I took my last college final a few weeks ago, and all the memories over the past four years were playing in my head. Most of them were positive: staying up way too late with my roommates, trying to make every happy hour deal, and never failing to find a way to play beer pong in the dorms. However, one distant memory I still remember took control of my mind and body freshmen year: the dreaded freshman 15.
When I came home for the summer, I eagerly went to put on my favorite pair of shorts…They weren’t even close to fitting me. Maybe my mom shrunk them? None of my shorts fit and it hit me though; I was guilty of the college weight gain. I don’t consider myself “guilty” now though.
I am all for eating healthy and working out, BUT I also think it’s important to make lasting and important memories in college. (I’m not one to advertise the expression, “YOLO” but..”YOLO”). Sometimes sure, don’t take the third piece of pizza, but other times, you should.
Time is of the essence
We have four years in college (sometimes a little more, and that’s okay) after this it’s a lot less acceptable (or common) to go to Papa Johns at 2 A.M. and order a large cheese pizza with bread sticks and extra garlic sauce. Age is just a number, but when is the last time you saw your parents come home with a pizza box at 2 A.M. (when is the last time you saw your parents awake at 2 A.M.?)
It’s not always from being lazy
I gained 11 pounds my freshmen year, and I did end up taking the weight back off. Some of this was from those late night downtown alcohol and pizza adventures, but that wasn’t the only reason. Stress and comfort eating had a lot to do with it (chocolate and cramming for a test go hand in hand) and not being able to drive to the grocery store without owning a car. I failed at choosing healthy choices in the dining halls, but here’s how to avoid that. We are adapting to a whole new life from high school and it takes time to get use to.
College (ESPECIALLY freshman year) is about experiencing new things, and one of those new things is food.
I’m saying don’t feel like garbage when you notice a few extra pounds because you had the time of your life enjoying tailgate food with your new (or old) college friends. Once again, I’m not saying to go absolutely crazy in college and have no self control; I’m telling you it’s okay to enjoy yourself. You won’t remember staying in and being sad while all of your friends get the $6 all you can eat Froyo.
You are not a robot
This may sound cliche, but you can always lose the weight, but you can’t always GAIN the memories (see what I did there?). Some people would disagree, but I would rather be five pounds heavier and enjoy my cheeseburger and Bud Light rather than look at my friends green with envy as I chew on a celery stick. Not letting yourself enjoy your favorite foods can even lead to mental and eating disorders, especially when you are in college.
Once again, I am not promoting you to having four servings of everything that you put in your mouth. BUT don’t freak out when you see the scale go up (or down) a few pounds. Balance is key, and pizza is involved in that balance.