“I was a healthy person, and summer school has ruined me”, Maria Tegopoulou, a Greek Student from Dunbar Hall, said jokingly.
Five weeks ago, students moved into Summer School bringing suitcases, textbooks, and healthy eating goals. But now, as summer school comes to an end, students admit that the temptation of being surrounded by French fries, pizza, and ice cream at Exeter has lead them to forfeit their diets of salad and vegetables for more delicious and guilt-ridden diets of pizza and soft serve.
Maria says that she eats healthily throughout the day but finds herself splurging in the evening. “For breakfast”, she said, “I usually have special K cereal, for lunch I have salad, and by dinnertime all my hunger catches up with me, and then I get super hungry and start eating and eating and eating.” Her eating habits are much better when she’s at home. She said she eats meat, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruit, but it is hard for to continue eating well at Exeter because most healthy options are expensive smoothies or health bars at the grill.
While some students broke their diet at certain times of the day, others ended up taking weeks off their eating plans. Claudia Mak, an Indonesian student from Dunbar hall, tried to give up sugar for her entire time at Exeter. But she said that even though the diet made her feel healthier for a period of time, it didn’t work:
“No sugar at all. I went on that diet for an entire week, and after that it didn’t go very well because I was constantly craving sugar and carbs and ended up eating too much soft-serve, especially because the soft serve machine was open all day.”
Although Claudia came to summer school with a specific goal in mind, Arneshia Sanders, another student from Dunbar Hall, simply wanted to try to eat more vegetables. “I told myself I was going to eat more vegetables, and meat, but after my first week here, I really just ended up eating too much meat because I didn’t think vegetables had any taste.” she said. After the first week, she said her diet drifted from salad and vegetables to hot Cheetos and Cup-of-Noodles. “I really love spicy Cheetos, so I definitely didn’t stick to my plan.”
Although most of us know the the importance of healthy eating, when the ice cream machine is calling our names it’s hard to ignore it. Instead, if we want to get a head start on eating healthily again, we should fill up half plate with salad at every meal to avoid eating too much. But there’s only one week left in Summer School, so there’s no shame in enjoying the French fries and seemingly unlimited amount of free soft serve (in moderation, of course) and waiting to continue our diets until we get home.