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.

 

Advertisements

#TheStruggleIsReal: Winter Skin

Aloha! It’s been a while and as most of you know, I have moved to university. This experience has been time-consuming, stressful and mentally draining – it is the sole reason for my lack of posts.

Since moving here everything has been about reading and essays, meaning that I haven’t had as much time to myself as I would like (apart from the time that I visited home for the weekend and it was lovely) and all this moving around (plus cold weather, plus general stress) has caused my skin to self-destruct – and I mean worse than usual.

This could have been down to moving and hormones, but the weather certainly didn’t help, it caused my skin to get very pimply and dry. I couldn’t let it stay like this as it was really starting to put me down and I had to wear make-up to cover it – something I hate doing.

With this in mind, I started getting testers of various skin products to find the root of my problem. I went to Origins because I am a regular user of the “Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash”, where I picked up testers for the “Zero Oil Cleanser” and “Zero Oil Lotion”.

These products started off by clearing up my spots and after a week the effects had reversed, leaving my skin worse than it was before! The cleanser didn’t feel like it was cleaning my skin enough, but the moisturiser was good – it really was “Zero Oil” and kept my skin matte for most of the day, but in the end it just made my skin really dry.

After these products quite literally blew up in my face, I opted for something familiar and headed to BareMinerals where I decided to retry  the “Purely Nourishing Moisturiser for Combination Skin”. I used this for around 2 weeks, my skin didn’t react to it at all, but I came to the conclusion that this is a summer skincare only option for my skin type. I had already purchased it because it really is a dependable moisturiser, just not for me in the winter.

Once again, I was back to square one and decided to use something I already had for the time being and also start using night cream again. I had some of my trusty Nivea “Night Regenerating Cream” left, so I used that along with The Body Shop “Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet”.

I remembered how much I loved the smell of the Vitamin E products, which led me to browse the entire Vitamin E line on the Body Shop website. After looking at countless reviews of various products, I decided that I wanted to try out a new night cream, seeing as night cream is something that’s usually a safe option for my troublesome skin.

I didn’t buy the products online, I kept browsing products for a week or so and went into the store to purchase. While in the store, a girl insisted that the toner would be a good addition to my purchase, along with an overnight treatment oil and I decided to try them out as I was already getting something new anyway and rarely used toners and treatments. In total, I purchased the “Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream”, “Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil” and the “Vitamin E Hydrating Toner”.

BodyshopVitE1

The difference in my skin was noticeable within a week, my skin was hydrated and my spots were reducing. I have finally discovered a skincare line that actually works with my skin, one that doesn’t make it worse and since using these products, I have gone back for more from the Vitamin E line. It turns out that the “Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet” wasn’t working as well as I thought it was and it was actually too harsh on my skin, it just took products that didn’t hurt my skin to realise what was doing the damage.

I now own most of The Body Shop Vitamin E range, the “Vitamin E Moisture Cream” replaced the “Aqua Boost Sorbet”, I also got the “Vitamin E Face Mist” to see what all the fuss was about and so far I can see the appeal, it’s very refreshing.

BodyshopVitE2

All-in-all, I’m loving the Vitamin E range from The Body Shop and I think it will be my staple skincare range from now on. It rescued my skin from whatever winter/stress induced hell it was in.

BodyshopVitE3

I will most probably be separately reviewing these products to help others figure out which ones are best for their skin too. If anyone else suffers from sensitive skin that loves to react and break out – I seriously suggest trying out this range.

Until next time,

XOXO,

Hannah.

Here I Am

Moving to university has been a lot to take in all at once, it’s like being thrown into the deep end before you’ve learned how to swim.

I’ve let the water pull me down a little recently in the sense that I haven’t been on my blog to post anything, not been able to sleep very well and also haven’t even been catching up on my tv shows!

I’ve been solely focusing on getting into my timetable routine and understanding exactly what needs to be done for my studies, how long it will take etc. that I haven’t actually been out as much as all of the other freshers. I have been going out, just not as much as other people and I’ve decided to focus less on drinking, more on learning.

