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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Guelph chapter.

I started working out about 10 years ago – primarily for the purpose of losing weight and getting in better shape. Initially, I realized a huge drop in my weight, but I’d often gain it back and feel demotivated to get back to working out and eating healthy. It ended up becoming a vicious cycle of trying out new diets and boring workouts! I’ve heard many people experience the same thing and today I want to talk about the fact that I’ve come a long way in my “getting in better shape” journey, and this is because I truly found what works best for me. I know every body type is different, but I going to spill some tips that have worked wonders for me.  


As I mentioned before, my primary goal back in the day was to lose weight. My idea was to lose weight and then maintain the weight. But I found that I was never happy with the weight I had lost, would change my diet and then eventually crash and all the weight would come back on. Super unhealthy! However, the past two years have been quite different for me. Working out became fun because I had my roommates as gym buddies, and we would motivate each other to push through new exercises. We also started going to the gym in the morning, so our days turned out more productive. We’d also try out new recipes at home that were healthier. This is when my mindset began to change. I no longer worked out to lose weight. I started working out to feel refreshed and energized throughout the day. 


When the pandemic hit and we were all forced to stay inside, it became a struggle for me to stay motivated to work out. However, along with whatever at-home little exercise I did at home, I began to go out for walks. The weather was great, and it was also a good way for me to get out of the house and spend my free time. During my walks, I’d call a friend, listen to podcasts or some music. It was something therapeutic I enjoyed doing because it gave me time to reflect on my day. The walks were not intended for me to “get in shape”, it was just something that gave me peace of mind. However, instead of spending my time on the couch binge eating and gaining weight, I found that I lost weight!  


In terms of my diet, which has always changed through the years, during quarantine I ended up eating home-cooked food that my mom would make. It was healthy, but I also enjoyed junk food a few times a week. In fact, I didn’t really think about what food I consumed. I realized, however, that by allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted, my cravings for junk food disappeared and my portion sizes also decreased. This ended up being the way I managed my weight.  


Overall, my point is, if you’re trying to get in shape, stop trying so hard! In other words, find workouts you enjoy doing. I enjoy my one-hour walks over intense thirty-minute workouts some days. Eat food that you love to eat, but do so in moderation. The mindset changes from the goal being “lose weight” to “gain energy and have a peaceful mind” has really played a large role in my fitness journey. I encourage everyone to try it, especially because it has made me a happier person.  

Ara Kirtikar

Guelph '21

Living life to the fullest <3
Guelph Contributor Account for writers at the University of Guelph!