Posted in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Welcome to Adulthood

Here is a word of advice: Don’t wish away your childhood, because before you know it it will be over.

I can remember being in high school wishing that I could just live on my own. I was under the impression that my so-called problems would just disappear upon leaving my dinky little hometown. Boy, was I wrong.

At the time living with my mom, attending high school five days a week, and working the minimum amount of hours at a part-time job was just complete torture. My life was so difficult. I just wanted to be an adult.

Fast forward to college. As I sit at the desk of one of my two part time jobs preparing for one of my three midterms this week (obviously procrastinating) after a day full of classes and a feud with my roommate I can’t help but wish I was curled up on my mom’s couch. That is exactly what I would be doing on a Monday evening back in the day.

Back in those days people would tell me to cherish being young, because life would only get harder. I never listened. How could complete freedom and free reign on a college campus be worse than high school? I was so naive.

I wish I could explain to my high school self that I needed structure and rules. I needed these things in order to be able to discipline myself when I didn’t have someone there to do so. Its hard to tell yourself to be responsible, but because my mother raised me right I can understand how important it is to be home by 11:00 on a school night. In fact, some days I still wish my mom was there to ask me where I was every night. Maybe then I wouldn’t have gotten myself into some of the situations that I have.

When I was in high school I would’ve never imagined that the mere sight of my bank account balance would be enough to bring me to tears. When you still have bills to pay and groceries to buy, but only have $100 to your name you start to panic. When I had $100 in high school I blew it all online shopping then walked to the kitchen for a snack to find fully-stocked cabinets with groceries that my mom provided.

Freedom isn’t all that it has cracked up to be. When you become an adult you are fighting your own battles. You are on your own. Sadly I am only twenty which means the horror story is only beginning.

Posted in Adventures

Unforgettable

For years upon years I have been wanting to experience what I experienced this past weekend.

My best friend and I waited outside of the United Center in Chicago for 12 hours to see the band that saved both of our lives, Twenty One Pilots. Twelve hours doesn’t compare to the couple of days that some people spent, but for our first time twelve hours was impressive.

It wasn’t the wait that made the experience so unique. It was the pure, raw emotion that I felt standing in the third row of the enormous pit. I was just feet away from the two people who lead me through bad times, good times, pain, suffering, happiness…

The minute they took the stage my heart started pounding. They were right there. I grabbed my best friends arm for stability, but also because I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The pure emotion that overcame my body during this experience was so overwhelming. I smiled, I laughed, I cried, I swooned (who wouldn’t?), and I raged to a majority of their songs.

Not only was I hearing my absolute favorite band live, but I was just feet away from two of the most inspirational people that have ever touched my life. These two men have no idea what impact they have made on me and my best friend’s life, but we will forever be grateful for the experience that they provided us this past weekend.

We can’t wait to see our boys again. Until next time, stay alive.

|-/

 

Posted in Lifestyle

Steps to a Healthier Life

Since my last blog post I have gotten requests to share some tips and tricks that have helped for me.

I do believe that everyone’s bodies are different and that there isn’t a universal path to healthiness. I would like to share the things that I do on a daily (sometimes semi-daily) basis to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My Fitness Pal

I am an avid user of the “My Fitness Pal.” After first downloading this app I urge you to only focus on your calorie intake and calories burned. Balancing this out can become a science all in itself.

Not everyone in the world is a nutritionist or a trainer, but this app can make you feel like you at least have a little bit of knowledge about what you’re putting into your body.

Once I mastered my calorie intake was when I started focusing on my macros, and nutrition as a whole. I don’t want to dive into macros because they are a very complex aspect of a diet. For more information on counting calories and managing macros view this article.

Daily Exercise

The words “daily exercise” may make you cringe, but bare with me.

I’m not telling you that you need to go to the gym every single day, because that would be quite hypocritical of me. It is important to get your blood pumping, or to break a sweat every single day.

According to Mayo Clinic most healthy adults should “get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.” If you do the math (and allow yourself a cheat day) that is 25 minutes a day. Doesn’t that seem easy?

I personally use the fitness center at my University. Most people who are invested in fitness have memberships at fitness clubs and gyms. If you are just now starting your fitness journey and you aren’t comfortable with working out around a bunch of other people I suggest using at-home videos created by fitness professionals. There are plenty of them for free on Youtube.

If you are already comfortable with using a fitness club or gym it is important to do your research on what workouts will benefit what parts of your body. Time and time again I see people wasting their time in the gym because they are doing workouts incorrectly. Don’t be that guy!

Peaceful Sleep

If you come home from work, throw on your pajamas, and plop into your bed you may experience more mediocre sleep than if you followed a few quick and easy steps.

