During the summer preceding my first year of university, my brother gave me a piece of sage advice: don’t become friends with fourth year students, because eventually they will graduate and leave you.
Following my most human impulse, I ignored this impartation of wisdom, wanting to believe that I was immune to it all, an exception; the naïvety of my 17 year-old mind made me think I could neglect the risk.
And then one of my closest friends during second year graduated. And then the trend continued in third year.
And then I was in fourth year and I graduated. People who I used to see on a weekly basis are now at graduate school in Montreal, living in North Vancouver, doing a semester in Copenhägen, living the big city life in Toronto with fancy jobs. My geographically-close friends and I are constantly struggling to find a time when our schedules aren’t in conflict.
My social life was basically D.O.A. when I started working, but I think I have found one silver-lining. In my sheer boredom and ample amounts of free time, I actually go to the gym.
I literally just go to the gym because what else am I going to do with my evening? and in this process, I have developed the slightest hint of muscle definition. My experience, I fully believe, puts me in the place to develop a fitness plan to market to the masses
(because, realistically, I have the same qualifications as most of the instafitness influencers out there).
BUY MY COMPREHENSIVE FITNESS PLAN: MAKE MY BOD GREAT AGAIN
1. As mentioned earlier, have no social life. Maybe, on the occasional weekend, you’ll see your limited number of friends, but apart from that you have to be SUPER alone.
PRO TIP: This is substantially easier if your friends, idk, move across the country so your ritual of going to Wine Wednesday with them ceases to exist! Instead, drink multiple cups of tea alone in your room at night!
2. Work in an office that’s located too far from any fast food locations for you to even CONSIDER walking to buy french fries. This inspires you to pack food for the day, and if you’re as lazy as me when it comes to food prep, this includes just eating a bowl of baby spinach and a protein bar for lunch.
3. Have a gym membership. You’re working full-time on entry-level/intern wages; you can’t afford NOT to use the gym you’re already paying for. You have to go. When you get there, lift weights/run/cycle/whatever-you-like-to-do-at-the-gym for as long as you can to dodge the growing sense of ~ennui~ you feel on a daily basis.
4. Rinse and repeat.
Now, many of you might wonder how I maintain motivation to follow such an intensive guide; motivation is unique to everyone, as we all have different goals that get our serotonin flowing. What keeps me motivated is that I own a ton of business casual clothing that I bought a few years ago, but doesn’t quite fit; I can’t afford to buy new clothes, so I guess I just have to get in shape :).
Jokes aside, I am in significantly better physical shape than I was throughout my final years of university. I spent the last two years of undergrad on a strict diet of $9 peach pinot grigio, Smoke’s Poutine, and pizza pockets (a guilty pleasure).
I’ll be honest: there were many times in my fourth year where I thought I really wanted to get back to having a physically fit body. I’m also going to be honest to say I was wrong.
For the people who have known me for a long time, it’s no secret that I packed on a few (like 25) pounds over the course of undergrad; there are a lot of reasons behind that, including gaining muscle mass, changes in my medical health, recovering from disordered eating habits, and also, for the first time in over 10 years, not maintaining an obsession with my weight. I swear I truly would not take back any of the fun I had over the past few years even if it meant I could have had a size two waist instead.
So if getting fit and eating a healthy diet fits into your life right now, that’s great. I’m rooting for you. But if not, I’m also going to firmly encourage you to not let what your body looks like dictate your life. Have that glass of wine; eat that poutine; don’t turn down a night out with your friends; don’t feel guilty not going to the gym because you’re swamped with assignments. Your physical fitness may not be your priority right now.
And that’s okay.
Comment the best piece of advice you’ve ignored! One time my doctor told me I shouldn’t go to work because I was definitely sick, and after nearly throwing up I was forced to acknowledge that her and her 15+ years of experience may have been right.
Coming up next: professional Twitter is no fun: there, I said it