A Fit and Social Lifestyle in College

Morning! How’s your day going so far? Hope you’re having a lovely day <3

Last night, I decided to make one of my all-time favorite salads:

greek salad

Greek Quinoa and Chickpea salad!

The ingredients:

-cooked quinoa

-sliced grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, chopped cucumber, chopped bell pepper

-fresh parsley + mint

-goat cheese 😀

-seasoned with: lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, sea salt and pepper

I enjoyed mine salad beast style:

greek salad2

and the Pilot had a bowl of quinoa salad, along with organic chicken and salad greens.

chicken

We dined al fresco, with Bella at our feet, wishing and hoping for some crumbs to fall 😉

She eventually gave up and came inside to pout. She wouldn’t even look at the camera.

bell

(of course, we ended up giving her some bites of chicken when we were finished eating)

So since August is here (and it’s going to be AWESOME), and many readers will be heading back to school the end of this month or early next month, some people may be wondering how they’re going to maintain the fitness routine they’ve stuck with over the summer in addition to studying and fun, college-y things 🙂

Here’s a snippet from an email I received yesterday:

I’m an undergraduate in college with a bit of a unique situation, as I both work and go to school full time (though I’m almost done with the school part — graduation in May!!). I do this because I am 1) super ambitious, 2) probably rushing through life and 3) not in love with the traditional college life…mostly partying. However, most to all of my friends are still in that booze-cruise, binge-drink lifestyle that I don’t at all disagree with, but I know isn’t for me. I want to wake up at 5:30am and get in a beast workout. Essentially, the only thing I want spinning is my cycle, not my head, and the only thing I want to make me feel like barfing is too many burpees, not to many beverages. 😉 Do you have any advice for how to manage being social with the out-till-3am friends while still working on getting in the best shape?

That is very much how I felt during college.

me 

(Junior year, studying with baby Bella)

I worked 2 jobs (teaching at the dance studio and retail on the weekends), danced every night, and my grades were the #1 most important thing to me. After losing 40 lbs my freshman year of college, I really didn’t want to unravel my hard work by constantly boozing it up, or let my grades slip from staying out too late instead of studying. It was also difficult because many of my college friends were hardcore partiers, and I didn’t want to seem antisocial by declining their constant invitations to party and hang out.

Some tips that helped me:

-Pick one night each week to go out super late, and have the next day be an “off” day from the gym. This way, you can still go out and enjoy a late night without the thought of a long run or crazy training sesh looming over your head.

-Instead of overdoing it on the drinks, have one, sip it slowly and then roll with club soda and lime the rest of the night. Usually by this point, other people are so doneski that they have no idea or care as to what you’re drinking. [<— this is a tip I posted when I first started the blog. It’s a great little trick]

-Surround yourself with fitness-minded friends. By working out at the student rec center, I was able to meet other people who were as much into fitness as I was and didn’t want to spend all of their time drinking or partying. They actually asked to (gasp!) go out for a run instead of challenge me to a round of beer pong. If you have friends with the same goals that you do, it makes sticking to things SO much easier.

-If you do go out during the week, homework first, avoid drinking (I always told everyone I lived far away and had to drive home, which was true) and peace out early. This way, your night won’t affect the next day.

What other tips would you add? Was fitness and health a priority to you during college?

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105 Comments

  1. Faith @ For the Health of It on August 2, 2011 at 11:33 am

    It only started to become a priority for me for my last year, but because I knew it was my last chance to get in the college life, I made my workouts and healthy passion work around my life – not the other way around. It’s one thing to be ambitious, but it’s one thing to grow up too fast. I sort of feel like I should’ve squeezed in more when I could, now that I’m a working early-twenty-something.

