T-Minus One Week Until Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break

Man has this semester flown by! It feels like I arrived at CSU, blinked, and now I’m sitting at my desk watching the snow fall trying to not be stressed about all of the stuff that’s happening this upcoming week. I need it to be Thanksgiving break!

This upcoming week I have a chemistry exam as well as a biology exam. On top of that, I have a paper due for my honors’ seminar (which is already done) and a lab report due for my biology lab. I’m feeling ok for my tests, but we shall see what happens. I would love to hold my A’s for both classes heading into finals. 

So after this week, I’m on Thanksgiving break (woohoo) and then when I come back from that, I’ll have 2 weeks of classes and then finals and then WINTER BREAK! I’m so excited for college winter break because it isn’t the tiny thing I used to get in high school. Oh no no. In college, or at least at CSU, we get six whole weeks off! I’m very excited. I see a lot of tennis in my future. 🙂 

I’m going to have to end this blog here today, because I have a lot of work to do. I hope this wasn’t too boring and I hope that those of you also getting ready to go on Thanksgiving break are surviving. Have a great week everyone!

I Love COMOM

COMOM
All rights for this image go to the Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM).

Yesterday, my mom and I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at the Colorado Mission of Mercy, also known as COMOM. COMOM is a dental event that occurs annually and provides free dental care to those who cannot afford or access it. From dentures and flippers to extractions to basic cleanings and oral hygiene information, COMOM does a wonderful job getting people the help they need. 

My mom and I volunteered in the oral hygiene education department, so we were responsible for educating people on how to care for their extraction sites and how to care for their mouth in general. We discussed proper brushing and flossing techniques, the best products to use, and addressed any questions that patients had. 

As a pre-dental student, I was worried that I wouldn’t know enough to help the patients. I’m very thankful to have a mom in the dental field because she has taught me so much about everything, so I feel like I was educated enough to provide patients with proper home care instructions and advice. So many of the people were so grateful and I just hope that I was able to give them enough information to take care of themselves and improve their dental health. I imagine that many of the patients are unable to regularly see a dentist or afford one, so for some of them, COMOM is the only dental help they receive. 

It’s saddening to know that some people can’t even afford dental help and I wish that there were ways to make dental care more affordable for all. Everyone deserves to feel good about their smile and I’m glad that at least COMOM can give people that opportunity. There were so many good people, doctors and patients, and it was incredibly humbling to be around so many good people.

At COMOM, there were so many oral surgeons, hygienists, dentists, dental assistants and students, and other dental specialists who dedicated their time to volunteer and I thank each and every one of them for being there. A big event like COMOM would never function without the organization and help of all the volunteers. Some people wouldn’t get the dental help they need without COMOM, so I’m very glad to know that something as amazing as the Colorado Mission of Mercy exists. 

If you live in Colorado and are interested in dentistry, I highly recommend volunteering at this wonderful event. Next year, COMOM will be in Glenwood Springs on October 4th and 5th, so if you are available, please consider helping out. If you would like to learn more about COMOM and their mission, please check out their website

I look forward to helping out at COMOM in the years to come. I know that it makes such a difference in the lives of many and it’s great to know that so many people benefit from it. There is so much to be thankful for in life and I ask you all to keep this in mind as you move along in your lives. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

My Miss Colorado Experience

This past weekend was finally the weekend! The Miss Colorado USA pageant happened and I have a lot to share. Overall, the experience was wonderful. I had a lot of fun and it was empowering to be around so many beautiful, funny, and strong young ladies. 

Yesterday morning, my mom, sister, and I arrived in Greeley for registration and I had a chance to meet the 2018 titleholders who were both very sweet. Shortly after, we had a pageant briefing and it was awesome to see how prepared Future Productions was for the event. It was extremely professional and I felt like I knew what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to be at all times thanks to the amazing pageant staff and chaperones.

After the briefing, we got right into interviews with the judge panel. I was pretty nervous for this, but I walked in to meet the judges, we talked about all sorts of things, we laughed, and just like that my interview was done. And the interview lasted maybe 2 minutes? It felt so short and it really was. Following the interview competition, I participated in an optional competition for spokesmodel. Why not give it a try, right? I enjoy talking and being in front of a camera so I gave it a shot. 

