Ignore the pressures and get healthy for Spring Break Ð the right way
In two weeks, I'll be lying poolside in Florida, sipping on a Bloody Mary and checking my tan line every 30 seconds to see if the sun is actually strong enough to make me look like I'm another race in fewer than 10 minutes.
My friends and I will definitely have a better time on vacation, of course, than we would in Buffalo's negative 4 weather. But there are still issues with going away.
With only two weeks until many students make their way to bathing suit weather, diets are starting to kick in. I'm here to beg you to stay away from the unhealthy mindset and dieting and to move toward a more positive, self-loving method of feeling good about yourself.
Like my aerobics instructor at UB says, "Breathe in the good s*** and breathe out the bulls***."
Realize that you are beautiful - regardless of what you think the mirror is telling you. It's easy to create non-existent flaws, which nobody else can see, and constantly revisit these imperfections and allow them to define you. (You, as in almost every girl I've come across during my college career).
Follow a healthy diet plan and exercise for at least 30 minutes daily - whether it's doing jumping jacks and crunches in your room or jogging on the treadmill at a gym. Getting your heart rate up will make you feel better.
Amy Newsome, UB's associate director for fitness and instruction, said working out is crucial for physical and mental health. Starvation cannot be a long-term lifestyle.
"Starvation can be a short-term easy way to get weight off, but in the end it only harms your body," Newsome said. "It programs your body to store fat whenever it can. It's also only temporary."
I want to give you a healthy meal plan and exercise regimen for the next two weeks, which I hope will make you feel like you have the best possible Spring Break body.
I've been there. I've made the attempts to not eat, to over-exercise and to supplement juice cleanses for meals. I've tried to cut out carbohydrates, sugars and all sorts of junk foods. These methods of elimination are unrealistic and do not actually work.
Below is a realistic and not-so-difficult meal plan to follow.
Option 1: Three egg whites omelet with broccoli, spinach, tomato or any other veggie and a piece of fat-free cheese on toast.
Option 2: Fat-free Greek yogurt with cereal - low in sugar - and a scoop of organic peanut butter. Sprinkle some flax seeds on the top.
Option 3: Oatmeal with some chopped up fruits and nuts.
Option 1: A handful of almonds or cashews
Option 2: A fruit (apple, pear, orange, etc.)
Option 1: A large salad - lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, chickpeas, onions, Craisins - with a protein, like grilled chicken or turkey, on top. Use lemon and salt or balsamic vinaigrette as your dressing.
Option 2: Turkey or tuna in a wrap or on whole wheat bread with some spicy brown mustard.
Option 3: Grilled tofu with low-sodium Teriyaki or soy sauce and any green veggie on the side.
Option 1: Cottage cheese and a grape fruit
Option 2: A rice cake and almond butter
Option 3: Celery and any type of fat-free, sugar-free dressing or peanut butter
Option 1: Grilled chicken and unlimited veggies
Option 2: Grilled salmon and unlimited veggies
Option 3: A veggie burger with a side of veggies
Option 1: One scoop of fat-free, sugar-free vanilla ice cream
Option 2: One cup of Skinny Pop popcorn
Option 3: One small piece of dark chocolate
Option 4: A smoothie with bananas, blueberries and almond milk
Drinking water and staying hydrated throughout the day will help your cell life, chemical and metabolic reactions, transportation of nutrients, body temperature regulation and elimination of waste, according to nestle-waters.com. So make sure you have at least 12 cups.
Don't forget to get your heart rate up every day by exercising to help your blood flow to your muscles. Walk, run or jog for 20 minutes and do some basic toning - start with ten or 20 squats and add 10 more each day. Basic biceps and triceps curls will help tone your arms as well.
This realistic cleansing diet will make you feel good about yourself before Spring Break. Our minds and our bodies desperately need a break from the constant negative body images in society.
Do something that makes you happy and makes you feel good on the inside every day, whether it's something as simple as holding the door for someone or mailing your grandparents a "just because" card to let them know you miss and love them.
Most importantly, don't forget to breathe in the good s*** and breathe out the bulls*** in order to create the best version of you.