Your alarm blasts, waking you up from a nightmare about missing your final biology exam. You open your eyes, jump down from your terrifyingly-high dorm bunk bed and grab your favorite pair of shorts. You suck in as you watch yourself in the mirror—attempting to shimmy your way into the same shorts that were loose around your waist a few weeks ago. Whoops.
Suddenly the "high-waisted" part won't even fit over your hips. You groan when you realize that it happened to you too. It's the dreaded "freshman 15." You always thought that was a myth, but now you know that the constant midnight snacks (among other things) actually had an effect.
Don't panic. It's not as bad as you think, and chances are no one else has even noticed. In fact, it's actually healthy for women (and men) to put on a noticeable amount of weight in their late teens/early 20s. Obviously, women gain weight in different areas, and it's actually necessary for our overall health. So don't be so hard on yourself.
1. You'll get more curves.
You may have been tiny in high school, but puberty isn't the biggest change you'll go through. Ladies, all the weight you gain is eventually going to build up around your hips and thighs. Unfortunately, period symptoms usually become more intense as well... When your cramps start hitting at random times, don't be surprised. However, your body will be at its most fertile point, so your skin will glow and your face will appear more symmetrical. But those C-cups are probably going to go up too. When your shorts and crop-tops stop fitting, you'll know why. Thankfully, you'll probably only go up a few sizes, at the most. Your face will also lose all that baby fat, and instead, it'll go straight to your butt.
2. Your bones will get stronger.
If you struggled to lift even light weights the first couple years of college, or throughout high school, that's about to change. Your sudden increase in weight may partly be attributed to the fact that your bones have finally reached their strongest point. Not only will this provide you with a sense of more energy, but your hips will grow wider, and you'll feel a lot stronger. It's at this time that your body will reach its most fertile point. You might even find yourself wanting to go to the gym! Be sure to eat enough protein and carbs. Whatever you're craving is probably what your body needs to fuel itself efficiently.
3. Your metabolism will peak.
With your energy, metabolism, appetite, and weight up, your body will become more predictable. Eat what your body tells you to! If you're craving chocolate, opt for something a little healthier by eating organic, dark chocolate. A craving for chocolate (which contains iron) could also be your body's way of screaming for red meat. It's okay to have a piece of steak or a hamburger! With a higher caloric intake, it'll be a lot easier to put on weight in your legs and hips. For those of us who want to gain muscle, it's a lot easier now. So don't hesitate to do your squats and dead-lifts! The Freshman 15 got you ready for it.
4. It'll be easier to build muscle.
Although your metabolism will reach its peak in your 20s, it will decline soon afterwards. With a more steady appetite and experience with meal planning, putting on muscle will be a breeze. You'll also have a more stable period, so hitting the gym or being active in general will be a lot easier to plan and handle.
5. Your moods will be more predictable.
If you struggled with anger management in high school...well, you might never get over that. Just kidding! But, with your hormones a little more stable and a more predictable time of the month, it'll be a lot easier to actually have patience with your close friends and family. You'll know when mood swings are coming, and all the endorphins from those workouts will keep you "thic" and happy. And just think, you wouldn't have all these benefits if it weren't for the extra 15 pounds!