Let’s talk about the freshman 15. I’m not talking about entering high school as a 15-year-old. Doesn’t that seem like forever ago? I’m talking about that dreaded concept of weight gain during the first year of university.
The phenomenon sounds something like this: Freshmen experience a 15-pound weight gain during the first semester of college and then work the next several semesters to lose those unwanted pounds. Don’t worry … It’s a myth. You can control your health. Fear not, freshmen, for fitness is your friend!
Welcome to “Step-perdine,” where you’ll experience the original Stairmaster that comes free with your payment of tuition. Your legs may be sore after a long day of classes, but choosing to walk instead of taking the shuttle is a great habit. Soon, those CCB stairs will pose no challenge for you. Come Christmas time, your friends from home will notice your toned legs.
Take a look around you. No, I’m not suggesting that you check out that fit upperclassman! I’m insisting that you look toward the ocean. Take advantage of all the healthy activities Malibu has to offer. Go for a walk on the beach, invite your new friends paddle boarding or even listen to a podcast as you jog the track. Stay active! An off-duty nurse working for the nationwide advice line said, “Good hand washing is the first line of defense in college; the second is staying active.” There is no excuse not to take full advantage of our beautiful track overlooking the shoreline. (Maybe this is why Pepperdine is home to so many in-shape college students.)
Don’t think twice about a beer belly, because Pepperdine is a dry campus. If you are worried about eating unhealthy, hold yourself accountable. Kathleen Zellman, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman, said, “Kids often get into a feeding frenzy when they can have as much food as they want. They’re in the cafeteria all the time, with self-serve ice cream and desserts.” Don’t eat abnormally. A College Guide to Eating Healthy offers several positive tips, including clean eating, which means eating unprocessed foods when possible. Perhaps find a kitchen on campus to prepare a health-conscious meal, and try not to snack late at night. Remember, your diet never has to be perfect; just eat in moderation.
If you eat on campus often, you may choose Jamba Juice as a healthy snack. Sandbar Jamba smoothie maker Victoria Sonoda said, “Jamba Juice has a good balance of ingredients in helping to avoid the freshman 15, but you have to stay clear of the secret menu. All of those are basically ice cream. A lot of them don’t even have fruit in them.” Sonoda suggested choosing a drink off of the fruit and veggie smoothie list because these options mix the balance and lean advantage boosters, which compliment a healthy diet. You can eat well on campus, just be aware of what it is that you are eating.
As a new student, focus on your health, not a number. Take care of yourself and engage in the Pepperdine lifestyle. After all, it’s not the freshman 15 you have to worry about; it’s the sophomore 15 that tempts students while abroad.
Follow Molly Argue on Twitter: @MissMollyArgue
As published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Pepperdine Graphic.