More often than not your first year at University is usually full of drinking, nights out and takeaways. and this often results in something known as 'The Fresher Fifteen' where on average students will pile on an extra 15lb in their first year of Uni. In my first year I lived at home and commuted in, didn't really go out that much as travelling home that late at night was hard for me, and truthfully I wasn't really into it. But then I moved out into a rented house in my second and third year and HELLO here came the fresher 15 one year late. I'd never really cooked before, let alone learnt about portion control, I was going out drinking more than usual and my body suffered.
I must say i've never really had any body issues growing up. Even when I was underweight due to my anxiety issues. it never really phased me. Yeah I knew I was too skinny, but I didn't really care, I was more concerned about what was going on with my brain. But here I am now a graduate and I am still gripping tightly onto my freshers 15. Don't get me wrong, I know I am in no way overweight, i'm still in the same size clothes as before (albeit they're a little tighter than i'd like) but this is the first time my body has ever affected how I feel on a day to day basis. I hate pretty much 80% of my wardrobe because I'm always wearing the same things over and over again, feeling totally lost as to what looks good on me anymore, and therefore not feeling confident enough in anything I do.
I am sick of feeling rubbish about myself and want to get myself back into shape. I tried to do this in my final year of Uni, attempting slimming world and cutting out everything bad for me out my diet. But both of these failed. I don't like having to measure out my foods, count calories or restrict myself to the point I cave in and demolish an entire pot of Pringles in one sitting. Too much to fast really isn't the way for me, so instead i'm opting to make a few small lifestyle changes.
- Replace white carbs with brown carbs - This is pretty self explanatory, swapping white rice, bread and pasta for brown instead and not eating carbs for every meal of the day (toast for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner was a typical day for me)
- Fill up on veggies - I love veggies and I always have since I was little. But often they can get a little boring, but I’ve discovered lots of new ways to cook them in my final year at Uni. My favourite being pan fried broccoli and cherry tomatoes.
- Drink more water - I am terrible at this and often just forget to drink. I want to start making the effort to drink a glass of water with every meal.
- Walk more - I walk about an hour a week just going to and from my local train station but when i'm in the house I spend a lot of time sitting down. I'm going to start making to effort to go outside for a little walk around the neighbourhood a few times a week.
- Have snacks in between meals - just make sure they are healthy ones like fruit and fat free yoghurt, crisp breads and hummus, or even Mulberries (my new favourite thing after sampling them at a recent Neals Yard Blogger event)
- Have a little treat everyday - Ive found if I cut all the naughty stuff out completely I go insane, so i'm allowing myself that odd biscuit with a cup of tea, or a bag of crisps if a fancy. This week my little daily treat has been my advent calendar chocolate. Saving it until bedtime where I sit with a cup of tea and can really enjoy it.
Because i've written all this down now I must stick to it! I'll probably do a little update every month to let you know how i've been getting on, and maybe even include some recipes. Let me know what type of things would you like to see?