It seems like everyone in college, at one time or another has heard of the dreaded “freshman 15.”
Late study nights, new roommates, pizza parties and a school cafeteria later, everything we eat will eventually catch up with us, especially if the only example you have for exercise is walking back and forth from your car to class.
In my first year of college, my “freshman 15” turned into my “freshman 25.”
I had classes all day, a “cup of noodles” was my main food group and once I got out of class my friends and I would frequent the fast food chains to get a late night snack of chicken strips with extra ranch dressing and a brownie sundae.
It was still a surprise to me when my pants suddenly started fitting tighter and I began to make up one excuse after another as to why my clothes were shrinking, or rather, why I was growing.
It started out innocently enough with, “I left my pants in the dryer.” Then it moved on to “The fabric is losing its stretch” and my favorite, “My mom must have done something to them.”
Soon, walking to class was harder than it had been before and I was eating more than my entire family put together.
Unfortunately for me I could no longer use the excuse of, “But I’m a growing girl!” I was growing all right, but it wasn’t the way that I wanted.
By the time that I finished my first year of college I suddenly found myself 25 pounds heavier than I was before.
I had to do something and fast.
There were no more late nights of chicken strips and my beloved brownie sundaes.
Well, there were some, but not as many as there were before.
I also began parking farther away from my classes and taking the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator.
Suddenly I was also on time to class.
I also began to eat breakfast. I made myself breakfast. After a few burnt omelets, I began to actually get the hang of it.
Exercise was my next priority. After many failed attempts at yoga- I would often wake up at the end of the tape- I found Pilates and cardio kickboxing.
I usually burned more calories laughing at myself than doing the actual exercise move right.
In the past three years since my first year in college, I have eaten less than three “cup of noodles” and have shed my extra baggage.
I continue to park as far from my class as I safely can and enjoy the three-story hike to my class four times a week.
Even though breakfast is usually forgotten, I try and keep fruit around to grab and go.
My lesson learned through all of this is that it is possible to be healthy in college. It may not be easy, but it can be done.
So, go and enjoy the pizza parties and late night food binges, but make sure to get out and run around every once in a while.
Grab a friend and go for a walk.
Park on the top level of the parking structure, as long as it’s safe.
Jump on a trampoline. Just remember to have fun while doing it!