The Terrors of the Infamous Freshman 15

Happy October!

October is my second favorite month. I love EVERYTHING about fall. Football, pumpkin, sweaters, boots, the falling leaves... And Fall is especially gorgeous here in Bloomington. Here are some pictures for proof (:

It's currently 5:16 AM, and I've pulled my first collegiate ALL NIGHTER! The sad part is that it wasn't even for academic purposes, I just couldn't fall asleep and gave up around 3:00. College is turning me into an insomniac.

SO. To my intended topic. I wanted to write a post about maintaining health/fitness in college. Let me tell you... It's really hard to do. The Freshman 15 is very real. I personally have only gained 4 pounds, but still. You will gain weight if you're not conscious of your habits.

As far as food goes, there's a salad bar in Gresh, which is the closest dining hall to my dorm, but salad can get really old really quick when you have the same limited options day after day. There's always fresh apples and bananas, but that's the only fresh fruit you're guaranteed. There's cups of fresh carrots and broccoli, but you better wake up bright and early and go buy one before they're sold out for the day. Everything else you can get is from the "restaurants", which isn't the healthiest option. Plus those delicious Gresham cookies are always calling out to you, and the Crimson Creamery is right beneath you...

You many be thinking, but Alyssa, IU has not only one but TWO gyms. And this is true. But making yourself go to the gym is MUCH harder than you think. You have to make the time for it, and you have to make yourself actually get up and walk there. That doesn't sound so terrible in theory, but half of the walk to the SRSC is uphill. And Bloomington does not mess around when it comes to uphill.

So my advice?

1. Walk EVERYWHERE.

Don't take the bus to class. Yes, walking can suck, especially when it's 90+ degrees out. Do it anyway. In addition to being great, easy exercise, you get to see the beautiful campus. It's also pretty cool to notice the changes that come with the seasons.

2. Join a group class at the SRSC or Intramural Center.

They have a lot of free ones at the same time every week. I've done yoga and Zumba, and I LOVE yoga now. I was a first time Zumba goer, and it was so much fun! My friends and I had a blast.

3. Try to eat one salad per day.

I typically eat a salad with a side of fruit for lunch every day. It's a good way to get your veggies in! Although it can get old fast, it's rewarding to know that you're making an effort to live healthier. And your mom will be proud.

4. Don't skip breakfast!

Skipping breakfast makes you more hungry and less awake and ready for the day. Breakfast is actually supposed to be the biggest meal of the day. So don't skip it! Even if you take a granola bar and banana to class, it's still something.

5. Be careful of how much you eat.

You might really want the Alfredo pasta and a bread stick and a slice of pizza. Try to pick either pasta or pizza. If you're still hungry when you're done, go back for some fruit or a small salad. Not for that chocolate chip cookie that looks oh so dreamy.

6. Take the stairs to get to your floor.

I'm guilty of not doing this one. You will laugh when I say that your legs start burning by the 4th floor and you will be wheezing by the 5th, but oh my gosh it is the truth. But leg burn is good, right?

7. Pack light snacks to take with you to class.

For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have class from 9:45-10:30, 1:00-2:15, and 4:00-6:30. I eat breakfast before I leave, come back to my room for lunch, and pack two snacks -- could be a pack of fruit snacks and a Fiber One brownie or a Kashi granola bar -- and I'll eat one after my 1:00 class, and the other during my 4:00 class because I don't get back to my room until 7:00.  That's a long time between meals. If I don't pack snacks, it's really easy to over eat at dinner.

8. Find a friend to be your fitness buddy!

It is so much easier to exercise if you have someone to do it with. They keep you motivated and excited to be doing something good for your body.

9. If you don't like going to the gym, walk or run around campus.

As previously mentioned, it's beautiful here. There are so many paths, too. Plug in your headphones and just go.

10. IT'S OKAY TO SPLURGE AND EAT UNHEALTHY -- IN MODERATION.

Yes you should eat well the majority of the time. Yes you should try to exercise at least three days a week. Does that mean you're always going to? Does that mean you can't get two scoops at the Creamery or get a brownie from Mother Bear's or order Pizza X at 2 AM? NO. Just don't do it all the time. Make those events rewards for yourself for doing well on a test or for studying for a long period of time or just as a pick me up on a bad week! As long as it isn't all the time, then you're doing fine. (:

For more health tips, check out these posts!:

About The Author
Alyssa ModosEnglish Major, Future Book Editor, Class of 2018, Fort Wayne, IN

I'm an English major and Marketing minor with the dream of working for a Big Five publisher in the Big Apple.

I'm obsessed with my cat, I'm newly addicted to pineapple, and I like to go running for fun. When I'm not at the gym, you can find me buried under blankets in bed watching The Walking Dead. Every Friday is Pizza Friday at my place; it's my own little "slice" (heh heh) of IU Traditions and Spirit.

Follow me around online and through social media to get to know IU and how amazing it is. You'll get to know me, too -- I'm a pretty cool person, just throwing that out there. (:

Be sure to check me out on Spoon University (where I write about delicious, life-changing food) and The Odyssey (where I write about a little bit of everything).