Ballin’ on a Budget: How to avoid the 'Mizzou 22'

The “Mizzou 22” won’t become your worst nightmare if you follow these 4 tips.

During my tour of Mizzou, when I was just a giddy high school senior, I distinctly remember my tour guide warning me about the “Mizzou 22”. At that moment I came to the conclusion that I would not fall victim to the common weight gain that freshman in college experience during their first year. I’m here to admit that I was wrong and that I did indeed succumb to the “Mizzou 22”.

College is filled with temptations that were either inaccessible or uncommon in high school. Most high school students rely on their parents for groceries and meals so they don’t have to worry about making sure they are getting a balanced meal daily. In high school, you aren’t tempted to eat unhealthily a majority of the time because healthy and fresh meals are more accessible to you.

I spent a majority of my summer losing the weight that I had gained during my freshman year, but didn’t really come to terms with how I gained the weight until I had lost it. I came to the conclusion that vegetables should be an essential part of your diet in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and that pizza should not be a main food group.

I distinctly remember pizza becoming something that I ate at least twice a week during the second semester of my freshman year. I blame both my lack of self-control and knowledge about healthy options to be why I developed the habit. Below I have listed some tips that I wish someone would have told me as an incoming freshman on how to avoid the “Mizzou 22.”

Eat vegetables. Seriously, you have to eat vegetables, and putting green peppers or mushrooms on your pizza doesn’t count towards meeting this quota. Over the summer, I began to implement kale into my diet to help both speed up my metabolism and make my salads heartier. Kale, in my opinion, tastes better than spinach and is an excellent addition to any smoothie or salad. Kale is super inexpensive, especially if bought at Walmart and can be added to a salad that you can make in your dorm room or residence hall kitchen. Drink lots of water and stay clear of colored sodas if possible. I know that water in CoMo isn’t the tastiest, but it’s free and always available. Also, if you are more in favor of filtered water, invest in a cheap water filter to keep inside of your mini fridge. Don’t order food late at night. Ordering a pizza might seem like a great idea at 10 p.m., but you’ll later regret it because the food will just be sitting in your stomach. Rollins at Night might seem like a good idea, but there’s an easy way to avoid the swipes, line and calories. If you get hungry late at night, try making a pita pizza in the microwave in your dorm. All you need is pita bread, cheese, and marinara sauce, which can all be found at the Mizzou Markets on campus. Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself when it comes to working out. Sure, you might think that you’ll work out everyday, but let’s be real. School and life tend to intervene with that plan quite frequently so it’s best to not try to force yourself to do something that you don’t have time for. Instead, just do some basic exercises in your dorm room with your friend. There are tons of quick, at-home workouts that you can find on Pinterest.

Follow these tips and you should successfully be able to avoid gaining the “Mizzou 22,” but remember, it’s okay to have pizza and soda, but only in moderation.

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