of alcohol intake since moving here as well as eating habits.

Take care of your body, it’s the only one you’ll ever have – unless you believe in reincarnation, but it’s still the only one you’ll have in this lifetime.

XOXO

Hannah.

 

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Things I learned from Fangirl

After reading Fangirl (written by Rainbow Rowell) I feel I learnt a few things about life and also that it’s a great book that everyone should read, young or old.

FANGIRL

Family is family no matter what;

No matter what shit you go through with your family, when it comes down to the important stuff you or them will always come to the rescue. That’s the thing about family, the love is always there wether we choose to show it or not.

When Cath and Wren go through rough patches and months of not talking, they are always brought back together by something important.

These important things keep them from parting to the point of no return and show that no matter what has happened, they are sisters and thats a strong enough bond to survive anything.

Growing up is optional;

Yes, to a certain extent we all have to grow up and mature, but that doesn’t mean letting go of things that we have loved through our childhood.

Cath writes Fanfiction about the Simon Snow book/film series and continues it to a certain extent throughout her college life, she goes through a lot of writers block and self-doubt about her fiction writing course, but her Fanfiction helps her through in the end.

Finishing her Simon Snow story before the Author published her book was keeping her from focusing on her work, she needed to complete her Fanfic before she could focus her mind on other work.

This doesn’t mean that fanfic is over for her, I think she will always do it, but not to the extent that she did with her Carry On Simon.

It’s ok to be a little weird;

Being normal is boring and if I were normal I would probably have already completely lost my mind.

It’s ok to have little quirks, they are what make you, you.

Everyone has things that they go crazy for that they can’t explain, everyone has their obsessions and without them we would all just be empty shells, with no personality, no differences and we would all be the same.

The things we desire in people are their differences, so it’s more than ok to be different, it’s necessary.

There was one thing about Cath’s character that made me feel a little less crazy and that was her battles with anxiety. I saw a lot of myself in some of the moments where she had social anxiety and didn’t go to the dining hall for ages, so she was living on protein bars.


This book is awesome and I recommend it to everyone.

Buy it here.

Love you all,

XOXO

Hannah.