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I have to admit... I am a victim of the "freshman 15", and it is okay. It is okay if you are not a victim too, go you dude! I thought staying fit in college was going to be so easy until I realized I was so so wrong. It is very easy to get caught up in the new and exciting life of college and to put your health on the back burner. I got into a little bit of a funk, but am ready to jump back on this health horse for the sake of my body (I think I have finally accepted I will never get my high school volleyball body back, its fine I'm fine)! This post may seem a little cliche, but these are four ways that have actually helped me stay somewhat fit while in college and that I will continue to follow. Also, let's be real, it is probably one of your New Year's resolutions, so why not try to not break it? I believe in you!
Here are my FOUR tips to stay fit:

✰ Walk, everywhere.

I would say I was at my worst, second semester of freshman year. I discovered why… I stopped walking as often! My parents let me bring my car to school, and I drove everywhere. Granted, my campus is pretty big and spread out, but it is definitely walkable, as is the city of Columbia. This year I live in my sorority house which is pretty far from the main part of campus, and I would drive to class multiple times a day! It was such a waste of gas and no use of my energy. About a month or so into the semester, I woke up and realized that it is extremely easy AND enjoyable to walk to and from class. I ended up walking about 4-5 miles a day - I felt great, energized, and maintained a healthy figure for the most part.  If I did not have class farther away for some reason, I would still make it a point to walk to the Horseshoe (the center of USC’s campus and the most beautiful place ever) and sit and relax! I have definitely noticed the biggest difference with walking, and it works for me since I dread the gym.  

Tone it Up.

Maybe walking is not your thing or not very realistic for you. Most college campuses have free fitness centers, and maybe even free workout classes. At my school, you can pay $20 a semester for unlimited classes, which I definitely do not take advantage of, but that is because classes just are not my thing. Most likely your on-campus gym is convenient, schedule time in your day in between/before/after class to stop by and get a quick workout in! If you live in a dorm or apartment, it is still possible to work out there too. My absolute favorite workouts are Blogilates on YouTube. I have been doing them for years. They are super quick, short, but effective! Cassey Ho does a great job motivating you and almost every video can be done anywhere. Maybe you do not want to even think of any sort of sight of a gym or a workout, go on a hike with your friends or something... even if you are going to #doitfortheinsta. There a bunch of different ways and places to workout, you just have to commit to implementing it into your daily life!

Eat better, but less.

This past summer I went on weight watchers and lost about 8 pounds in a month! I was so surprised and proud of myself. Weight watchers really helped me be more mindful of food and forced me to eat more whole and fresh foods. Unfortunately, when I got back to school I was eating all sorts of junk, and since I am on a meal plan I do not have full control of what I eat every day. I have been trying to eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of scarfing a lot of food for lunch and dinner. Yet, I am still not constantly snacking, and really trying to only eat if my body tells me it wants food. If you need something crunchy and salty, my favorite snack is roasted chickpeas! I eat them whenever I am craving chips or anything. I also adore the Tone It Up Brand Protein Bars from Target! They are extremely filling, and I am super picky when it comes to granola/protein bars, so I highly recommend these. I get the coconut blueberry flavor, so they are perfect before class with my coffee to replace a bagel or halfway through the day too.

✰ Drink water, all the time.

There a million health benefits from drinking water, why would you not drink it. It is especially hard for me to understand because I am constantly drinking water. Seriously, if you have ever been around me, I always have a water bottle in my bag, hand, or car. I never leave my room without water and God forbid I forget it at home and have to go to class, I am miserable. I know this is not how it is for everyone though. I have to constantly remind my friends to drink water. Most of the time if you think you are hungry, you are probably thirsty! Plus, your skin will thank you too. Drinking out of a cute water bottle might help, it helps me! The water bottle I use is from S'well, it keeps my water cold all day and it does not leak which is a huge factor for me. I am very particular about my water bottles... serious business people! I also have a YETI because it is bigger and I prefer this one for my car because I can use a straw (I am a huuuuge straw gal), but it does not work for class since I cannot safely keep it in my backpack. Anyways, drinking water more often will keep you more full and result in less mindless eating, keep you more energized so you can workout more, and make your skin prettier, you are welcome.

I am into my second semester of my sophomore year now but am still not where I "want" my body to look like. It is one of my goals this semester to get in better shape, although it will be a tough journey and I am willing to stick with it! I have a huge Mediterranean trip coming up this summer, so ideally I would like to be where I want by then, which I think is pretty realistic. And if I do not get to that perfect picture in my mind, oh well, I am still going to try to embrace myself and love my body no matter what state it is in. Something I think we all need to try a little harder at, honestly. I will still be following these tips and trying to find what works for me, and I encourage you to do the same! Let me know if you enjoyed this post and would like updates on my fitness/health journey in 2018. As always, thank YOU so much for reading!

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