Next up was rehearsals for the big preliminary show that evening. There was a lot of walking in heels. Like, A LOT. I was surprised that my feet even made it to the preliminary show! All of the practice was worth though because I felt extremely prepared and confident in what I needed to do when I stepped on that stage. All of the girls who had competed before were very helpful and willing to show me where to go on stage which I really appreciated. There wasn’t a cutthroat, competitive atmosphere that is sometimes associated with pageants. The atmosphere was still competitive but everyone was there to make friends and help one another feel confident and beautiful, which I loved.

Finally, it was time to prepare for the prelims and then the show began! We all first walked out and did our intros in our fun silver and black outfits. My heart was definitely beating out of my chest and I was so so so nervous but I was having fun so the nerves went away quickly. It was a feeling similar to the adrenaline rush you get before stepping out to play a tennis match. I love it! After the miss contestants finished intro, we rushed back to the dressing rooms to change into swimsuit. Yes, swimsuit. 

There has been a lot of controversy over the swimsuit competitions of many pageants and I believe that there shouldn’t be. To me, I see the swimsuit competition as an opportunity to display all the hard work you’ve put into bettering yourself. Wearing a swimsuit in front of a large crowd, like the one I walked in front of, was empowering. I’ve been working out a lot since I was cleared from my injuries forever ago and I’ve changed a lot about my eating habits to make my body what I want it to be. I was proud to walk in my swimsuit, because like I’ve said, I feel like I was showing off my months and even years of hard work. There was so much energy in the room for the swimsuit competition and walking in a swimsuit in front of that crowd was so much fun.

After swimsuit, I had a little bit of a break. The teen contestants had to complete their active wear competition as well as their evening gown competition. I had a chance to catch my breath in the dressing room and then I got dressed in my evening gown. My dress was the same dress I wore to prom senior year of high school. It’s a dress that I feel comfortable walking in and I just really love the color. When the time came to walk in our evening gowns, I had a really good time out on stage, once again. I was a bit more nervous about my dress however, because when I practiced walking in it, I occasionally stepped on my dress and guess what ended up happening during the show? As I was leaving my last spot, I stepped on my dress. I don’t think very many people noticed but that definitely made me a bit nervous about how I walked overall. 

And with the conclusion of that competition, the prelims came to an end. I was exhausted after yesterday and when I got to the hotel and my head hit that pillow, I was out. The next day was finals! Woohoo! Going into today, I knew that regardless of the outcome, I would be proud of myself. I had a feeling I wouldn’t make top 15, considering the experience that many of the other girls had with pageants. When finals came around, I did not make top 15, but I still got to participate in the final show which was a lot of fun. I also didn’t receive any special awards and that’s ok! This whole experience was an award to me and I learned so much from my first time competing at Miss Colorado USA. 

I would like to thank Future Productions and the Miss Universe Organization for giving me the opportunity to compete at the Miss Colorado USA pageant. I really enjoyed my weekend and met so many beautiful and awesome women who I hope to see in the future. This experience taught me a lot about myself and gave me confidence that I thought I would never have. Congrats and good luck with your year to the new titleholders, Miss Colorado USA, Madison Dorenkamp, and Miss Colorado Teen USA, Sydney Boehler! You’re both going to do amazing things. I would also like to thank my family and friends for their support throughout this process. You guys gave me the confidence to compete at Miss Colorado. I can’t wait to see where this experience takes me and I look forward to competing at Miss Colorado next year. Have a good week everyone! 🙂

Turning 19

And just like that, another year is gone and now I’m 19. This year has been a year of good and bad times, like all and I learned a lot going into my first technical year of “adulthood”. So here’s to 19 and all the wonderful memories of being 18.

  • For one, shortly after my birthday, I got my wisdom teeth out. Woohoo! (I hope you’re picking up on the sarcasm here.) And guess who got to fill out her own paper work? This girl!
  • I ended my career in juniors’ tennis. 🙁 While I haven’t been able to play as much tennis now that school is in full swing, I plan to stay around the sport for the rest of my life. There’s no time to be sad about this though! With the end of my junior career comes the beautiful opportunity to kick some booty in the women’s divisions. This past summer I won the Longmont Open in the 3.5 singles and the Boulder Babolat Open in the 4.0 singles divisions. I started low just to see where I truly fit in, and I think I’ve figured that out now. I love tennis!
  • I graduated from high school! That was pretty cool and I also got to speak at graduation which was such an honor. And shortly after graduation, my aunt and uncle took me on the trip of a lifetime to Oahu. I am forever grateful to them for that beautiful trip. So many wonderful memories and also I’m totally not addicted to Maui Sweet Onion Chips or Honolulu Cookie Company cookies now.  

