Spring break is the one week where every crazy college dream could come true: soaking up the sun on the Florida coast with your friends, drinking daiquiris at a beach-front club ’til the sun comes up, maybe even catching Zac Efron filming his newest movie. That’s what we all think of, at first.
You’ve booked your hotel, you’ve planned every last road trip detail, and then it hits you. The anxiety of not being “spring break body” ready sets in, and the next three months become a stressful tailspin of crash course dieting and obsessive exercising. Three months of restrictive eating, calorie counting, being downright hangry all the time, and basically living at the gym — all for one week where you’re supposed to let go and have the time of your life.
The crash course diet starts off pretty strong. Fueled by New Year’s resolution motivation, you’ve been at the gym every day and you haven’t eaten any sweets in like, two weeks. You’re even a little impressed with your commitment. You’re a rockstar. This will be so easy, you think to yourself.
The fourth week hits and you realize that you were so wrong. Back at school from winter break, you now have to dodge coveted pizza nights with friends, letting your drunk wild-child out at parties, and fro-yo dates with your bae. When you successfully turn down any of these “off-limits” activities, you don’t even feel like you’ve accomplished anything. Sure, you guess that it’ll be worth it when you’re in Florida, but right now you just feel left out of the fun and beaten down by the spring break diet.
Week six hits, you see no difference in how your body looks, and you completely fall off the wagon. Donuts for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch, pizza for dinner, and homemade chocolate chip cookies at 2 AM with the roomies? Hell yeah. Who the hell needs a diet? Running off of your sugar high, you think, I have a badass body anyway; f*ck body standards.
Then week eight comes around and you feel like trash. “Diet” and “gym” now feel like foreign words, and you know that you need to put yourself in check and get back to it. Spring break diet round two, here you come. You commit to eating salad twice a day, and you’re avoiding carbs like the plague. Determination renewed. Lets do this thing.
With a month left and no visible difference, you feel anxious, irritable, and a little scared. How are you going to have the time of your life when all you can think about is if people think you look bad in your swim suit, or if guys think that you look “fat?” The stress of how others will think of you drives you to commit to the last month like a boss, and in your desperation, you even decide to do a juice cleanse the week before you leave. Maximum debloatation, check.
So is the spring break diet frenzy really worth it?
When it comes down to it, you’re going to be eating “badly” on your vacation anyway. Are you really going to pass up conch fritters and clam chowder for a Cobb salad? I doubt it. Are you really not going to drink at all while your friends are getting turnt AF? I doubt it. This is not to say that if you do lose weight and tone up (and seriously, kudos to you for this, you rock) that you’ll gain it all back within the week of spring break, but indulging does cause you to bloat. I also seriously doubt that you’re going to workout during your beach stay. Getting up at 8 AM with a hangover to go on a run? Yeah, right.
Your friends all know what you look like in a swimsuit, and odds are that they think you look great. If you have a significant other, they probably also know what you look like in a swimsuit, and they’re in love with you for goodness sake. If you’re so worried about Chad on the beach thinking that you look overweight, then maybe you shouldn’t be focusing on Chad so much.
Spring break is about having a blast, relaxing, and giving your brain a well-earned break for a week. If you have a bomb ass vacation planned anyway, then get your friends together, grab yourself some pizza, and think about how great it’ll be when you’re doing the same thing on vacay.