Learning to Love Your Body: A 20-Something’s Lifestyle Change

After her time at Michigan State University, 24-year-old Lauren Firavich came to the unsettling realization that her college lifestyle had caught up with her.

After years of fast food and routine social drinking, it was time for change.

“College put me in a pretty unhealthy routine,” she said. “I ate and drank what I wanted, as much as I wanted, when I wanted.”

Fast forward to now, Lauren is a nursing student who spends her days demonstrating the importance of taking care of your body at all walks of life. She spreads positivity, motivation and inspiration coaching more than 30 people in her online community.

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So what inspired her?

Consumed by the temptations that surround many of us during the college years, Lauren lost sight of her health. From 3 a.m. carry out to weekly bar specials and tailgating, slowly but surely, the healthy high school athlete in her disappeared.

“I realized that the girl who loved working out was long gone, and all the was left was a bloated, unhappy college student,” she said.

Clothes began to feel tight. She lost her taste for vegetables. As her body changed, so did her thinking. The once-confident version of herself was becoming someone who untagged herself from pictures on social media.

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Lauren is currently enrolled at Loyola University in the accelerated nursing program.

So listen up, fellow college students.

Have fun while you’re in school, but don’t mistake these as the years to ignore your health. You can’t always see it on the outside, but bad eating habits, binge drinking and lack of exercise in your 20s does more long-term damage than you may think.

According to Grace Derocha, registered dietitian at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, our taste buds evolve every seven years based on how they’re nourished. If you’re targeting the sweet and salty taste buds in college, you’re more likely to perpetuate that craving in your adult years.

“What I needed to hear when I knew I had to change my unhealthy ways was: stop making excuses,” Lauren continued. “Everyone is busy, tired, and broke–I know I was. If you want something bad enough, then make it a priority.”

Looking for some inspiration? Learn more about Lauren’s journey on her blog here or check out some seriously inspiring posts on her Instagram.

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Photo Credit: Lauren Firavich (feature, inset)

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