I don’t believe it’s a myth. I think the freshman 15 is very real. Those that can counteract its effects, fantastic! But those who didn’t, like me, don’t feel too bad. It’s already done so all we can do now is take responsibility for it, move on and stop being so hard on ourselves, and start working to fix it.
I have not been thin since I went through puberty in the 4th grade, but I never expected to gain more weight after coming to college. My weight gain happened gradually, not all in freshman year, but when I realized how much I packed on I was horrified! My body distributes weight very proportionately so I didn’t quite see a dramatic difference quickly. I started feeling pretty sluggish, but I have a real thing for french fries and fried chicken so I ignored how I was feeling for a while. Let me tell you, if you are not at Cornell yet, Cornell Dining is pretty amazing compared to other schools’ food. There are so many options, including healthy options, and it really is up to you to make the right choices.
When I took a leave of exploration from Cornell, I decided to go on Weight Watchers the summer before returning to campus. It worked wonders! I lost 20 lbs. easily. I stopped Weight Watchers when I came back to campus and picked up the bad eating habits again. I gained the 20 lbs. back faster than I originally lost it. Recently I have been feeling sluggish again and I could be in much better health. I am a big stress eater so Cornell’s environment just makes it worse. I have decided that I need to take care of myself and do something about this so I have gone back on Weight Watchers. My weigh-in days are Tuesday so after this Tuesday coming I will be starting my 3rd week on Weight Watchers. I lost 3 lbs in the first week and so far have lost another 1.5 lbs this week. I have been exercising, trying to do at least 30 min a day, and I have started feeling better and better. The mind is a powerful thing and you can do whatever you set your mind to, seriously. If you are facing a similar problem to me, believe me, take matters into your own hands right now! Start with me! You don’t have to be on Weight Watchers to lose weight, I just need it for discipline purposes. Cornell has a wide variety of great PE classes to help you jump start your fitness routine and if you have a gym pass, like I do, the group fitness classes are really fun! Remember to exercise in a way that you are having fun.
Also, it is important to take care of your mental health while you are here. Take a little bit of time every day for yourself to relax, meditate, watch an episode of a TV show that makes you laugh, spend time with your friends, talk to your mom and dad on the phone; whatever makes you smile! It can get so stressful here, and I am guilty of being overwhelmed by it all too. There is a life after Cornell, so let’s start remembering to take care of ourselves while we are here!
If you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, have asthma, or anything else like these, please consult with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine. Stay motivated!
Feel free to share your stories with me, your favorite exercises and/or recipes… anything!