Set a goal, challenge yourself, and stay motivated.
by Guest Blogger Kelsey Bradshaw
When I started college last year, I was beyond certain that the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen” I’d heard so much about was a myth. “That won’t happen to me,” I reasoned. “I’ve always been skinny.”
Fast forward to the next month. After several weeks of all-you-can-eat dorm food, making poor life choices with my liver every weekend, and definitely not running every day like I did in high school, my jeans had definitely gotten considerably tighter. Occasionally I’d hop on the treadmill, but the weather was getting colder and staying in bed watching The Office always looked more attractive. Besides, weren’t sweatpants invented for Pumpkin Spice Latte-fueled waistline expansion?
Once I started wearing sweatpants more often than jeans to class, though, my inner fashionista was horrified. It was time to make all of my jeans fit comfortably again.
The first thing I did was see if there was any possible way I could get in shape while avoiding the gym. There’s only so many times you can do the treadmill-abs-dumbells routine. So my friend and I signed up for the most tortuous thing we could think of: cycling class. Now, getting into shape was turning into a challenge, and if it’s one thing I love, it’s a goal that takes some work to complete.
And some work it did take. I made a new running playlist, I bought a new running jacket so I could run without my limbs freezing off, and I even made my friends go to the gym with me so I’d have company. I stopped thinking about working out as something I had to do, but rather something that was rewarding and – dare I say it? – fun.
Once I had gotten back into shape, I started going with my sister to this gym she was absolutely crazy about. This new phenomenon, Crossfit, uses intense bursts of cardio and strength training to create workouts filled with pushups, rope climbs, box jumps and pullups that last about an hour and will make you sore for the next two weeks. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Finally, I tweaked my diet. I cut back on all of my wintery comfort foods and starting choosing healthy snacks like fruit and granola instead of cupcakes. It was a rough switch, but not only did I look better, I felt better, and that’s what truly matters.
The one thing that kept me going through all of this was the fact that I set a goal to get in shape, and finally feeling healthy again made all of the rainy runs and sweaty cycling classes worth it. Not to mention the satisfaction of fitting into all of my favorite jeans again…and then a new pair as a reward!
So there you have it: my wintery saga of how I managed to stay in shape despite Pumpkin Spice Lattes, eggnog concoctions, and frostbitten Oregon weather. You can do it too! Tell us: how do you stay in shape as the months grow colder?