On Gaining and Losing the “Freshman 15”

by Nicole DeMarco


The thing about the formidable ‘Freshman 15’ is that it’s real. It’s a thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of those skanks who insists, usually while retching into some porcelain receptacle, “No, it’s fine, I only do shots, I don’t drink beer!” or one of those dudes who gallantly exclaims that he can bench mad weight, bro. By the time you waddle back to your hometowns, the twinkle of Christmas lights in the windows and soft din of carols on the airwaves, your precariously fastened (note I do not use the term “buttoned”) jeans are one false move away from splitting down the middle and exposing the sea of cottage cheese that has become your ass.

Now I’m not saying I’m better than this, for I have been there, and it royally blows. Due to the fact my self control is roughly that of a crack addict gone rogue, I too succumbed to the unimaginable glory of the saturated fat buffet, I mean, the school dining hall. Who can resist the seemingly endless supply of pizza, fries, and cereals whose main ingredients include sugar and the tears of unicorns, especially when they look so good next to that lame-ass salad bar? All this future heart disease, readily available with the mere swipe of a card, is not only enough food to feed ~6 countries, but a caloric temptation greater than you had ever thought possible. While I personally am not better than this shameful and delicious spiral into gluttonous oblivion, I suppose some are impervious to its eventual lardtastic wrath. Good for them and their Usain Bolt–like metabolisms. However, for the rest of us, it takes a certain amount of strong-arming (not to be confused with double-fisting), to shed these loathsome pounds, since, yanno, sweatpants really are the only thing that fits right now.

The good news is, you can do it. As is the case with pretty much everything, getting started is the hardest part. First, you’ve gotta admit to yourself that it’s beginning to look like you were injected with pudding. Also, let’s stop denying that this extra layer of insulation is having actively aversive effects on your demeanor, making you kind of a downer to be around. Put down the wings and pick up a couple of dumbbells, and no, I don’t mean drumsticks. Going outside of the grease-laden pit of snacks and despair that is your comfort zone needs to happen. I know it may sound unorthodox, but it turns out there’s something to that whole ‘diet and exercise’ routine. I know, right? Who knew? But seriously, quit eating and drinking so much, make your physical activity for the day more intense than just the walk from the fridge to your bed. Do it, if for no other reason than to show that buffet who’s really boss or to get your concerned mother off your back. Before you know it, you’ll be one svelte sonofabitch.