    Some of the things I did were work out between classes in the afternoon so the rest of my days were cleared for socialization, skipped blogging if I felt the urge to go out until the odd hours of the night, made sure to adequately hydrate between drinks so I never felt like total crap the next day, and out-and-out just refused to feel bad about skipping a training session if I had plans with friends. Looking back, I wouldn’t have traded a night out for a 5k any day – I have plenty of time for that now that my life is supposed to be getting more serious!

  2. Natalie S. on August 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Great tips! Binge drinking definitely lost its appeal on me a while back. When I started working out more and lost a lot of weight, it made me way more conscious of what alcohol was doing to my body. I still love going out and hanging out with friends, but I realize now that the college lifestyle is about having fun, even if you’re not going to wake up with a hangover 🙂

  3. Liz on August 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    That salad looks so good! I love all those flavors combined! I had some of the same problems in college, and I really didn’t focus too much on my health and the food I ate until after I left college, and I wish I had started sooner, because I feel so much better now!

  4. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine on August 2, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I went through the same thing while I was in college. It’s tough to balance going out and having fun with your other priorities- sometimes I think there’s WAY too much emphasis on drinking in college. There’s more to life and to the college experience than getting wasted every weekend, and even though I’ve definitely been in that position occasionally, I never wanted it to become a habit. My biggest tip is to stop worrying about what others think of your drinking or lack thereof. True friends are never going to make you feel lame for not drinking a ton!

  5. Sara K on August 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

    After I turned 21 I actually stopped a lot of the “late night/exhausting partying” in lieu of classier hang out sessions- usually smaller gatherings or happy hours at a nice restaurant usually with only 1-2 drinks for the whole night (and a lot of the time it was wine)- I guess you can say I got into the quality not quantity mindset. Partying really loses it’s aura after a while, I’d much rather hang out with a few good friends and enjoy their company than a whole bunch of people i barely know who are smashed

  6. MB on August 2, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Hi Gina,

    I’m going to be a junior in college this year, and must admit I love my partying! I love almost all of it – starting to get ready hours before going out, blasting music in the dorm and doing hair and makeup while watching chick flicks, while starting to sip on some drinks. Then we take some shots, go out to parties, meet guys, drink some more, pass out in the early morning hours. However, there’s one BIG part I have come to hate about going out – feeling the results of it the next morning. It basically ruins the next day. First, I end up sleeping in, having a headache and having to chug water and coffee. Half the day is wasted by laying around feeling awful…forget about working out or actually getting homework done the next day.

    My goal for going back to school is to cut back on the hard partying, because it’s just not worth it. I’d rather go out with my friends and have fun, but not get out of control. This way, the next day I’ll be able to hit the gym and the library and do what I need to get done. Sure, the first two years of college it was fun to go a little crazy, but after a while, the novelty wears off and other things become more important.

    Thanks so much for this post! Being overly-caffeinated, not getting enough sleep, and then adding drinking into the mix with all the stress of grades/jobs/the opposite sex/what am I doing with my life (?!?) makes it really difficult to find balance in college!!

  7. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on August 2, 2011 at 11:40 am

    The sipping your drink slowly is a good tip. It really is true that once your friends have had several shots and an Irish Car Bomb before midnight (true story) they really won’t notice when all you are drinking is your little can of beer. It also helps when you’re piling into a cab and no one can remember where you are going.

    On a non-drinking note, that salad looks pretty awesome. I miraculously have all the ingredients in my pantry/fridge, too. I know what i’m making for lunch!

  8. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on August 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

    When I was in college, I was a total study-aholic. I was not really a big party girl. But…once I actually graduated from college, I turned into a huge! party girl. Going out 6-7 nights a week, drinking every night, it was so much fun!! For.awhile.

    Then that gets…sooooo old.

    I love your tips to surround yourself w/ fitness minded friends. Yoga came into my life at a perfect time. I had been doing the very hardcore party scene for a few years and it was time for a change and it’s pretty hard (nor would I want to) go out and whoop it up and party after going to an amazing afterwork yoga class. The two just don’t “go” together.

