Graduation day | Health promotion with focus nutrition

After 3,5 years at university, whereof 3 years studying health promotion with focus on nutrition, it is finally coming to an end.

These three years have gone SOO quick. Trust me, when you first begin university it may feel like a lifetime until you graduate and are done… but it will go by so quickly. Three years anyway… if you study 5 or 7 years, of course it will feel like it never ends. But even then, i have heard people who study 5 years to do a masters and say that the time at university went far too quickly.

Today is my graduation day… hopefully get my bachelors in health promotion. Though i won’t know until summer whether i have passed or not with my final bachelors essay.

In three years alot can happen. I feel like a completely different person compared to the girl i was autumn 2016 and first started the program.

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^When i moved to Gothenburg, autumn 2016^^

2016 – new start

I moved to a new city… on my own. Wanting a new fresh start.

I had only been in Gothenburg once before where i spent a two day weekend with my boyfriend at the time… and i fell in love with the city.

Moving to a new city is scary… especially when you don’t know anyone. When you don’t have any contacts and don’t know where you will live. How to travel around the city.

Read more about this HERE: moving to a new city to study| life change and 8 tips for moving to a new city

I had moved out and lived with a roommate earlier, when i was studying at Uppsala univeristy, though i just had a 60-90 minute journey back home if i wanted to see my family. Now i was going to be 4 hours away by train.

However, i have always been so independant that that never bothered me… mostly i knew i would miss my dog. Which i very much have these past 3 years.

There are alot of fears moving to a new city and starting a new university program. Would i make any friends? Would i like the program? Would i feel lonely? Would i like the new city? etc etc I had to face alot of fears and step outside of my comfort zone alot when i first started university and moved to a new city.

 

Did i always know i wanted to study this program?

I have had doubts about my program… often wondered if maybe i should study the dietititan program instead. But in the end, i am very happy i have studied this program… and i do have plans to continue studying… to learn more about coaching, psychology, eating behaviour, leadership, sports nutrition and maybe do a masters in nutrition. Three and a half years at university but i still doubt that i have enough knowledge. Or well, i know i have enough knowledge… i know that my knowledge in nutrition and exercise and health promotion is adequate and higher than the average person… but i guess i am just not done studying or learning.

I love learning…. not so much the stress involved with assignments and exams. But learning more information which i can then share with others and use to help others is what i love. So i am not done with studying, even if i am done with my bachelors.

My university program

Many people are interested in what program i studied and it was “Health promotion with focus nutrition”, and i have written some posts about what i have learnt and my thoughts about the program, HERE: & HERE, which you can read.

My overall thoughts… it is a good program. You learn information about alot of different areas from nutrition, coaching, motivational interviewing (an evidence based counselling style that is usually used when helping people to change behaviours), sports nutrition, biochemistry, health promotion and the list goes on.

Compared to the dietitian program, we have focused alot on health promotion. I.e working with healthy people to keep them healthy. Promoting health and working on “health factors” instead of so called “risk factors”. In the dietitian program they learn more about how to work with sick people and people with different diagnoses. With my knowledge i can work with people who are sick to a certain extent… however we don’t really have the right knowledge to work with nutrition advice regarding certain illnesses and then it is better that the client is sent to a dietitian with more knowledge in those areas of nutrition.

So what can I, and the others in my class work with after this program? Well… we don’t really have a license like dietitians do. However we have qualifications to work with nutrition, exercise, health, health promotion, lifestyle changes etc

Careers can vary from having your own business and doing health coaching, doing lectures, working in health care centres, working in schools, working with businesses, creating mealplans or even working with food. The list goes on…. just from the wide range of internships that people did in my class shows how many different career options there are for us.

Not to mention that there is more and more attention focused on the health for qualified healthcoaches and people focused on promoting health. More and more people are getting sick due to lifestyle related illnesses, and i definitely think people with a similar university degree/program can have a huge impact in helping people improve their health.

What happens now?

It is so crazy to think that these 3 years are over, and it does send me into slight panic mode. I must admit… i feel like i have been constantly stressed these past 3 years, hahah. Which isn’t a good thing. But i have the same feeling as i did after graduation from highschool where you are left thinking…what happens now? What do i do now? Do i work… do i study… how do i get from A to B? What am i doing with my life? Am i on the right path?

So many questions and no answers…. I don’t know where i will be in 5 years time or what i will be doing with my life, or how my life will look like then. But i don’t want to worry about it either.

