My weight, and the lack of confidence that came from it, has plagued me my entire life. I used to look into the mirror and wonder why I didn’t look like everyone else and why I couldn’t pull off the fashion trends that my friends were. I was so stuck in making myself something that I wasn't, and I truly felt lost.

Talking with a nutritionist didn’t motivate me. Working with a fitness trainer didn’t motivate me. It wasn’t until recently that I really decided to make a change.

It was completely on my own and out of the blue. Instead of paying attention to what I saw, I decided to focus on how I felt. I didn’t like how I struggled walking up hills or making it to class on time. It made my body feel weak and sluggish. The changes that I’ve made in my life are not motivated by what I look like. To me, how I look is a bonus to feeling good physically. Here’s how I’m doing it! (And by no means do I have any plan to stop.)


apple, pasture, juice, nectarine
Amy Miller

My eating has been the biggest change.

Since I came home from school, my access to bad foods has been cut drastically. I can’t go to the dining hall and get a full plate of pasta and pizza with three cookies on the side.

One of the most helpful tips I’ve used for eating for eating better is cutting down portion sizes. I love food. Like seriously, food is a magical art to me, and when I see good-looking food I will eat it. But now that I’ve started to really listen to my body, I’ve realized that it doesn’t take that much food to make me feel full.

Now I’ve never been a fan of “crash diets” or really dieting in general. If they work for you, that’s awesome. But I personally feel that they’re stupid and unrealistic because as soon as you stop them, you very easily go back to the way you were eating before.

With that, anyone who tells you to fully cut out a food group is a lunatic. Usually the food groups that are targeted in that scenario are carbs and sugars, which I completely understand because they don’t provide that many nutrients and don’t keep you full as long as other groups can. I have never cut a group out of my diet and I don’t plan to.

Today for lunch I really wanted pasta, so you know what I did? I had a delicious plate of pasta with a side of a big-ass grin on my face. One of the biggest tips that I've learned is making your own food is not only fun but you're also completely aware of what you're putting into your body instead of guessing.

Long story short, eat foods that make you feel good, but remember that you’re a human being and eating the foods that you like isn’t a mistake.


tea, water, beer
McKenna Franklin

Even though nutrition is an extremely large component in improving ones physique, exercise really improves and emphasizes progress.

Let’s be clear here, I am no gym rat. I used to go once or twice a week and my usual regimen was to “run” on the treadmill and bike for a little while. But, to really get the results that I really want, I had to do what I hate more than anything: cardio. Cardio is great for sleep, stress, brain function, and an overall strong heart. Blah, blah, blah. I get that cardio is awesome, but it can get so boring!

Since there isn’t really a fix to make the actual exercise more fun, I use music as a huge motivator. I vary from pop to Latin to 80s rock to EDM. No matter what I’m listening to, I always choose something that has a really fun, uplifting, and exciting beat that makes me want to move.


beer, water
Nancy Chen

I used to look at my body as a work in progress. Something that always needed to be changed or improved. I guess I still somewhat look at myself that way, but with immensely more amounts of self-love and appreciation. I tell myself that I'm beautiful everyday. 

I can’t wait to continue on in this journey to a better, healthier lifestyle. One that makes me feel happy, confident, and good about myself.