Content Warning: this blog contains mention of eating disorders, anxiety and depression, and dieting.
Hey friends, my name is Alivia and I am a senior this year at SOU. I spent my time here as a member of the Women’s Soccer Team, a Building Lead at the SRC, working toward a Communication degree with a certificate in Marketing along with a minor in Spanish, and stressing about all of your normal college kid things. I’ve been playing soccer since I was nine years old, which means I found myself starting my fitness journey early on in life. Throughout my life so far I’ve been on the very top and very bottom of the fitness pyramid. If you read further on I will begin telling you a little more about my experiences with health and fitness as well as provide a little advice. Just be aware that all of my advice is based on what has worked for me personally and that health comes to people in unique, personalized ways so take what I say with a grain of salt.
If you are reading this now you have fortunately stumbled across your sign to start focusing on yourself a little more. Today is the beginning of you choosing yourself, loving yourself, and bettering yourself each date. It seems that society has driven people to see health as a simple, single-definition term, when in reality it may be one of the most ambiguous terms out there. Coming from someone who has been a few sizes smaller as well as a few sizes bigger, I can tell you health comes in many sizes, shapes, and mental states. No health or fitness journey is an easy, steady incline. This journey is a never-ending series of ups and downs.
Some background knowledge about me? I have been playing soccer since I was nine years old; from recreational, to club, to semi-pro, to collegiate here at SOU. I have been training in weight-lifting since I was a freshman in high school and it is a part of my daily routine to this day. I wake up every morning and drink my green smoothie and take my dog for a walk. Now you may think I sound like the epitome of your classic TikTok health influencer that is in no way relatable. However, there is a twist to my story. I have had three career-ending surgeries, I struggled with an eating disorder, and I will be taking medication for the rest of my life for my body to function properly and stay alive. Although I’ve soaked in many joyous moments I have also sunk into the depths of anxiety and depression. I have hated my body, I have hated my life, and I have hated getting up to be reminded of how much my abilities have changed. So if you want to take it from someone, take it from me, no matter where you are in your fitness and health journey I am here to help.
Health has multiple aspects: body, mind, and soul. Taking time out of your day to focus on each of these will kick you off on your road to success. Notice how I said each day? That is because consistency will be the key to any fitness and health goal you would like to set for yourself. Whether your goals are related to being able to deadlift 250 lbs, running a 5k, looking at yourself in the mirror with a positive attitude each morning, or walking 5,000 steps a day, you must stay consistent. Stay consistent with your diet as well. However, do not confuse a healthy diet with cutting out all carbs and strictly eat carrots and spinach. A healthy diet is a way of eating that makes you feel good both mentally and physically. Food is the fuel your body and mind need to function. Food includes a variety of dimensions and all should be enjoyed in moderation. Remember that no matter what your goals are, they are yours and only yours. If people want to support you embrace it, but if you feel like people are judging you, here are my two cents. Today is about you, this moment is about you, this journey is about you; no one else’s opinions matter, and no one else can decide what you are able to accomplish besides the person looking back at you in the mirror.
This is the first part of a health campaign I am running through Campus Rec, so here is your first set of instructions for starting your journey…
- Figure out what your goals are
- Write them down
- Wake up the following morning and give yourself three positive affirmations
- Reread your goals and either create a plan for yourself on how to achieve them or contact me for help on how to do so
Good luck, I am rooting for you!