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This summer my goal is to just work at the foodstore i currently work at. Focus on my social media work with my blog, instagram and YouTube. And also work on some side projects i want to try to build up. And also begin with lectures, maybe doing health coaching and also applying for nutrition/health related jobs. I don’t know how my autumn will look like… but this summer i know i just want a break from school because these past months have been stressful with school and my bachelors essay.

My advice to others:

All i can say from my experience is…. Dare to try something new. Apply to that university course or program. Dare to move to that new city. It is ok if you realize that the first course or program isnät for you… that happened to me. The first time i started university and moved away from home it didn’t turn out as expected. I didn’t make friends, i felt lonely and didn’t have any fun at university. But the second time rount it was better.

It is ok if you study 3 years and realize you hare passionate about something else. You are not a failure. You have still learnt things, gotten experience and realized what you don’t want to do.

Just dare to try. Things may not work out as planned, but that’s life.

I had to move a bunch of times before i finally got my own student apartment. I didn’t makke friends at first when i started university the seocnd time around. I have felt lonely. I have doubted my program and whether i should continue studying.

But for the majority of the time i have enjoyed studying and enjoyed my university experience.

Also, i am so thankful that in Sweden it is free to study. Of course, i have taken a student loan to be able to afford to pay rent/food/etc and not have to work fulltime as well as study… but atleast i don’t need to pay to actually go to unversity, which i am very thankful for.

So… this long post finally comes to an end. All i can say is that i am so happy to finally graduate and have my degree *hopefully*… but at the same time i really don’t feel ready and like time has gone too quick.

Also, i know i haven’t written so many personal posts recently… i used to share my monthly goals and life updates… but with all the school and work stress i have had recently i stopped doing that. But i felt i atleast wanted to share this update in my life 🙂 For those of you who have followed me for the past few years 🙂 And hopefully you will stick around for the next few years as well!

 

Always productive and always busy?

Hello and good morning 🙂

I try to always be honest and open on my social media. Open about the fact that i don’t workout everyday. Open about the fact that i don’t eat just vegetables or have the most “perfect diet” (even if there is no such thing as a perfect diet.). Open about my struggles and the fact that i don’t always drink enough water, i can forget to take my medication and that i far too often stay up too late and drink too much coffee.

I am a human and i try to show those sides as well –  even if i am not proud of them. I wish i was the type of person who went to bed at 10pm and drank more water and less coffee.

However i sometimes think i can give off this image that i am always busy, always productive, always working. (Or who knows, maybe i don’t give off that image and you are all smart enough to know that i am not always productive/busy.).

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I do admit, i am in a period of my life where i am working/studying alot and the majority of my days is spent studying, researching, reading or writing and the times i don’t have my head stuck in a course book or researching, then i am most likely cooking food or trying to edit a video. At the moment, it is mostly the latter though.

However, even if i am in a period where i do need to be very productive and work hard… i also have my times where i don’t do anything. Of course, my “doing nothing” may be different from someone elses “doing nothing”, but i have days where i mostly just watch series and there is 0 chance of me opening a word document or a course book.

Today is one of those days where i know that i am not going to do anything productive. After 4 days of studying long hours, i woke up today (Friday) and it was like i had this cloud in my head and this heavy tired feeling. I woke up at 7am, dragged myself out of bed to make coffee and then got back into bed where i just sort of snoozed/scrolled on social media for the next 2 hours. Generally i am the type of person who gets up, and starts my day as soon as possible. But we all have days where we just need to rest mentally and/or physically.

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Typically i do feel anxious if i don’t have productive days. I feel like i am wasting time that i should be doing something productive and beneficial and not just watching YouTube or series. However…. i am also reminding myself that we all need mental rest days.

The days you wake up and know right from the start that your brain is not going to take in any information, that you have 0 motivation to study, then you should just take a break. (Of course, if that is you everyday then maybe you should try to do a little reading/revision anyway i.e doing a little everyday is better than doing 72 hours straight before the exam or essay is due.)

Anyway, i just wanted to share this because i think i can give off this image that i am always busy when that isn’t always the case. I choose to just show certain things i do in my day/life, but there is so much else in my life/day which i don’t share online which of course can lead to a skewed image of myself as maybe i portray myself differently than how i actually am.

Those were just my morning thoughts 🙂

And i want to thank everyone who takes the time to click in on my blog and read my posts – even if i haven’t been so active on here with writing or replying to comments. Hopefully in December (or the end of January!)i will be more active on here again, but for now it is just to try to get through the next month before it – hopefully – lessens a little with the workload!

 

Recent thoughts : Eating enough/energy dips, exercise planning &nutrition

After four hectic days of school and work – and with 2 days of trying to rest and be productive, i felt it was time to update my blog!

