By Shadaye Hunnicutt
Kaylee Harrell and Rebekah Dunn sit on the couches in the Tennessee Hall lobby debating whether or not a package of fruit snacksis considered a dessert.
The sophomores have just finished working out and are trying not to be tempted by the candy bars for sale in the lobby.
For the past week the women of Tennessee and Georgia Halls have been trying to cut calories, exercise and explore the ways fitness are connected to a healthy spiritual life.During the last week of January, more than 40 women signed up for a three -week fitness challenge and competition sponsored by leaders in each dorm.
Kayleigh Hofer, first year resident director of Tennessee Hall, created “The Three Week Fitness Challenge” to help educate and motivate students to think about how they eat and other ways to care for their bodies as a spiritual discipline.
“The challenge ties into the holistic journey that Trevecca has focused on this year and the importance in emotionally,spiritually and physically ‘holistically’ caring for yourself and being the example to the ones around you, ” Hofer said.
On average, college students gain eight to 10 pounds their freshman year of college and then continue gaining two to four pounds each year during their career, according to a study by researchers at Brown University Medical school.
The girls have teamed up into groups of four and, with the list of standards that are assigned points created by Hofer, are trying to earn 3,000 points in three weeks.
Points are awarded for things like, skipping dessert, exercising or drinking at least 2 liters of water a day.
The idea, Hofer said, is introduce good health habits and provide some accountability.
“ It’s easy to not drink soda when you have to drink 2 liters of water a day,” said Dunn.
Earning the 3,000 points earns members of a team a free clean room skip.
Members of the team with the highest point total will get a $10 gift card to Whole Foods.
But changing habits is hard work, said some of the participants.
Harrell is still fighting her battle against the free and always available dessert in the cafeteria.
“Three days in a row I broke down and ate desert, I have a little tiny bit of something and then realize that it’s a desert, but then I’ve already started eating it so I just finish it” said Harrell.
Participants are glad for a chance to be intentional about seeing the link between physical and spiritual health.
And the fact that spring break and summer are right around the corner doesn’t hurt.
“I want to be healthy and also be confident in a swimsuit this summer” said Harrell.