I use and strongly suggest using  a Himalayan salt lamp in your bedroom. Himalayan salt lamps have a plethora of benefits. One of my favorites being that they can reduce stress, which creates a much more peaceful sleeping environment. To see all of the benefits of Himalayan salt lamps visit this site.

I also suggest meditation. I am a fan of guided meditations which can be found on Spotify and Youtube. You can easily meditate on your own by practicing different breathing exercises. While meditating before going to sleep get in a comfortable position. The goal of meditation before bed is to naturally push your body toward sleep, and to free your mind of the “I can’t sleep” feeling that we all get before bed. Ten-twenty minutes of meditation will make a world of difference.

If you have trouble falling asleep I have one word for you: Cardio. Cardio is the reason that I sleep like a baby every single night. If you end your day with 15-20 minutes of an intense cardio session you will sleep like a baby (and burn calories while doing so).

My final tip, which is one that I still struggle with to this day is: Do not eat before you go to bed. Going to bed with a belly full of food is never good. Not only are you effecting your body, but you will sleep like crap. My personal goal is to not eat after 7:00 PM. Set a goal that works for you!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Good diet, exercise, and sleep is the key to living a healthier life.

Even better… there’s no catch!

Posted in Lifestyle

A New Journey with a New Mentality

We’ve all read articles upon articles containing tips on how to live a healthier, happier life. I’ve read the articles, considered practicing what I read, and put my knew acquired knowledge by the wayside until it was soon forgotten.

The steps of an article that tells you to eat healthier, do more exercise, get more sleep, etc. are written by the people that those steps worked for.

Diet, exercise, and sleep have been deemed the keys to a healthy, happy life for ages. Simple enough. If I eat well, exercise moderately, and sleep well every night I’m going to be happy. So whats the catch?

There is no catch. Unfortunately, the health and happiness gurus are right. Your entire body will be happier and healthier if you just treat your body right.

I have recently taken on a lifestyle of eating healthier, exercising more, and sleeping much better. The results have truly amazed me.

When switching from a nearly-crap diet to a healthy diet I slipped up a lot. My true love for ice-cream, cookies, chips, soda, etc. were no match for my desire to be healthier. I wasn’t “fat” by any means, so why should I care? I found myself thinking this as I ate an entire pack of Chips Ahoy! cookies.

It wasn’t until I started spending an hour or so at the gym two-three times a week that I started to see a change in my body. Why? Simply because I wasn’t eating as well as I should. A mediocre diet paired with absolutely no exercise is not going to get you the results that you want.

For awhile I was happy with what I saw, but I wanted to see more change. I pushed myself to make healthier choices while grocery shopping (and I started to save money, weird how that works). I also pushed myself to go to the gym for at least an hour every single day.

Disclaimer: I believe that cheat days are essential, so if you ever saw me on a Sunday I was probably stuffing my face and you would not see me anywhere near the gym.

I have been practicing this lifestyle for a little over a month, and the results that I am seeing are amazing.

Through cleaning up my diet and working my a** off at the gym I have improved my body and more importantly, my mind. I have been thinking clearer, working harder and I haven’t stressed about nearly as much as I have in the past.

Each and every one of these things creates a domino effect. When you start to exercise more you strive to eat healthier, when you eat healthier your body begins to act more naturally, and in turn your natural sleep schedule will fall into place (not to mention the fact that cardio just wears you out).

Now, I understand that most people who are trying to embark on this same journey may be looking for physical results. I promise that if you focus on how it effects you internally, the external changes will become even more noticeable in the long run.

So don’t force yourself into a mentality that you aren’t used to. Becoming healthier is a journey. Take it slow, try new things, and see what works for you. Everyone’s mind and body are wired differently.

Posted in Lifestyle

The First of Many

Congratulations! You are reading my first official blog post!

2017 has been a year of firsts (granted we’re only eighteen days in). I haven’t experienced anything huge. I haven’t gotten my first big promotion, or purchased my first car on my own, but I have defeated so many things since 2017 was kicked off.

For some reason myself and the people around me have had a much more positive outlook on life since 2016 was stomped into the ground, and I must say that I’m not mad about it. This positive energy has lifted me up beyond myself, and has pushed me to do things for myself that I typically would never do.

I believe the key to maintaining the positive energy that everyone is feeling right now is to not lose hope. Everyone my age is so hopeful for the future, whether it be long term or short term. I never want to see that perish.

In my college career I have met so many people, young and old, who have huge dreams for themselves. I, myself, have very big dreams. I truly think that these big dreams that we have for ourselves five or ten years down the road make it a bit easier to get through a five hour school day or a ten hour shift at work.

Here’s to hoping that this mentality is easy to maintain throughout the year.

This blog is the first of many, and I hope that you continue to follow me the journey that is 2017.