All these posts i have been meaning to write, but there just isn’t the time for it with everything else going on in my life and in my mind right now!

But that brings me to my first thought/topic i wanted to share. I did write a little about this on my IG one day, and that was “eating enough while working” (or studying/just living life!). The thing to remember is that food = fuel, and if you aren’t eating enough, no amount of caffeine is going to give you that energy you need.

While i was working one day i began to have this real energy dip. The tiredness hit me hard, i still had half of my workshift left and i just felt like saying “no,no,no, i want to go home.” But then after a few more minutes of work i realised that i just needed to take a break, i had been moving and up on my feet for 5 hours already and all i needed was to sit down. So i took my break, sat down and ate an early lunch and after 30 minutes my energy was back on top. Back to motivated and a hardworker and no problem with the remaining hours of my workshift.

 

^^I was so tired in the left picture, haha (Before and after food, hahah)^^

And it is not just work, but when studying as well. After a few hours of studying my brain power and focus begins to decline and i feel like i will never get the work done or everything just feels “too much” and i feel tired. But then i take a pause, get some fresh air, eat a snack, drink some water and after a while i am back to focused and productive again!

Food is fuel and is key if you want to be productive!! Don’t skip food – even if you are super busy, have a quick on the go snack with you. Even just a banana or a handful of trail mix will help you when you energy is declining. And whether you have a busy/active job or if you have a desk job or just sitting studying, you still need to fuel yourself! Your brain uses alot of energy when studying, so even if you aren’t active your body still needs fuel! I can say from personal experience, both working when not eating enough/not having time for breaks & food/studying and not eating enough – and it makes such a difference to fuel yourself properly!

Of course i should note that somedays no amount of food is going to increase your energy levels and all you really need is rest and a break. Forcing yourself to study or work when exhausted is not a good idea and then the best thing is to take a break, rest and sleep if possible!

 

And then onto my second thought i have wanted to share!

So at the moment i am studying two courses, and one of them is about exercise/exercise planning. (And at the end of the term i will study more about exercise nutrition and stress etc). In this course we do talk a bit about exercise nutrition – but more about the physiology behind it. I have already studied fysiology, biochemistry etc so learning about the metabolism and energy systems isn’t new to me. But when you connect it with the physiology behind training – all different types of training – it is so interested to learn more about how the body uses different fuel and energy sources and why. Such as which energy source is used for HIIT, long distance, strength training, running etc

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I am loving learning more about exercise planning as well. I may workout, but i really don’t know much about exercise or exercise planning. Or well i do. I have read and heard about different exercise plans and how you structure up an exercise routine to reach results, but i have never personally tested one myself. I am the type of person who goes to the gym and does what i feel like at the moment and never really pushes myself 100% (unless it is running.). That is of course why i never really reach any results haha – i don’t have the motivation to push myself as hard as it requires. Instead i workout and enjoy it and that is enough for me.

But i do find it inspirational to learn more – and to put the information to use. The course is rather targeted at people who want to be exercise coaches or people who want to work with elite athletes – so for a normal exerciser, some of the training plans aren’t relevant or needed. Of course the plans and structure still work, just in lower doses!

What i love is that the teacher is really pressing on the topic that rest and the right fuel is key for athletes who want to succeed. So many athletes push themselves far too hard and never really recover, instead they just keep working hard and don’t take the time to rest physically and mentally. It is infact when you rest that your body and mind reenergizes and you come back stronger – and at times, even more motivated.

But also that eating right is key to success. Those that don’t eat the right energy and nutrients aren’t giving themselves the best conditions to succeed, and infact it can hinder their recovery time and even how hard/often they can workout if they don’t eat enough (and especially carbohydrates!).

Of course, for a normal exerciser who just works out 2-3 times a week – like a regular person, they will get the rest they need and eat enough fuel. But for people who are working out hard 6-7+ times a week, then they should really prioritize a period of rest and make sure to get enough sleep and food each day to recover properly!

By the end of this term i am hoping to be alot more knowledgable within exercise and exercise nutrition. Even if i don’t plan on writing exercise plans or being a sports coach, i hope that i can use the information and implement it with my health coaching or when working with others. It is good to finally have better information and understanding of exercise and not just “i have tried this and this worked and that didn’t work”!

A very long post… but i know that many like reading about what i learn in school! And when i haven’t blogged in days it all comes spilling out at once!