This 18th year was spent with family and good friends and just good people in general. I hope that I’ve been able to have an impact on their lives in the same way they’ve impacted mine. I can’t wait to see what this next circle around the sun has in store for me. I’m so thankful for the wonderful life I’ve been given and there’s a lot I have to accomplish. Here’s to 19! Have a wonderful week everyone! 🙂

Seeing Fall Colors at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Another weekend at home made for another fun adventure with my family. This weekend, my sister had to hike for one of her classes, so we did that! We ended up going to Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Commerce City and hiked around several of the lakes there. 

Saturday was a beautiful day here in Colorado. It was a little breezy but it was still shorts weather (yay!) so all was good. Our first hike was around Lake Ladona which is one of the larger lakes at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. There was a large, paved main path and then heading into the grass, there was a more narrow and natural trail. I decided to take the more narrow trail that lead through the grass. I thought we were going to get lost while on this trail but thank goodness my dad was paying attention and found an easier dirt trail along the way! Along the trail, we saw deer hoof prints, cattails, a variety of bushes, and of course trees. It was wonderful to see the trees displaying their orange, yellow, and red tones for fall. That’s my favorite part of fall. The trees are always so pretty!

As our hike around Lake Ladona came to an end, we got to pass directly over the lake see more plants and algae. I was hoping to see some frogs, but they weren’t around unfortunately. After finishing up the loop around Lake Ladona, we headed over to a smaller lake, Lake Mary. Lake Mary had a lot of beautiful trees and the view around this lake was gorgeous. There were plenty of little areas to go exploring around Lake Mary too, which made it more fun.

Hiking at Rocky Mountain Arsenal is totally a family-friendly experience. The hikes are easy and there are lots of places to stop to rest and also take pictures! At the visitor center, there’s a lot of valuable information about the arsenal and the animals that call it home. One of Rocky Mountain Arsenal’s greatest contributions is to the black-footed ferret population. They’ve helped bring the ferrets back in numbers and do amazing things to educate society on the cute, little prairie dog hunters. 

So if you’re looking for a fun, easy hike, near Commerce City, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Arsenal is the place for you. My family and I really enjoyed our time there. What a fun way to spend time in the great outdoors. Have a good week everyone!

Last Weekend

last weekend

I had a really good idea for last week’s post so that’s what that was. After that posted though, I realized how good of a weekend I had and how happy I felt to be home for the weekend. So now, I’m going to take some time to share about last weekend!

I’ve been going home every two weeks since college started, just because it feels like the right amount of time to step away from college life and go back and see everyone at home. 🙂 When I got home Friday night, my sister was babysitting so I spent some time with Marty and Boo my lovely little doggies, and Bobo my sweet, talking bird. When she got home, we crashed. Sleep was much needed.

On Saturday, my family and I checked out Denver Premium Outlets in Thornton, which is a new, high-end mall opening in our area! Some of the shops there included: Calvin Klein, Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange, and many more. The layout of the mall was very cute and open and honestly, they had a sweet playground. Had there not been as many kids as there were, I would’ve definitely been checking out their jungle gym. This was a great time to just be with family and I really enjoyed getting to see all the people there who were wayyyyy to excited to spend all that money. Funny side-note here, outside the Michael Kors store, there was a super long line. I just thought that was funny. How many people desperately needed a Michael Kors bag?

After our experience at the new mall, my dad and I played tennis which was wonderful, even if I sucked. Not playing for two weeks is tough! I was surprised I got my rhythm back as soon as I did! Tennis was cut short, unfortunately, by a spray tan appointment.

Yes, I did just type that. A spray tan appointment. As many of you know, or now know (haha), I will be competing in the Miss Colorado USA pageant in October. In preparation for that, I wanted to test out a spray tan, because by the time of the pageant in October, my actual tan will be looooong gone. When I hopped in the booth, I was all by myself which was nice but also terrifying. I had instructions and knew what to do based on the instructions on the wall, but I still had no clue what to do. I applied the primer and barrier cream like I thought I was supposed to and then got into the machine. Life was pretty good, until the spraying of the tan actually began. I adjusted quickly, but OH MY GOODNESS, I have never shook so much out of fear in my life. I didn’t expect the spray to come out where it did and then I wasn’t holding my breath at first, so my body definitely freaked out a little. I was fine in the end and got a nice even spray tan out of that experience. Wow, what a time.

