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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

Entering the new year meant many resolutions that would ultimately be unfulfilled. I don’t usually participate in these, but I wanted to get back in the gym for a while, and that seemed like a good excuse to motivate myself. I’ve always had some issues with body image, and being in the gym usually lifted my spirits and helped improve my mental health. I’ve learned a couple of things along the way, and these habits help me stay motivated and keep my mental health in check.

I know myself, and if I try to make too many lifestyle changes at once, they’ll all end up abandoned. I started by going to the gym when I could, working out a reasonable amount to not tire myself out. Getting burnt out on the first week of working out is pretty common, and it’s pretty much a death sentence to motivation. Now, I try to plan my gym days to where I have an off day every 5 or 6 days, depending on the circumstances. This also allows me to maintain work/life/gym balance, which is hard to come by.

I have to remind myself that I’m not being forced to go, but that it’s for the best if I stick to my routine. I have a 3-day split, 2 leg days, and one upper body. I go between hammies/glutes, quads/calves, and chest/back/arms. This split lets me focus on the important muscle groups, and I continue to see progress in strength every time I work out. I started with energy drinks to add to my willpower (it shockingly worked), and I started taking pre-workouts to help with muscle building.

Eating habits are a big part of what kind of body you want to build, and there’s a big stigma around how men/women are supposed to eat when they’re going to the gym. Usually, women are supposed to lean down and change their diets to lighter food, while men are expected to bulk with high protein diets to build muscle mass. While there is a difference in the types of diets that are helpful, men and women alike can bulk or lean down, they’re just done a little differently. I’m trying to bulk, so I’ve been increasing my protein intake and making sure I get full meals when I work out.

Though I’m fairly new to having a set gym routine, I’ve seen progress in my body and my confidence overall. Ensuring that my body and mind are healthy takes time, but I’m willing to put in the work.

Erin Haggerty is a sophomore forensic science major and psychology minor at TAMU. She is a returning member of Her Campus for the spring semester. Outside of Her Campus, she works full-time at a local BBQ restaurant, C&J Barbeque as a shift lead, as well as being a full-time student. She’s worked at C&J's for around 3 years and has moved up the ranks since her start. Her campus is her only published writing experience, as she enjoys writing about her life, College Station, and researching about anything! Outside of school, she enjoys hanging out with friends, playing with her dogs, and cooking. She’s found great passion in cooking and baking, mainly through creating her recipes. Through work, she also gets the opportunity to work tailgates for Aggie Football season, and though it's grueling, she enjoys the spirit!