We've all heard about the dreaded Freshman 15. Some say it's true, some say it's just a myth. Let me tell you this: In the beginning, I jumped on the myth bandwagon. I was always on the move and eating fairly healthy to boot. I noticed a big difference in just one week. But then I discovered the following and now I know the Freshman 15 is no joke. Use these things in moderation and you'll be fine:
1. The Crimson Creamery: Oh. My. Goodness. This is some of the best ice cream you'll ever have. The flavors are great, the servings are huge, the toppings are endless, and best of all, IT'S CHEAP. Meal points are accepted here so prices drop even more with your Student ID. (Bonus for those of you in Foster - it's right outside your door, which can be both good and very dangerous.) Pictured here is the first item I ever ordered there: cinnamon crumb cake ice cream with hot fudge, marshmallows, chocolate chips and whipped cream. The cost? 95 cents! They also have really awesome cookies and brownies you can add to your sundae. Choose wisely, limit your toppings, go without the cookie/brownie/banana if you can and don't go every single night after dinner, even if it is very tempting. (Which we all know it is.)
2. The Hoosier Den: Also conveniently located right outside my doorstep is a late-night snack bar and hangout area in Gresham. The tricky part? All the food is bad for you. The food is good; it's just not nutritious. Favorites include breadsticks, donuts, pizza, soft pretzels, and nachos. It's open from 10 p.m. - 2 a.m., which are terrible hours to be eating such junk. I recommend going every once in while. I typically go once a week - twice if I'm really craving. Other times I'll just go there to socialize and watch the big screen TV. You can totally hang out there without overindulging yourself. If you eat, limit yourself to one snack. I promise, it's worth it.
3: The C-Store at McNutt (or closest to wherever you live): The C-Stores are like those little convenience stores you'll find in a gas station or truck stop. Here, you'll find every snack item known to man, and they're all jumping out at you screaming, "Buy me! Buy me! I'm not that bad for you!" Well, most of the stuff in there is bad for you. While you'll find a lovely array of fruits and vegetables, it's only one or two cases. Everything else is sugary or fatty or salty. I have a thing for Smores Poptarts, and the C-Store has boxes and boxes of them sitting on the shelves. It's bad. But good. But bad. You get the idea. Just don't feel the need to go grocery shopping every day, and when you do, stock up on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and Lean Cuisine dinners. And beware of the Lindor chocolate truffles sitting on the cash register: those things will get you and they are addicting! (Not to mention 33 cents a piece).
4. El Bistro at Read: For those of you who don't already know about the SUPER AMAZING waffles with ice cream this place serves, THIS PLACE SERVES SUPER AMAZING WAFFLES WITH ICE CREAM. Not only can you get it with ice cream, you can also add fruit toppings, powdered sugar, and/or whipped cream. I urge everyone to try this place at least once, but let me warn you: you will fall in love and become addicted. So proceed with caution. Do what I did the last time I ate there: order a waffle with one topping, eat 1/4 of it and take the rest to go for another time. That way you still get some waffle but not all the calories at once!
5. The Bus: Before I discovered the bus system and all its conveniences, I walked EVERYWHERE, even from Northwest to Southeast campuses. That's very far, but I was getting some great exercise. But as soon as I learned that a bus route can take me straight from Fee Lane to 3rd street, my walking time went down dramatically, which meant I wasn't burning as many calories during the day. If you have the time and you have the energy, walk to your destination (unless the weather is bad). I still have to walk a little bit after I get off at my needed stops, but it's nothing compared to how much I walked before. So walk, unless you're running very late.
6. Late night Pizza X: Everybody loves Pizza X. Everybody loves their wide varieties of amazing pizzas, mouth-watering breadsticks, and awesome delivery deals. But ordering pizza late every night is not good for you. It's good for your soul, but it's not good for maintaining a healthy weight. It's part of the college experience, so order a late night pizza, but don't do it often. I can count on one hand the number of times I had a late night Pizza X, and I'm very satisfied with that.
7. Frozen Yogurt: There are three really great places on campus to get frozen yogurt: Red Mango, Freshens at the Union, and Campus Candy. While frozen yogurt may be healthier than ice cream, it's very easy to go crazy on the unhealthy toppings (especially in Campus Candy where anything in the store can be a topping). When you add everything together, you have a lot of food. And since the price of your dessert is based on weight, those toppings can add up. My advice? Don't get too much yogurt, choose fruit toppings, and get very small scoops of everything else. Trust me, whatever you get will taste good.
So you can see that it's very easy to eat a lot and not eat nutritiously. It's even easier to forgo workouts because "it's too far" and "I'm too tired." But no need to worry: Take my advice and you'll look and feel great for the rest of the year!