Freshman 15: The {not-so} Ugly Truth


Every year, College Freshmen face an awful, monstrous, dreaded thing. Not the inevitable “break you in right” teacher, or navigating campus, or even the OUTRAGEOUS cost of textbooks, but worse: The Freshman Fifteen. Any normal, I repeat normal, person who’s gone off to college can attest to this. Sure, it’s different for everyone. On average, students only gain about 2.5 pounds, not the fear-inducing “fifteen”. You’re thinking, “But not me, Abby! I’ve weighed the same all through high school and I never exercised!”, and to that I say, just wait. I wouldn’t have believed me, either, coming out of high school. I was always pretty slim, no matter my good or bad lifestyle choices. I could probably have eaten a Big Mac for lunch every day and still stay between 120-125 pounds. Then, I started college. I kept the same lifestyle habits, probably eating better than I did in high school. I keep about the same amount of activity, and try to make a conscious effort to take the stairs every now and then. But one day, it happened. I looked in the mirror, and all of the sudden, I didn’t like what I saw. Sure, I’ve struggled with body confidence issues, but this time, it came on so suddenly. I thought maybe it was just in my head. But my pants were fitting more snugly, I was uncomfortable in tighter clothing, and friends and family close to me noticed I was a little “pudgier” around the middle than before. All because of a few pounds. I thought, well, I’ll just change my ways. Figure out an exercise plan, only eat salads, etc., etc. But school came first, and I felt guilty spending time doing anything but studying (but that’s a whole different issue). My pants were still 1970s-tight, but sadly they weren’t bell bottoms. After really struggling with body image and what others would think, I came to a realization: buy new pants and make the best of life. My weight is still healthy, I’m active, and I plan on choosing healthy options whenever possible. So what if I have a little chubby donut of a lower abdomen? I’m happy, and really, that’s all that matters. Until next time,



P.S. A note about the picture: I emceed our county 4-H banquet this weekend. I felt so uncomfortable in a form fitting dress, because obviously people could see the pudge I had acquired since last year. I spent most of the night trying to keep my hands over my belly. Then, after the ceremony, one of our older ladies who has always supported 4-H and watched us grow up came to me, and told me about how beautiful I was, and that she just couldn’t stop looking at me during the awards (in a non-creepy way). If she can feel that way, and not notice a pudgy tummy, so can I.


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