Sana Ali graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies and a concentration in Comparative Literature. She has interned for 5-Hour Energy and Mr. Youth in the past and is currently working for a television network as a Social Media and Marketing coordinator in New York. She is extremely passionate about the entertainment industry and interested in using her expertise in marketing and social media to expand her experience in the event planning industry.
My first semester of Freshman year in college was—to put it politely—a semester long feast where I chowed down on whatever I desired (basically, anything & everything delicious unhealthy in sight). My unlimited meal plan (purchased by my worrying parents who couldn’t bear the thought of their little girl with anything less than everything) was every fat kid slash foodie’s nirvana. I was in freaking heaven. Maintaining a girlish figure? Eh, those brownies sounded better. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels? Well, I can think of several: chocolate chip pancakes with that warm honey drizzle, those darn handcrafted sandwiches with thick ciabatta bread and turkey…and let’s not forget Chef George’s hazelnut and caramel sundaes!
I was eating like a professional football player, regardless of my already slightly overweight form and slow metabolism. I had stopped going to the gym because I got lazy. Freshman 15? Please. I can, and did, do 25 (my inner overachiever wouldn’t have it any other way!). It’s safe to say that when I went home for winter break, everyone who had known me five months ago was SHOCKED.
The point of me sharing this slightly sensitive and semi-pitiful story? Well, there are several. If you are (in any degree) in the same situation that I was, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. It’s not the end of the world if you gain weight in college- Yes, I still cringe when I think back to Freshman year. But keep in mind: your body is transitioning along with the other changes in your life, and it’s natural for stress, loneliness or plain boredom to affect your body during that time.
2. There are solutions- If you’re unhappy with the changes your body is making, take advantage of all the resources your school offers to make a change! Most campuses offer free gym memberships, fun group exercise classes or intermural sports teams. Pair up with a buddy and decide to motivate each other and keep track of each other’s fitness goals.
3. Don’t stop indulging- You should never deprive yourself, and completely eliminating one food group can be detrimental to your body. One cookie isn’t harmful; ten are. College is supposed to be fun, so don’t beat yourself up over a slice of cake or a burger.
4. Seek out guidance through social media- Start following inspiring fitness users or healthy celebrities on Instagram and Twitter; create a Pinterest board to collect encouraging images and words. These small steps will create an everyday reminder for you to start making a change.
Remember, you learn and grow from every difficult experience. And as cliché as it sounds, you’re in charge of your body and mind, so don’t hesitate to start making taking steps to make a change if you’re in a similar situation that I was.