When I talked to people about college they all warned me about “the freshman 15” a scary term referring to how easy it is for freshman to gain weight now that they are making their own nutrition choices. I didn’t believe them, but just in case, I packed my fat-jeans in my college stuff and came prepared.
My first semester I had no idea how anyone could gain weight. I realized how much food costs, and was still trying to figure out the hours of the commons and how/when I could find time to eat. I was taking long walks around the arboretum, running around outside, and spending a lot of time exploring the campus. I had lost far more than the freshman 15 I was supposedly going to gain.
THEN the holidays came. And Valentine’s Day chocolate. And GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. And all the food I had brought back after winter break. I had figured out how to budget and eat well on campus- and now know more people who plan off-campus dinner trips. It’s a little too chilly to walk, nobody plays outside late at night when it’s this cold, and I’ve pretty much found my way around.
It was time to walk into the big scary gym. I’m sure by now most of you have heard about, seen, or have been in the amazing Kress Center we have on campus. Only scary to me because it was filled with new shiny machines I had no idea how to use or what they were supposed to do- I had never been to a gym.
When I went to work out for the first time, I was scared and went with someone else who had never been to the gym. We had fun exploring and trying to figure things out. There was also a very helpful staff that were willing to answer questions and my friend finally found the excuse to talk to that cute athletic guy she had been staring at in lecture.
Once I felt more confident in the actual process of going to the gym and using machines I knew wouldn’t kill me, I decided it was time to take some classes. The Kress Center offers tons of free-to-students fitness classes all week long. A group of trained, energetic instructors can help you do everything from yoga, to Zumba (one of my now favorites), to step aerobics, to cardio kickboxing , and sculpt the perfect “summer beach body abs” as one of my instructors puts it- as well as so many others!
Two weeks ago, I finally felt like the gym queen. Of course, I wasn’t amazing at anything- but I finally had the confidence to go by myself with my radio, follow my little simplistic routine, and then go to the fun free classes. When a friend of mine joined me for the “Ab Attack” class, it was my first experience using an exercise ball (one of those big inflatable balls you have to balance on). I was stretching my abs and following directions while trying to balance. My friend and I could not stop laughing at the fact that the supposedly pretty simple exercise was so difficult for both of us. Here’s a tip: Don’t laugh, and stretch your abs a certain way…you pull a muscle…a very painful…probably pretty important muscle.
So, although sometimes in pain, I can confidently tell you that I’m eating Thin Mints right now and am not at all worried about the Freshman 15, due to the fabulous Kress Center- again- FREE to all students to fight their weight-gain worries…just try not to laugh during ab class.