Smile Politely

It’s the First Day Back (You’ve Already Gained a Few Pounds)

Ed Note: With school back in session, Ellyn Newell brings Smile Politely her top ten reasons why college students really need to get in shape and how.

1. Pokey Sticks:> They may be delicious, especially at 3 a.m.; but a fourth meal of the day comprised of only fried cheese probably is not the best dietary plan. Instead, try a small serving of goldfish to satisfy your late night cravings.

2. Beer: The amount of beer drunk on this campus could probably black out a small tribe group of human beings living within the same vicinity of each other for a year. Contrary to popular college belief, beer is not its own food group, and it most certainly should not be your base food group. Try alternating every couple beers with a cup of water. It’ll flush out your system and you might even be able to make it to after hours for once.

3. Walking to the bar isn’t considered cardio: Although you probably have a ten minute walk to and from a bar every Thursday through Saturday night, it does not substitute for an hour at the gym (although walking in heels is a plus, ladies). In addition to your weekend trips, try to fit 20 minutes of cardio five times a week into your schedule. Not only will you get in shape, but you will feel more energized so the time makes up for itself.

4. Mom’s not cooking healthy meals anymore: If you take a look through your cabinet and realize that all you have is Mac and Cheese and Spaghetti O’s, it might be time to rethink your three meals of the day and no, frozen pizza is not a good substitute. Looking for a quick meal? Try Healthy Choice frozen meals — heat them up and you’re ready to go.

5. It’s still summertime: And I know we are all used to putting on five layers before heading out on the cold streets of Chambana. But you can still wear a swimsuit and I hate to break it to you — but love handles are still not in season, and they never will be. Try side crunches to work on those not-so-flattering tummies.

6. We have two great (free) gyms: It is time to get in shape and if you are not taking advantage of our free gyms then you are just lazy. Scared people will judge you? Well, they probably will, but you can judge right back (I recommend judging those in the weight section — no one should be that muscular.)

7. Fast food: Our school has made gross, fried food way too accessible to us. So put down that cheese burger and pick up a (grilled) chicken sandwich. Even better? Ask for your sandwich on wheat bread and hold off on the cheese (most slices of cheese are around 50 calories — and much of the calories are from fat).

8. Everyone is superficial: If you’re one of those people that you don’t judge people based on their looks, you are a liar. First impressions are the most important — so make it a good one.

9. The dreaded Freshman Fifteen> You want to leave your first year at college with good memories, not a constant reminder of what you ate every time you look in a mirror. If you are one of those upper classmen that feels like the worst is over, you are wrong. The freshman fifteen can easily the sophomore 20 or the junior 30; people just don’t talk about it as much because it’s not a fun alliteration.

10. You’ll feel better: It might sound like I am saying that you need to be skinny to be accepted, however, that is not the case at all. Exercising and eating well is about being happy and having self-confidence. No one feels good after a Big Mac and large fry — they usually just fall asleep. So put down that burger and get active. As Elle Woods wisely said in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Who can argue with logic like that?

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