I’m having a great time here, though, going out occasionally is much better for me than going out all the time. I am figuring out the balance and realising that I’m at the age where I don’t need to go out all the time. I actually prefer socialising with my flat-mates, going to the cinema and having lunches is much nicer.

I have been so mentally drained since moving here, I’ve had lots of reading to do and it took me about a week to unpack everything! I’m here now and I should be blogging back to normal once I have all of my different modules embedded in my brain.


Living alone is weird, but good weird.

The pros include things such as;

  • Knowing exactly how much food I have left all the time.
  • Knowing when I’m actually running out of things such as shampoo and shower gel.
  • Having long showers if I want them.

The cons include;

  • A fear that if I hurt myself badly, it may go unnoticed for days.
  • Doing my own laundry – although this actually feels very independent at the same time.
  • Having to cook dinner for yourself all the time – sometimes you just want to eat and not have to cook it first.

There are many other pros and cons, but these are the main ones in my eyes.


Unpacking and setting up my bedroom/bathroom was cool, everything in my room is a reflection of myself and is organised in a way that is accessible and tidy.

My attempt at photographing my room wasn’t the best, but here are some pictures of it nonetheless;

This is my attempt at a panoramic shot - it didn't go so well...

This is my attempt at a panoramic shot – it didn’t go so well…

Books and DVDs, the essentials of course...

Books and DVDs, the essentials of course…

Little pieces of me on my notice board, it actually looks a little different to this already.

Little pieces of me on my notice board, it actually looks a little different to this already.

The hallway is out there, maybe i'll show you guys the rest of the flat in another post.

The hallway is out there, maybe I’ll show you guys the rest of the flat in another post.

12165817_10206917246184223_591344810_n 12166583_10206917246264225_831063188_n

Didn't realise how vital bathroom storage was until I was on my own...

Didn’t realise how vital bathroom storage was until I was on my own…

My large collection of expensive mugs and shot glasses...

My large collection of expensive mugs and shot glasses…


Leaving my hometown has given me the chance to really think about what I want in other areas of my life. I know that I should always trust my instincts and understand that everything is happening for a reason. What is meant to be always will be and sometimes we have to experience all the bad stuff to get to the good.

I have never lost faith in the things that matter to me most and I never will.

Speak soon, stay smiling,

XOXO

Hannah.

Ready?

Yesterday marked the next big step in my life, moving to Leicester and becoming a student at De Montfort University.

After stressing about packing for uni and for a house move, I’ve finally got it together and can proudly say that my childhood room is officially empty. It’s such a strange feeling knowing that when I come back at Christmas, it won’t be to the house that I’ve known my whole life so far.

Although it will be daunting, I know that I am ready to do this, it’s time to take responsibility and learn how to be a proper twenty-something; a somewhat mature version of myself with a sprinkle of crazy (because nobody’s perfect and that would be boring anyway).

I’ve packed way too many mugs and an unwearable amount of clothes, but I’d rather be overpacked than to find I have forgotten everything that I need. Besides, I need to feel at home or I may start to get a little sad.

Unpacking will probably take a while as our Freshers Week starts in tomorrow, so I’ll probably be too busy exploring to open all of my boxes right away!

It’s taken a while, but after a few months on my own I’ve realised that I should always trust my instincts as they always seem to turn out right and I will utilise this wisdom at uni. The minute anything doesn’t seem right, I get a bad feeling or vibe, I shall go with my gut feeling and this should be applied to everything.

I will not depend on others too much as I’ve been let down way too much recently. I am learning to appreciate the people that are here for me and not to expect anything from anyone as eventually they let you down anyway and do exactly what you knew they would (this doesn’t apply to family).

On a positive note, I recently starting climbing again, after seven years out of practice and I really enjoyed it. Did somebody say climbing society?

I’m so ready to start fresh and I’m very excited to see what lies ahead for my future. I look forward to the new friendships I will make and the lessons I will learn.

I hope you join me on this journey as I shall hopefully be posting things regularly again!

See you on the flip side,

XOXO

Hannah.