Anyone who has ever attended a four-year university has heard of the phrase “freshman 15”. No, it’s not some super league of crime-fighting college students— it’s the weight that a student inevitably gains when they go away to school.
We’ve all heard it: “I used to be SO SKINNY IN HIGHSCHOOL”.
“I used to be so athletic.”
“Holy shit, what happened to me.”
First of all, I’m willing to bet that the ego-killing social system that is high school made you think you were fat BACK THEN. Well, I can only speak to the female side of things, however I am sure there was some of that going on for the dudes.
Looking down at my beer-belly, I regret ever thinking I was “fat”. I mean, I didn’t think I was super fat in high school, but I admit that I often wished I was thinner. Which is unfortunate because I had a rocken’ athletic body.
Why have I (and so many others) gained so much weight in a matter of a few years? My freshman 15 pushed to a freshman 20, and yes I am really embarrassed to admit that. Drinking gallons of beer, pulling all nighters to finish impossibly long papers and eating nothing put pizza and Red Bull probably hasn’t helped.
In high school, I was a varsity cross-country runner, soccer player, and track… uh… participant (sometimes). You maybe be thinking that I shouldn’t be bitching—that perhaps you’ve struggled with weight and I should be happy at least I was thin at one point.
Well… to be honest, I wasn’t exactly the thinnest child around. I’ve been struggling with weight all of my life. I have a few things setting me back, such as height (hey, short people have less room to “hide” weight, meaning 140lbs on a 5’2” person can make her look chunky, and 140lbs on a 5’6” person means that she can look super thin), predisposition to gaining weight due to body type (I was blessed/cursed with a very curvy female figure, meaning I have boobs and an ass. WHICH TOTALLY SUCKS because this body type is more likely to put on the pounds a LOT EASIER than other body types. ), and a psychologically traumatizing childhood regarding my weight.
When I was ten years old, my mom sat me down and showed me a picture of myself. She asked me what I saw. I said, “Uh… me?” She asked me what about that picture… and I had no answer for her. She told me I was fat, and thus she was going to enroll me in swimming (and later soccer).
Seriously, who tells a ten year old THEY ARE FAT. Admittedly, I was a bit chunky, but nowhere nearly what Americans would call “fat”. Luckily, instead of becoming anorexic or anything I just became severely depressed to the point I wondered if I held my breath long enough I would die. (One of the first feelings of shame of being a disappointment I felt in my young life)
Losing weight has been a struggle for me. It was easy when I was forced to run 5-6 miles EVERY SINGLE DAY. I didn’t think twice about it. I also pretended I was in the Navy Seals and was enduring boot camp. That’s generally what got me through all of that training and torture.
Even when I was in shape, I still had a figure meaning I wore about a size 4. Pretty good, but of course society made me want to be a size 1. Now on a good day I fit a size 6, but I stick to size 8 for skinny jeans. It’s embarrassing for me to admit I basically went up four pant sizes in four years, but it’s the truth.
For weight purposes, college has been anything but helpful. I was so exhausted from high school (6 AP classes, plus all those sports, plus 15-20 hours of work at Taco Bell a WEEK) just about drove me to sit on my ass the first summer I was in school. I literally didn’t leave my dorm room bed unless absolutely necessary.
I have tried to lose weight while I’ve been here, each time failing. I would lose five pounds here, ten pounds there, but never back to my high school weight. I would join recreational soccer teams, but really that alone isn’t going to do much. I’ve tried going to the gym everyday for a month and actually lost a lot… but the moment school and work started, I had no time, and even though I wasn’t eating that much, weight seemed to find me. That bastard.
Summer 2011, I am going to document in detail my efforts to lose weight and I hope in sharing my journey online it will hold me accountable while also sharing my journey with others that may be on their own weight loss journeys. Inspiration for others? Maybe. But to be honest this is created for the purpose of inspiring myself.