The "Freshman 15"

One of the biggest challenges when transitioning from high school to college is maintaining your health.  As many of you have heard, there’s this thing called the “freshman 15” which is apparently the 15 pounds that you put on during your freshman year due to all of the big lifestyle changes that college introduces to people.  But no one really mentions the “sophomore 10”, or the “junior 5” that you keep adding on top of the “freshman 15”.

I’m going to be honest and say that I myself was a victim of the “freshman 15” and it was entirely my fault, and looking back on it today… it could have been easily avoided if I knew what I know now.  My life has changed a lot over the past 2 years and it is continuing to change every day.

Back in my freshman and sophomore year I would go to Marty’s and grab chicken fingers and French fries, I would eat at the pasta line in the cafeteria if I couldn’t find anything else I liked, I would go to Marty’s for a late night shake, or cheesy bread. I was making poor eating decisions and not exercising.  After my freshman year, you could definitely tell (looking back on it, at the time I really was blind to it).

These poor eating habits followed me into sophomore year, where I continued to make bad decisions. By the time I hit the end of my sophomore year, I realized that I had finally had enough…something needed to change. There’s no better time than the summer to start changing your life up and making better habits for yourself. So I changed, completely. I started exercising regularly, watching what I ate, and really cared about my fitness and health. I started running on a daily basis and even started doing some races. I wasn’t even monitoring my weight during the summer, but constantly people kept making comments about how I was looking good, and they could tell I was working hard (this is easiest the simple and best motivation that anyone could ever get).  When I got back to school in the fall the comments kept coming, and I could tell that people were impressed with what I did.

Now the real challenge was maintaining this lifestyle while at Luther. I needed to find a balance of enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and maintaining my schoolwork. It was definitely a new lifestyle for me to adjust to, but I got the hang of it eventually. Some days weren’t perfect, and some days were.

To this day, I am still on this journey and am continuing to improve my fitness and health as the weeks go on. I signed up for my first full marathon in June, and am excited beyond belief to run that. I am happy with how far I have come, but I still have a ways to go.

I guess the point of this blog was to show people that even though it can be tough to change your lifestyle and turn your life around, but it is definitely possible. The journey is not easy, by any means, but it is worth it. It can be hard during college because of the pressures of doing well in school, maintaining a social life, and succumbing to the junk food that we all have a love/hate relationship with.

You just have to take it day by day, and push through the hard times. The results will be worth it.

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