    Other tips…don’t be afraid to just say no! Don’t fall into the peer pressure trap and start not answering the phone calls/texts from the biggest partying friends.

  9. Amy on August 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Just to take advantage of the free gym at school or in the apartment building you may be in! I didn’t use it to it’s full potential and have regretted it! Gym memberships are so expensive in the real world! 🙂

  10. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on August 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I definitely agree with surrounding yourself with fitness-minded friends! My roommate my first year of college was one of my best friends from high school and we had cheered together and also worked out together before college, so fortunately, we just kept with that pattern and continued to do it in college. We would always meet after our classes to either take a class at the rec center or just go for a walk. It’s harder to skip a workout when you have someone else depending on you to be there!

    Great tips!

  11. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups on August 2, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Intramurals are also a great way to stay active and meet new people! I also worked, had an internship and studied a lot in college, so I would volunteer to be designated driver just to keep myself accountable.

  12. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on August 2, 2011 at 11:51 am

    OMG I feel like it was my younger self that wrote this letter!!! I was EXACTLY the same – total morning person, workouts in the AM were what I lived for, and drinking, well I didn’t have anything against others doing it but it really just wasn’t for me. My advice would include a lot of your great tips, Gina – especially the ones about picking one night to go out late, and not drinking later on when most people are too plastered to notice or care anyway. Another thing you could do is volunteer to be the DD – that’s always a good excuse and friends always appreciate a ride home! I was on Accutane for 2 of my university years and that was a perfect excuse not to drink because alcohol+meds do NOT mix! Finally, I agree with the point about fitness-minded friends. I ran varsity cross country in university and it was one of the best decisions I could have made, both for my physical health and for my social life.

    Good luck! 🙂

  13. Sonia (the Mexigarian) on August 2, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Health and fitness didn’t even cross my mind. I was in the midst of disordered eating with B&P evilly at the forefront of it. I ate and drank to no end. I just did water aerobics because I missed being in the pool and did belly dancing and weight classes because I wanted to try something new and to try and get skinny. I gained about 40lbs during and after college until I plunged head first into my disorder and lost all the weight plus more. I used workouts only for calorie burning.Not. Fun. Now . . . .a year into recovery, I am focusing on health and fitness. I really wished I had learned my lessons sooner, while in college so I could have taken advantage of all the wonderful places around San Diego and the teams to join. Ah well.

  14. Holly @ The Runny Egg on August 2, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I guess it was a good thing I was a total nerd in college – I worked 2 jobs and went to school full time — any leftover time I had was spent studying or sleeping. I went out maybe once per month.

  15. Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me on August 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Sometimes it can be hard to drink slowly if people want to play games like kings or a**hole or something like that. I’m currently dealing with this issue even post-college. A ton of my friends still want to drink excessively on the weekends and stay out till all hours. I did this in college but I’m over it. I want my sleep and I love to forgo the hangover. It’s such a waste to spend the entire next day feeling sick, barely eating etc etc. I will enjoy a couple beers with my friends but that’s that. I do get some flack for it but I’m not one to cater to peer pressure. I want to get together with friends and actually DO something, rather than sit around and drink while playing card games. There’s more to life than beirut and kings! 🙂

    Even this past weekend I actually had to stop someone from writing on another who had passed out “too early.” I stopped this in its tracks…and maybe I’m a “buzz-kill” or whatever but I’m just like, come on now. We’re not in college anymore! This kid was 25 years old and he’s going to marker someones face! Just ridiculous!

  16. Mo on August 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

    That baby Bella is just too sweet. What a tiny little furball. I did not prioritize my health during college, and gained more than the freshman 15. Yes it was fun, but worth it in the long run? I’d have to say no. I think the best thing is to surround yourself with like-minded people. No reason to have to sacrifice being social with being healthy. I know that now that I’m 40-something. And it is much easier as you move through life, to have healthy habits than to try and acquire them later. With age comes wisdom!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

      amen 🙂
      hope you have a great day!