Now that this chaos was over, I had the honor of getting my little sister ready for homecoming. I got to do her makeup which was a lot of fun and then I helped with pictures for her and her friends. It felt a little weird honestly, not going to homecoming, but it’s also fun to look back on the wonderful homecoming experiences I had. Allyson looked beautiful and I’m glad that she had a fun and safe senior homecoming. 🙂

Sunday was much less busy. I played some more tennis with my dad and then gathered everything I needed to head back to CSU. I enjoyed a wonderful lunch with my family at the country club I play tennis at and hung out with my sister for a while, and then it was time to head back! Staying at CSU for weekends is great from time to time so that I can focus on my studies but it’s also been a blessing to only live an hour away from home so that I can go back to Broomfield and be with family. I hope you all had a good weekend and have a great upcoming week! 🙂

Pre-Match Warm-up For Setters

warming a setter up
Here’s baby me 🙂

Now I haven’t played volleyball in a long time, so don’t judge, but from my experience, I know a thing or two about warming a setter up before a volleyball game. I set the entire time I played volleyball so I hope I know a thing or two about warming a setter up! Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Before warm-ups, get your setter or setters on the wall. When I say this, I mean: have them warm up their hands with quick sets and a variety of other exercises on a wall to get warm and loose. Stretching beforehand is good too. I remember that my coaches never let me get on the court unless my wall warm-ups were done. I also know that this definitely helped me feel relaxed and set much better when I actually played. My post on workouts and warm-ups for setters may be helpful.
  • Once your setter or setters are off the wall, have them work with each other for a little. Have them set back and forth for a couple of minutes. If you only have one setter, have them work with one of the coaches. Work on footwork and getting a rhythm.
  • After this, their individual warm-up is done and it’s time to join the team. You can warm up your setters with the team as you like. I preferred warming up with someone passing to me and then I set to my outside, middle, or right side. We would work on various hits during this time and this situation felt the most like a game would.

And that’s really it for how to warm up a setter, at least from my experience. I tended to start so it was important that I was warmed up and I know that even for our backup setters, getting loose and warm was important in case we needed to change something. During a match, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind for your setters too.

  • Keep their hands warm. I actually wore gloves in colder facilities so that if I rotated out during a 6-2, my hands wouldn’t get stiff. 
  • Keep your setters hydrated. We do a lot of work out there so it’s important to make sure that your setter is feeling good so they can keep up the good work.
  • During timeouts, pull your setter aside and talk with them individually. The setter is the playmaker and if there’s something you see as a coach, that needs to be addressed with them one on one. I always found this the most beneficial because I felt more focused. 

So here’s what I’ve got to say about warming a setter up! Good luck to all you setters and volleyball coaches out. Have fun out there!

A Trip to Triangle Mountain

triangle mountain

I haven’t been on a hike in forever. This past weekend, that changed. My roommate and one of my friends and I decided it was time to explore the mountains just outside of Fort Collins. While we were looking for a good hike, my roommate and I stumbled upon one up Triangle Mountain. According to the app we used, it said that the hike was going to be easy, and based on previous recordings, the hike was estimated to take an hour and a half. Sounds easy enough right? Boy were we wrong!

After a quick stop at Rocky Mountain Bagel Works for breakfast (which has really good cheap bagels by the way!), we were in for an hour drive up to the trailhead. Triangle Mountain is located in the Roosevelt/Arapaho Forest not too far outside Glen Haven, Colorado. Once we parked the car, it took us a little while to find the actual trailhead since it wasn’t even marked. When we did find the trailhead though, the only direction we could go was up. Directly, up. Oh my goodness, was that an incline. From the get-go, we were working our butts and thighs and I was doing my best to stay balanced and not fall over. Haha. 

As the hike progressed, the view got better and better and it also got hotter and hotter. Thankfully we started early in the morning and came prepared with plenty of water and sunscreen. Triangle Mountain was a challenging but fun hike in that there were multiple false peaks. We thought we had reached the end, only to find that the trail continued! And when I say the trail continued, there wasn’t an easy-to-follow trail but we could easily distinguish where people had walked before us. We hiked through some wonderful shady areas, plenty of grassland, and even up and around some boulders and rocks. 

As most would say, my favorite part of the hike was the summit. The peak of Triangle Mountain sits at an elevation of 8,415 feet. That’s pretty high up! I was honestly quite surprised that I made it up all the way, considering I have asthma, or some form of an inability to breathe when I overheat or work myself out too hard. 🙂 The view was gorgeous from the top and the world felt so still. It was a wonderful time up there. At the top, we had lunch and then it was time to head back down. 

