How to be a freshman loser

Student writer, fitness expert and TU football player Thomas von Borstel shares his boundless fitness wisdom.

It must seem really creative to adapt the title of “The Biggest Loser” TV show and apply it to my college newspaper headline. If you think that’s creative, get this: I could also tell you how to lose weight during college rather than strike out with that large bowling ball you’ll be carrying around freshman year because of stress eating.

The first tip: don’t see exercise as some lugubrious task to shed off a pot belly. Certainly, this isn’t a pragmatic tip, but the mental game is the initial undertaking. Visualize a positive experience. I’m not some whack job Dharma bum; full belief is the key to the door. You might sit in your meditative posture and think this is some horseshit, but you might find with time that your brain needed that little bit of exercise to pull the cargo and the caboose.

The second tip: it’s all reading and arithmetic, grade school stuff. Read your labels. Eat food that is comprised of one ingredient, either a meat, vegetable, grains or fruits. That’ll avoid added fats and sugars. Don’t avoid your favorite foods though. That’s where the arithmetic gets involved. Calories out need to roughly equal calories in. Know your metabolism and your activity. If you are chasing rainbows and playing Fortnite for 12 hours straight, I wouldn’t eat 5,000 calories. You don’t need to count calories, but if you have a general understanding of your metabolism, eating habits and exercise, you can roughly estimate the ratio of in versus out. Your diet is nearly the entirety of what comprises one’s body composition. Don’t be a scrooge though. The Golden Mean, moderation, balance and no matter what value system you encounter, temperance is to be enacted.

The third tip: think short and intense. Only gym rats want to be in that place for 2 hours just slumping away, dripping all over equipment and wishing you’d just melt away. Go to the gym, bang on the drums like Todd Rundgren and get out of there. High Intensity Interval Training is an essential tool to this sort of exercising. Any sort of lift combined with concentrated bouts of cardio will allow your body to keep its heart rate up for longer periods of time. The Internet is filled with resources to instruct novice exercises. It only takes a single compound exercise and some sprints to get started.

The fourth tip: often. Maxims, aphorisms and so on include such phrases as “a body in motion, stays in motion.” Looking back at our last tip, it only takes 20 minutes a day. In total, it’s a little more than two hours out of a week, in which you get 168 hours total. Start your day with a speedy few rounds of sun salutation A. Do calisthenic exercises on your dorm room floor: jumping jacks, push-ups and crunches. You’ll find if you start your day with exercise, some wholesome carbohydrates and a glass of water, you will have a surge of energy cannonballing you to mid-day.

If nothing else is possible, walk as much as possible. Explore every nook and cranny of the gorgeous campus we inhabit. Find a weird bathroom you like. Nose into some person’s study corner and feel their simpering glare. Stumble onto the super secret staircase in the library. Walk a few flights. Just remember these words written by Douglas Adams: never forget your towel.

Post Author: Thomas von Borstel