 

 

Changing paths in life

During the 8-9 years i have been blogging i have had countless messages from people feeling worried, anxious, hopeless about what they are studying or what they want to be in when they grow up. So many people messaging me wondering, “How did i know that i wanted to study nutrition?” How did i figure out what i wanted to do with my life or what i wanted to work with in the future.

There are so many people who begin studying something only to realise half way through, even when they have finished their program that it was the wrong direction. So many people studying things they don’t want to just because they think they have to. If you are one of them, you aren’t alone.

So many people don’t know what they want to study or what they want to be when they grow up, and that is ok. There are people in my university program who have already studied a bachelors and worked with in the area they studied, only to realise it wasn’t right for them and began studying a new bachelors. There are people in my class who after 1,5 years still aren’t sure it is the right program for them. It is not easy to know what you want to study or do when you are older. I personally haven’t been in the situation where i have doubted what i am studying – or well, i have at times felt like certain courses in my program aren’t so beneficial and i rather take a course that would benefit me more, but in whole i feel like the program is right. Even if i do plan to study extra courses such as in psychology, business and maybe even stress and coaching to help me even more.

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It is ok to not know what you want to do. Every situation is individual and i know in the UK and US where you have to pay for your education (in Sweden you don’t really pay for your education, however the majority of students have to take a student loan which will take xx years to pay off.) it is not as easy to just quit your program and start a new one. Not to mention some courses or programs it can be extremely hard to get in.

But i personally don’t think you should be studying something you hate, or studying a program for someone elses sake (i.e maybe your parents want you to study something?). It is not a failure to stop studying, it is not a failure to quit your university program…. there is NO POINT doing something you hate and gives you anxiety. If your gut feeling is telling you that it is wrong, then listen to it…. If you go to school with anxiety and a feeling of “I really really don’t want to do this” then maybe you should listen to that feeling.

Of course sometimes you have to study things you aren’t so interested in or you have to do things you would prefer not to, but if you constantly feeling anxious and hate what you are studying then maybe you should listen to that. It is your life and your future after all…. the feeling won’t go away when you have finished your education and you have a degree in something you don’t even want to work with.

It is ok to change paths in life.

I know it is easy for me to sit behind my computer screen and write this when i am not and haven’t been in this situation. I haven’t always known what i want to study or work with in the future, and even now i don’t fully know what and how i will work in the future. I know i want to work with nutrition and health – but how i do that, whether i work for another company, or start my own business i really don’t know… there are pro’s and con’s to both. I have no idea what i will be working with or how i will be working in 10 years time….

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When i was younger i was set on being an engineer or an author and then when i got sick with my eating disorder i lost all interest in those areas. Infact i lost interest in everything apart from food….. and then in recovery when i began learning more about health, reading about nutrition and wanting to take care of my body i sort of found my “calling in life”. Usually i tell people in recovery to make sure they are feeling mentally healthy and free from obsession around food before studying nutrition – because i know alot of people who have begun studying nutrition while they are recovering from their eating disorder because they are so focused on food, and then when they recover they realise that they aren’t even passionate or interested in nutrition or food, instead it was just their eating disorder.

However, learning more about nutrition in recovery can also help aid recovery because you learn the importance of nutrition and learn to take care of your body. And in cases like myself, you find you are truly passionate about health and nutrition and it is not an obsession or just your eating disorder.

Of course my passion has gone from dietitian and writing meal plans to being more of a health coach and working with healthy people instead of sick people. And now i am rather interested in stress and stress coaching as well…. so paths change. Interests change and that is ok.

It can be tough to admit that you are studying something that isn’t right for you, but it is even worse to go through life hating what you are doing.

You don’t have to know what you want to do with your life. Most people don’t know…. interests change and people change jobs over time when they find new areas they want to work with or areas that interest them.

My suggestion is to do different things in life. Example if you decide to not study, then work… or travel – do something. Because even if you don’t find what you want to do, you will find out what you don’t want to do. Not to mention it will give you experience whether you travel or work. Don’t stress yourself or worry about having your life together or knowing what you want to do.

Do things that interest you. Try new things. Read, travel, work, take extra courses…. someday you will figure out what you want to do. Maybe you can combine interest and hobbies with work…. Making money while doing something you love is the best feeling in the world.

I may not make alot (or any!) money from social media and blogging or helping people online, but it is something i love and am passionate about and i know that as long as i love it i want to keep doing it, and that i will start earning money through doing what i love!

If you don’t know what to study or what you want to work with, don’t feel sad or worried… you are not alone in those feelings. And hating what you are doing or studying is not worth it in the long-term. You only have one life, do you really want to spend it hating what you do and feeling unhappy?

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