  17. Mo on August 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Oh – one more sneaky trick . . . if your drinking something in a can (beer) – you can sneak away and fill it with water. That way, when your friends or the bartender lifts up your can to see how full it is – you don’t get stuck with another beverage!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

      LOVE that!

    • Claire on August 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      I am going to do that next time I’m out! Haha amazing.

    • Stacy R. on August 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      This is also a good tip for pregnant ladies who like to go out, but haven’t revealed their pregnant to friends.

  18. kaila @ healthy helper! on August 2, 2011 at 11:56 am

    These are such great tips! I am for sure book marking this for next year!!! 🙂

  19. mountain girl heidi on August 2, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I definitely didn’t have a normal college experience. I lived at home the first two years at a community college, and then I joined the Air Force. My most college like experience was probably with the military in Monterey, CA at a language school. Even though 98% of the people I knew were hard partiers, it was not difficult to find people interested in hiking, exploring, and traveling around California. Find an outdoor recreation center at your school, and you’re bound to find like minded people there. I met a really good, outdoor loving friend at church who was going to a different school in Monterey, and instead of hanging out with most of my non-outdoor loving friends, I did a lot of hiking with her. Find friends with similar values, hobbies, and interests, and don’t compromise who YOU are in order to fit in with the crowd.

  20. Brandi @ The Vitamin Bee on August 2, 2011 at 11:59 am

    The club soda and lime is seriously the best tip ever. I got through so many late nights on South Beach during grad school by pretending I was drinking when I really wasnt. It was also a safety measure for me…some people in Miami want to party and want you to be drunk but will leave you in a heartbeat if you become a Sloppy Suzie.

    I’d find a friend a make a workout date with them. No matter how hard we partied, I met up with my friend at the gym 4-5 days a week at 6 am. It really kept both of us accountable because no one wants to be the one that bails and it knocked our workout out of the way for the entire day.

  21. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on August 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Oh, absolutely. I have never been able to do much partying, as I’m not a “night person.” I’ve tried, and it never worked for me. Good tips, though. I think college and fitness are sometimes contradictory, but luckily(?), my school being in the heart of LA made it pretty easy to find fit-habit people. However, strangely, I didn’t hang out with any of those and went indoor rock climbing with the boys. 😉

  22. Destini on August 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    College was quite a blur for me! I wish I took you club soda advice back then. Though I did really well in school, i spent a lot of time feeling lousy the next day trying to study. My body must have hated me.
    I do now however do the club soda thing, I tend to drink a glass of wine then switch to a “gin & tonic” which is actually a club soda and lime. It works wonders!

  23. Alyssa on August 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I’m just recently out of the college scene (December 2010 grad) and I actually think it was easier for me to get in a workout during school than it is now. But my healthy eating is much better for me now–no snacks at midnight because I am still up studying, being able to healthy meals at home, instead of eating out several times a week because I didn’t have time to go home, or eating meals at really odd times like dinner at 10 pm. And although I did party too hard sometimes, I was also an engineering student and involved in extracurriculars so I stayed busy.
    My tips would be to find a friend or workout buddy and pack lunches to eat healthier. I often used working out as a break from studying as well. And don’t be afraid to just turn down drinks. If they are really your friends they won’t pressure you, but you can still go out and have a good time. I know some of the most fun nights were when I only had one or two drinks and stayed out all night with my friends!

  24. Nicole on August 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Great tips…even for a grown up with a lot of “still single and living it up” friends! I’ve always noticed that you have a ton of friends that are into fitness and that are always down to workout with you. I’m jealous! Did you find that they were already into fitness or did you give them a push to get into it with you? I would love to have some friends that had the same goals I did!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      i think i’m just drawn to fitness-minded people. even if i make friends with some of the wives that aren’t active, they’ll almost always come work out with me because so many of the workouts i like to do are fun- almost anyone will take a zumba class 🙂

  25. Hillary on August 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I also lost 40-45 lbs when I was in college (mine was sophomore-junior year), and I hated the thought of ruining my hard work with lots of beer and late night pizza. I still partied with my friends, but I definitely used your sneaky “have one drink and then sip on something that looks like a drink the rest of the night” trick. Truth be told, this still works for me five years later!

