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Healthier ways transform her outlook on life

On February 11, 2020

BY ADIA PALMER / VN STAFF WRITER

As a college student, my mental health is always teetering.

Some days I am happy and filled with light.

On those days I ate a good breakfast, got to class on time, had a productive day at work, completed my homework at a decent hour and ended the night watching one of my favorite shows on Netflix.

Those days are my best.

Other days I feel low and fail at taking care of myself. I fall off my daily routine.

I will eat too little or eat so much I don’t want to move.

I will go to work and everyone will ask if I am okay. I will say “yes” but we all know the truth.

When I get home I sleep, but not a peaceful sleep.

I wake up every few hours, anxious and sad.

I know I should do my homework, but my accumulating feelings of sadness won’t allow me to do anything necessary besides sleep and eat foods that would thrill a kid.

The state of my mental health was not been diagnosed but I would call my mental state in fall semester 2019 anything but healthy.

My health was a concern for me mentally and physically.

My face was rounder.

I noticed my clothes did not fit properly.

I avoided clothing with buttons.

Sweat pants and hoodies are in-style street wear but I wore them because they were the only clothes I didn’t feel stuffed in.

The semester was over but my disastrous habits didn’t change and the pounds kept creeping up on me.

The final indicator that I had fallen off the deep end was when I realized it had been months since my checkup in September and I still hadn’t gotten my bloodwork done.

As the days and weeks passed, my fears took over because I knew what I was feeding my body was not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

What if my cholesterol or blood sugars were high? What if I am pre-diabetic or, even worse, diabetic?

These questions aren’t farfetched because most of my family have health issues related to being overweight.

I saw how big I was in the Christmas photos and decided to step on a scale. I was at my heaviest.

So, in January 2020 I committed to a healthier lifestyle.

I didn’t want to be on a diet because they didn’t seem to last and only made me binge eat.

I wanted this to become a long-term solution.

Granted, those with a severe mental health diagnosis or those who feel the urge to harm themselves should speak to a professional for help.

But I wanted to try to deal with my issues on my own.

I wanted to take back control of my life, so I began with the one thing my family doctor said I needed: exercise.

My new lifestyle change was going to be active.

Though it has only been a month, my new lifestyle of clean eating and exercise is making a remarkable difference in my mental stability.

I exercise three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes and I make no excuses for myself.

If I can’t make it to the fitness center or a gym, I exercise at home.

I can feel a rise in my energy levels.

This the best I have felt mentally and physically since the start of my college career.

Seasonal depression and stress are difficult to overturn but I have done it (so far) with fitness.

I have lost ten pounds and my days are a lot brighter.

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