The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Witness to fitness: healthy lifestyles help everyone

I weighed 317 pounds at the start of the summer.

I’m not going to dance around that fact. I’m an awful dancer. Of course, I thought I would be awful at losing weight too.

However, over the summer I lost 30 pounds. Since I’ve been back at Guilford College I’ve lost 10 more.

“Not a single state in the union has an obesity rate of less than 20 percent,” reported Time Magazine. “An Aug. 13 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than a third of U.S. adults were obese in 2011.”

I credit my initial weight gain in college not only to the typical “Freshman Fifteen” but also to a lack of self-control on my part. The gain continued for the next three semesters.

With summer on the horizon at the end of junior year, I decided I wanted to try losing weight. Walking to class from the North Apartments was starting to cramp my legs and wear me out. I had to force myself to walk up to the third floor of Duke Memorial Hall instead of riding the elevator. I knew then that I had to change.

It was not a fun transition.

However, a combination of determination, diet and a consistent workout schedule allowed me to lose the weight over the summer.

“Stay consistent and motivated, and always switch up your lifting schedule,” said weightlifter and senior Lateef Mitchell. “Never compare yourself to people. Start at your own pace and move and work with your own regimen. When in the gym, don’t get down on yourself because a guy’s lifting 275 (pounds) and you may be lifting 135 — just use it as motivation.”

The next challenge was keeping it off when I got back to school. Luckily, Guilford has a lot to offer in the way of fitness-friendly areas.

“A good place that helps keep you fit besides the gym is probably the campus itself,” said Mitchell. “Our campus is a good size to run or walk around, especially in the mornings. Intramural sports are also a good way to stay active and fit.”

The Guilford College Woods have an exercise trail perfect for walking or running, and the shade of the area keeps it cooler than if you were to walk on main campus grounds.

“I run in the woods two to three times per week, depending on the season and the weather,” said senior Eamon Deeley-Wood. “As long as you are willing to stay active here, you can remain reasonably healthy.”

You may be tempted to get quick and easy fried food at places like the Cafeteria and the Grill, but both facilities offer plenty of healthy alternatives.

Create a healthy sandwich filled with meat, cheese and veggies instead of picking up a greasy grilled cheese. Grab fruit instead of a bag of chips as a side.

You can even support the Guilford Farm by eating whatever vegetables they’ve made available to the Cafeteria. Make it a salad or put it on a sandwich, your choice.

At an on-campus seminar on weight loss on Sept. 13, Dr. Steve Willen spoke on dieting.

“All diets should help you lose weight,” Willen said. “The challenge is to keep it off.”

Here’s hoping that I can keep it off, and if you’re willing to try your hand at weight loss, good luck to you. You can do it.

“Remember: being fit can be fun,” said Mitchell. “(It’s) a hobby for some, and for others, a lifestyle.”

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