  26. Laura @ prettylittlewords on August 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    AHHH BABY BELLA IS SO CUTE

  27. Winifred on August 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    At my school, nightlife had a huge emphasis on the frats… which got old fast! Try hosting or attending room parities; there are usually more options for beverages (i.e. juice that’s meant for mixers, water, etc). Alternatively, plan nights where you stay in and watch movies or just hang out. Personally, however, I found that the best way to handle this issue was to just not go out when I didn’t want to (which was often!).

    As for working out, just make it a part of your schedule. Getting to your school gym for even half an hour is worth it. It took me a while to find a healthy balance in college, but once I figured it out I was so much healthier and happier. It also impacted my grades for the better!

  28. Rachel on August 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    It doesn’t end after college either! Then it’s happy hour cocktails with clients and colleagues and your peers still want to go out drinking on weekends.

    My advice is to find fitness-oriented friends who would also rather wake up early on a Saturday and go for a hike or biking, rather than the folks who like to stay out until 3am and sleep until 2pm.

    I know sometimes I feel like there is something wrong with me when I am the only one who wants to go to bed at 11 on a weekend, but it’s better than trying to be something I’m not.

    • June on August 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      You are singing my song!!!! Wow 11pm on the weekends? I am lucky if I make it through the 10pm news!!!

  29. Cat @Breakfast to Bed on August 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I started my weight loss journey IN college. So hard but so worth it. It was almost like a double graduation for me. Graduating from being unhealthy and graduating from college.

  30. Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) on August 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I just made a Greek salad for dinner last night! Great minds 😉 Mine had grilled veggies and orzo… YUM.

    http://whatscookinwithmary.blogspot.com/2011/08/spicy-greek-grilled-vegetable-orzo.html

  31. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on August 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I had a balance of partying and exercising a lot in college. I was on my university’s club lacrosse team so several hours per week were spent at practice or at the gym or in exercise classes. I would always laugh on Friday nights when I was at the gym and it was pretty much empty because everyone was out prefunking and getting dressed up. Sometimes I’d even have time to meet them out, but I felt good about doing my own thing regardless of what others were doing.

  32. Laura @ Backstage Pass on August 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I was very unhealthy in college – partied with the best of them, sometimes blew off homework for going out, ate horrible foods and smoked cigarettes (ugh!). I sometimes get upset with myself for how I lived my life back then, but then I remember it can’t be changed and all that I can do is focus on being healthy right now.
    I struggle with some friends who are still in the “college” heavy drinking lifestyle – but they never give me a hard time when I head home early or skip out on a night out altogether because I have a workout planned the next morning.

  33. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on August 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I’m such a lightweight that I never drank too many calories… I became good at judging the point to stop to prevent a hangover!

  34. Kristie on August 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    No tips… I just had to say that baby Bella is such a cutie! Oh my goodness. <3.

  35. Evan Thomas on August 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    This feels very similar to my situation at the moment. I don’t work a full time job but I do try to keep up with my blog which certainly feels like work on top of school and working out. A few things have helped me get the most out of my time:
    1. Get into a routine and stick with it. For instance, Sunday morning was always laundry day and cooking, the week was reserved for homework, etc.
    2. I completely agree with picking 1 night to go out. Usually I’m in bed and asleep by 11 but Saturday nights at school I’ll go out to whatever party there is with friends.
    3. Short, high-intensity workouts during the week, when I tend to have less time, and longer workouts on the weekend.
    I also think it depends on the types of friends you have that make a difference in your relationship with them. A lot of my friends I get to see daily in class, and they’re the type of people who would rather make dinner together and watch a movie than go out drinking, anyway, so it’s not hard to keep a healthy lifestyle.

