Friend Fatima: Getting fit

If you would like Fatima’s advice, visit to send it anonymously, or email it to [email protected]. Look for this column every week for your anwser or go online to to find your anwser there.

Q: How can I be motivated to get fit?

A: I think the real question you should be asking yourself is why do you want to get fit? Is it because you don’t feel comfortable with the way you look? Do you want to be healthy and in shape? Or simply, is that just the type of person you are? Regardless of your reason, you need to figure out what is driving you to think you need to get fit. 

If it’s because you don’t feel comfortable with how you look, then by all means go for it. I’m a big believer that everyone is beautiful no matter what, but at the end of the day how you view yourself is all that truly matters.

If getting fit will give you some kind of self-esteem build, then create a schedule that will put you in the gym at least three times a week. This will make it to where you’re exercising but not going so hard on yourself. Overworking our bodies is never the answer.    

As college students, it’s really hard for us to find extra time to not only work out but also eat healthy. Planning your meals ahead and being prepared will save you money and a lot of calories.

Have a protein bar and some fruit with you at hand to eat in between classes instead of going to the vending machines. By changing your “snacking” habits you’ll feel a difference in mood, which will in turn help get you to the gym. This is where the phrase “snack happy” comes into play. 

Another little thing you can do to stay healthy is grab a friend and walk around campus. It’s fun and you get to hang out with friends so you don’t feel as pressured as going to the gym. 

I wish I could say that I could give you a few simple words and you will always be motivated to get fit, but the reality is you have to do that yourself. It’s OK to skip some days at the gym and it’s OK to want to be there everyday.

But it’s not OK for you to feel obligated to do it. Being fit is not a mental obligation. You have to want to do it otherwise it’s just going to feel like extra work for yourself. 

Think of why you want this for yourself and not anyone else, then figure out the how. Set up a realistic plan so you don’t set goals you can’t achieve. If you make them attainable every step of the way, you’ll feel like you’re accomplishing something, which will help you keep moving forward. And the best place to start is yourself. 

Of course, there is always the Student Recreation and Wellness Center to help get you on that right track if you’re struggling to exercise at home. It is free for students and there are so many different physical activities you can do. 

All you have to do is find your comfort zone and have fun with it. Getting fit doesn’t have to be something that weighs you down. It can be something that you look forward to doing everyday.