Finals season always makes me feel like a cockroach that managed to find itself on its back, and it's just flailing its arms and legs in the air helpless and confused trying to find its way back. So hopefully you believe me when I say I feel relatively rock bottom right now. What you might not believe is that I'm actually feeling pretty good about it, and here's why...

I'm ready to turn this break that right now is overflowing with promise, opportunities, and excitement into the start of something bigger that my future self will thank me for. I'm looking for a legitimate behavior change, all prompted by a health kick, and hopefully after this article, you'll consider doing the same exact thing. 

Maybe this is my micro-managing side speaking but I feel like I should have my health way more in check than I do right now. Yes, there are a bunch of excuses for my life as of now – I'm a college student, I don't necessarily have a fluid source of income, I can't find the time with my hectic schedule, and I'm just who I am – but those thoughts end (for me) with this finals season.

Of course I love to indulge in junk, eating whatever whenever I want, but those minutes of satisfaction lead to hours of feeling greasy and lethargic. Working out is really the only thing I do to combat my poor dietary choices so when I can't make the time for it, I'm automatically setting my body up for a struggle. Healthy habits are best built at a time that's dedicated to exploring yourself and your interests, so twenties are the perfect time to establish the kind of lifestyle you'll want to practice for the rest of your life

My Inspirations

I follow so many strong boss girls on the Internet that seem to have everything so in check when it comes to their body/diet regiments, their careers, and their passions, and it honestly gets me super jealous because I just want to drink chlorophyll water, dry brush my whole body, and eat super clean. Or at least it used to, until I realized that I could do the same exact thing. Life doesn't stop for fitness, and healthy living has many definitions. 

I know my main focuses during finals season are making the grades and trying to maintain my sanity while I do so, but honestly the second part is very optional/situational. No one needs to point out how unhealthy that way of living is, and yes, it might only last for one to two weeks, but the mental and physical effects last longer than that.

I let my body go on a steep road pointed down, and I'm ready to whip out the GPS and regain some direction with my classic beginning of break health kick. The hardest part is recognizing when you've lost your way, I definitely have swept my problems under the floorboards of my mind before, but not today and not with something as important as my health.

My life is extremely different when I'm home versus when I'm at school. I have way more time on my hands because, even if I am working full-time, I don't feel the pressures of always having to be occupied. I also have access to fun forms of fitness like running on the beach, "Soulcycling" through my favorite songs, and hitting the gym with a level of instruction that gets me out of bed every morning. Breaks are the times that I get back on track, but now, I'm hoping to make this track my way of living.

My Plans

I'm one of those people that likes to fully commit (can't you tell?) so I'm starting my break with a three-day juice cleanse. I honestly don't know how gimmicky they are, but I'm willing to check it off the health bucket list. And honestly, nothing sounds better to me than having a literal fresh start with my body. To continue on with that, this month, I'm challenging myself to a full month of clean eating – no junk food (quite the contrast to my bi-weekly Taco Bell runs), no alcohol, limited eating out, and exercise three to five times a week. I figure if I can make it one month, I can easily keep it going!

In the past, I have worked out super aggressively without changing my diet, and yes, my body responded the way I wanted it to physically, but mentally, I never felt truly healthy or "in it". I was always tired, just pushing through to the end of the day, because of all the unhealthy foods slowing me down. Then, I just found myself cutting down on calories, using food tracking apps to unhealthily restrict my consumption. All this left me with was a bad case of "hanger" and an unhealthy relationship with food. 

The work I have put into my body in the past has been effective, but it was really unhealthy and only a short term fix. With this new approach of just learning what my body wants and needs, I have solid trust in myself that I can indeed seamlessly incorporate health into my life. 

Every person's body requires something different, and the most important health advice is just to listen to your body. It knows what it's doing...for the most part, but there's also no problem with giving your body a slight shove back to its natural optimized state.