loving yourself.

everywhere around me i’m surrounded by people promoting fitness and health and stressing the fact that you need to love yourself for you. in the past year, i have learned that the actual key to happiness does lie within loving yourself wholeheartedly for everything that you are. from being involved with CHAARG to my classes in my major, this seems to be the overall theme everywhere i look. and guess what? it is 100% true.

i can fully attest to the fact that last year during winter break i did not love my body. i was no longer the high school athlete that didn’t need to go to the gym to workout. it was a struggle for me – and a lot of twentysomethings i’m sure – to find a routine that i actually liked. by the time spring break rolled around, i felt like a new person and it felt awesome. i love being in control of my life and i love how positive it makes me feel.

dear september 2012 self:

find something you love. i gave up running and i couldn’t be happier. in all truthfulness, i despise running. to me it is the most boring thing in the world. enter cycling. give me twenty minutes on a bike and i get the same type of runner’s high. i throw on a show on netflix for 45 minutes and just cycle. other things i love? yoga & barre.

let go of the stress. this might be the most important thing on this list. once you learn to let go of people and situations that cause you unnecessary stress, your whole world is brighter. that person that makes you feel awful? don’t see them as much. love to cram and pull an all-nighter before a big exam? space out your studying so the night before is a big review.

do what you love. okay, this is the most important. last year i changed my major from biology to nutrition and i could not be more happy. i had this wild dream of becoming a doctor and then i took chemistry. and then i wanted to be a psychologist and took psych classes. and then i wanted to be a journalist and took writing classes. i changed my major five times. sometimes you have to take a step back and reevaluate and make a change and i promise that it is okay. in five years i see myself helping others to make a healthy change in my life and i know for a fact that it is where i want to be.

stop driving everywhere. SERIOUSLY. i’m in college. i don’t need a car. this year i traded the car for a bike and a pair of sneakers and i already love the exercise i get just walking to class and back.

say no. we are a generation of yes. want to get coffee? yes. want to go out tonight? yes. want to meet me to study? yes. if you’ve had a long week and just want time to yourself, just say no. i’m not saying to say no to everything but chances are, you aren’t going to miss out on anything if you skip the party or don’t get a coffee once in awhile.

create “you” time. find a passion, watch some netflix, read a book, go for a walk, try a new recipe. it doesn’t matter what you do, sometimes you just need time to yourself to do what you really want to do and it is so important to make that time so you don’t feel burnt out.

eat the french fries. as a nutrition major i have learned one thing to be the number one rule: eat anything, in moderation. yes, you can have those french fries and yes, you can eat that chocolate ice cream. just don’t do it every day.

shop the perimeter. want to save money on groceries every week? shop the perimeter of the store. opt for fruits and veggies over the chips in aisle 12, they will fill you up without needing to eat the entire bag. and a little secret? go for whole grains, in the calorie department it might be higher but in the overall net gain it takes way more effort to digest whole grains over anything else.

get a support system. this is huge. i do not know where i’d be without my friends and boyfriend that constantly listen to me talk about how much i love to exercise, how stressed out i am, or how i just found pb2 at the grocery store. to them: THANK YOU.

set goals and buy a journal. i food journaled for a long time last year not to count calories but to keep myself accountable for what i’m eating. i’m a lot less likely to eat an entire bag of popcorn if i don’t have to see it in writing. set a goal. lose five pounds? buy yourself a new workout tank. my current goal? complete the fit plan and buy myself the lululemon yoga mat i’m lusting over.

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i love who i am and i’m so happy that i made a healthy change in my life. i’m so thankful for all of my friends and family and the opportunities that i have to better myself every single day. it is never too late to make a healthy change, go out there and just do it.

xo, Samantha

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