  36. June on August 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I dont have any tips, but in my case it was (and still is because I still have friends that incl drinking/drunk in just about everything) that I couldnt be the person that went anyway and was around a bunch of drunk stupid people. Stupid behavior, even more stupid conversations and getting knocked around or drinks spilled just wasnt something I was able to stomach.

    Therefore, unfortunately I cant be around these folks, but still maintain communication through social media, but I get the feeling that they think I am holier than thou since I gave it all up. I will admit that I do ‘judge’ them to a certain extent because I know how great things are without hangovers and missing out on life due to headaches, puking and sleeping the day away.

  37. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on August 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Amen! I totally agree with all of your suggestions and used to do the same- even do now! For some reason drinking a ton has gradually lost its appeal to me, really since my senior yr at college and I’m not in my mid twenties. In the end you have to remember that YOU are the only person you have to be accountable for at the end of the night, and the face that will be staring back at you in the mirror the next morning.

  38. Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! on August 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I’m in college now, and I’m slowly realizing that I’m not really attracted to that typical college lifestyle… but almost everyone I know IS. It’s really hard, and I often feel like I don’t have anyone to hang out with, as I’m generally a shy person, and not very good at making connections. These tips are so reassuring, and will be a big help to me this year! I’m definitely going to make an effort to meet people at the gym.
    Thanks so much!

  39. Nicole @ Giraffelegs on August 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    This is a great post! I’m entering my junior year of college and this couldn’t be more close to home. I really like to get in a good workout at least 5 times a week and sometimes it gets hard with school, work, sorority obligations, boyfriend and then friends. I did the whole pick one night to go out thing and it really worked for me. That didn’t mean that I couldn’t go out other nights, but I just kept my drinking at a minimum and tried to get in before the sun rose 😉
    thanks!!

  40. Samantha on August 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Great post! There are a lot of great tricks of the trade that I learned through college, most of which you voiced here. My main thing was I never went out during the week (ok not never, but if I did it wasn’t ever super late and it was a one-drink max) — I credited it to school and early work. If you want to be social, just go out for a few hours and tell your friends you have a super early morning, you have a test to study for, project to work on, etc. Most of the time they’ll be cool about it and won’t even care if you’re drinking during the week.

    If it’s the weekend, that can be a different story because they want you to party it up! My best trick is to just order a club soda. If people pester you, tell ’em it’s a vodka tonic and they’ll leave you alone. Nobody cares what you’re drinking, the only time it’s awkward is if you’re standing there empty-handed because then it’s obvious. Have a cup in your hand and you’re golden.

  41. Cindy on August 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post, Gina! I’m exactly in the same position as the girl who wrote that email and yourself when you were in college! 🙂

  42. Katy @ RunKatyRun on August 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I’m currently 21 and a full-time senior in college (graduating May 2012!). I’m really not into the partying lifestyle-I don’t like alcohol at all-plus I had a pancreatitis attack when I was 19 so alcohol could literally kill me. I don’t feel like I fit in with most people my age-they are usually single and party a lot. I’m in a committed relationship with my fiance, Ryan, who I met in 9th grade homeroom, so I find that I tend to have more in common with people who either married or are a few years older than me.

    Although I didn’t partake in partying in college, I did end up eating out a lot. In high school, I was on the basketball and volleyball teams and I didn’t have to worry about gaining weight and just ate whatever. After high school, I no longer was involved in sports and gained roughly 70 pounds. I’ve since lost 20 pounds, but I still have a long ways to go. I recently started training for my first half marathon this November. I wish that I had friends here who would want to meet up and go running or work out with me, but I’ve yet to meet anyone. In the meantime, my only running buddy is my fiance when he occasionally bikes along side me as I run. It’s definitely lonely when you have different priorities than most people your age, but hopefully I’ll meet some like-minded people soon.

