Freshman fifteen isn’t the problem, judgment of it is

Person+struggling+to+fit+into+their+jeans+after+a+heavy+meal.+Photo+credit%3A+Dominique+Wood

Person struggling to fit into their jeans after a heavy meal. Photo credit: Dominique Wood

Tight jeans and extra weight around your waist means you’re a normal college student.

Dining hall food, bottomless vodka and lack of exercise are all culprits of weight gain in college. For the first time in their lives, college students are living unsupervised. They have no authority figure telling them to eat more salads or avoid alcohol. To make matters worse, students are too busy pulling all-nighters to head to the gym. But the “freshman fifteen” isn’t the issue, the way students are judged for gaining weight is the real problem.

Weight gain is mostly considered a bad thing, but it shouldn’t always be. Of course, if your body weight and body fat percentage are getting into an unhealthy range, then consider a lifestyle change. But a few pounds here and there won’t kill you. Gaining weight in college is normal and very common. Around 70% of college students gain weight according to a study by Auburn University.

No matter how determined you are to avoid gaining weight, the difficult adjustment from home to college doesn’t make maintaining weight easy.

Students are changing so much mentally and physically that their body weight might fluctuate here and there, and that’s ok. College is an adjustment. It takes time to get a routine down and get the hang of our newfound freedom and life.

Making everyday choices, such as choosing your own groceries and forcing yourself to workout, are steps to becoming an independent, self-sufficient adult.

If you are currently trying to lose weight, then try utilizing the WREC (Wildcat Recreation Center). The WREC is Chico State’s gym and it is free to use as a student. If you easily get tired of the treadmill or lifting weights, you can try out one of the many free classes the WREC offers.

Also, slow down on the alcohol if you’re trying to maintain your weight. While you may pay attention to the food you are consuming, you may be forgetting a source of substantial calories – alcohol. One serving of alcohol can range anywhere from 100-300 calories.

When it comes down to it, we only go to college for a couple of years and we go to Chico State; an amazing college with great restaurants surrounding the campus. Life is too short not to enjoy Schubert’s Ice Cream, Frankie’s Pizza, Aca Taco or a bottle of Burnett’s.

So, always love yourself and your body. There is nothing wrong with putting on a couple of pounds and developing a beer gut or a muffin top. Plus, didn’t you hear? ‘Dad bods’ are in!

Brooke Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @bmartin471 on Twitter.