Heading down was definitely an exciting time. We strayed from the trail quite a ways and found ourselves in a valley with lots of cacti and scraggly, dry brush and tree branches. After wandering for quite a while and eventually having to do some bouldering, we found our way back to the trail and it was smooth sailing from there. 

When we found our way back to my roommate’s car, we took some time to cool off in the nearby creek and then began the journey back to Fort Collins. On the way back though, we stopped by this super cute little store called the Colorado Cherry Company. They had a variety of fruit ciders, jams and jellies, pies, strudels, and tea! Most of it was centered around cherries, which makes sense, and they even offered free samples! I got some cherry taffy, peach tea, and honey sticks for myself and my family and then it was actually time to head back to Fort Collins.

Beside the fact that I got beat up by a rock, we got lost for a while, and I got sunburnt even after applying what felt like a bottle of sunscreen, I had a great time. The hike was a good work out and it was different than what I’ve been used to lately.

I will say that even though the app we used (All Trails) claimed that Triangle Mountain was an “easy” hike, that was no easy hike. There’s a lot of challenging terrain and short bursts of intense working-out, so if you want to give this hike a try, be ready for an intense one. It wasn’t what I would describe as hard, but it was definitely NOT easy. Also, to whoever said that the hike only took them an hour and a half, they must be some hiking god because my roommate, friend, and I spent about four hours on the hike. Granted, we did take time to look around and drink water and apply more sunscreen, but still!

As I write this post today, I’m not afraid to admit that I feel a bit sore after yesterday. Will I hike again in college? I hope so! Will I do that intense of a hike again? We’ll see. I just know that after that experience, I will do much more research on the hike in question. I definitely want to know more about what I get myself into. Happy trails and have a good week everyone! 🙂

A New Perspective on Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

In my honor’s seminar on children’s literature, I will be giving a speech this week on what critics, reviewers, and scholars are saying about Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland. As I did my research preparing for my speech, I chose to focus more on what scholars had to say about the development as Alice, the main character, and how she’s been changed by society over time and who she is in Burton’s movie is a result of that. Here’s what I learned from that research. This is a reflection of what several professors and doctoral candidates had to say about Alice and all I did was interpret it. Here’s a different look at Alice from Burton’s version of Carroll’s classic tale!

A 51% rating by Rotten Tomatoes, a 53% rating by Metacritic, and a 6.5/10 by IMDb. These are the ratings that Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland received when it was released in 2010. After the movie’s release, the new Alice was met with mixed reviews. Some critics believed that the movie was a fresh take and interpretation of Carroll’s story. Others thought that Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland was grotesque, much too dark, and “ordinary” in comparison to Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

I feel like I could go on and on about what the critics and reviewers had to say about Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland but I’m not going to. That stuff is all very interesting, but I found that what several English professors and doctoral candidates had to say about the movie was even more fascinating. There was a general trend I noticed. This trend was that Alice has been so influenced by popular culture over the years, that she is worlds apart from Carroll’s version of Alice.

For one, Alice has been sexualized over time and we see this as Alice struggles to keep her clothes on. When she enters Wonderland, she is only in her petticoat. As she grows and shrinks, her clothes do not conform to her body. She shows more skin and cleavage than would be considered appropriate during the Victorian era. At one point in the movie, the Knave of Hearts even pulls her aside and compliments Alice, or Um, on her “largeness”. The innocent and adorable little Alice of Carroll’s story that we all know and love has been lost to the sexualization of women that we see so often in media today. Another side of this argument, however, applauds Burton on his decision to display Alice as he did. Some scholars and even the screenwriter for the film argue that Alice is more empowering shown as she is. She encourages girls and young women to break the barriers of their own society by breaking the barriers and expectations of girls and women in her own Victorian society. To scholars that believed this idea, Alice’s portrayal put an emphasis on creating and building strong-willed and empowered women.

In addition to this, many scholars noted that Alice seems to have lost her sense of curiosity and interest in Wonderland which completely contradicts with Carroll’s message of encouraging curiosity and imagination in young girls. Alice flees to Wonderland to escape from an unwanted engagement and throughout her journey, her one goal is to get home. In Carroll’s version, Alice follows after the White Rabbit because of her curious nature. Alice wants to engage with the animals and learn about the nonsensical world she’s stumbled upon. In Burton’s Wonderland, she’s in a constant state of fear, uncertainty, and rejection toward Wonderland and curiosity is viewed as a negative thing. As Alice ventures through Wonderland, she constantly reminds herself that she’s in a dream but has no control over anything. Like in the instance with the Vorpal Sword, In the end, you might remember that “The Vorpal Sword knows what it wants, you just have to hold on to it.” According to one of the doctoral candidate’s papers I read over, Alice had no control over killing the Jabberwocky. It was ultimately up to the sword to finish off the monster and this was an interesting thought because it demonstrates that Alice has morphed into a woman who has no control over her choices which holds true for some women in society today too.

