"I was 6'2 and 160 pounds when I started college, but I wasn't really in great shape.
However, I was definitely thin, so I was happy enough with how I looked.
My weight gain didn't start right away -- my first year, I was pretty careful to watch what I
ate and only gained about 3 pounds. I even got enough exercise either running around campus all
the time or going to the gym now and then, which worked out pretty well.
During my sophomore year, my class load got a lot heavier, and I had a lot less time to devote
to worrying about my weight. Basically, I had gotten into some bad eating habits since around the
tail end of my freshman year, like just snacking on junk food a lot and eating a little too much
fast food. Hey, I hadn't gained a LOT of weight, I could afford to loosen up a little, right?
I didn't really give much of a thought to my bad diet or lack of exercise until the weather
cooled off near the end of September and I started to wear some of my warmer stuff again. That's
when I really noticed the change...all my jeans felt at least a little tighter than they had last year,
so I did the logical, rational thing and blamed it on the laundry at first. But, the dryer was innocent,
and my diet was not.
It all caught up to me the week after Thanksgiving. By then, most of my jeans were
uncomfortably tight and I was noticing the extra flab accumulating on my stomach, but I was busy
and didn't do anything about it. Stretchy sweatpants and oversized hoodies had hid it well anyway.
I finally reached my breaking point when I pulled on a pair of my old jeans and they absolutely would
not button! It was hard to believe that I had actually gotten too fat for some of my clothes.
The next day, I got a scale and weighed myself for the first time in a while.
I was surprised at the number that came up -- 181. I had gained 21 pounds since high school,
and 18 in just over a semester! I stepped down and really looked at myself in the mirror.
For the first time, I was forced to admit that yes, I had gained the dreaded "Freshman 15
(well, 21, but who's counting?)".
In a way, I was really kind of ashamed at what I had done to myself.
My entire body – from my face down to my legs – just looked chubby, bloated, and really unhealthy,
not to mention I had grown a pretty big protruding belly. I realized that I was just basically getting
fat in college and needed to do something about it!
I knew that my bad diet and laziness had caused this change in my body, so I decided to take some
action and try to reverse it. I started to cut down a lot on what I was eating, skipping dessert,
and getting rid of all the fattening snacks I had stockpiled. Although the better diet has helped,
it's now my junior year, and I still weigh 174 pounds.
After you've gained all that weight so fast, it's really hard to lose it! I'm still 14 pounds heavier
than when I started college and can't seem to get rid of my small gut, but I'm focused on trying to at
least keep things where they are and be healthier all around. Trust me – it's easier to start out being
careful and just not gain the Freshman 15 at all!"
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