College. It is the best of times, and the worst of times. You are finally on your own! There is no one here to tell you when to go to bed, when to wake up, where to go, or what to eat.
The Freshman Fifteen is the phenomenon known around the world as the obligatory fifteen pounds you gain once you enter your freshman year of college. Fact, or fiction? We may never know. But, this is how my freshman fifteen carved the path towards loving myself.
If you've known me at all, you would know that I've always struggled with my weight. Growing up, I was told I was obese, both by doctors and by that mean girl that sat behind me in middle school. Once my internal thoughts were being heard externally, it just confirmed my fears and insecurities.
That is when it began.
For years, I would struggle with dieting, starving myself, trying to purge, and intense workouts without food. My relationship with my weight was always unhealthy, as most women can relate to. Whether you feel like you're too fat, or you have trouble with gaining weight; it can be a major source of stress.
Then, college happened.
I firmly believed I would be one of the rare people that would never gain the freshman fifteen. Little did I know, my freshman fifteen would become my freshman thirty. The combination of chicken tenders and fries and the countless ice cream runs did not work in my favor. As I continued to gain weight, something else was happening.
I had developed a support system that was telling me it was okay to love myself for who I was. I had recently made new friends in college that taught me that I was worth so much more than my weight and a boyfriend that loved me and thought I was the most beautiful version of myself, ever.
Once my freshman year ended, this started me on the path to becoming the healthy version of myself that I am today. For the past 8 months, I have been weight training. My number on the scale may have barely gone down, but I've dropped two pants sizes and gone back to the size I was my senior year of high school - only this time, I did it the right way.
I began weight training 5 days a week, and now that I've developed a routine, I've been able to add cardio and better eating habits. I'm definitely not perfect at it, but the nicer I am to myself, the better I begin to feel. Once I begin feeling good I, as a result, perform better.
It's never easy to admit that you don't like yourself.
However, all it took was gaining some weight and some real friends to learn that it is completely okay to love who you are.
That doesn't mean you have to give up, it just means you can be okay with where you are right now, as you continue to constantly improve.
You don't have to be stagnant, but you don't have to be mean to yourself either.