    PS: Baby Bella is soo adorable! She reminds me of my first dog, Daisy-she was a toy poodle and had the same apricot tinge to her ears as a puppy! =o)

  43. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) on August 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Love the Greek quinoa salad! That sounds amazing!

    Also love the pic of sleepy baby Bella!! So cute. 🙂

  44. Cait @ Cait hates Cake on August 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Unfortunately, fitness and health was NOT a priority for me in college. I was too thin, didn’t eat healthy foods, partied a lot, and didn’t work out enough. Lol, what a mess! I’ve since led a much healthier lifestyle and feel and look SO much better! Props to you for getting there in college! One tip I have is going out early. Hit up happy hour or convince your friends to grab an early dinner with you. You can still be social, but home and in bed at a reasonable hour.

  45. alyssa - fashion fitness foodie on August 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    gymming it was not a priority of mine in college – and i was in awesome shape. i took it for granted!

  46. Rachel on August 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    OMG Baby Bella is ADORABLE. I die. <3

  47. Hannah on August 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    i feel the same way. even being out of college many of my friends are still the same.
    my junior and senior year i was this way and this only transitioned to later.. and now.
    i think it also had to do with me being in a serious relationship.

    i think you gave some great advice.
    make time to do things with your friends, you can also invite some of your boozing friends to do something active with you even if it means a walk. maybe something tougher, like a spin class. this may make them realize they want to be apart of it too.. and they will get hit with some adrenaline as well!!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      exercise endorphins feel a thousand times better than being wasted

  48. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather on August 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Surrounding yourself with other fitness minded friends make it so much easier to stay on track!

  49. Melanie T on August 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Gina! Long time reader, first time commenter. I actually just wanted to ask if that’s a Duke > UNC “Basic Math” t-shirt I spy you wearing in your studying pic?! I only ask because I’m a Duke alum, and I got a little jolt of excitement when I saw it! If not, carry on 🙂

    Also, I gained 40 pounds myself (on a tiny 5’2 frame!) when I was in college, mostly from a combination of partying, not yet realizing how much I love regularly exercising, and the devastating allures of Cookout, late-night pizza, and a 24/7 McDonald’s on campus. Lost it all during the year after graduation, and have managed to keep it off (and lose a little more!) mostly thanks to spin classes, Zumba, BodyPump, and a half-marathon thrown in there somewhere. One of my long time fears has been a worry that I’ll gain a ton of weight when I eventually decide to get pregnant and never end up able to lose it, and even though I’m a long time away from that point in my life, it’s been really inspiring to see you keep your long-time habits, continue exercising, and have an adorable growing baby belly without having to do anything too drastic or change your day-to-day life. You’re really inspirational!

    • Fitnessista on August 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      hahah that’s exactly what the shirt is!!! it was one of the pilot’s 🙂
      thank you so much for the sweet compliment and for reading!
      xoxo

      • megan @ the oatmeal diaries on August 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

        LOVE this post, Gina! Had to laugh when I saw this comment though because I go to UNC so while I agree with all your tips in the post, I can’t agree with the shirt! =P
        Also- your quinoa dish inspired my dinner tonight and it was SO tasty!

        • Fitnessista on August 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm

          haha! in all fairness, it wasn’t my shirt 😉
          glad you had an amazing dinner!

          • Emily on August 3, 2011 at 3:57 am

            haha, I have to agree with Megan on the tips thing but not on the shirt, because I go to UNC as well 😛 if you’re ever back in NC you’ll have to come get a replacement shirt, haha.



  50. Julie on August 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Being healthy wasn’t my focus in college and I shot up to 185 pounds! I started working a lot while going to school and lost 35 pounds after 2 years. I only started working out after college after my weight loss. Even then, a lot of my friends were either still in college or had that whole mindset. It was hard to do it all so I eventually just made new friends by going to the gym and taking classes.

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