So in conclusion, the Alice of Burton’s movie is not the Alice of Carroll’s book. Burton’s Alice is not the curious, lovable, and innocent little girl she once was. Alice has grown into a completely different person as a result of society’s expectations and beliefs of women over a long period of time. Honestly, if the Caterpillar was to ask Alice who she was today, there’s a good chance she would have no idea how to answer.

Works Cited

Aguilo-Perez, Emily R. “Appearing Otherwise: Alice Is Now The Woman in Wonderland.” The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children’s Literature, 2015, lib.latrobe.edu.au/ojs/index.php/tlg/article/view/595/556.

Rother, Larry. “Drinking Blood: New Wonders of Alice’s World.” New York Times 26 Feb. 2010. Web. 11 Sept. 2018.

Susina, Jan. “Marvels & Tales.” Marvels & Tales, vol. 25, no. 1, 2011, pp. 181–183. JSTOR, JSTOR, jstor.org/stable/41388993.

Beating the Freshman 15

freshman 15

Last week, I briefly mentioned the Freshman 15 in my “How to Be Productive in College”. For those of you who don’t know what the Freshman 15 is, it’s an expression that refers to a weight gain during the first year of college and it’s typically a gain of 15 pounds.

I’ve been really conscientious of my weight, physical health, and mental health ever since I was cleared to play sports again after my ankle injury. I gained about 30 pounds throughout the time I was injured and I feel like I wasn’t happy with how I looked at all. Since then, I’ve worked my tail off to get back to a place where I’m about where I should be in tennis and I’ve maintained my flexibility from dance as best I can. In no way am I exactly where I want to be physically, but I’m feeling much better about myself and I feel like I’m in a much better mental state. By eating right, getting good sleep, and working out, I’m getting closer to my goal.

Coming to college, I was worried that all of my hard work would be destroyed. With all of the food available at practically any hour of the day and all the free time, I could easily gain back 15+ pounds. To stay healthy and beat the freshman 15, here are some of the things I’m doing:

  • Drink lots of water. Drinking water is not only good for your body in general, but it’s good for the skin. Drinking a glass of water before eating can also be good since it makes you feel fuller. I try to drink around 60 oz. of water a day from my Hydroflask and then I have water with every meal.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. Whether you just walk around a track, lift weights, do some form of cardio, or play a sport, it’s important to work out. This keeps your body in a good state (as long as you’re not overdoing it) and working up a sweat is a good natural detox. Some of my favorite things include the elliptical, circuit training, and various leg, arm, and core workouts. If you’re looking for some fun, different workouts, Pinterest is a great place to search.
  • Avoid stress eating or bored eating. I’ve been guilty of this before, but this is a big way to eat excess calories. If you’re in your room and find yourself bored, find something to make yourself busy! And whatever it is, try not to resort to eating. If you do feel the need to stress eat or you’re bored and want to eat, make it something healthy, like celery or carrots.
  • Limit the sweets. Too much sugar can be a bad thing. I’ve really tried to cut back on dessert foods and really sweet things. If I decide that I am in need of a cookie or some ice cream, that’s the only dessert I get for the day. So if I had ice cream after lunch, I tell myself no desserts at dinner. Just be aware of what’s on your plate.
  • Have a colorful plate of food. Going off of that last sentence for my last tip, watching what’s on your plate is really important. My rule of thumb is this: If all the food on your plate is the color of “fried-brown”, you need to change something. Make sure there’s some veggies or fruit  with every meal. Your body will thank you.

These are just some of the things I’ve done to beat the Freshman 15, and I hope that by having these good habits, I’ll keep it that way the rest of this school year. Honestly, keeping these habits for the rest of my life wouldn’t hurt either!

I strongly believe that self-improvement is awesome and everyone should work toward becoming the best version of themselves. If there’s a certain something you don’t like about yourself or there’s something you feel could be better or stronger, work toward that! Sitting around and complaining will get you nowhere. It’s honestly much more satisfying and inspiring to have a goal and work toward it and then look back and see how far you’ve come. With that in mind, I hope you all have a great week! Until next time 🙂