Pharmacy Family And Fitness: One Woman's Wealth Of Health
Jani Van Der Hoven, PharmD candidate
"To me being a fit pharmacist is NOT being a certain weight or size. A fit pharmacist is someone who is happy, healthy and active. Being fit is not a shape, it is a lifestyle."
During my first year of university I was really struggling with my weight. I was always studying and snacking. It got to the point where I didn’t want to go out in public without a jersey because I did not want people to notice my weight gain. I really did not feel good about myself and I didn’t take care of myself either. My house was always filled with sweets, chips and junk food.
Everyday I told myself that "I’m going to start living healthy the next day." So I ended up binging and eating all of the junk food in the house so that I can start dieting the next day. That turned into a vicious cycle. I had the worst relationship with food.
The year after that I moved universities and moved out of my mom's house. For the first time ever I was responsible for my own grocery shopping.
Being a pharmacy student and learning about all of the effects bad eating habits can have on your body was so shocking to me. It is so shocking that you can literally eat yourself sick! I felt obligated to change my eating habits. Not only to look and feel better, but to actually BE healthy!
I started cutting out sweets and chips and started adding fruits and veggies. A few months later everyone started noticing I look healthier and lost some weight. I felt great about myself and confident for the first time ever!
That inspired me so much that I decided to join a gym to get even healthier!
"I never thought that I would have time to workout because university kept me so busy. But I MADE time. I have even taken my books to gym and studied on the treadmill."
At first I never did resistance training. I would just walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes 3-5 times a week.
Now, after almost 8 months of resistance training (combined with cardio), I would never be able to go more than a few days without it! It is so amazing to see and feel the changes in your body. The most rewarding thing is to see your body get stronger. It is such a good feeling to be able to do something, e.g. a push up easily after I couldn’t even do one!
Working out has helped me so much with my studies. It clears my mind, relives my stress and gives me energy to study. So does eating healthy. My body is fueled with the right nutrients so I feel great! Instead of depriving myself, I eat balanced. I allow myself cheat meals but I have to remind myself that it is a cheat MEAL not a cheat day of or cheat week.
"And if I occasionally fall off the wagon I just start over…I’m not hard on myself because everyone m has those days. It is just important to get back to living healthy and to focus on your goals."
University and working is tough but taking an hour a day to take care of YOURSELF is not that much. Working out and eating healthy has so many amazing effects on you and your body will thank you!! If you start today you will be so grateful one day.
I also thought I could NEVER do it…but I did.
Today I am 29kg (63.8 pounds) lighter and I’m telling you now start today and don’t get demotivated!! You deserve to be healthy!! Our greatest wealth is our health! Your body does so many amazing things for you, so take care of it!!
Health and Pharmacy is a Family Affair
The most rewarding part of my journey is that I inspired my mom (who is also a pharmacist) to get healthier by going to the gym and making healthier food choices. She is also off of all her chronic medication.
If there is one thing this journey has thought me, it is “ don’t start tomorrow. Start now”
About the Author
My name is Jani Van Der Hoven and I am currently a final year pharmacy student.
Contact me in several ways: