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Why It’s Okay If The “Freshman 15” Happens

Okay, maybe unlimited soda and points that feel like free snack money (despite the fact they’re part of my very expensive meal plan) isn’t the best thing that ever happened to me.

Rewind, it’s the first week, of first semester, of my first year. I’m going to go to the gym and not only am I not going to get the freshman 15, I’m going to lose 15+. I get a gym for free now, a nice campus to run on, I’m totally going to lose weight! Right?

Not right. Before I knew it I had gained the freshman 30. I looked back on pictures where I thought I was fat and looked at myself and how fat I felt currently and wished I could be "fat" like then.

But here’s why that’s okay. Your first semester of college is HARD. It’s STRESSFUL (and fun fact stress causes weight gain to add to all your other problems). You have so many things you’re adjusting to and a new way of eating/exercising is one of them. Maybe your parents always cooked for you but now you can eat pizza and burgers every day and no one’s stopping you. Maybe you love salads but the ones on your campus (cough cough Eick pesticide salads cough) don’t taste quite right. Maybe you have a tougher-on-your-schedule major and by the time you can think about eating dinner everything on campus is closed and you’re eating easy mac from your microwave. Maybe you eat one too many candy bars or have one too many sodas. Maybe you go to the gym everyday but it’s not enough. Maybe by the time you finish your classes, homework, clubs, sports, etc. you have 1 hour left in the day and you want to watch TV and not go to the gym. Maybe you played a sport in high school that kept you active and now you’re not.

AND ALL OF THAT IS OKAY.

College is hard, life is hard, going to the gym is hard, eating a snack is not hard. And that’s what makes gaining/losing weight such a common struggle. But the thing about weight is that you can always change it. If you’re not happy with the way you look, or your fitness level, or your health, you can make a change right now. I’m starting my junior year and I lost a lot of the weight I put on freshman year and I’m not looking to stop losing for a while. I have a better handle on things now and I make sure I keep healthy snacks around for when everything is closed, I know I have a hard time getting myself to the gym so I do little workouts every day (okay some days) in my room. I cut the soda out of every meal, I cut the chicken fingers to only once a week, and while I may not have lost it all yet I haven’t gained any significant weight since that first year.

So if the freshman 15 happens, don’t beat yourself up, but if you aren’t happy about your body, look at your habits and make some changes!

But remember every body is beautiful, and it is important to love yourself no matter how much weight you might’ve gained!

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