The Infamous Freshman 15.
Every girl leaving high school knows about it. They dread it. The idea of gaining 15 pounds, an entire 15 pounds. How terribly devastating.
I didn’t go away to college, but instead, stayed in town and attended a local college for the first two years with hopes of transferring elsewhere. Even though I wasn’t in a dorm with a cafeteria, I still feared The Freshman 15.
One of my best friends signed up for an aerobics class with me that first semester. We were determined not to be part of the sad souls that succumbed to weight gain after high school. She went on a pretzel and yogurt diet when she saw her scale begin to edge up. I overslept, skipped aerobics, ate what I wanted, and gained plenty of weight for both of us.
It’s interesting that The Freshman 15 was so shocking and repulsive an idea. It never crossed our minds that our bodies might change, that it was actually alright for them to fill out and transform into a womanly frame. That wasn’t part of the discussion.
The Freshman 15 really had nothing to do with genetics or age or circumstance or any sort of normal healthy weight fluctuation that shouldn’t impact one’s sense of self or well-being. No.
If you gained that weight, you were lazy, weak, lacked any form self-control. Period.
So I had friends who went on yogurt and pretzel diets. Or only ate apples during the day. Or only drank liquids for a week. Or went on fruit & veggie fasts. The quick fix fad diets were their answer to the completely natural 5 or 10 pounds they added to their frames after high school.
I never really messed around with super restrictive fad diets nor did I ever tip-toe toward more dangerous eating behaviors. I just liked food too much. But that reinforced the idea that if only I weren’t so lazy, if only I put in the hard work and effort required, I could stay at my peak size and shape forever.
CHALLENGE: How did your college years impact your perception of your adult body shape? Did you expect your body to change? Did you feel lazy or embarrassed that you gained weight after high school? Or did you dig in, determined not to gain the Freshman 15?