How Gaining Travel Weight Helped Me Get Motivated
Weight gain. Just the words themselves send shivers down my spine. With the rise in popularity of social media, it is becoming more and more common to access weight-based photos, such as a photo of a super healthy meal or a selfie of someone posing after a workout. These hit me hard. I find myself scrolling through my Instagram feed, double tapping photos of people who are working out and actively monitoring their calorie intake. It makes me feel guilty.
I have never been good at any kind of sport. I have no hand-eye coordination and, frankly, I even find activities such as walking to be a challenge as I am so clumsy. I feel like I was born with two left feet. I also have a sweet tooth. The issue of weight gain and weight loss has always been a problem in my life. Unfortunately, as a student, I have also found that spend long hours sitting down at your desk, reading or doing assignments does not help your figure.
To top this all off, I – like many other university students – have decided to study abroad. Getting accustomed to a new country (and even traveling) does your waistline no favours. Before moving abroad, I had fallen into a certain routine – one that work for me and my health.
But, suddenly, things changed. I was abroad, and the piling stress of exams and assignment deadlines was upon me. I started cooking at strange hours. It took me a while to adjust to the food in supermarkets due to different brands and obviously the name of the food items being in Swedish (a language I am just starting to get familiar with). Cooking for one does not help (you always seem to have extras) and sometimes you end up making unhealthy choices. It isn’t long before you find yourself gaining travel weight. But how can you resist treats such as a kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon bun) or a nice appelkaka (Swedish apple pie).
So, I thought, “what can I do to help myself maintain the weight I am in, and hopefully lose some, too?” Here is what I came up with!
Take control of your eating habits.
My roommate sometimes gets annoyed that I just storm out of the house in the morning for my lecture without taking breakfast. She says it is the most important meal of the day, and she is right. A good breakfast gets you ready for the day and gives you some much-needed energy. Also, you won’t get hungry before lunch time rolls around, so it won’t be until a bit later when your stomach starts grumbling… and you start thinking about what is it you are going to have for lunch.
The best thing about living alone is being able to control what you eat. You have control over what you are eating and you can make healthier choices.
Apart from adding breakfast to my schedule, I have been swapping things out. For example, I love ice cream, and even though I have a tub in the freezer, I sometimes kill the urge to eat ice cream by instead “switching” it out with some fruit and yoghurt. I also like to opt for green tea instead of hot chocolate with full-cream milk. It might not sound as yummy, but your thighs will thank you later.
Fit exercising into your schedule.
Okay, this is a tough one for me. It really is. But, I have a to-do list stuck to my wall in my bedroom. Exercises (mainly walking) are listed on the to-do list and I find the list to be quite encouraging. I will sometimes get around to doing the exercises every day rather than every other day.
However, one thing that surely helped was getting an app on my phone which tracked my footsteps. I feel so happy when I see that I have reached 10,000 steps in one day. It means I moved around, getting exercise, even though I has things to do.
Exercising will also give you more focus and help you work harder. It is a distraction from all the things you have to do for school and, as a bonus, you get to experience the world from outside your room.
But, yes, it is tough. It just requires a push and some motivation.
Most importantly, love yourself.
Losing weight and staying healthy is important. Being the idle you is good, too. But I think what is most important is loving yourself. It is always good to improve the assets that you’ve got, but you should embrace your flaws too! Learn to love your curves and maybe the little roundness you have on your tummy. It is just a sign that there is more of you to love. You are beautiful no matter what anyone says.
We worry too much about things like our finances, studies, future careers, social lives, and now, weight gain; but the best way to stay healthy is to think smart and be sensible. Make smarter choices and its okay to treat yourself. You deserve it.