Bateman: I’ll see that freshman fifteen and raise you a sophomore sixty

By Oliver Bateman

With the advent of springtime here on our fair campus, you have undoubtedly begun to think… With the advent of springtime here on our fair campus, you have undoubtedly begun to think about developing the base tan and rippling hard body needed for success at the beach.

Unfortunately, if you’re like most of your peers — an estimated 76 percent of them, according to always-authoritative Wikipedia — you’ve gained the dreaded freshman 15.

Now, far from concentrating your precious energies on the selection of a suitable swimsuit, you’re left figuring out how to stave off or reverse the bloat and decay that resulted from one too many extra-syrupy pancake breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Well, you came to the right spot, because today’s Moustache Column of America constitutes the Rosetta Stone needed to solve your little problem.

You probably believe the best thing to do now is to undertake a program of intense physical exercise. Perhaps you’ve even considered joining this hot, new university exercise group you’ve heard so much about.

Friend, let us tell you something: Dropping barbells with 15-pound bumper plates, performing ring dips, doing air squats in weighted vests and swinging kettlebells isn’t the answer.

No, all that program would do is get you back in shape in no time flat — and getting back in shape is just another way of hiding from the truth.

See, this freshman 15 is who you are.

There are plenty of do-gooders and try-harders writing for America’s top checkout line tabloids who will tell you that you deserve some other kind of body, but a slightly plumper physique has lots to recommend to it.

First, now that you look different from the way you did in high school, you’ve got an appropriate frame of reference for your glory days.

Knee injuries sustained during junior year of high school football — when you were certainly going to be all-state or at least all-county — aside, becoming out of shape is an awesome way to develop a usable past you can exaggerate and idealize.

Prom queen? Abercrombie & Fitch model? Humor columnist? Now is the time to relive the dreams that never came true.

Second, you can embrace a new role. Ever watch one of those hot college comedies? There’s always a choice part in those for a chubby, sassy girlfriend or a fat, obnoxious roommate.

These people might not get the partners of their dreams, but their frolicsome antics never fail to steal the show. So answer this: Why wouldn’t you want to be a show-stealer, friend?

Finally, the freshman 15 is a rite of passage, akin to catching your galpal flirting on Facebook with your best pal or watching “The Boondock Saints” for the 50th time. It marks the boundary that separates exciting adulthood — with its 9-to-5 workdays and khaki pants that have a loose waist — from the marathon sleeping sessions and drunken bacchanalia of dreary adolescence.

Now that you’ve put on the avoirdupois like nobody’s business, aren’t you ready for the big time? Aren’t you ready to be a grown-up?

As always, you can thank us later, kind reader.

Oliver Bateman is the co-owner and operator of the Moustache Fitness Club of America, a website devoted to helping you reach your muscle-building goals and achieve the body of your friends’ sweetest daydreams.

Read more of our state-of-the-art exercise plans and motivational techniques at