Happy New Year!
Wow. My first semester of grad school brought with it a ton of crazy adventures. And by crazy, I mean exciting, frustrating, challenging, emotional, and educational…not the same kind of crazy you might be thinking. I didn’t post very much, mostly because I didn’t have the energy and I was focusing so much attention on getting the most out of my job and searching for a new one for next year.
I just can’t hold it in: I have to announce that starting in August, I’ll be working at Baker University as an Area Coordinator/Graduate Assistant for Student Activities & Community Service! Baker is a small, liberal arts school about 15 minutes south of KU. I am SO EXCITED about this opportunity. Making the move to a small school now is going to be a great fit, and really get me the experiences I need to apply to similar institutions for after graduation. That is such a strange thought…a year from now I’ll be looking into post-graduation jobs. I know that Baker is the right place for me at this point in my career and schooling. For now, I’ll keep throwing my energy into making the last semester of our freshman scholar program the best it can be, while looking forward to what’s to come.
I’m also in the process of applying for summer internships. No official news yet, but fingers crossed!
Now that (some of) my ducks are in a row as far as work is concerned, I’ve really decided to make 2013 a year to work on myself. This is the last full calendar year I’ll have being a student, and even when I go back for my PhD I’ll be working full time and balancing family. So I figure before I “grow up” once and for all and focus more energy on my loved ones, I’m going to try really hard to get myself in good mental, physical, and spiritual health. Really, “working on myself” is a job that should never be finished, because I know I’ll be a different person each new day until my last. But I’m blessed to have the time, energy, and resources at this point in my life to make it my number one priority, and that’s my goal.
I talked about “mindfulness” in my holiday post. That’s part one of my journey. Part two of my journey is physical health. I have joined myfitnesspal.com and started logging my meals and snacks (if you’re on there, add me! Username: lauraejacob). It’s amazing how little I knew before I started about the nutritional content (or lack thereof) of what I put in my body. The site also includes a feature where you can input your exercise for the day, and it adjusts your calories so you can still lose weight, but fuel your body enough to work out. Using the university rec center (I pay for it in my student fees, why wasn’t I using it before?) and my trusty Biggest Loser DVDs at home, I have been working out at least 5 days a week. I have a great support system of fellow grad students and friends, and we all help to hold each other accountable.
It’s a choice to stay unhealthy, and it’s a choice to be healthy. Why wouldn’t I make the choice that has benefits for me? When life is feeling out of control, the one thing I have complete control over is my health. Along the lines of being mindful, I hope that proclaiming my goals for the world to hear is going to hold me more accountable. I have a lot of good reasons to be healthy, and here are some of them:
- I’m young. I am energetic. But I don’t have a body that allows me to express that. I want to have a family and not only be able to keep up with my kids, but instill in them the values of health and fitness. I can’t do that if I don’t make it a priority myself! Now is the best time to start, because I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me! If I get healthy now, I might have even more years ahead of me. My key word has been: lifestyle. This is not a diet, phase, health kick, or resolution. It’s a commitment to a lifestyle that I will maintain for life.
- Okay, call it superficial, but it’s motivation: I want to wear all of the cutest clothes! For me, it’s all about confidence. It’s rough waking up each morning and hating what I see in the mirror. Nothing seems to fit right, and I can’t shop online and just assume that I will fit into the clothes I like. If I can continue to reach the goals I set for myself through the end of this year: shopping spree for a new, size-appropriate wardrobe!
- 2013 is going to be a big year. Starting my second year of grad school, a new job, and–fingers crossed–getting engaged to the love of my life. When I show my engagement (and later, wedding) pictures off 20, 30, 60 years from now, I want to look like the best version of myself. I want to be proud of how I look and the journey I started this year. No more bad photos!
- Day to day health. People in healthier bodies, with healthier habits, get sick less. Already, I’ve experienced some of the health benefits of working out and eating right: better sleep, a quicker recovery time from that cold I thought I was getting, not getting as winded walking up the massive hill upon which KU sits. I feel like an ex-smoker…the health benefits will only keep coming, if I just work for them!
So there you have it. Some of my goals for my journey! Along with the many other things I’m working on this year, I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Don’t be afraid to ream me out if I say I’m not going to the gym, or if I try and justify eating something unhealthy! I can take it. 🙂
Tell me: what are you going to do this year to put yourself first? Do you have something that’s motivating you to get healthy? Remember: the hardest part of the journey is taking the first step.