For the most part, it’s easy to keep yourself at a healthy weight as a kid. You’re running around, climbing trees, doing compulsory P.E at school and eating is a chore, not a luxury. I know my parents would only let me have sweets and chocolate as a treat or pudding, and I was usually in the middle of a very important game with my toys when dinner came around, so I would wolf down the bare minimum before running back to continue saving the world with my Beanie Babies.
At uni, it’s a different ballgame entirely. Your body is mature now and weight just doesn’t seem to want to shift. Most students can’t cook, so it’s a healthy diet of microwave meals, pot noodles, oven pizza and take aways. If you are anything like me, the desire to go out and consciously exercise does not come naturally. To those lucky people who actually enjoy getting up and going for a run – I salute you.
I decided to join a sports team in a wild attempt to keep my fitness healthy, and joined lacrosse. I quickly learnt that unless you are a scholar at my university – whose motto is “University of Sporting Excellence”, the basis of a sports team is mostly social. I attend ‘Training’ three times a week, in which I flap around a bit and kid myself I am exercising when really I would have been better off doing ten sit ups in my room. Then the team will go out after training for drinks, and on special occasions a meal. This defeats the point of losing any excess weight I notice.
There is always the university gym as another option, which requires great willpower to get myself out of bed, changed, and down to the gym for a workout which usually lasts about ten minutes. The issue with the gym, is that it tends to be full of pumped up health nuts, or people on a direct mission to stay fit. Among these are the men of the university in teams such as Rugby, Football, and Athletics, who seem to run on energy and protein shakes. This puts pressure to stay in the gym for an acceptable amount of time, say, 45 minutes to an hour.
This is what I did this morning, and for those of us who aren’t that fit and are building our fitness back up slowly, it is bloody tiring, and you just want to go back to bed with a cup of tea.
A typical student goes out at least once a week, which brings the great enemies – alcohol, and take away. The amount we drink on a night out will probably eventually turn into some form of beer belly, or in my case a storage of spirits. In the morning, we feel like shit and lie in bed with a hangover, and don’t want to cook. So we order a Domino’s pizza. This is of course, on top of the food you ate the night before when coming home drunk in search of the greasiest food possible, usually something along the lines of poorly fried bacon.
In conclusion, university is the ultimate test of strength and willpower when it comes to gaining weight. We have to either suck it up and do some exercise, or accept the temptations of alcohol, crappy food, and leading a lazy life and put on a bit of extra cushion. It comes with the uni lifestyle!