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Let’s just blame it on the winter.

As a California native in the iced-over boonies of Connecticut, I am beyond ready to take off my boots (covered in salt – super chic), paint my toenails a frightfully bright shade of tangerine, and slip on that spaghetti-strapped sundress that has been mocking me since October.


My name is Amy, I’m a Los Angeles area transplant with a vigorous (seriously) appetite, a relationship with exercise that’s “It’s Complicated” at best, an enthusiasm for life that many times falls just short of obnoxious, and an overwhelming desire to show off toned arms this spring.


Unfortunately if I want to be truly carefree and confident this spring, I’m going to need more preparation than a DIY pedicure and a giant bottle of SPF 70. That’s about where the my battle with the Freshman 15 comes in.


I am Undesirable No. 1 (that’s a "Harry Potter" reference for those who aren’t huge dorks like me) to the harsh New England winters. It was during my first winter at the University of Connecticut that the scale became a traitor, ticking up slowly enough for the change to escape my notice. The biting winds and numbing air took my breath away when I had enough gumption to try and run outside. The walk to the gym meantnumb ears, soggy sneakers, and an insatiable desire for as much hot cocoa I could get my shaking, blue-ish hands on.


I think professional chess wiz Robert Byrne said it best (and most eloquently) with, "Winter is nature's way of saying, 'Up yours.'"


I am chronically busy; I work at UConn's The Daily Campus four nights a week as an editor and a columnist and am racing to finish my degree in three years. I like singing and yoga and tea and have recently began an affair with martial arts.


But my love for food far outweighs (no pun intended) the hunger I have for most other hobbies and interests. The amour I feel for an indescribably perfect In-N-Out burger minutes after I land in California is a true, rapturous, and lifelong sentiment.


Unfortunately, the love is unrequited.


Within my first year and a half of college I managed to gain the 15 pounds I promised myself I would not let accumulate. But a few weeks ago, when I read that Her Campus was teaming up with my all-time favorite magazine, SELF, I knew I had to become involved in order to say buh-bye to the poor eating habits I’d developed and get myself to love working out again.


So I'm hitting the gym (since its still too darn cold to convince myself to run outside). Jillian Michaels has been kicking my butt via SELF Magazine (love that she has the power to get me sweating from 3,000 miles away – I’m a huge fan!) and I have the ugly blisters – I’ll spare you the pictures – to prove I've been spending a lot of time with my best friend (and bitter enemy) at the gym – the rowing machine.


Midterms have completely messed up my initial zest for working out, but with inspiration from SELF and the lovely ladies at Her Campus, I'm starting again with greater fervor. I’m super excited to work toward a better, happier, and fitter me. 


Anybody else using the SELF plan to lose a few pounds? Anybody combating cravings to boost their confidence and get ready for the season of short-shorts? What Spring Break plans have you hopping on the treadmill? I’d love to hear!


Follow @ACSbaum on Twitter to hear more about my struggles against those pesky pounds. For more tips and inspiration, follow @SELFmagazine and @HerCampus .

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