Before you begin to read I would just like to put out there that I am not a doctor and I am not certified in any kind of nutrition. The diet that worked for me may not work for you, and it’s really important to contact your doctor before changing anything in your diet.
The “Freshmen 15” is a common phrase used to describe the weight that some college students put on their first year at college. Does it stop after that? Do you get a “Sophomore 7” or how about a “Senior 10”? It varies on the person and also depends on how aware that person is of it. I went to community college for my first two years of college, and I can definitely say that I gained my “Freshmen 15.” It wasn’t because I was at college and eating college cafeteria food, it was more along the lines of I had played sports in high school and in college I was doing a lot of nothing. I also had a lot of free time on my hands which tempted me to eat more out of boredom.
This past spring I was a Junior and I had moved on campus at Maryville University, and I had a huge realization that I did not like the way I looked at all. I decided it was a time for a change. I knew this would change my life if I actually followed through and stuck with it. I started my diet in February and did a basic 1200 calories a day; it was that simple. I really watched what I ate and the important thing that I did was make sure that if I ate something that I counted the calories. This included any kind of beverages and condiments. It was really hard at first being around all of my friends eating their cheeseburgers and fried food, and I was staring blankly at my grilled chicken. I had a goal in mind I wanted to not only look better but feel better. A few things that had become essential to me were gum, water, coffee and almonds. I drank water constantly to feel full, and if I felt a craving coming on I would chew gum. I had coffee in the morning with skim milk, and, let me tell you, it tasted amazing having something have so much flavor compared to the rest of the foods I had been eating. One rule I always followed was always having food on hand in case I felt I needed to eat at that moment! This decreased the risk of having to grab fast food or something from the gas station. I carried almonds; although they are high in fat, they are great fillers and are actually the kind of fat your body needs.
From February to April I lost around 20 pounds. I was so incredibly thrilled but I knew I was still 20 pounds away from my goal weight so I stayed focused. An important thing to keep in mind is to not put a restriction on yourself if you are at a family event and you are dying to just have a bite of that pie. It’s okay to have a few small bites. By not limiting yourself you reduce the risk of making the pie unobtainable which makes it less desirable. By April I decided to start watching my grams of fat intake and really focused on reducing my sodium intake as well. Something that really helped me to keep track of these things was an application on my phone. It was right there in my face, and I knew exactly what I was eating and how many calories I had left on the day.
As far as working out, I did Zumba on my Wii about three times a week for 45 minutes. I also did Jillian Michaels 30-day shred when I wanted a quick burn. I didn’t have a certain work out plan; I fit it in when I had time. Working out is important and helps burn extra calories. Working out is not the main thing to a diet. Watching what you eat is going to help you lose the weight!
It’s July now and I have lost a total of 42 pounds. I went from being 176 to 134 pounds. I lost 5 inches along my waist and went from a size 8 to a size 4. I not only feel great about how I look and have so much confidence, but I also feel healthy without consuming that terrible food. Diets are not easy but when you want something as bad as I did then you just go out and do it! It’s also important to remember you are not just going on a diet; it’s a lifestyle change. If you want to look and feel this way for the rest of your life you need to eat like this forever not just during your diet. Anybody can do it; just find the motivation and stay positive!